Now that the thesis has been written, submitted and defended, the Fat Lady is in the wings, warming up. It’s almost all over. Yay! It was enormously gratifying to “do” grad school — and it also allowed me to forget about some things for awhile…like, how to keep romance alive and still get the dishes done.
But let’s face it, Ladies. Even if you’re lucky enough to bait and catch a man with your lovely, soft hands, you’re sure to ruin his life with your irrational nerves.
How did all this fear-mongering get started? I want to get on an Eve Got Framed rant here, and trace back to the 1st century misogyny in the church that cast the biblical first woman as a cunning seductress, but that would involve conducting a close-reading of Paradise Lost, evaluating centuries of art and literature and music and film….basically, cataloging the thousands of ways women have been cast as devils whose whole aim is to attract and destroy men. I don’t have time for that, what with all the Ivory Soap baths I’m taking.
Some of the old ads are so ridiculous, there had to be a point when the chemical companies held meetings specifically to come up with new things for women to worry about. Imagine a bunch of fat cats puffing cigars around a glossy conference room table while a nervous secretary sat in the corners taking notes (after fetching coffee, of course).
“Well, now, Jenkins, what have you got for us? Come up with a way to sell more product, have you?”
*stammering slightly* “Uh, yes Sir, I have. You see, Sir, we’ve already got women worried about properly disinfecting their countertops, dishes, appliances and bathrooms. Now I thought we could get them worried about properly disinfecting *coughs* their, umm, well, their lady parts, Sir.”
“Lady parts, you say? Genius, Jenkins! Genius!”
Meanwhile, across town, the cosmetics company meetings were underway.
“We’ve already got grown women thinking they’ve got to paint their faces every day in order to be fit for human interaction, Bob. How in the hell can we move more product?”
“I’ve got an idea, Jack. It may seem a little crazy, but here goes… Let’s shift our message. Instead of encouraging women to smell clean, we’ll make them think they should smell young!”
“Young? How young, Bob?”
“Well, I was thinking…eight? nine? Smelling like a second grader will be the new sexy!”
Once you’d managed your hands and nerves, and were smelling like a prepubescent femme fatale, you could worry about
Being too fat…
Or too skinny….
Having smelly hair….
Or a flat chest…
And, once you’ve managed to get your weight, skin, hands, hormones, hair and lady bits under control, you need to worry about falling into every woman’s specialty: emotional manipulation.
Of course, now it’s men who are depicted as incompetent idiots in advertising, which is equally wrong. Men are mainly supposed to be afraid of hair loss, E.D., graying, low testosterone, and aging. And, most importantly, incompetence at the grill.
I’m tired of worrying about my hands, hair, hormones, or gender-determined inclination towards destructive emotional outbursts, and I bet you are, too. Thus, I’ve compiled a short list of things we actually need to be afraid of (You’re welcome!):
1. Being carjacked by the large cats that roam loose in many American cities.
3. Dogs who are too high to function.
4. Rabbits the size of Smart Cars.
5. Cats with guns.
If you can avoid encountering any of these things during the day, you’ve done well. So stop worrying!
Unless you are approached by a mountain lion at a red light. Then you can worry….