Some Myth-Busters About Women on International Women’s Day

Today is a very important day to me. It’s a day when we think about women, their contributions to society, and what we need to do to make the world a leveller playing field for us.

I’ve spoken about education and fair pay and all those meta, structural problems but today I want to focus on the urban legends, the myths and the clichés that surround being a woman. Here we go…

1) Women are bitchy

If I had a penny for every time I heard, “Oh women are so bitchy, I prefer the company of blokes, it’s way more chilled,” then I wouldn’t be sat writing at a desk I found in the street.

FIRSTLY, when women are alone with other women (in my experience at least), we mainly laugh and compliment one another and discuss everything from Brexit to politics to hair donuts to bread recipes to childcare to how often we wash our bras. There might be the odd ‘constructive criticism’ of one person or another but on the whole we build one another up, support one another and crack jokes along the way, too.

In a similar vein, I can’t be sure what guys talk about when we’re not there. The only time I was in a totally male area was when I swam at the Men’s Ponds in Hampstead and I just got glared at a lot. However, I’ve certainly been the only lady in a group of gents enough times to have heard them seriously bitch and tear apart other people.

So can be please drop the cliché that us females are petty, small-minded bitches who criticise other women all the time and that men are just chilled and chat about rubgy and w**king?

2) We can’t drive.

Full disclosure: I can’t drive.

However until insurance premiums were raised for women because it was seen as sexist that they could pay less, the disparity here suggests that actually maybe we’re not terrible and statistically speaking….better drivers????

3) Women can’t math

Full disclosure: I can’t do maths and have to count on my fingers.

HOWEVER you know who can do maths? My ex-uni-housemate Stassia who got a First for her mind-bendingly difficult looking mathematics degree. There was also Vicky, who’s now a vet, Thérése, who’s a very qualified medic but I can’t remember her exact job title, she saves peoples lives though, and Fran, who teaches PHYSICS.

That’s a small sample of my very clever wimmin friends who work in traditionally male-dominated fields. Men aren’t better at science and maths than women – they’re just more likely to get degrees/jobs in those areas because they’re socialised to.

4) Women are emotional beings

Oh please. I know some cold-ass women who never want to be mothers and use up men like they use up their Boots Advantage Card points on Durex. I also know plenty of men who cry at Watership Down every time and have always had the life goal of raising a family.

The idea that we’re more emotional and led by our hormones than men is ridiculous. It’s just that society dictates that men showing their emotions is soft and probably a bit ‘gay’ and that women are, to their core, more loving and empathetic. Na, we’re just ‘permitted’ to be a bit more emosh.

5) By wearing make up, women are lying to men

Mate, if you think I was born with green eyelids then that’s your own stupidity not my dishonesty.

6) Motherhood is the greatest thing a woman can do.

F*ck off. Great for some, not for others, and some women heartreakingly cannot conceive so can we knock this one on the head please.

7) Behind every great man is a great woman

Again, f*ck off. Plenty of women (and men) standing on their own being great. Women are just behind the guy because women’s contributions to arts, politics, science etc have generally been muted, hidden away and less celebrated than those of men throughout history.

So there we have just a few stereotypical views of us ladies, which I’m sure frustrate and anger you, too. But change is afoot and all we really need to do is to keep setting ourselves our own goals and achieving them – whether all you’ve wanted to do is to be a wife, mother and home-maker, or an unmarried astrophysisist player – deeds not words, innit!

Rebecca x

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