Now I’m no self hating woman. I revel in my ‘twin peaks’ and I, along with all women, know that we’re smarter, more focused and more efficient at getting most things done that most guys.But even the bigger ‘go women’ cheerleader can’t negate that there are some challenges to being a woman. And sometimes it just sucks. Now I wouldn’t trade in my hairless forearms or size 7’s for a mans.. (for one, it would look really really weird), but sometimes… just sometimes… you gotta wonder.
1. Being ill
Next time you’re at the doctor look around you. Who makes up 75% of the waiting room? Yep – women. No we’re not hypochondriacs (well, most of the time we’re not, especially now we’ve got WebMD), we just have a lot of moving parts. And quite often they seem to not work right. Your average guy visits a doctor when he suffers a heart attack or his leg swells up to the size of a tree due to gout. The rest of the time, guys seem to be ridiculously hardy. Women on the other hand can’t seem to make it through the month without something weird going on. Something itching, burning, stinging, aching or throbbing. And that’s just our throats. The other 99% isn’t much hardier. Until the age of 65, my dad had maybe gone to the doctor… ooo… twice. My mother on the other hand seems to think that she gets air miles for her visits. And the killer is.. there always IS something wrong with her. Why? Do our slender bones and joints just wear out faster? Is our ‘weaker sex’ label actually true? I personally put it down to rage. We’re not good at letting anything out so we suck it down and it makes us sick. If we spent more time pushed some people around a football field or basketball court, flipping off other drivers or yelling at work colleagues.. maybe we’d spend less time at the doctors office. Or maybe its somehow related to Diet Coke?
Shout at us, bump our car, scowl at our dog and we bawl like infants. We can’t help it. Put us in front of any movie involving parental relationships, someone dying or Meryl Streep doing…well..anything and we’re weeping like a civil war bride. Women do cry a lot. I’m not a crier, but I do notice if a month goes by and my eyes haven’t dribbled over something. Is this a bad thing? Apparently not, since we’re encouraging dudes to do it, but honestly.. when is crying ever awesome? Yes, yes, its good to have a sob when someone dumped you or when Bradley Cooper gets Jennifer Lawrence, but crying in daylight? in public? I cry during fights, during annual reviews at work, at car accidents and at the end of Love Actually. All of which frustrates me no end. (I mean, I’ve seen that movie 100 times and it STILL kills me). Women regularly cry at work (who hasn’t encountered the notorious bathroom red eye removal?) and its never something we can control. My girlfriend put it down to anger (again, that rage thing), and not knowing what to do with it. The only thing we know what to do when we get bad feelings is sob. So ridiculous. Imagine Peyton Manning on the field weeping? Ali sobbing his heart out in the ring? Of course punching your date during ‘Love Story’ isn’t advisable but I think you get what I mean.
Ugh. I hate this word. It conjures up images of breast feeding and cotton balls. Sorry moms out there, and yes, I know care-taking is part of our genetic make up but our innate tendency to nurture the crap out of everyone without even trying is annoying as all get out to me. Why is this a bad thing? Because you can’t turn it off. Sure, being a caring human being is appropriate when you’re raising a kid, a puppy or a tomato plant (well I know about 2 out of 3). But why did we get this thing that makes us ‘look after’ and ‘care about’ people who don’t need it? People we don’t even like. Case in point, a coworker I wasn’t particularly fond of was laid off this week. She has provided negative feedback to my boss about me year after year, openly expressed disdain for my abilities and delighted in pointing out my grammar errors on more than one occasion. (seriously girl? do you have nothing better to do?) And yet, as I heard about her situation I couldn’t help but lie in bed worrying about her. Whether she has a nest egg to cover her mortgage. How she took the news. Whether she was angry or hurt, scared or relieved. This woman hates me, but I can’t help but care about her. Want to reach out and see if she’s ok. And she hates me. But I couldn’t turn it off. Its just in there. Would a guy be lying awake at 3am feeling bad about the situation? Worrying for her? Hell no. So while I know that its not causing me discomfort, I do wish I had an off switch for the nurturing thing. After all, I’ve already helped too many ex’s find dates as it is.