On this day of huge historical significance, when we laud the brave and determined actions of the suffragette movement which led to securing the first wave of voting rights for women in Britain one hundred years ago today, let me publicly declare that I LOVE MEN.
It’s so important for me to say that, isn’t it? Otherwise men (and some women who are twats) might deem my feminism to be of the man-hating variety which would render it (and by extension me) ignorable, ugly and daft.
We must remain sexually appealing to men at all times but especially when saying feministy things which might make their nobs shrivel.
Of course the statement ‘I love men’ is preposterous. It’s like saying ‘I love children’ which people often do say, though never after they’ve met my children. To declare your love for such a vast group of disparate humans with a huge range of personality disorders and revolting physical flaws, reveals your ‘love’ to be as empty and false as Trump saying, ‘I totally love the blacks.’
I suppose saying ‘I don’t love men’ is equally as broad and daft a statement. Surely one cannot declare their unlove for half the population of the world?
What I can truthfully say is that I have spent my 44 years on this planet feeling as though I should try not to take up too much space, or be too opinionated, or too sexually demanding, or too ambitious, or too funny, precisely because most men (and some women who are twats) don’t like all that shizzle. Or at least, some men may think they like that shizzle and may even tell you they like that shizzle, but ultimately they find it all a bit too much as it gets in the way of them taking up all the space, preventing their opinions and sexual demands and ambitions and jokes being the most important in the room. So they either settle down with an agreeable woman who likes to bake, or they marry you and then spend the next twenty years trying to shut you up.
Outside the relationship arena, it is the same. You don’t need me to tell you how tricky it is to be a go-getting woman in the workplace and not be labelled ‘bossy’ or ‘difficult’ (of course I can’t tell you that as I ain’t a go-getting woman in a proper workplace but I do read the papers and also have some women friends with careers in male dominated industries and they tell me how it is and how it is, is still kinda shit, let me tell you).
I realise I am harshly judging all men through the narrow, slightly bitter and currently rather bruised prism of my own personal experience. But men seem to do that about women all the time and then make laws about it, so…
A hundred years ago today, only women over thirty who were property owners were entitled to vote. It was another ten years before that right was granted to all those in possession of a vagina.
So it’s in 2028 when we will celebrate one hundred years since all women could fully participate in the whole voting shebang. I wonder if the lives of women will be any better by then? Ten years isn’t very long, is it? If my poor lifestyle choices haven’t seen me off, I will be 54 years old.
Here is my top-ten list of small hopes for how life might be improved for women by 2028:
- There will finally be an adequate number of motherfucking women’s loos in public places
- Sanitary products will be free and displayed in transparent packaging at every supermarket checkout so that men and boys can get a goddam grip about this perfectly natural aspect of life
- The menopause will be discussed openly and honestly and no longer viewed as the End of Sex and Sanity but rather a stage which may be challenging but can also herald a new love of sex and a new version of sanity, both of which are much less bullshitty/people-pleasey than during our younger years
- The porn industry will have been taken over by women who will cast women who are a bit hairy and squishy and film them in scenes where they are actually being sexually satisfied without having to make idiotic faces and pretend to love giving heave-inducing blow-jobs
- All boys over the age of 12 will be forced to watch the above style of porn. WITH THEIR MOTHERS
- Comedy line-ups will routinely feature an equal ratio of women to men and sometimes all women without anyone making a promotional poster about it or causing a twitter storm. Ditto politics. Ditto EVERYTHING
- There will be a woman president in the USA and she will wear whatever she likes and look however she likes and this will be made easier after Melania Trump cut her hair and became a bit fat in 2021
- Men will be banned from making any laws which pertain specifically to women’s reproductive rights
- No girl will ever hear an adult begin a sentence with the words ‘Girls Can’t’
- And finally, I will have found a smashing fella who knows what he wants in this life and knows that what he wants is an opinionated, over-emotional, mildly alcoholic comedy writer who will always make him laugh and think and grow and will never bake for him or bore him or keep her opinions to herself. Such a glorious man who is able to take all this may not exist in real life, in which case by 2028 I will have made him up and created a hugely successful sitcom about us which will play out in all territories and for which I will win numerous awards which will lead me directly into the path of Daniel Kitson who will instantly fall in love with me and we will live hilariously, hippyishly and happily everafter in a heady fog of jokes and smokes. The End.
That rather over-simplified list may seem a bit heavy on the anatomy/sexy side of our lives, but the battle over our bodies and our sexuality seems to me to be the next fight we women must win.
So I plan to make it my mission over the next ten years to take up MORE space, to be MORE ambitious, tell MORE jokes, express MORE opinions and have MORE sex than a woman reaching her early fifties has ever expected to achieve before.
This is what the suffragettes would have wanted, right?