Saturday, 3 March 2012


Inspired by the great Sarah Miles blog and the person I most want to be when I grow up, Caitlin Moran; today's ramble, er, I mean blog, is about women and our relationship with each other; how we interact with each other and how we can ultimately be our own worst enemies.....

Women's magazines are the worst: Telling us in one fell swoop how we should be 'happy in our own skin' and 'don't conform to unrealistic expectations' turn the page and you will see 'RIHANNA HAS PUT ON WEIGHT' 'LOOK AT HOW SKELETAL POSH IS' 'HOW TO LOSE A STONE IN A WEEK'!!! As intelligent women who like buying mags to read in the bath (ahem), we are of course, all totally weight obsessed.. Aren't we? Erm, no. Look, I'm 40, I'm a shortarse, I'm considerably heavier than I was in my 20's but still not about to join a Dawn French modelling agency. I do watch what I eat and I do like to do a lot of walking. That's it. I'm never going to be a size 8 again and whilst it would be nice, unless I contract some weird flesh eating bug, I am unlikely to be ever again. I have gotten over it; there is FAR more to worry about in life. These magazines are incredibly disingenuous and seem to encourage a culture of competitiveness which IMHO is unhealthy and totally unecessary. Of course I could stop buying them, but then what would I bitch about on here, and what would I read in the bath?? (OK, Viz and Private Eye, but I digress)...

Being a woman is great in most part. I like 'being feminine', wearing make up, nice clothes, pampering (blimey I sound like Paris Hilton)..... It also has its downsides: Smear tests (hell on earth), periods, (ditto), health 'issues', worries about breast cancer, contraception, the menopause etc etc etc.... It's also great to have female friends to rely on. However, where women fall down in their interactions with each other (and I must stress at this point that I'm talking about acquaintances rather than close friends here) is in their attitude to women and children. I don't have children. There are many, many reasons why I don't. Am I going to tell you why? No, dear reader; it is none of your business (lovely as you are). Do I regret not having them? YES! Am I going to spend the rest of my life stressing about what I have missed out on? NO! Do I hate children? NO! Do I like reading and hearing about friends kids? YES! I wouldn't dream of going up to someone and asking them if they regretted having their kids, so why do people find it acceptable to ask me why I don't have children? In a previous job some woman asked me this and then said 'how strange that you don't have children'. Now, tactless does not even cover it. For all she knows we are unable to; I might have suffered multiple miscarriages; I might be recovering from an illness or I might just think that they are the most evil little twits on the face of the earth and don't want them or the indignity of stretch marks. Whatever - NONE OF YOUR BLOODY BUSINESS. I wouldn't go up to someone with a pushchair, look in and go 'ugh, what an ugly child'.

Men don't do this I've noticed, it's always women. As if, because my uterus hasn't fulfilled its full potential, I may as well drink myself into oblivion and let my chin hairs grow down to my knees (I have done this btw but I always give in and pluck them). I hate this so called 'childless v children' dichotomy. Most of my friends have kids and I love seeing them; I don't harbour resentment and we are all intelligent enough to see that the grass is never greener - all our lives have advantages and disadvantages. Me and lovely hubs can go out and get hammered at the drop of a hat; spend the day in our PJ's watching trash; similarly, friends with kids have that lovely family unit and can have so much fun with their kids. We're all happy but with a smattering of 'what if's' - it's human nature. Instead of looking at what you don't have - focus on what you DO have - a lot of good things and a REALLY heavy duty pair of tweezers.

1 comment:

  1. A fantastic read, as ever. You always make me laugh and also jab my pointy finger at the laptop saying 'See! I'm not the only one who thinks that!'.

    Thank you.