Divorce is a deeply unpleasant experience, but thousands of couples every year choose it as a more palatable alternative to being married. It can happen in just about any stage of a marriage, but there is a common danger point, often referred to as Seven Year Itch. Various reasons are trotted out for this phenomenon, most being something to do with childbirth (or lack of) and hormones. I think that the real reason is much simpler and more fundamental. Read More…
Major Misunderstanding – How Comedy Is A Lot Like War And Why You Should Burn As Many Fossil Fuels As Possible If You Actually Care About The Planet
Once upon a time, before I had to get a proper job, I was a semi professional stoner. Baggy clothes, hair down to my arse, lying in bed until the afternoon. The whole smash. And during one of my daily burn ups with a housemate, I decided to improve my mind a bit. So I went out and bought a science and technology magazine. Read More…
ROOM .303 – Why Room 101 Is For Pussies And How You Should Really Deal With The Things You Can’t Stand
You’re Not In The Matrix Now Keanu
You are standing out at the door to Room 303. As you cross the threshold, you’ll see immediately that it is a cruel and unforgiving place. That’s fine though, because you’re not there to be nice and you’re certainly not there to forgive or be forgiven. Read More…
Consider the following. There is a modern, independent young lady. She’s in her mid twenties. She’s read Germain Greer and is enjoying the fruits of the feminist revolution. Popular, pretty and successful, she can go into her office wearing her “Fuck Me Shoes” – Greer’s words, not mine – and none of her male colleagues will think any the less of her. The other females in the office are a different matter, of course, but there are certain aspects of human nature that are simply immutable. A point which we will return to later.
This woman’s success, like any success, has been hard won. But she has had a couple of little leg ups on the way. A decade and a half or so of New Labour has resulted in a greatly feminized education system. So she has a good degree in a subject she might otherwise have given up on had the cold hard reality of one shot final examinations not melted away into the cosy “have as many goes as you like” world of continuous assessment.
Twenty years ago, it might have been a case of stopping at gaining a good rack of A Levels and plunging on into the wonderful world of work. Then again, the entry level job she got after graduating is the same one she would only have required a couple of good A Levels for anyway in Nineteen Eighty something, so perhaps it evens out in the end. Apart from the mortgage sized debt the new government’s “leg up” has saddled her with.
One day, our heroine meets a young man. Their paths in life have been very similar. She fancies the pants off this young chap, and initiates the usual overtures to make him aware of that fact. He asks her out and they start dating. During the course of this time honoured ritual, it becomes evident that she earns a little more than he does.
Not enough to make them financially incompatible, but enough to make a difference. Women can tell. The car he drives, the clothes labels he favours, his shoes – big favourite that one. Not the décor of his home though. Most straight men, even fairly wealthy ones, couldn’t give a flying fart about colour schemes and suchlike.
Any attempts in that direction can usually be put down to reading articles in FHM about how much more likely you are to get laid if you present your living space in a certain way and are purely coincidental.
So our putative couple go on several dates and all goes well. The young lady likes our hero. She likes him a lot. He is charming and witty. He is a good listener and he makes her laugh. She manages to hold out until after the third date before coming forward with the goodies. And it turns out he’s pretty nifty in the bedroom department too. He does have a little peculiarity, though. Around about that time when going on dates starts to relax gently into a lot fewer candlelit dinners and lot more slobbing around at each other’s houses with a bottle of wine and a take away in front of the telly, something else becomes obvious to the young lady.
Her new beau insists on always splitting the cost of any joint treat. It also becomes even more obvious that this is not because he earns less than she does. Like many young men, he treats getting money like a game, and has an equally flippant attitude towards spending great wedges of it. This is just a principle he holds dear; do not patronize your woman by offering to pay for everything just because she happens to be female.
At this point in the fledgling relationship, what is educated and empowered heroine thinking? Is it:
a) This is my kind of man. A fellow warrior standing shoulder to shoulder with me in the battle against gender stereotyping and the subjugation of women. Hurrah!
b) Ok, going Dutch is a little bit Seventies. Keep expecting him to order prawn cocktail, steak and black forest gateau. But it’s quite sweet in a way; like he doesn’t expect me to be beholden to him when we do eventually reach the bedroom just because he’s shelled out for the entire evening.
c) Jesus, what a tightwad. Best ditch him before he gets too serious. Find someone who knows how to treat a lady.
If you actually are a career girl such as the one in our little story here, and you have honestly answered a), then I have to admit to holding a certain amount of admiration. Not towards you though; God no. My admiration is for your ability to delude and deceive both yourself and the world at large. No woman has seriously believed the sentiments in option a) for rather a long time. Not since The Black and White Minstrel Show was deemed good solid family entertainment and serving up a Vesta meal for two made you something of a raconteur.
Option b) is a sort of semi idealistic thing that everyone likes the thought of but no one seriously believes in, a bit like Santa or the tooth fairy. It’s the kind of thing Cosmo gives a good score to in their quizzes, purely so the boyfriend will think better of the Cosmo reader when he surreptitiously flicks through it while he’s waiting for her to finish getting ready.
It’s an unhappy fact that you probably answered c), even if only secretly. What you mean by “Find someone who knows how to treat a lady” is “Find someone who is willing to pay in kind for my sexual favours”. So you might want to re think the “lady” part of that statement. Not that c) isn’t a sensible choice given the nature of heterosexual bonding and the process of finding an eventual long term partner.
This is because Feminism, like all ideologies, is a beautiful idea but never works in practice because human nature will always subvert it for a single purpose. Having your cake and eating it. After all, what’s the point of inedible cake?
Religion is an ideal example of this. Most people treat religion like a Woolworths Pic n Mix, just grabbing their favourite bits and ignoring the rest. Yeah, I’ll have a Bit of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” and a big bag of “thou shall not suffer a sodomite to live”. Yum yum. No, I’ll pass on the “remove the plank from your own eye before attending to the splinter in your brother’s” and “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” They taste like boiled up sports socks.
But of course Woolworth’s is now a bankrupt and spent force, due to it not adapting and therefore becoming irrelevant. So that’s that analogy knackered. Oh, actually, I’ve just re read that. Correction, religion is exactly like a Woolworth’s Pic n Mix. Except of course that kids don’t bunk off school and wander around churches, mosques and temples so they can stuff their pockets with scripture when the priest/imam/rabbi isn’t looking.
The comparison does, I admit, fall apart at that point. All comparisons and analogies ultimately fall apart when it comes to human behaviour. I believe this is more of a reflection on human behaviour than it is on comparisons or analogies.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013
WEDDINGS AND WORKWEAR – Why The Workplace Is Like A Wedding And How A Suit Can Be Your Best Friend
I Love The Smell Of Mothballs In the Morning
You hire a morning suit is what you do. That’s the right course of sartorial action when a gentleman is required to attend a wedding. Sadly though, modern thinking is veering away from this tradition. Modern thinking is wrong. All over the country, men are buying suits and wearing them to nuptial celebrations. The reason for this evades me entirely. It can’t possibly be to save money. Read More…
The Little Piss Boiler (Part Two) – More Things That Really Annoy Me And Why They Should Annoy You Too
Right. I’ve calmed down enough now to discuss some of my all time favourite annoyances. If you haven’t read The Little Piss Boiler Part One, I recommend that you do. Otherwise you might not understand what the hell I’m talking about here. Actually there’s a danger you won’t understand what the hell I’m talking about anyway, but I’m used to that in my general life, so that’s ok. Here goes: Read More…
We Represent The Lullabye League
I despair of you lot sometimes, I really do. Margaret Thatcher, the closest thing this country has had to an absolute dictator since Oliver Cromwell, has died. And what do you do, my fellow Brits. Do you go out en masse and buy Billy Bragg’s “Between The Wars”?
Do you register your understanding of the enormity of The Iron Lady’s contribution to the financial cesspit we now wallow in by sounding that haunting anthem from the metaphorical rooftops of the world. No. You get together and throw stupid, hateful parties and play “Ding Dong The Wicked Witch Is Dead” over and over again. Read More…
POH-TAY-TOE PER-TAR-TOE – How The British Are Far Too Harsh On Americans And Why Americans Can Be Right
You have to feel just a little bit sorry for the Americans. Everyone used to love them and their vibrant culture. Now everyone hates them, though that hasn’t stopped worldwide consumption of Hollywood films and hamburgers. Read More…