Sugar And Spice – The Terrible Truth About What Women Really Think


When I was a little boy, my mum and her friends would sometimes recite a little rhyme to me. It went like this: “Michael Grimes is no good/Chop him up for firewood/When he’s dead, boil his head/And make it into gingerbread”. Which probably goes a long way to explaining some of the less friendly  aspects of my personality.

No one else at my school had this rhyme recited to them. Though this may have been because the first line doesn’t scan properly unless the subject’s name has three syllables in it. Either that or I was the only naughty little boy in my class, which seems highly unlikely.

One rhyme that we did all have recited to us, however, went like this: “What are little girls made of?/Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of/What are little boys made of?/Slugs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails/That’s what little boys are made of.”

I have a problem with this rhyme, apart from the fact that the person who wrote it was quite clearly mental. And the problem is this:  although the rhyme is no longer recited to small children, its sentiment lives on. Go onto the internet and look up anything to do with feminism or social justice and the message appears to be : “Women good, Men bad.”

Women are caring and nurturing and chock full of empathy. Men are cold hearted, unfeeling, emotionless arseholes. This is true to an extent, but it’s a truth with so many exceptions that it might as well be a lie.

There are women who, when they see a week old puppy, don’t see the cutest and most heart melting thing on earth. They see a little shitting and pissing machine that’s going to ruin their nice new carpets.

And there are men who always cry like babies at the end of Apollo 13, no matter how many times they’ve seen it. (Me, if you hadn’t already guessed.)

The fact is that men are just as emotional as women, but society doesn’t allow them to demonstrate this except under very specific circumstances. If you’re a man, you can cry at a funeral and you can cry if the football team you support gets relegated and that’s about it. And boy, do men cry when their football teams get relegated. Because they have to make up for all the times when they wanted to cry but weren’t allowed.

Women don’t have it any better, to be fair. Women are just as fucked up as men, and that’s the thing they’re not allowed to show because society expects them to be caring, nurturing, compliant etc. So, like a man crying at the football, they sublimate their fucked-upness in different ways.

I’ve known this for a long time, but it was thrown into sharp relief when I was working in a petrol station. Yes, I know me working in a petrol station doesn’t seem terribly relevant, but bear with me.

When I was working in this petrol station, one of my duties was to check-in and check-out the magazines that we sold. And the magazine that we sold the most of- by a very long way- was a women’s magazine called “Chat”.

Nice title, isn’t it?  “Chat”. Reminiscent of coffee mornings and home made biscuits and lace doilies and that kind of thing. So that’s the sort of thing that’s in “Chat”, right? I wish I could say that this is the case, but nothing could be further from the truth. The features in this magazine are not about chintz and recipes and lacy foo-farah. They’re about death, disfigurement,necrophilia and rape. If you’re not familiar with “Chat”, here’s three random examples of its covers.




Well, if that’s Sugar and Spice, I for one am certainly not going to be baking any cakes with it.

But women love this stuff. Magazines like “Chat” sell in their hundreds of thousands. Misery memoirs – or “cry-ographies” as they are sometimes called- sell in their millions. And it’s not men who are buying them.

In the privacy of their own heads, women foster thoughts that would have Edgar Allen Poe lying awake in bed, with one eye on the bedroom door and a carving knife under his pillow

So, as a man, be aware that there are sharks swimming just beneath the sparkly surface of your woman’s lady brain. Don’t dip your toes in too far.

All this is just my personal opinion, of course. Merely the contents of my head. And seeing as even my own mother thought the contents of my head should be boiled up and made into gingerbread, maybe it’s best you ignore everything I’ve just said.

© Copyright Michael Grimes 2016








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About thedailygrime

At that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.

4 responses to “Sugar And Spice – The Terrible Truth About What Women Really Think”

  1. eden baylee says :

    Wow, Michael … that magazine is NASTY! Sensationalism worth less than its weight in truth. I agree not all girls are nice and not all boys are bad. Speaking as a woman, I’ve had bad thoughts ever since I was a little girl so I know of which I speak.

    Of course, what makes us complex as human beings is determined by so much more than whether we were born male or female.

    That rhyme about you … yeah, I think it may have affected you, but not a bad way, I hope 😉


    • thedailygrime says :

      Yes, “Chat” is an astonishing magazine. It’s not unique though. Most of the women’s “coffee break” magazines in Britain run along similar lines.
      Guess the point is that we’re all fucked up in our own way and women are no exception.
      As for the “Michael Grimes is no good” rhyme, that’s actually a very happy childhood memory. I loved it when my mum and her mates recited it to me. It made me laugh like a drain. But like is say, I was a very naughty little boy. Endearing but very mischievous.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. James says :

    I see your point – I remember WHSmith had a huge display of their best selling books in one shop and well over half were about some form of abuse. Creepy how popular that is.

    • thedailygrime says :

      Thankfully it seems to have Peake’s now. Just a few examples of misery memoirs in W H Smiths now, rather than a whole sodding wall of the things. Still a bit worrying that they’re there at all though.

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