“British scientists have unveiled a new wristband which can tell what sort of mood you’re in. Men are especially excited about it as they hope to finally gain an insight into what a woman means when she says she’s ‘fine’.”
– Opening joke from Breaking the News, 5th July 2019
There’s a common trope that when a woman says ‘I’m fine’ actually she’s fuming, and it’s someone’s job (usually her partner’s) to solve the puzzle and find out what’s actually wrong before everything explodes in a shower of icky female emotions. It’s a fun game, right straight lads? Having to guess what your partner actually means when she says ‘I’m fine’? Haha women are so mysterious, and men will never be able to figure us out!
I’m not the kind of woman you’d describe as ‘petite.’ Or ‘dainty’ or ‘pretty’ or ‘feminine.’ In fact, I’m a little bit sensitive to the idea of being ‘feminine’, and any suggestion from helpful friends and family if they recommend I get my hair cut more often or try on a pretty dress: it’s not just that I don’t want to be feminine, it’s that I truly don’t think that I can. What came first: my refusal to perform femininity, or the knowledge that I’ll never be able to?
Join me on a journey of self-discovery, which begins with a spiteful commenter calling me a narcissist and ends with me explaining why personal sex stories are awesome and this commenter can suck on my hugely-inflated ego.
There are three parts to this story. You don’t have to believe them all. In fact, if you don’t believe any of them it doesn’t matter much to me. There are many of you I love and respect, but few who I rely on for the kind of intimacy I’d expect of a partner or friend. But if you’re my friend, my lover, or anyone else who cares about me, I need you to believe me when I tell you about my life.
Relationship maintenance is an important skill, and I don’t want you to assume it’s ‘my’ job, just because you’ve seen other women doing it for their partners. So no, I won’t remember that you have to get up earlier than usual next Thursday for a meeting. I won’t book you in for a haircut, or ring your Mum every Sunday to let her know how you’re getting on. And I will not buy birthday presents for your family, wrap them carefully then sign your name on the accompanying card.