It’s happened a few times over the years: I’ve started out innocently making a point about something completely fair and normal — usually after being set-upon by my male friends and backed into a corner and forced to swear my way out — and ended up being called a traitor to the entire male race; just because I said women were better at some things than men. A mantraitor, if you like. A penis-hating, woman-loving-mantraitor! (And before anyone goes and takes that sentence out of context, I love my own penis, and women — and not at all in that weird way that some men seem to be both gay and man-hating but yet also man-loving, if you get what I mean. My God this has got so confusing…I am now feeling paranoid and sure I’ve made a technical mistake somewhere…I just re-read these last few lines and am almost certain that one of my male friends is going to turn it around, mention this post and make me look and feel ridiculous in a crowded public place.) And I suppose you can’t blame my male friends for saying this. I do very often find myself defending the sensibilities of women in a way which may come across as if I am possessed by the spirit of an early, adamant hardcore burn-the-bra feminist (even though I’ve never read Jane Austen or read anything much by Germaine Greer, and once, as a twelve-year-old who was just discovering that girls were really quite attractive, rudely slammed a door in front of an approaching pram-wielding mother and didn’t even look back or anything, so there). Why do I defend women like this? You shouldn’t need to ask why. Women are, quite simply, generally better at doing a number of things, such as:
1) Listening and offering constructive advice. I mean really listening to you. Even if what they say after this advice — the advice usually being words of wisdom with meaning and truth so deep that you feel all naked as if your emotions have been spilling out of you for the last several days — hurts like a harpoon straight through the heart. But the pain doesn’t last for long, of course, because many millions of women have the naturally fantastic ability to follow this up with a beautiful smile that makes it all seem alright. Some of these smiles have even been known to make me a) eat food I usually detest and would never normally consider consuming or buying and b) buy and wear daft-looking clothes which I later regret (but cannot take back to the shop because the woman in question has cunningly kept the receipt…oh, they play their games).
2) Wearing skirts, dresses and things. They’re amazing at doing this and I don’t see any man arguing with me here. And don’t question this point: I do not and have never spent any amount of time looking at men wearing these garments. Sorry, wearing these garments!
3) Lending you money if you really need it: ever needed five pounds really badly? Or twenty-five pounds? Maybe the desire to have a cheeseburger has overwhelmed you, or you’ve left your wallet at home and your Taxi driver is staring at you with big Eastern European — or any other country’s, it’s not as if I’m generalizing here after watching Hostel parts 1 and 2… — eyes that say, quite clearly, it’s the money or your fucking legs. In either situation, you do NOT want to be surrounded by shrugging selfish male friends who have absolutely zero sympathy and a sudden and total lack of funds. I wonder how many men would have diedcrawled home had not a woman been around to save the day. Who knows, you might not have even been reading this blog!
4) Being realistic, but in a way which doesn’t make you hate the world and everyone in it: OK, so as with all these things there are exceptions to the rule, but the fact is that most of my male friends are realistic in a bitterly crushing way. If I ever want to be told something with truth and honesty, I usually put this to a female friend. Not burdened with a penis that bashes around in their pants and causes them discomfort and makes for angry-man-syndrome — I know I’ve had this, we’ve all had this — they are able to deliver their opinion in a much nice way. Unless they are on their period, in which case it can be devastating. But they always say sorry after so it’s OK.
5) Watching horror films. A lot of women will claim they’re scared of horror films yet there you can sit, quietly watching Eden Lake and being comforted by your female friend that everything will be alright in the end (it won’t. It genuinely, really, won‘t. In fact, I strongly suggest you do not watch Eden Lake if you’re scared easily. And that’s another great thing about women right there. A woman might read this and take it for what it’s worth, accepting that my knowledge of horror films is enough to be a stern warning, whereas many men might read this and say “Bollocks! I ain’t scared!” and then go and watch Eden Lake and give themselves nightmares for the next 3 months).
6) Hording receipts and paper files which, if you don’t keep them safe, will one day soon come and bite you right in the arse and make you wish you hadn’t lived (hello there Inland Revenue!): hording, as you probably already know — we all know thick people are largely allergic to this blog — is a very strange and unsettling condition where you keep literally everything you come into contact with. Even oxygen. You keep oxygen in tanks and stare at it all day. Not really. And back to hording. A good demonstration of this was the Channel 4 documentary which featured a man who lived in a house made only of tunnels between stuff he had horded for many, many years. Most women aren’t anywhere near this bad, of course — not that I have been in most women’s houses…this is just an educated guess — but they are absolutely bloody brilliant with paper-work and receipts for the most part (or maybe they’re just quite good and it’s the contrast between us hopeless men that makes them look so good. Either way, they win small hands down). This is great when you are a man who is utterly hopeless, such as myself. Not a fine combination when you run a business where recording everything you do is the best way to go…
7) Planning more or less anything.
8) A million other things. Please leave a comment if you feel so inclined.