Most lists of “Things Women Shouldn’t Do” are just silly, but a recent one compiled by Bright Side is so ridiculous that it deserves a blow-by-blow breakdown. The list is not only inane and vaguely sexist (like most of them out there), many of the points make literally no sense. I mean, whoever heard of a lady not being allowed to finish her soup or wear a specific color of shoes?
I’m not linking to the original article (it’s doesn’t need the traffic) but if you want to see the highlights (or, perhaps, the lowlights), read on!
1. That Blows: Okay, the list starts off really promisingly, with an injunction not to blow on your food. To be a real lady, shovel the piping hot food directly into your gaping maw, pausing only to scream as the red-hot food sears off the roof of your mouth! That’ll show ’em!
2. Talking and Laughing Loudly: Because a real lady speaks only in the dulcet tones of a repressed 1950’s housewife who is one burned dinner away from snapping and committing a triple homicide.
3. Rapunzel, Rapunzel: The list continues in fine form with a commandment against dancing with your hair down. I wasn’t even aware that this was something that people considered un-ladylike, possibly because I’ve got 2012 Justin Bieber hair and thus, my hair is automatically up. Or, even more possibly, because this rule is stupid.
4. Made-up: Fun fact! Women who wear makeup to work are judged as more competent and earn higher salaries. So, before you go off about “women wearing too much makeup,” consider the crushing social pressure to do it! (Also, the woman on the right is wearing just as much makeup as the woman on the left, she just spent the 45 minutes – an hour making it look “natural.” And I’m not about that life.)
5. Eat, Drink & Be Merry: A True Lady™ would never refuse food or drink offered to her because of silly reasons like “I can’t drink,” “I’m vegetarian,” or “Life-threatening allergy!”
6. Wardrobe Malfunctions: Honestly, the real distinction between a “girl” and a “grown-up” is that when you’re a “grown-up,” you start to care less about what people think of your fashion sense because you’re not trapped in the lethal gladiatorial social arena that is high school.
7. Arguing: I don’t know what a “lady” does, but an actual, adult woman is probably going to have to argue about things! See: “Stop touching me,” “That joke makes me uncomfortable,” “Why am I getting paid less than [male colleague] who does the same job as me,” “Stop touching me, now.”
This is the most frustrating item on the list to me because it’s the clearest illustration of the article’s thesis: that women should be soft and docile and not take up too much space by having a dumb, messy “personality.” But the whole point of adulthood is learning to be yourself and stand up for what you believe in! Everyone worth knowing has interests and passions and opinions, whether they’re about world politics or which Star Wars character is the coolest (Chirrut Îmwe, and I will fight you on that).
8. Don’t Wear White Shoes: Haha, what? Anyways, the world is on the brink of nuclear war, fascism is rampant, and the environment is collapsing, wear whatever shoes you want. Just, for god’s sake, be brave and kind.