We all know the stereotypes, don’t we? Thanks to centuries of literature, cinema, and now Star Plus, a woman’s identity depends on the size of the pigeon-hole she can be slotted into. Thus, she can be beautiful or she can be brainy; rarely both. She can either be the dutiful wife or the gold-digging tramp; the girl-next-door or the sexy siren.
If she hails from our part of the world, a woman can be a wife, sister, daughter, or mother. A single woman with no siblings and deceased parents simply doesn’t exist in our concept of being female.
Of course, perceptions are changing as more and more women break out of pre-defined roles. But there are still plenty of small-time myths doing the rounds. In a recent blog post, a young man offered clarifications regarding several myths circulating about men. I would now like to offer the same courtesy to women, who are plagued by even more damaging misconceptions, such as:
Women are age conscious
Utter rubbish. It’s not women who are age conscious, it’s men. For a woman, age is just a number and far less important than some other numbers, like a guy’s income, his bank balance, his ATM code … who cares about age? On the other hand, for a man, the age of a woman he goes out with is inversely proportional to his self esteem, i.e. the younger the woman the greater the boost to his ego. That is why you often see a man with a woman half his age, and rarely the other way round. Case closed.
Women love to shop
Men make money, women spend it — or so they say. And actually, that’s quite true. Check out the women in the most expensive jewellery stores — the ones trying out the flashiest diamond rings. A keen observer will note that only married women (and married to multi-millionaires at that) indulge in this particular form of retail therapy; women who earn (and spend) their own money stick to sensible, investment-worthy jewellery, like gold. Which means that (a) women are smart enough to spend only their husband’s money on baubles and, (b) their husbands actually want them to do so. Why? Because a bejewelled wife is the most obvious declaration of a man’s financial status, of course. The more diamonds she wears, the more prestige her spouse garners; obviously a win-win situation all round.
Women are bad drivers
If a man drives badly, he’s a moron. If a woman drives badly, she’s an apt representative of her sex. Hey, it’s a fact: all women are terrible drivers. They can’t parallel park, change a flat, reverse smoothly, or change gears (thank God for automatic transmission). And, of course, you can’t trust their hand signals — they’re probably just drying their nail polish.
So it’s surprising how, considering their total lack of expertise, you rarely (make that never) hear of a woman bashing a truck into a school van, killing five children. Or a woman driving a container that overturns and crushes a family of four. Or a woman driving a bus on to a pavement, killing two pedestrians. No, it takes a man to cause an accident of such magnitude. But these are minor details; the next time a woman cuts you off, you’ll again roll your eyes and complain about ‘women drivers.’
Women are fragile
Well, actually, in the interest of women everywhere, I think I should let this one stand. Yes, women are fragile and weak and helpless. We need guys to hold the door, carry the groceries, climb the ladders. We can’t imagine getting our hands dusty changing tyres or light bulbs, and we’d rather not risk chipping our nail polish trying to open stubborn bottle tops. Oh yes. This is one myth we don’t have any problems with.
Unfortunately, it also seems to be a myth that’s just about run its course. Most of the men I bump into don’t have a clue how to change a tyre, need to call the electrician when the fuse blows out, and would rather not have any hand in swatting cockroaches, thanks very much. Seems we’ll jut have to do the dirty work ourselves (which we do anyway when there’s no handy male around).
Women are indecisive
Sure, it takes us two hours to decide what to wear for a party; we want to try out all the options, then try them on again, but with a different handbag and pair of shoes this time. Oh yes, women don’t ever make any decision – be it choosing a shampoo or a husband – without thinking long and hard. We consider our options, weigh our choices, consult our friends and consider some more. In between all this we change our minds up to five hundred times. But when we finally do take a decision, we know exactly what we’re getting into. Men, on the other hand, can look at a handful of pictures, point to one and say: “I’ll marry her; what’s for dinner?”
So there you have it; sometimes the difference between a myth and reality just depends on how you look at it – with a man’s rational logic or a woman’s perspective.