Trying to make all of society’s expectations of women funny is hard work. In my case, even as a comedian, it sent me into a rage spiral. Microaggressions sound small - but when you put them together, they can be staggering. Don’t believe me? Then allow me to give you a breakdown of a woman’s life, through the voices of others:
“You’re so adorable! You’re gonna be a heart-breaker one day. Your daughter’s so well behaved. Aren’t you pretty? If you give me a smile I’ll give you an extra one too. Do you like princesses? Girls aren’t Ghostbusters, they’re princesses! You don’t like princesses? Aah, you’re a tomboy, that’s cool too. Tomboys are always popular with the boys, but for the wrong reasons. If you want to get a boyfriend, you’re better off not being a tomboy. Aren’t you a little young to be dating? Are you really going to wear that outfit? You’ll give people the wrong idea.
"Why don’t you show off some skin? Dress a little nicer, that way you’ll be able to find someone. No one’s gonna notice you dressed like that. Never on a first date. What do you mean you don’t feel ready? This is the third date! Frigid bitch.
"You f-cked him on a first date? What a slut. Have you seen how she dresses? She’s begging for attention. You read comics? You must like all the attention you get from the guys. Oh, you like video games? It’s not gonna score you any points, you know.
"You can’t dress like that for work - too much leg and too much cleavage. You’re dressed inappropriately. Ha, I took a fit bird home last night but I didn't even get her name. Your outfit is distracting in the workplace. You’re gorgeous, I can’t believe you don’t have a boyfriend! You don’t have a boyfriend because you don’t take care of yourself. If you don’t love yourself, how will anyone ever love you? Oh, you're in a relationship? Here are some tips on how to stop him from straying (because boys will be boys).
"I can’t date someone who has been with more people than me, or who makes more money than me. Are you taking contraception? I don’t want to deal with all of that - you should take care of it. Why are you taking the Pill? Is it cause you’re sleeping around? He’s not good enough for you, you’re way out of his league. Why are you so stuck-up? You should care more about what’s on the inside. He’s way out of your league, he'll only leave you for a younger and prettier version. When are you going to settle down?
"Congratulations on your engagement! Do you think you’ll take his name? It’s traditional, and some traditions are just nice to keep up. Why kick up a fuss? You’re not changing your name to his, are you? Aren’t you an independent, free-thinking woman? It sure doesn't look like it.
"You don’t want kids? But being a mother is part of being a woman. A family isn’t complete without children, you'll only regret it. You’re pregnant! That’s amazing. Did you plan it? Are you going to carry on working? So you’re going to be a stay-at-home mum, huh? A housekeeper, basically? Yeah, they say it’s a “full time job”, ha. You’re having a kid but you’re going to carry on with your career? Yeah, good luck with that. How can you abandon your children and let someone else raise them while you carry on working? Women shouldn’t have kids if they can’t care for them.
"Oh wow, I can't believe you've had a daughter! She’s so adorable! She’s gonna be a heart-breaker some day.”