So last night I went to a couple of pubs with friends. Actually they are friends from Twitter so it was a rare chance to speak to people ‘irl’. An interesting group – varying in background, age and occupation. The core group I get on with really well and find them near equal in wit and intelligence and there were more than a few new peripheral members of the group to meet and gauge. Also being in a pub atmosphere (which I’m not often in) gave me the chance to chat to other people (and if you know me, you’ll know that I find talking to people easy).
I’m quite an intelligent person and I like to challenge people in conversation (I’m not boasting here, just offering context). So feminism as a topic came up (hurrah) with one of the peripheral members of the group and we discussed the topic of sports – in particular, why men and women’s sport varied in degrees of popularity. His argument was that women’s sport is less popular because women are physically less capable and therefore demonstrate a weaker performance. That’s why there is more demand for men’s sport i.e. Football. I tried to argue that perhaps if distribution, broadcast and marketing was more evenly balanced in terms of the sexes working in those industries, women’s sport would get higher billing. Oh no, sport is a man’s thing, he said, and that’s why women have other interests. Like knitting? As soon as words such as ‘belong’ and ‘should do’ were bandied about, I left that conversation there.
The second conversation was with a random pub-goer – a scouser who was pretty merry. He decided to tell me that I was beautiful (lovely, thanks for that) but that I would be more attractive if I grew my hair long. In fact women in general are more attractive to men with longer hair. Ah, ok, so my purpose in life/with my look should be to attract men? I’ll get right on that then. Oh and then his friend waded in and told me I was attractive, but not the most attractive person he’d met. Wow, ok, two back-handed compliments – unasked for. I said that was fine as that was your opinion and I have a beautiful brain which I care about more. I won’t even go into the response to that one.
Both encounters left me asking – not for the first time – why such individuals – in both cases – feel the need to assert themselves/their sex – nay, speak on behalf of their sex when really they don’t have a fucking clue?
It ended on a good note for me though – a Twitter friend turned to me and said, do you know – men who act like ‘men’ aren’t really very manly at all? I agree. A real man sees me as his equal – and appreciates my abilities (even if it’s just skill over endurance) and my differences, rather than trying to get one up in a ridiculous display of peacockery.
So it was an interesting experience, if only a little sad-making at how narrow-minded some men still are.
Oh yeah, and by the end of the night I saw chap no. 1 with his tongue down a girl’s throat and chap no. 2 moved on to talk to another girl. With longer hair. So they got their happy endings.