Listen carefully to douchebaggery, and don’t forget to take notes
I found this Cosmo piece with the actor Ryan Hansen telling the women with their wee brains how we need to work harder at man-pleasing called “10 Things Guys Wish You Knew” through Jezebel, which has already done an admirable job of tearing it to shreds. But what the hell, it’s Saturday, so I’m going to take a swing at it.
1. Communication is the most important thing in a relationship. But if a guy won’t listen or talk to you, take off your bra. Then he’ll focus a little more.
Just kidding! Because then his excuse will be that you’re too naked to be listened to. It’s just better all around if you start accepting that nothing you have to say will ever be of any value. Even “I want to suck your cock” is wasting time chattering when you could be getting down to business.
2. You’re beautiful. You don’t have to cover up your face with so much makeup.
My favorite time when dudes say this to me is under these circumstances: I’m wearing make-up, but perhaps not lipstick or at least loud lipstick, so it’s not super-obvious to the unbelievably dense. They tell me I look nice that day, and should consider skipping the make-up more often, because I look better without it. I don’t even correct them and point out that they’re complimenting my make-up skills instead of my actual looks, because I’m too busy laughing up my sleeve.
Once, when I was in high school and working as a clothing store clerk, a male customer said to me, “You’d be pretty if you wore some make-up.” There was a refreshing honesty to it, since he was just being a straight-up dick, instead of being kind of a dick while trying to score points.
The “you look better without make-up” thing always felt like a gauntlet was being thrown. It’s like the expectation that a woman, in order to be considered attractive, has to be a size 2 and eat like a horse. That said, I think some men mean well—they’re thinking of the few women they’ve met who wear blue eyeliner and cheap foundation, and they don’t even notice women who have a lighter hand with the make-up, and so they impose their misconceptions on all of female kind. The problem is that they’ve inherited all this male privilege that allows them to think they know more about a subject women are generally better studied in, and that they can quickly substitute their judgment for that of a woman who has probably spend a lot of time thinking about the subject.
None of this is to say that not wearing make-up looks bad. Most women I know don’t most of the time, and they look great. But if you want to gussy up a bit, some dude imperiously telling you that you don’t know what you’re doing is insulting.
3. We love it when you laugh at our jokes, even when they’re not funny.
I love it when people don’t require me to alter my basic perceptions of the world in order to soothe their egos. I’m also amused by men who think women are so different that it never occurs to them that we’d also like to have a joke laughed at once in awhile.
4. Being spontaneous at times is a must. Being spontaneous all the time is a crazy person.
You must have the exact right amount of spontaneity, which of course means it’s not spontaneity, but so what? Everything the Manic Pixie Dream Girls do in movies is carefully scripted, too. Your job, as a woman, is to be the entertainment. Come up with some seemingly spontaneous moments ahead of time and spring them when your boyfriend looks bored. But remember, he reserves the right to use any and all entertaining behavior against you. If, at some later date, he needs to discredit you by calling you crazy, he reserves the right to say the amount of spontaneity you faked was too much.
5. If we have a dog, you better like it.
In general, if he says X, you can’t say Y. Since this sort of thing is hard for wee lady brains to remember, I’ve created a mnemonic device for you. “Man” starts with “ma”, which means what the man says matters. “Woman” starts with “wo”, so what the woman says is worthless.
Seriously, a tiny minority of people don’t like dogs, and a small percentage of them are fussy and high maintenance enough to bust someone else’s ass for his choice in pets. Hansen is deeply invested in suggesting that women are, as a rule, fussy princesses who are so inhuman that they can’t even understand the basic urge to have a pet.
6. Girls don’t poop, so don’t claim you do. You can fart — because farting is funny — but we don’t want to know that you poop.
In general, don’t think that any part of your life, no matter how private or mundane, can belong to you. You only exist to be a sex object with no feelings, thoughts, or bodily functions that would detract from that in any way. Now, it’s true that you do, in fact, poop, at least if you’re one of those weak women who still eats. But until scientists can invent sex bots to finally replace women, your job is to make your boyfriend think you’re almost as good as a sex bot.
7. Never call us out in front of our friends — we hate that.
In general, learn those behaviors that are strictly male privileges and never hone in on dude territory.
8. Concerning PDA: Anything that can be described as “cute” is okay. Anything that can be described as “mating” is not okay.
You may be stupid enough to think it takes two, but you own 100% responsibility for any and all sexual behavior, because your job as woman is to be gatekeeper. If you thought that only applied to being coy about sex, think again. In general, if there’s any question over whose responsibility something is, it’s yours.
9. It’s really cool when a girl wears jeans and a hoodie. But we hate those matching velour sweatsuits that make you look like Kim Kardashian.
Granted, we’re reading Cosmo, but even I have trouble believing that your average Cosmo reader wears an outfit that seems to be the trophy wife costume. Hansen appears to think “woman” is defined as the narrow set of rich L.A. princesses that populate reality TV shows, which actually explains a lot about this list.
10. Run for the door if a guy has too much gel in his hair and is too tan and it’s not even summer.
But not for your own good, of course. Because it’s irritating to see hot chicks with douchebags.
Before I finish up this piece, I have to say a word about the website Hot Chicks With Douchebags. This site is funny, insofar as looking at douchebags is funny. But it bundles a really offensive assumption, which is that the only relevant trait of a woman is her “hotness”, i.e. whether she’s conventionally attractive. And that all women have an obligation to self-assess their hotness and distribute their bodies amongst men according to a merit system. That women can also be douchebags and therefore are with douchebags because like attracts like is not taken into consideration. But, if you acknowledge that women are more than tits and ass, and that women can in fact have personalities that are relevant, then you can see that many of the women on the site are also douchebags. Examples:
I rest my case.