Wimmins

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Well, I don’t hate women, but I don’t really understand them, either.

Take handbags. What is the deal with them?

I finally asked a woman why women carry handbags. She replied that she does it because she’s anxious and hauling a ton of stuff everywhere she goes makes he feel more confident.

When I want to haul a ton of stuff with me, I use a backpack. It is much more efficient and economical, and I haven’t had to buy a new one since highschool. Most of the time, though, I don’t really feel compelled to bring 20 pounds of stuff with me wherever I go, much less buy new containers for it all the time.

(It’s not that I dislike shopping so much as I dislike spending money.)

Since the internet thinks I am female, I get handbag ads:

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I… I think that’s an add for porn. The handbag company must have gotten confused.

But what other things do women shop for? How about this helpful ad:

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Words I normally associate with my pantry: rice, beans, spices, organization.

Words I definitely do not associate with my pantry: crazy, sexy.

Who the hell wants crazy things in their pantry? Maybe some of the “personal care” items are sexy (Boob-shaped soap? Toilet paper with penises printed on it? Vibrating tooth brush?) but what is a crazy one? And how is a “crazy” item ever a “must-have”?

Yes, I know, advertisements are lies. But they wouldn’t be making these particular lies if the lies didn’t at least occasionally work. Which means that someone out there saw “crazy sexy must have” and thought “YES I MUST HAVE THE CRAZY SEXY!”

I also get adds for clothing rental services. Like, you can rent a dress for a week and then send it back and get a new dress. If you don’t have enough dresses. Or pants. Or other clothes.

Do you know what every single woman in this entire country has enough of?

Clothes.

The mall overflows with clothes.

Women write articles about how they were so super depressed when [bad thing happened] that they didn’t buy any clothes for months. Months!

In the past three years, I think I’ve bought socks. And that was because I was headed to a wedding and at the last minute couldn’t find one of my regular socks.

Now, weddings. That’s another biggie. I hear they are a big deal with women. Like, first you have to hang out around this guy for a long time, with no knowledge of whether he wants to keep hanging out with your or is going to dump you tomorrow, and then suddenly bam, he gets down on one knee like a knight of old and gives you a rock. A sparkly rock! And like a magpie, you jump up and down and squeal with joy because you are so goddamn surprised that anyone would actually give you a rock, even though it’s actually just a boring old clear one and your favorite color is purple. Sure, it sparkles nicely, but tourmaline is way awesomer:

Tourmaline crystals
Tourmaline crystals

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This actually a piece of amethyst, not tourmaline, but it is purple and so still interesting
This actually a piece of amethyst, not tourmaline, but it is purple and so still interesting

So, even though I can get a lovely chunk of tourmaline for 50 or 60 dollars, I’m supposed to demand that my boyfriend spend three month’s salary on one of the clear rocks or else he doesn’t love me. Three month’s salary that could have been spent on books, mind you.

Then come all of the parties. Bridal showers with chicken cloacas where people give me underwear as though I didn’t already own underwear and laugh and giggle about the prospect of my fiance seeing me in my underwear as though he hadn’t a hundred times already. A bachelorette party where… actually I don’t know what happens there. I’ve never been to one. A bachelor party where my fiance celebrates what a downer it is to be yoked sexually to me for the rest of his life by getting drunk and watching strippers, or whatever it is that people actually do at those things.

Then we spend about the cost of a new car or a tiny house or two on a big party for all of our friends. (Parties are nice, I suppose.) Of course I will spend a thousand dollars on a white gown, as though anyone in the audience could possibly be fooled into thinking I’m actually a virgin despite having lived with the guy for the past two years, and then I will never wear the damn thing again for the rest of my life. (For that much money, the dress ought to be a computer.)

And then, thank god, it’s over. I’m exhausted, you’re exhausted, and after a vacation if we can get off work, we’ll go back to living exactly like we did before.

Yes, I understand the point of marriage. I even understand the point of the wedding ceremony. What I don’t understand is why women want to spend so much money on so much useless stuff.

And don’t get me started on the diet ads… I hate diet ads.

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Pavlov Explains Lingerie

I once attended an underwear-themed all-female bridal shower (not bachelorette party; the bachelorette party was yet to come.) By “underwear themed,” I mean that everyone gave the bride-to-be lingerie, and then we all tittered and pretended to be scandalized as she opened the presents.

Clearly I was not drunk enough to enjoy watching a woman show off thong panties to her mother-in-law to-be and other elderly female relatives. (Technically, I wasn’t any drunk.)

I felt rather like an anthropologist who has trekked all the way to some isolated village deep in the bush, where the natives are happily waving chicken cloacas over the bride to-be, and the only explanation you can extract from anyone is that they’re celebrating the marriage, so you end up writing some bullshit about the villagers attempting to transfer the chicken’s fertility to the bride via sympathetic magic and the patriarchal commodification of women’s bodies into their genitalia, except that the lingerie is real and the bit with the cloacas I just made up.

I did one read an anthropology/folklore article arguing that the bullroarer (basically a stick on a string that you swing around to make a whooshing sound,) actually represented anal sex among Aborigines and other folks.

I consulted with my kids, and they claim that underwear is approximately the lamest present ever, (unless you don’t have any underwear, the eldest noted.) And yet, grown people seem to actually like giving and receiving underwear.

Why?

Think about it. When would you even wear any of this stuff? It’s not functional or practical. You wouldn’t wear it in everyday life, because it doesn’t really accomplish the basic point of underwear (covering your butt and keeping your clothes clean. It doesn’t look particularly comfortable. Clearly the point of lingerie is not function, but something to do with sex–but not to be crass, but I’ve generally found that people remove their underpants during sex, not put them on.

The answer is not that these people were just dumb (or sluts, at least not within the usual bounds of American society, although American society is obviously pretty slutty since it is considered socially acceptable to show off one’s thong underwear to one’s elderly relatives.) Everyone involved was probably of above-average intelligence, and quite a lot of work went into this party. It was truly a labor of love (and happiness) by the family and friends of the bride.

Nor can the answer be any typical anthropologist claptrap about sympathetic magic or inducting the bride into the ways of married life, because no one involved is naive enough to think that after living together for years, these two have never had sex. (Which indicates, btw, that we should be wary of such explanations in other cases.)

After a great deal of discussion with people not at the party, I’ve determined that lingerie seems to work like Pavlov’s bell. Your brain, sensibly enough, associates underwear with genitals (and it associates fancy lingerie with the genitals of sexy lingerie models,) and of course you associate genitals with sex.

So you see a tiny pair of underwear, and like a dog salivating after a ringing bell, your reptile brain starts yelling “Sex! Sex!” and so you buy the underwear, even though the underwear isn’t actually going to result in any change in your likelihood of having sex or not.

This is the principle by which a lot of advertising seems to work.

This explains why lingerie exists, but it still doesn’t explain the party. I suppose for now I shall have to remain confused.