For a non foodie, food blog, I have written a lot about food recently. I am in danger of photographing everything that I eat and going to hemp oil tastings. So today I sat down and thought about things that are important in my life right now. And everything that I thought about had women in it. So I thought I’d write about women. This might though be inherently dangerous. Like when I wrote ‘Roddy Doyle and the Ethics of Male Feminism’ for my University dissertation. Just writing the title now makes my inner cringe surge up in vomitus. It is nigh on impossible for a man who is not a genius to get involved in feminism. I don’t think I’m allowed to do black stuff or the gays either. I am beige. Vanilla. I’m the ruler of my domain, white, middle class, over six foot and straight…. I can’t say anything about anyone without looking patronising. I have had every anthropomorphic and societal advantage with which one can possibly be blessed. And as such am singularly less impressive, given my relative lack of success thus far than those who face social obstacles and out-achieve me and my easy ride kind. I can write about cricket, platonic manlove, nice food and classical music and not offend anyone. But lets see if I can be nice about girls without being sexist, patronising or a twat. Because women is what I want to write about .
My girl friends all earn more than my boy friends. They are all more driven, harder working and frankly, smarter. And they are better looking. It’s a joke. So much better looking. At a dinner party a couple of weeks ago there were twelve of us, six boys and six girls, all the same age, all been friends for fifteen years. The boys, myself included looked like we had been dragged there behing a threshing machine; I was wearing shorts and flip flops, hadn’t shaved and had to steal some deoderant because I forgot. We are all going bald, getting fat, grey, and are crashingly dull if you don’t happen to be one of us. All the girls looked like catalogue models- sexy and gorgeous- they had all made an effort, with nice clothes and the hair and make up. And they talked about proper conversational stuff. And they’ve all had bloody kids.
But we just threw peas at Nick and took the piss out of each other’s various physical and professional failings. Brutally. For literally HOURS.
And dating. Dating in London is something I have done more than my fair share of. Via various Interweb dating sites, blind dates and the occasional actual meeting someone somewhere and asking for their number (once. I’ve done it once. And the number didn’t work.) I reckon that in the last ten years I have had one relationship of over three years, one over one and about five of around six months. And been on, I don’t know? Maybe eighty dates. And most of them have been fun. Some of them have been amazing and a very few have been just horrific. Like ‘Big Arse’ (not my moniker- my flat mate of the time said that she had to turn sideways to get through the door) who stole my business card and phoned me thirty times a day for two weeks. Or ‘The Fit One’ who was the most beautiful, tedious person I have ever met. Two drinks and the longest hour of my life.
But my overwhelming memories of most of these women is how impressive they are. I’m talking generally now, but intelligent, funny with great jobs and friends and lives. Just recently, I have been on some brilliant dates with just brilliant women- one used to manage the biggest pop group of the nineties and is hard as nails, spiky and fabulous. One was an actress who was in one of my all time favourite films and was hilarious. And only on Sunday I had a date with a lawyer, who writes a brilliant blog and is gorgeous with it. And I know the Greer-ites out there are spitting feathers thinking why shouldn’t women be impressive, have jobs and look great after having babies? Why is this newsworthy or interesting? You are perpetuating the myth of male superiority by even writing down this patronising toss.
But I can’t be bothered with you I’m afraid. So go and practice throwing a ball or keeping a secret and we’ll talk later.
On Twitter, which is my new thing, it is remarkable how much more funny and smart the women are than the men. Famous male comedians just haven’t got it- how it works, how to be funny. I have never laughed at a comedian’s tweet. But if you sit in on a conversation between India Knight, Sali Hughes, Jojo Moyes or Trish Deseine and Marina O’Loughlin and many others, you will die laughing- India Knight calling her son a ‘Div’ on twitter was one of the funniest things I have ever seen (see, I can’t do it justice, what with my stupid unfunny Y chromosomes).
I’m not intimidated by women (except Mrs Mcmenamen from A Level English who could shrivel a ball bag at twenty paces). I am massively attracted by their power. I couldn’t give two hoots if my partner earned more money than me or had more success. It would make me work harder and achieve more myself. And I would be proud of her and tell the world at every opportunity. I love the company of women. Not more than men if I’m honest- you can get a bit yappy and tiring, but I love being around women. The flirting, the potential of sexual frission, the withering put downs, Luke…the err jeans and jacket. For fuck sake you look like Jeremy Clarkson.
Also the lack of machismo and bullshit that we (men) peddle by way of conversation. I love a night out with the girls. Or just an hour long phone conversation to reset the hormonal scales. Women of my life: You are amazing, beautiful, smart, sassy and deeply irritating. Long may it continue. And if you think that this is anything other than a positive love letter to the fairer sex then I am sorry for you and your shaven headed, dungaree wearing girlfriend.