To men everywhere, from a woman who's sick of sex stereotypes.

5 years ago

Who here is sick of receiving e-mail forwards like “To women everywhere from a man who’s had enough”?

Normally I have at least a nodding tolerance for such stereotypical humor. Not this time. Maybe it was the wrong time of the month for me to be reading it.

I kid! In fact, I just thought it demanded an answer – especially if it would give me a chance to be just as sexist and condescending as the original author, whoever he is.

So I’ve reprinted his man-ifesto below, with my responses in parentheses after each item.

It’s probably just a matter of time before “To women everywhere…” makes its way to your boyfriend’s or partner’s e-mail account. When it does, you’ll be ready.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us bitching about you leaving it down. (Guys, guys, guys: We all need it down at some time or another, unless you like the feeling of cold porcelain on your bare backside and/or the possibility of a quick dip. And no, you don’t bitch about us leaving it down, but we certainly hear from you if we drape hand-washed bras over the shower-curtain rod to dry.)

2. All men see in only 16 colors. Peach is a fruit, not a color. (All men see this way? How about Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet…Well, you see my point, even if you choose to see it in a limited palette.)

3. If you won’t dress like Victoria’s Secret Girls, don’t expect us to act like soap-opera guys. (Even Victoria’s Secret Girls don’t dress like Victoria’s Secret Girls when they’re all done work, fellas. You think they want to wear that kind of thing under their Saturday-morning sweats? Remember, your idea of torment in high school was trying to give each other vicious wedgies – yet you expect your girlfriends to wear thongs?)

4. If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us. We refuse to answer. (I’d like to dedicate this response to every beer-bellied guy I’ve ever seen wearing a T-shirt or cap that said, “Save a whale – harpoon a fat chick.” Guys, if we think we’re fat it’s because we happened to be in the room when you were salivating over Playboy’s latest example of airbrushed anorexia. That’s why so many women think they’re fat: because they can’t compete with models and pinups who’ve had silicone implants, collagen injections, and not a single square meal since adolescence. And while we’re on the subject, what’s with the mention of “soap-opera guys”? Nervous that your receding hairline or your expanding waistline can’t compete with those studs on daytime TV?)

5. Birthdays, Valentine’s Day and anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again! (You must hang out with some awfully mercenary gals. None of my female friends have ever complained that hubby/boyfriend didn’t come across with the “perfect” present. Well, one did, when her husband gave her an anvil on her birthday. But not all women value a guy because of the size of his, uh, credit limit.)

6. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear. (Remember that, boys, the next time you say, “Do you mind if I have five of my [loudest] friends over every single Monday night and Saturday afternoon during the football, basketball and baseball seasons to watch the game [and smoke cigars and spill beer on the floor every time something exciting happens onscreen and yell at the referees even though they cannot hear them]?” We might give you an answer that you don’t want to hear.)

7. Sometimes we’re not thinking about you. Live with it. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lint, or the shotgun formation. (Guess what? Sometimes we’re not pinning you to the wall when we ask what you’re thinking about. Sometimes we have to ask because you’ve gone into communications lockdown again and you haven’t said a word since breakfast.)

8. Sunday = sports. It’s like the full moon, or the changing of the tides. Let it be. (PMS = some very physical changes. It, too, is tied to lunar cycles. Let it be, and quit making crude jokes about it. Or you will wish you had.)

9. Shopping is not a sport, and no, we’re never going to think of it that way. (Monster trucks are not a sport, either. Then why do so many guys watch them?)

10. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really. (Cool! Then we really can wear yoga pants rather than dress like Victoria’s Secret Girls?)

11. You have enough clothes. You have too many shoes. (You have too many fishing flies, sports memorabilia, photos of old girlfriends and other toys. Let’s call this one a draw.)

12. Crying is blackmail. (Crying is a physical response to fear, anger, sadness or stress. Sulking is blackmail, and in my experience nobody does it better than a guy who’s just heard the answer “no” when he wanted a “yes.”)

13. Ask for what you want. Let’s be clear on this one: Subtle hints don’t work. Strong hints don’t work. Really obvious hints don’t work. Just say it! (Okay, then: We want you guys to stop saying things like “It’s like the full moon, or the changing of the tides” when you want to justify getting your way.)

14. No, we don’t know what day it is. We never will. Mark anniversaries on the calendar. (Whereas it’s a snap to remember things like the opening day of spring training or the first day of trout season.)

15. Peeing standing up is more difficult. We’re bound to miss sometimes. (Then sit down, you numbskull, or clean up after yourself.)

16. Most guys own three pairs of shoes. What makes you think we’d be any good at choosing which pair, out of 30, would look good with your dress? (Oh, that’s right, you can see only 16 colors. Fine, we’ll let you off the hook – but you must promise never to say, “Is that what you’re wearing?”)

17. “Yes” and “no” are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. (Does that statement seem simplistic? Yes. Will it help you get laid? No.)

18. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. (What makes you think we want a color-blind guy who pees everywhere but in the bowl telling us how to fix things?)

19. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for. (They will also let us stay overnight with them, perhaps indefinitely, so perhaps you ought to think about that the next time you brush us off. Also, don’t expect us to commiserate with you about the Bears losing or your boss giving you a hard time or anything else that’s important to you. After all, that’s what your buddies are for.)

20. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor. (The “problem” may be you, guys.)

21. Foreign films are best left to foreigners. Unless it’s Bruce Lee or some war flick where it doesn’t really matter what they’re saying anyway. (Admit it: You’re afraid you won’t be able to keep up with the subtitles.)

22. Check your oil. (What, and ruin my nails? Seriously, every woman I know checks her own oil, or has it changed so regularly that she doesn’t need to check it.)

23. It is in neither your best interest nor ours to take the quiz together. (Afraid of what you might find out?)

24. No, it doesn’t matter which quiz. (In other words, especially not the quiz about sexual satisfaction.)

25. Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. All comments become null and void after seven days. (Agreed. But only if you stop sulking when we get headaches.)

26. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one. (How nice it must be never to have to take responsibility for any unkind, careless or just plain rude thing you ever say. Oh, and by the way, we meant, “It’s one of the smallest we’ve ever seen,” not “the smallest.”)

27. Let us ogle. We’re going to look anyway; it’s genetic. (Let us have headaches. We’re going to, anyway. It’s genetic.)

28. You can either tell us to do something OR tell us how to do something, but not both. (If you let us tell you how to do something – and you know the thing we mean – we’d have a lot fewer headaches.)

29. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials. (Whenever possible, save your comments until after the end of the foreign film.)

30. If it itches, it will be scratched. (If we have PMS, we will kvetch.)

31. Beer is as exciting for us as handbags are for you. (We can already tell that by the bulge in your…belly.)

32. If we ask what’s wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you’re lying, but it’s just not worth the hassle. (I see. You only care about your significant other when it’s in your best interest to care, e.g., right before you want to initiate sexual congress. Well, guess what, guys: Sometimes that’s not worth the hassle for us. Boy, I feel a headache coming on.)

33. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know we really don’t mind that — it’s like camping! (Terrific! Just don’t expect us to help you out with your tent pole.)

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