(Image via youarewhoyouwear.com)

There is a lot of pressure, from all sides, on women to conform to expectations. Kerry Cue doesn't see why they should give a fuck.

REALLY, why?

Let me count the ways we give a 'fuck'. No. Let me tell you what 'give a fuck' means. We care. We care what others say about us. We care what others think about us, but, mostly, we care what they think about anything at all. WE CARE what faceless beauticians advise in fascist fashion magazines. You must, you absolutely must cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin or, um, your face will fall off. WE CARE what self-appointed experts in the media say about cooking, parenting, fitness, career paths, the environment, star signs, dieting, home decor and how to get your butt buff for a blissful bikini-clad Summer at the beach while, presumably, furiously cleansing, toning and moisturising your skin in case your butt falls off and you accidently kick it into the ocean.

WE CARE what our loveable, laughable and borderline-loony girlfriends think. You even care when this groupthink is not what you think but do you speak up? Not always. You are gagged by your BFFs. Is this the Grown-Up You your 10-year-old self imagined? Or, at 10, were you more frank and free with your opinions?

WE CARE what that sister says even though we know the comments are the same old bullets loaded in the same old weapons. WE CARE what our partners think. But sometimes he (or she) way oversteps their remit by making snide comments about, say, your new purple hair or – says he – your new "loo brush" look. The thought, at least, should cross your mind that one more snide comment and he'll get the "loo brush" look when his head slides down the skid-marked bowl. But, really, you shouldn't care that much. It's your hair. Ditto your butt, your boobs, your chins, your thighs, your stomach and so on. Or is that taking the "don’t care" concept a fucking step to far? It isn't.

WE also CARE about our partners expectations and we try to live up to the perfect wife/mother/lover monster we've created even when we are sick, pregnant, bone weary, sleep deprived and torn by multiple demands. Less giving of fucks at this point could be advised on all fronts. WE also CARE about our own, often unrealistic, expectations of trying to create a brochure-perfect home, family, figure or cupcake. Forget domestic goddess. If you are the only reliable lackey willing to polish the silver and slave in the scullery, you are the domestic slave.

My simple domestic hygiene motto is:

'No typhoid. No problem.'

WE CARE about our bolshie screen-addicted children, who demand the immediate redistribution of wealth to them from us. Why do you give a fuck about their feelings when they truly believe money comes from the hole in the wall? Aren't they due a few harsh lessons in economic and other realities? WE CARE about the life supposedly lived by some self-aggrandising look-at-me-I-hang-out-at-the-coolest-parties-peeps! Facebook psycho-narcissist when we know we're consuming FAKEBOOK fiction. We might say we’re pro-free-speech then WE CARE what some sexually-warped Twitter troll tagged @vaginahauntologist33 comments. WE CARE if politicians are or aren’t feminists. Is a hot, Ryan Gosling (Google them), anarchist feminist what a feminist looks like?

Really? WE even CARE what some slurring drunk shouts at us in some lowlife bar. "Fat arse", anyone?

Why? Why do we give a fuck? Caring served us back in our cave dwelling small-tribe days when we sat in the flickering light of the fire reading nuances in our fellow tribe-members' faces. Back then, we needed to conform and co-operate for the tribe to survive. But you live in a global village now; a 7-billion-member tribe, with social and other electronic media roaring an incessant Greek Chorus at you to comply. You must, you absolutely must, take up paleo ab-crunching combat yoga, buy quinoa-based anti-gravity face cream, raise lactose-intolerant, IQ-enriched, low-fat children, watch the YouTube clip of the best-selling author of ‘Business Bullshitology’, click "Like" to rescue the little knock-kneed turtle and breathe less to save the planet. You cannot for one minute listen to all of these strident voices.

The only voice that counts in the judgment of your behaviour is your own. So, this is the Sibylline "Know Thy Self" truth. You know it. I know it. But we care about so many other opinions the self gets lost. We give a fuck and this truly fucks us up. I'm not urging you to shove two fingers in your ears to foster a la-la-la humming ignorance. You can go to The Blondes' Institute to study La-la Dumbness 101 or read any woman’s magazine. Just be careful who you listen to ... either someone who reciprocates that care or has several years study or experience on the topic in their CV and, preferably, not at The Blondes' Institute.

Otherwise, why give a fuck?

There is one necessary subsidiary statement. Know thy place. I do not mean your lowly place in the scheme of things. By "place", I mean 'culture'. You must understand all the legal, social and subliminal rules of your culture to survive. For instance, why should you give a fuck about fashion? There's no reason, really. Female fashion seems to embrace any wearable item from a crocheted horse rug to a supermarket meat-tray gown (or is that only for Lady Gaga?) Nevertheless, you will disadvantage yourself in some circumstances if you broadcast an unintended message because you dressed like, say, a pink-nylon-nightie-and-dead-fox-stole-ensemble-wearing bag lady or an up-for-it-right-now-with-bare-thighs-knee-high-boots-and-flashing-fanny sex worker or fading-away-to-nothing-dithery-beiged-up senior or any other negative female stereotype in the culture.

So, you do have to give a fuck about fashion? No! Just know the rules. I particularly like the attitude of one female art director who bought 15 shirts and multiple pants suitable for the office with one catch. They were identical. She wore the same clothes everyday. She looked classy but she got out of bed each morning and didn't have to think. Of course, men more or less do this every day. Why not you? On the other hand, you may revel in all the intrigues and frippery of fashion. That, too, is up to you. Just remember fashion should not clone you, demean or crucify you. Sometimes, a fashion trend is just a cruel and unusual punishment invented by arrogant orange-tanned mummified males to torture insecure females. The same designers send male models mincing down the catwalk in gold, cropped Star Trek Tops and red tartan leggings, but you never see men in the street actually wearing these outfits.

Apart from that little "know thy place" proviso, the old world scenario of the ever-caring woman is over. Today there are too many voices shouting, too many demands being made, too many hypocrites, marketeers, manipulators, vested interests, pseudo-experts, faux friends and con men and not enough days in the week to care. We can no longer afford to give a fuck? It's too exhausting, too confusing.

So know thyself, subvert the rules and do what you bloody well like.

You may as well because, truly, no one else will give a fuck.

Read more by Kerry Cue at kerrycue.com.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

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