Women, and how we are expected to be smiling from the second our eyes open, until they close to sleep at night—and while you’re sleeping too if you’re extra lady-like.
Currently, I am sitting at a table in a coffee shop, working. Headphones in ears typing away; writing, emailing…you know, generally pretty wrapped up in what I’m doing. Much like the other tables surrounding me with men doing the exact same thing. After sitting here for an hour, three separate men have approached me and each individually made the never-charming gesture of moving their mouths into a smile with their fingers—aka telling me I should be smiling—in some horribly juvenile attempt to be flirty, I think. Thus prompting me to address a topic that I run into quite a bit in my life: disproportionate expectations of women and their behavior, and smiling.
The funny part of this is that generally I smile a LOT. Walking down the street, I smile at strangers. I smile at people through my window to lighten the mood on the freeway when we are both equally miserable and stuck in traffic. I smile at dogs attached to leashes, and also at people attached to other people. In fact, I think I smile more than the average human. However, when I am sitting at my computer, working, drinking an iced coffee, alone on a friday afternoon…I do not feel the need to awkwardly smile at my inanimate laptop.
This leads me to my point. I look around at the five or so tables around me and see them all occupied with men doing the same thing as me: working alone on their computers with a straight expression of indifference on their scruffy faces. However, no one is approaching them, male or female, reminding them that they forgot to squinch their faces into a grin. Yet today, and very frequently when I’m going about my business, three different men found the need to come up to me and take it upon themselves to direct me in my wrongdoing of being productive and alone, indifferent to their apparently unnoticed efforts to make me smile from behind my computer screen.
This idea that women are either feverishly smiling at all times of day, alone or accompanied, or they are bitter frowning bitches has got to be smashed. I am an extremely happy and satisfied human. I do what I love every day, I have great relationships with other happy humans, and live a very comfortable existence. But nothing about that means that I need to be sitting alone working and fucking smiling at a computer screen. Get the hell out of here with that. It is the most frustrating thing, and I hear it often. Yes, I’m busy. No, I’m not smiling right this second, but am still very happy in my life that you, strange man, know nothing about. Also yes you are correct! I DO indeed have a vagina, and no it does not want your penis inside of it. G’DAY. Find a non-sexist way of engaging someone or just leave us all alone please. Shocking as it may be, we aren’t all sitting around alone in coffee shops, in skirts without underwear on, waiting to be smiled at and directed into action by men. That’s called a strip club and you gotta pay for that shit.
*steps off soap box*