9 Essential Life Skills
for the Modern Woman
1) It is important that you underestimate yourself and undervalue your skills.
Be humble and modest. You are expected to know that your greatest worth is within the pleasantness of your smile. You are here to keep others happy and to make them feel comfortable with your presence. Yes, you will smile at strangers so they don’t have to see the cracks that have formed in the crumbling walls of an unbalanced society. You will smile when someone gets too close, his hot breath prickling your skin because he wants to pay you a compliment. You will be grateful! You must never be rude or dismissive. It is your duty to simper sweetly as his eyes slide over you. You are indebted to his admiration.
2) Stay soft. Soft and warm.
Your skin, your hands, your manners – your pussy (if you have one). But remember your place! You are daughter. Mother. Sister. Aunt. Grandmother. Girlfriend. Partner. Wife. Your role is what makes you so very important. So it is important that you work hard but stay soft. And sweet. Or you will be incriminated – You cannot be seen to be radical or rebellious. Nobody will play with a bossy girl. Nobody likes a domineering woman. Nobody will love a cold, hard bitch!
3) Understand that your worth is in how much you care.
You are a nurturer. Emotional labour is fully expected but will not be recognised or paid. You will heal wounds. It is your role to listen, to mop up tears, to bathe scars and to soothe sorrows. Your gentle hands will be soaked with the blood of other’s pain and you must quietly bear the brunt of their anguish. You are a creature of emotions and not just your own. You will be expected to absorb and ingest the emotions that others feed to you. It will nourish and sustain you. Suck it up, dear – if you refuse it will be force-fed to you anyway.
4) Learn to keep your mouth shut.
You must not be seen to interrupt anyone when they speak. You must not raise your voice nor speak up or speak out. Don’t swear or make complaints. You get what you deserve. You will hold your tongue, woman or you will stand accused: Of nagging. Of nitpicking. Of senseless and pointless harassment.
5) Remember that your body is not your own.
Please don’t be fooled for a moment that it is anything but public property. It is art. It is pornography. It is a trophy. It is a sex toy. It is an incubator. It is curency. It is there to be scrutinised and judged. Be pretty. Keep plucked and shaved and wrinkle-free. Keep your legs shut. Keep bikini ready. Keep young and tight and beautiful (it’s your duty to be beautiful). Stay fuckable. Keep trim and healthy. Keep your hair tousled. And remember that ‘trust issues’ are caused by contouring and lipstick. Yes! You must look absolutely no different at all beneath the layers of your perfectly placed make-up. But don’t be vain! It’s a deplorable vice – vanity. You cannot be conscious of your own beauty.
6) Keep all plates spinning at all times.
It is essential that you are fully responsible for all areas of your life and fully responsible for the lives of those around you. Your duties may include, PA, book-keeping, chef, house-keeper, counsellor, therapist and pet/baby-sitter. You are also fully responsible for your own health and safety. If there is a breach of safety – because you were too drunk, walking alone, wearing the ‘wrong’ clothing (too short, too revealing, too covered up)? Then it was clearly your fault and the blame will be placed squarely upon your shoulders.
7) Mask and conceal your emotions.
(Conceal don’t feel!) If you find it all too much? If you are raw because your head aches, your ears ring and your jaw cracks where you have kept it clenched shut? If you are angry because of the injustices that you witness day after day? Hide it, woman! You are not to show it. Be warned – your emotional outbursts will be noted. There will be a click of tongues. There will be eyes raised to the heavens. A black mark will be made against you. You will be written off as an irrational and unstable creature. Attention seeking. Hormonal. Hysterical and neurotic.
8) Don’t take up too much space.
Keep your legs crossed. Keep your eyes down. Take what you are given. If it is offered you must take it dutifully, even if you know you are worth more. That is the deal you struck when you identified yourself as a female. Be polite. Be thankful. Be benign.
9) Know thy shame.
Intimately. Your shame will shape you and hold you back. Be nice. Be good natured – Nice girls are easy to deal with -they are pliable. It is essential that you understand that this is the price you pay for your womanhood. This is the full payment you make for your ‘equality’. Your place in this society is expensive and you are expected to fully pay your way.
Some days the exhaustion of it all may weigh heavily. Like Atlas – who was condemned to hold up the heavens, his back bent and shoulders stooped – so your burden is immense. Your body will become heavy and your mind full with it. But you wanted the world, woman and now you have it.
You can have it all.