Thursday, 8 March 2012

In which we are woman, hear us roar

If you're reading this on Thursday - hurrah! It's International Women's Day! Are you wearing your I Love Ladies t-shirt and tooting your party blower? Have you turned to the nearest woman and told them they're incredibly wise/ their fringe looks great/ they've brightened your day through the power of pheromones alone? No? Well do it. Then get stuck into this lot:

Eight Empowering Things to Do Today

1. Get yourself a copy of The Sun* and some felt tips, and spend half an hour fashioning a lovely outfit for the Page Three girl. Give her some supportive underwear, then a nice warm jumper and a directional hairdo and some wellies. Maybe a lab coat. Go crazy.

2. Watch a film full of brilliant women, that doesn't feature Katherine Heigel or a makeover montage. For example: Little Women, where you can whoop enthusiastically at everything Marmee says ("I will not have my girls being silly about boys" WOOP YEAH HOLLERRR) and be inspired by hair-cutting, novel-writing proto feminist Jo, or Steel Magnolias, a film so brimming over with female spirit that Dolly Parton's the friendly neighbourhood hairdresser.

I’d advise against watching the 2008 remake of The Women, however, despite it being a supportive lady lovefest featuring no men whatsoever. It’s just a really shit film.

3. Make yourself an organic facemask using mashed banana and honey, then spread it on a crumpet and eat it instead. Repeat until full.

4. Burn something. You could go old school with a bra if you fancy (pick the scratchy lace one that digs in under the arms, and was clearly engineered by a sadist) or choose anything else debilitating from your wardrobe. Heels that make you do a knock-kneed Bambi walk; boned cocktail dress that you have to unzip in the toilet at hourly intervals so you can get some oxygen back to your extremities; anything that has ever drawn blood. Make a lovely bonfire (complying with local council regulations) then dance round it singing ‘down the patriarchy’ to the tune of your choice.

5. Phone your Mum and ask her to describe your birth in vivid detail, then gasp, sigh and applaud during each bit as appropriate. If you’re face-to-face, throw flowers at her feet and shout ‘Bravo!’ (This is more appropriate for my own mother, of course, but it works on a lesser level for yours).

6. Visit the magazine aisle in WH Smiths and cover each copy of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Grazia or Nuts with a copy of National Geographic.

7. Compliment an older lady on her elegant, age-appropriate crow’s feet, and follow it up with “D’you know, there’s something of the Helen Mirren about you today?”

8. Learn all the lyrics and dance routine to Sister Suffragettes from Mary Poppins, and perform them in a public place.

*Don't buy it, of course - appropriate one on the bus or something

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