Monday 17 June 2013

I'd still hide the knives though...

Do you remember that female character on the Fast Show who was a high flying, achieving independent woman until a man was in the room then she'd be reduced to gibbering in baby talk and conceding to the man's assumed superiority ? Arabella Weir created a comic character that we found funny because we knew her, we recognised her. Dammit at times we even were her.

I'd forgotten about her until today when I was in a room where there were 7 women (2 of them trainers) and one man for the second week of an anger management course I'm taking. Each of us took it in turns to answer questions, make contributions or to tell anecdotes, but I realised something glaringly obvious. Whenever the man spoke a lot of the women would laugh extra loud at jokes that I've heard other people tell, or praise an achievement extra highly, "oh that's a great idea."

Now I've seen this kind of behaviour my whole life and it still drives me crazy. The over-appreciation of someone purely because they're a man or because they're a blonde or something. It used to make me resentful and angry. Now, I just feel very sad that women feel the need to laugh a bit too loud because there's a man in the room. Or men feel the need to show off more than usual because there's a blonde woman in the room.

The good thing is I don't feel homicidal when it happens. It still makes me feel sad, but I'm now observing the behaviour and commenting on it instead of getting enraged by it.

Maybe I'm making progress on the course already ?


  1. I'd forgotten about this character. Thanks for the reminder. And yes, I'm not sure why some women give encouragement to men who are obviously trying too hard to be funny...and failing.

  2. I'd forgotten about her myself until the realisation hit me yesterday morning. It was a revelation !!

    I used to think that the behaviour was a form of flirtation, but now it just looks patronising. "Oh aren't you clever for being so funny."