It’s international women’s day and usually I put so much thought into posting something inspiring but today I have another woman related topic I want to talk about, so as far as IWD goes, my mum is my idol, my daughter is my hero and I am in awe of women everywhere, what we represent as a whole and my only criticism would be, for us to have each other’s backs more. So thank you to all the amazing women who have and have had, mine.
The next part of this post contains cursive and expletive language.
Coming on to my next subject, this isn’t new and I’m far from in the first 100 women to blog about it. BUT, I’ve experienced it so much over the past week it’s penetrated me and I needed to relieve my frustration by, of course, writing.
We’ve all heard it. Said in jest or with a sarcastic grin attached. In the street and in the work place. In the pub or in a cafe and I’m loathe to say it, because I’m sure I’ll get some stick, but in my experience most of (if not all) these comments are from men:
Smile, you look miserable love.
Smile, it’s not that bad.
What’s up with you?
Did you have a row with your man?
Why are you in a mood?
Give us a smile!
Time of the month is it darling?
Firstly ‘Love’, I’m in a glorious mood thank you. I’m happy here minding my own damn business and I wish you would too.
Secondly, how the fuck do you know it ‘ain’t that bad?’
I’m surviving on 3 hours sleep, I’ve been up all night popping painkillers to enable said 3 hours, and for all you know my dog has just died. It’s bad, and guess what… it’s also none of your business.
Thirdly if I had had a row with my husband your comment would be highly insensitive, so please rethink it.
Yes, maybe I’m bleeding from my uterus. The same one that bleeds clots the size of your hand some months and contracts so much, it feels again like I’m giving birth, so maybe, just maybe that’s contributing to my mood. Or maybe, I’m not on my fucking period and I’m fine. Did that ever occur to you? Maybe it’s your comment about how not fine I am that’s putting me in a shit ass mood….
STOP TELLING WOMEN TO SMILE.
STOP MAKING ASSUMPTIONS BASED ON FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.
Often I’m not smiling. Often I’m battling chronic pain, little sleep and like the rest of the population, I’m rushed, busy juggling the perils of modern living.
Sometimes distraction is a reason for my non smiling boat race. I could be intently watching my child, reading a book, concentrating, eating, minding my own business.
I don’t smile through all of these things but that’s not because I’m not happy.
I smile when I’m greeted and I’m polite.
I smile when I feel like smiling.
If I’m happy to see you I might flash a winning smile.
When I’m not smiling you assume my mood is sombre but guess what… sometimes it’s sombre when I am smiling too. Not all smiles are used with sincerity and I can be particular about who gets one of mine.
Please don’t assume during an exchange anything about my mood. Please don’t assume what’s causing my non smile or indeed my smile, it could be that I have an abscess on my jaw and I’m finding opening my mouth unbearably painful or it could be that I got laid last night, and as a consequence oxytocin is flooding my extremities and I’m somewhere else in my head entirely.
Have you ever considered upon seeing my non smiling face that I might just not love sitting around like a Cheshire Cat tripping on acid? I’m not a fucking tele tubbie. My job isn’t kids entertainer, and whilst I’m sat here not smiling I’m not frowning either I am just being, & that’s allowed.
I’m a human who’s ability to smile is based upon lots of factors, and none of them include your opinion or assumption. Stop telling women to smile.
Stop judging us by our facial expressions.
Stop making assumptions about other people’s lives – period.
Stop asking us to smile for your entertainment.