The Vagenda

Why Not All Gals Are Good for a Gossip

You know what makes me cry tears of bile and want to run though the Daily Mail newsroom with a starving Alsatian? This enduring bloody myth that women should be each others’ best friends because they’ve all experienced uterine outpourings. If you haven’t already seen the pictures of the BET awards, the one that’s been bandied about the most is that of Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, the four of them forming their own perfectly paparazzied front row. And according to the Daily Mail this shot of shit-all is noteable because – get this – the women sit on either side of the men and, shockingly, “made no effort to stretch across to chinwag”.

Whoa there! This vapid bumbling from the Daily Mail is the equivalent those hilarious paper sanitary bags you find in toilets, the ones featuring laydees with crinolines and parasols. Not only does this statement drip with incredulity because two random women have not formed an unbreakable friendship, like tit-adorned magnets, but it’s also agog because said women didn’t indulge in that quaint girly hobby of gossiping.

First, why are women expected to be friends simply because they are, well, women? Please explain it because it’s making my frontal lobes ache. I mean, can you imagine making friends with every woman you ever met just because you match anatomically? God knows what that’d mean for the female nurse who carries out my smears. Or the woman doctor who once provided me with a rectal rummaging. By now we’d have some weird polygamous partnership and more kids than an episode of Grange Hill.

It’s the equivalent of expecting all blonde men to forge bromances or for all wheelchair users to live together in collective harmony. Ah, but then again, this is women that the Daily Mail is talking about. That’s right, simple creatures who are so easily delighted by each other’s company that not forming friendships defies the laws of physics.

Then there’s this patronising notion that when women do make friends they’re capable of little more than small talk and charming flickers of gossip, or “chinwags” as the Daily Mail daintily labels this interaction. Personally, the last time I talked about kittens, doilies and matching underwear was…oh hang on…never, unless you count this post. And God forbid that women should indulge in conversation more complex than about the height of their Laboutins. Can you imagine how the Daily Mail would have reacted had Bey and KK been discussing the possible discovery of the Higgs Boson at CERN? I went to CERN last year and am now relieved that Daily Mail wingnuts didn’t bar my entrance, bind me with American Tan tights (30 denier) and pitch me into Lake Geneva as punishment for my audacity. That’ll teach me for not producing delightfully tinkling laughter while in the presence of menfolk.

It’s not just the Daily Mail that does this though, is it? It’s anyone who mutters the eye-bugging line, “Oh you know what women are like when they get together!”. Er, do I? Well, I know what I and my friends are like and it’s not quite what the rest of the world would have you believe. Well, we don’t giggle over the word ‘penis’ anyway. As for the other three-point-something billion women who are also rolling their eyes at this lunacy, I’m afraid you’ll have to ask them.

My friends and I, though, do despair about the Daily fucking Mail and how it goggles at the award winning, wildly-successful, ball-busting Beyonce simply because she hasn’t succumbed to the apparently genetic impulse to “chinwag”.

Tell you what, I could teach the Daily Mail hacks a thing or two about chins but I’m afraid it would involve less wagging and a stout right hook. I wonder if that’s something women are supposed to talk about too? Something tells me it’s not.

- Cath

9 thoughts on “Why Not All Gals Are Good for a Gossip

  1. I was once at an excruciating dinner ‘double date’ (+ a fifth wheel I begged to come along to keep me sane).

    I shit you not, I was told by the perfectly nice partner of my partner’s friend (see that, 3 degrees of separation)that ‘We must do this again, it’s so good to have another girl to talk to’.

    Now I have a vague memory of her telling me about having her nails done, and the holiday in Asia she planned on taking soon (both highly relevant to a post-grad med student’s experience of life in general), but no memory of it not being tediously boring, she may have been being polite.

    If I were going to be polite I would say that it had been interesting, or fun, or anything other than ‘good’ because I also have a vagina and was at the same table. Maybe she couldn’t stretch it that far? But very much in the way kids pushed together are expected to just get on and play, women are expected to ‘chin-wag’, share our deepest fears (about getting fat, obviously) and then giggle inanely whilst nature sneakily synchronises our lady area.

    I wasn’t that sort of kid.
    I’m not that kind of woman.

    If you were Beyonce would you choose to talk to ‘The Dash’? My limited understanding of these people is that one is a massive star based on exceptional talent, luck and amazing looks…and the other is Kim Kardashian.

    Don’t criticize Beyonce for not making the move, it shows good taste (better than her choice of baby names). Not sure what Kim’s excuse was, surprised she didn’t go for a ‘New BFFs’ photo op. Perhaps she was ‘off duty’, but then, she is famous for never being private, so that is odd…I guess.

  2. Don’t you think this applies to men, too, though? I’ve noticed the ‘Oh, you go join the lads, and talk about football, and crotch-guards, and beer, while you go join the ladies, and talk about crocheted doilies’ segregation quite frequently at social gatherings. Both seem equally presumptuous to me.

  3. “why are women expected to be friends simply because they are, well, women?” EXACTLY! I don’t appreciate being ushered towards my boyfriend’s female work colleagues at social gatherings purely because I have a vagina. Shock horror, I don’t even like them! Therefore, I’m not going to fucking pretend I do and become best friends together purely because we all bleed monthly. I have thought this for years, many thanks for raising this issue!

  4. don’t you think this applies to black people on Eastenders too? I’ve seen the episodes where Patrick randomly hangs out with a much younger person in the soap who also happens to be black. It happens time and time again and yet no one’s raised this highly important issue.

  5. I would love to rampage through the DM with a drooling hound on a barely tethered leash. And I’d scoff the choc drops that we’re witholding from these slavering beasts while at it.

  6. haha – that makes it a double-dog-dare in my book and now it MUST be done or the universe will end. Or something.

  7. As for laughing at the word penis, it reminded me of a conversation the other day where I was talking about my newly acquired ability to swallow tablets and pills, my ex (who looking back was creepily controlling and obsessive and told me, in no uncertain terms to keep my hair long and not wear black to my prom…both of which I did) and a friend laughed at the word swallow.
    I turned to them, looked them dead in the eye and went ‘Yes, it is downright hilarious that I have the ability to swallow semen – not that I ever would though, since I’m gay. Well done on your sense of humour.”
    They shut up after that.