Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.
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Thursday 20 September 2012

Not quite right.

OH, you poor women!

Things are so bloody hard for you, aren't they? People are so mean, and men don't always stick around, and you never know quite what to do about your eyebrows, do you?

Is it best to thread or wax, have an arch or an underbrow, fill in with powder or pencil? It's the kind of thing which keeps you all awake most nights, probably.

You're such delicate little things that when you have children everyone else needs to stop what they're doing and panic. Lie down, feet up, stop work, take 20 years off, take lots of big deep breaths because it's basically a terminal illness and make sure you shift the extra weight in 3.2 weeks like Posh Spice or you're a failure.

Don't admit it's all a bit much or you long for the days of going out on the pull in a short skirt and drinking like a navvy. That would never do!

Heaven forfend you should create life while in a war zone due to the not-that-unusual medical phenomenon of not being aware you're pregnant. It's so much of a shock that the big men with medals get all frightened, because the only battle women are supposed to fight is with frizzy hair.

You'll need a lot of medical intervention as well, because doctors know best, and if there's anything amiss, you know, DOWNSTAIRS, with your MONTHLIES, that'll require slicing, dicing, lasering or at the very least a good punch in the cervix to sort out.

If you're a girl everything is so much harder, you see, because everything you do is wrong. It is more wrong for a female copper to be shot than a man because men are somehow more shootable. It is more wrong for a woman to be single than a man, because while Jennifer Aniston is unlucky-in-love George Clooney is just a lad-about-town.

It is more wrong for a woman's breasts to be photographed than it is for a prince's penis to be pictured; in fact it is a form of hell, that eternity of ineffable torture the devil keeps especially for the world's worst offenders.

It is wrong to put your breasts on show, wrong for anyone to notice them and "grotesque" if they do. If it happens without your approval you're virtually a victim of assault and if it happens with your agreement you're a slag.

If you are raped it's usually your fault, and if you manage to overcome it and get on with your life this will also be wrong.

It is wrong to work, wrong not to work, wrong to be over-educated or under-educated, wrong to earn too much or be paid too little. It is wrong to devote yourself to your children and wrong to have a nanny and wronger still not to have any children at all.

It is wrong to mention your periods, wrong to want a sex life, wrong to be celibate, wrong to be a virgin and wrong to be experienced. It's wrong to have grey hair, wrong to have wobbly bits, wrong to do anything but try to be a little bit like Kate Middleton even if you're four times her size with a buzz-cut.

And don't get me started on what you wear! Suffice to say, it's not quite right.

You are the weaker sex, you see. And because you cannot lift as much weight or punch with as much force or live out your fertile years as you best see fit without anyone else passing comment on it like men do, you'll always have something to overcome.

But that is the one tiny thing in your favour.

Because if you can be a good copper despite being a woman, you'll be seen as a better copper than a man even though you're not, and mourned more if you die in the line of duty. If you can pass the Army's combat fitness tests, sprint three miles in kit and march for eight carrying a 25lb pack while you're pregnant, you'll be a tougher soldier than any general who will fall to pieces at the thought of a baby in a war zone while simultaneously ordering death on a grand scale.

If you can drink more than male hacks, they'll accept you as one of them. If you fight for your children, your right to have children, or to go back to work after you've had children, you'll be more of a fighter than any dad who doesn't have to do the same.

If you can make your own decisions about your breasts and who to show them to - be it on Page 3, the not totally private terrace of a French chateau, or a film premiere - and not give a flying toss who approves or not you'll be far happier than those who would like your breasts to be under their control.

If you can make a male doctor think twice, be relaxed about romance, see fertility and birth as fairly natural processes, do whatever job you fancy and live your life precisely as you want to without stopping to ask somebody else if they approve of how you're going about it and think yourself equal, yet different, to a man - well, then you will be pretty amazing.

And, it must be said, more normal and right than someone who frets about the right kind of eyebrow.

"Damn, I forgot my tweezers."