Live Wire recently played host to the incredibly funny Megan Amram, Parks and Rec writer and author of the hilarious book Science: For Her! The theme of the show was "The Art and Science of Being a Lady," so I took the opportunity to expound on what I think it means to be a lady.
I’ve never liked the word “lady.”
It reeks of propriety and obligation.
The only times I can remember people using it in my presence have been to tell me the myriad things I shouldn’t be doing.
Ladies don’t belch.
Ladies don’t pass gas.
In fact, ladies never let anything go into, or come out of their bodies.
Ladies have Barbie parts.
Ladies are sexless.
Ladies are humorless.
Ladies don’t make crass jokes.
Ladies don’t make jokes at all.
Or if they do, they’re about a heated game of bridge with the Andersons and they’re never, ever funny.
Ladies don’t laugh, they titter.
There’s nothing fun about tittering.
A titter is a laugh and an apology at the same time.
The only time a laugh ever requires an apology is if your friend falls down in your presence and you laugh prior to asking them if they’re okay.
Ladies don’t skateboard, or snowboard, or waterboard or do anything with the word “board” in it.
The only sports ladies are allowed to play are tennis and golf because both involve cute skirts and the word “stroke” without any sexual connotations.
Ladies let the man set the pace in the relationship.
Ladies wear long skirts with bustles because it’s a great place to store all the anger and frustration they feel about letting the man set the pace in the relationship.
Ladies never ugly cry.
Ladies never yell, or run, or jump, or spit,…or swallow, or smoke, or twerk, or do body shots, or discover radium, or complain about sexism in the video game industry, or swear, or chew gum, or do that pully-squatty combo that’s required when the crotch of their tights is traveling to their knees.
What I’m saying is, ladies don’t really exist.
Or, I should say, they might appear to exist, but if you think you know a lady, she’s doing every single thing on this list when she thinks no one is looking.
Especially the pully-squatty tights combo.
Everyone has done the pully-squatty tights combo at some point in their lives. Even Batman.
To ask someone to “be a lady” is asking her to conform to some nonexistent, un-reachable standard in the same way “be a man” or “why can’t we just have a normal family?” is.
I say if we all want to be around women who drink and actually have bodily fluids and cackle and have sex with their non-Barbie lady parts and eat hot wings and eliminate Skynet by using old Terminators against new Terminators, we should put the term “lady” into the same dark closet that “gentlewoman” and “wench” are hanging out in.
Or, maybe the next time you see someone acting in a way that you don’t think correlates properly to the genitalia you assume they have, maybe just take all those feelings you’re having about it, and shove them into your bustle.
There’s a lot of room in there.
I should know.
I’m a lady.