Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gender Studies

I am minding my own business. Unaware that at some point I am to become irrationally furious.

I shall shortly Watch Something On The Tele - Vision. It shall be the culmination of some mild grievances and general feelings of puzzlement (this is now a word). I do not enjoy the experience of puzzlement. It makes me cross. And I have not slept of late.

The build-up:

I do not pretend to be 'down' 'wit' the 'yoot', but do have a number of brothers younger than me. I do not pretend to be an expert on masculinity in our post - fin de siecle times either but do, you know, have a number of brothers.

From the younger contingent, I hear tales of moisturising. Of skin care products in general.

Of clippers. And shaving products. None reserved entirely for the face.

I know for a fact that a number of 'men' in my immediate vicinity shave, pluck, wax and highlight hair with unseemly regularity. There has been talk of fingernail care.

Don't get me wrong. About once every couple of months I will have a downstairs trim. I am a very hirsute man from the navel downward, and very often the case is that I cannot see the wood for the trees. I like to make sure that Little TD is still in attendance.

But every week? With 'special' clippers? Whilst waxing your chest? And 'doing' your eyebrows? And highlighting your hair? Whilst 'moisturising'?

Christ.

A couple of nights ago, I am doing a Google search for something obscure. One of the hits looks promising. I click. Bollocks. It is one of those discussion forum things I do not really understand. Are they like MySpace? And how does that work anyway?

Upon further examination the forum reveals itself to be an on-the-line support group for stay-at-home-Dads.

A Support Group. For MEN who have to get up fairly early and then endeavour to keep their offspring alive for a full eight hours. And not do much else.

Why, yes of course. A Support Group is the very least they deserve. Fuck me what a nightmare for them. How do they do it? Those poor MEN?

Obviously silly women have been doing it since we lived in trees. But so they should. What with being women and that. Well. That's what they're for. They know this, and hence require no support at all. MEN on the other hand require on-the-line forums in which they can discuss how hard it all is to shoulder this huge responsibility ' without any ill-will of course' instead of inventing new spaceships.

Which is what they would otherwise be doing.

Because they are great. But need to share. You know, what with it being their choice. They have to share that.

Jesus.

Critical Mass:

I am watching television. This is not something I would normally consider worthy of comment for two reasons:

1: I am fairly sure that the on-the-line 'community' are perfectly capable of watching television/seeing films/reading the newspaper and forming their own opinions without the aid of 'blogs'.

2: I never EVER watch the Tele - Vision, for reasons that shall shortly be made clear.

I am at my Mam's for a coffee. Day. I have the 'luxury' of not being at work for a week or so. In classic Mam fashion, she is in the kitchen, something is simmering on the stove, a small portable Tele - Vision is broadcasting a daytime show called This Morning and she is making some new curtains.

A faintly surly-looking chap who appears to be faintly hungover and I think is called Ey-mon is interviewing a man and a woman. The woman is a counsellor/therapist of some sort, the man a sufferer/victim of some sort.

I am only half paying attention.

The man is the classic male victim/sufferer sort. Late thirties. Middle class. Obviously sees a 'stylist' and has those fussy 'clever' spectacles that probably cost significantly more than everything I own put together.

I can see immediately that he has an 'invented' problem to justify his otherwise adequate existence. You know the sort. Couldn't bear to feel bad about people in Colombia without imagining that he too has big problems. He didn't have a copy of the Guardian on his lap but he might as well have.

Whilst my Mam wonders if the remaining fabric would be sufficient for some cushion covers, I focus on this man's 'ailment'. It is revealed.

HE HAD POST NATAL DEPRESSION.

HE did.

I am aghast.

The woman I can understand. An invented problem that she can give 'advice' on and give out a freephone number on the show that probably diverts to her mobile. She can offer 'counselling' to made-up-problem sufferers for fifty quid an hour and this is national exposure for her. We all have to earn a living.

But this chap. He explains to Ey-mon that he really 'sort of' loves his son now.

Now. But at first it was so difficult. He explains to Ey-mon that his wife underwent a thirty-six hour labour.

And that he found that very traumatic.

One assumes his wife was thoroughly enjoying the experience, and not feeling the slightest guilt at all the 'trauma' she was putting her husband through.

He'd probably bought himself a Mac G4 and was feeling that this purchase was quite enough responsibility for now.

At this point Ey-mon is perched on the end of his sofa as if about to leap at this world-class wendle. The side of his face is doing that weird pulsing thing that the faces of people who are REALLY grinding their teeth do.

I suddenly feel some sort of kinship with this faintly surly Tele - Vision presenter. We seem to be thinking the same thing.

YOU DID NOT HAVE CUNTING POST NATAL DEPRESSION. I DO NOT BELIEVE DEPRESSION TO BE A SUBJECT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY; IT CAN BE AN AWFUL AFFLICTION. (BUT NOT A FUCKING 'DISEASE' MIND YOU. IT IS NOT COMMUNICABLE, AND IT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN ONLY MENTALLY SUBJUGATE YOURSELF TO AS IF THERE WERE NOTHING IN YOUR POWER TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. HIPPY).

POST-NATAL DEPRESSION IS ACTUALLY PROPERLY REAL. AND PROPERLY DEBILITATING.

YOU DID NOT HAVE POST-NATAL DEPRESSION. YOU WERE 'A BIT FREAKED-OUT'. GET OVER YOURSELF YOU DREADFUL LIMP PRICK OF A TWAT.

YOUR WIFE IS NOTICEABLE BY HER ABSENSE. SHE IS PROBABLY FUCKING THE PLUMBER. POWER TO HER.

YOU NEEDN'T WORRY.

YOU'RE SO SHITTING SPINELESS YOU CAN PROBABLY NOSH YOURSELF OFF. WHICH IS ALL YOU'LL EVER BE GETTING AFTER YOUR TELEVISION DEBUT.

FUCK OFF.


Really though. What happened to men?

Anyway, I'm off to have a belching contest with Jodie Kidd. She'll probably win, and then show me how to make a car.

27 Comments:

Blogger Pickled Olives said...

Holy cow! This was by far the BEST rant I ever read! I am blog rolling you RIGHT NOW! I hope you don't mind.

LOL - post natal depression for him, ugh.

3:29 am  
Blogger billygean.co.uk said...

lol lol! I love the rants in capitals that only the best bloggers subscribe to!

Are you educated in English? Not a dig at your grammar, what I mean is, English degree or something? I did an English degree, and note your references... No?

BG

9:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic rant.. You should watch Jeremy Kyle tomorrow... that'll really set you off..

:)

9:15 am  
Blogger Mikey said...

Post Natal depression is 'on the news agenda' right now because someone set fire to their kids or something. A ghastly business, I'm sure, but the fact that one news item relates to it should not automatically trigger a vast discussion about what it is and what it means. Something happened. Something quite bad in this case, but no amount of hand-wringing or 'me too' - ism is hoing to make it unhappen.

As luck would have it I was at a radio station the other night trying to promote a book that you really should buy. The other guest on the show was a woman who had suffered from PND & had seriously considered killing her child.

I think you can imagine how hilariously witty I was when it was my turn to be interviewed & all I could think about was not blurting out 'dead babies' as an answer to every question.

Public discussion of these topics does little, if anything, to ameliorate the problem. Especiallly as a significant majority of the people who call in to these opinion-led shows appear to be fuckballs of the very worst kind.

11:14 am  
Blogger looby said...

Brilliant - bloody navel-gazers! Well said that man :)

3:30 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

You should definitely not watch anymore television. I see serial-killing in your future.

3:38 pm  
Blogger Amanda said...

Oh, I loved this post!! I never watch daytime t.v. for obvious reasons.

3:58 pm  
Blogger Davenelli said...

I blame Stephen Fry & Alistair Campbell.

After that pair revealed that they suffered from "depression" every fucker is at it.

95% of whom are not depressed...a little down maybe but absolutely not depressed. Tossers!

9:21 pm  
Blogger fwengebola said...

Erm, you shave your pubes?

11:09 pm  
Blogger NON-WORKINGMONKEY said...

Did you see the woman afterwards (or maybe before)? I couldn't hear what she was saying, but the subtitles said:

'Resents her stepchildren'
then
'Doesn't like being a stepmother'
then
'Says her stepchildren have destroyed her relationship'.

She looked like a mardy-faced, self-obsessed cow. And she's obviously taking her relationship with her stepchildren seriously, which is why she's on telly telling everyone that she hates them. I am sure she will still be with their father this time next year, what with her being so clever and kind and all.

YOU married him. YOU KNEW what you were taking on. DO YOU REALLY THINK THOSE CHILDREN WON'T BE FUCKED UP ENOUGH AS IT IS WITHOUT YOU GOING ON THIS MORNING AND TELLING EY-MON THAT YOU HATE THEM?

Christ on a bike.

(Splendid post, by the way.)

1:13 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

P.O: Thanks and welcome.

B.G: What's wrong with my grammar? Yes, along time ago.

Anon: Thanks. I have heard of the Kyle and do not think I could bear it.

M: Quite.

Looby: Hello again. And thanks.

Lee: I think you're right. I mean, about the not watching thing. Not about the my being a potential serial killer thing.

Amanda: Very kind.

Dave: Absolutely. Cunts.

Fweng: No, but I do occasionally HAVE NO CHOICE to employ some shears.

NWM: I didn't. I had to stop watching for fear of losing all self control. Still, at least she got to be on the telly for 5 mins and meet Ey-mon. She sounds like one of those cunts who attempt to sue the show because she thought FernPhill would be there.

Oh and thanks.

4:13 am  
Blogger billygean.co.uk said...

TD - amusing. I thought so. you have the post english student air about you. where'd you do it?

BG

9:29 am  
Blogger mr_glide said...

You know what the worst thing about male cosmetics is? We know where it's headed. We'll know we've been utterly done when they start marketing us snake-oil wrinkle creams that purport to defy genetics on the basis that 'what you believe are charming lines, she thinks are premature wrinkles'. Oh, hang on, they have.

Don't get me started.

12:06 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

I think the Moisturising, Depilating and Hair-Tidying Men thing is probably the fault of me and women like me, who never do any of that stuff, thereby disrupting the Essential Interplanetary Moisturising, Depilating and Hair-Tidying Balance and forcing men to take it up on our behalf.

Sorry.

4:02 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:04 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

I think depilating and hair-tidying might be the same things. What's the word for removing bits of dead skin? That's the one I meant. I don't do that either. I think of it like humus, which is dead organic matter and very good for your garden. I reckon the same applies to skin. And the hair counts as ground cover, which is good for keeping weeds away. As for moisturising... oh well, I never did water my garden very often. That's why I live in Manchester.

4:06 pm  
Blogger mr_glide said...

Clare: No, good for you. I won't be able to keep up with it, so I'm not going to try. Stay messy.

I have no problem with keeping yourself neat and presentable, mind, I just resent cosmetics companies upping the ante on appearance all the time. It's just now that the mens' market is starting to catch up with the womens' market, and is encouraging an ever more meticulous attention to detail, which no-one should really have to be that bothered about. These sorts of issues aren't trivial, however. They really do drive some people round the bend.

I'll shut my face now. This isn't a grievance forum.

5:04 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

It is.

9:24 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

BG: None of your beeswax.

M_G: It's not the marketing I mind (although the Beckham-endorsed razor was astounding. M Power 3 or whatever [get it? mp3? cos men dig the techno shit] that was battery powered and emitted sonic waves or some such)but the fact that 'men' under the age of thirty are GAGGING for this. CHRIST.

Clare: No. You sound perfectly sensible. 1: You care not for the unnecessary 'i' and 2: you sound like you are capable of leaving the house without three hours notice. I suggest you are the future.

Clare again: You are now over-thinking this.

M_G again: I agree. The fact that it is starting to drive men round the bend as much as women is a cause for deep concern. For one, there will be not a couple in the world who are capable of leaving the house within six hours.

The hospitality trade will die as a result.

But we'll all look OK with nowhere to go.

Men will fret about their cuticles (whatever the fuck they are) and women will wonder why they can't get a man to take them somewhere O.K. and then grab them by the hair in an authentically non-moisturising manner and do bad things.

Oh well. I am merely an observer.

9:39 pm  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

Never suffered post natal depression meself. I attended Jax's birth. I was stoned on gas and air - Caz didn't get any as I hogged it. The small Asian mid-wife looked alarmed but said nowt. I was also extremely pissed. Jax was born on Friday 13th at 3am. I was ejected from the delivery room after insisting on checking her head for 666 by a very large Jamaican midwife who had taken over as the little Asian thought I was nuts. I then dialled random phone numbers to announce Jax's entrance into the world. Several complete strangers wished me congratulations. Several more said "Fuck off". I enjoyed the occasion. The hospital banned me therefore we settled on having the one. (Caz works there and was too embarrassed to go through it all again apparently)

8:45 pm  
Blogger pocketpunk said...

fuck im up the jiggery poke as we speak...expecting my 3rd ..... and if its another girl which im sure it fucking is then my poor geordie husband will no doubt fall victim to the post natal depression........or maybe not

10:34 pm  
Blogger The_'Real'_Batman said...

Oh god that post was pure class. Pure bloody class

9:00 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Dinners: My first was such a catalogue of surrealism I shan't even go into it: no-one would believe it. Suffice to say, depression was not at the forefront of anyone's emotions.

Pocket: Welcome. I'm sure all we be as it should. Whatever the fuck that means.

Bats: Hi again.You really are too kind.

3:40 am  
Anonymous TDub said...

Oh Gawd, TD, I love you! (hey look, we're both TD's)

I had Poatpartum depression so badly I had to be kept away from the knives and couldn't go swimming('cos I had this uncontrollable urge to just keep swimming and never come back). The idea of some dingdong blubbing about how he was traumatised seeing a birth and is so depressed infuriates me.

The day he lies sobbing on a couch and prays to God to let him die in his sleep, THEN I'll believe in male PND. Lackwit dweeb.

Daddo, you are the best--I wish I was this articulate.

3:51 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Bloody hell.

Well said that lady. I believe you are perfectly articulate.

Many thanks for the kind words.

12:40 pm  
Blogger d34dpuppy said...

i m nevah breedin

8:22 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Hello. Sorry for the late reply. But it was a very late comment.

You, my good fellow, are a very young man.

I too once said never, for about a million reasons. All of them good.

I had a less-than-satisfactory upbringing. As a result I try to be a better father myself.

The way I look at it: My father was Shite. As a result, my own children reap the benefit of someone who knows all the bad stuff and studiously avoids it because they have been on the recieving. I am a better father because my own was so shit.

I'm rambling. Don't write yourself off is what I'm trying to say.

Anyway, what's happening with you?

11:06 pm  

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