Ten things every woman should know by the time she’s 36

Today is my bday and, as I am very wise beyond my years and whatnot (also v generous), I am offering you a gift. There are endless lists telling women of various ages what they should know by the time they are __ years old, yet on all of the interwebs I could not find a single list specifically for the 36 year old gal! (The invisible years have already begun, I see…) So anyway, I made one. You can thank me for fixing your life whenever.

1) Most people and things are bad and dumb

I am a truth-teller, if nothing else. By 36, almost everyone has disappointed you. People turn out to be stupid assholes and it makes you feel sad and mad and makes your eyes roll out of your head onto the floor. Being a woman of 36 is liberating because you already know that most people are disappointing stupids who say stupid things and lol at blow job jokes and think racism is ok because they don’t really mean it and think they are interesting, v v political people because once they posted a status update about bullying on Facebook and think personalities are made out of tattoos.

2) You don’t have to be nice and you should not be nice

Fuck off. (Yes, you!) I am tired of being nice to dipshits. Women are told to be nice their entire lives and all that means, really, is “suck it up.” For women, “being nice” has less to do with being a compassionate and good human being than it does accepting sexual harassment or pretending misogyny is funny or not saying your opinions out loud. Being “nice” is far less valuable than having good ethics and fighting for justice. The “problem” with having good ethics and fighting for justice is that you can’t really be “nice” while doing it. Because so long as you’re pushing back against the status quo, you are going to make a whole lot of people feel uncomfortable or angry which means they probably won’t like you. People who like the status quo “like” people who play along. If you’re worried about being liked, you can forget about doing what’s right. As long as you have opinions and those opinions aren’t “Boys will be boys!” or “You go gurl!” people aren’t going to like you. I mean, sure, be kind to your friends and to people who are actually respectful, good people who actually don’t perpetuate systems of oppression, but other than that, don’t fucking worry about it. People think “compassion,” “respect,” and “nice” are the same things and they are not.

3) Love, marriage, and heterosexual couplings will not complete you or make you happy

First of all, nobody can “make you happy.” Also, “happiness” is a stupid idea that sets people up for failure (i.e. unhappiness). Feel free to seek fulfillment, contentment, or moments of joy, but no person is simply “happy” all the time. And if they tell you they are they are either lying or are completely disengaged from reality. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel mad or sad or depressed all the time or even most of the time. I’m generally fairly ok with my life. But seeking permanent happiness is silly. Particularly in a world that forces people to spend 80 per cent of their lives at jobs they hate, making money for someone else, constantly trying to appease the beauty standard gods, and doing the dishes every single goddamned day.

But back to my point. You think being part of a heterosexual couple will make you happy just like society and all Hollywood movies tell you?? Naw. First of all, most men are men. I know. I’ll give you a moment to fully process that… … … They are men who have been socialized as men in a world that teaches them male entitlement. This is why, as much as a man might be good and kind and loving, he’s still going to exhibit certain behaviours that will remind you that, oh right, I’m a woman living with a person who has spent their whole life in a position of power over me and my sisters and he will never fully understand what that’s like. 

I’m not saying that having positive, loving relationships with men is impossible. But it’s very hard. Please don’t ever think there is something wrong with you because it’s so hard. I continue to make the mistake of saying “What is wrong with me? Am I incapable of maintaining an intimate relationship with a man?” When really, it’s amazing any woman can… Unless she buys that “Men are from Mars” bullshit hook, line, and sinker.

Patriarchy makes heterosexual love next to impossible. Do your best to live the life you want regardless of whether or not there is a man in it and remember that having a man in it won’t necessarily make your life any better… Often, in fact, it makes it worse.

4) Eat your vegetables

I know what you’re going to say: “But, Meghan, vegetables aren’t pizza!” And I hear that, big time. I didn’t eat vegetables for years after I moved out on my own. My parents tortured me with healthy food as a child — Brown rice! Carrots! Multigrain bread! No fast food or sugar cereal ever! Real cheese! The kind of peanut butter that comes with two inches of oil on top that you have to stir in instead of the creamy kind that tastes like dessert! My dad made his own yogurt!

This was my real life for 18 years and once free I was determined to live on Pizza Pops and Kraft Dinner till I died, goddammit. I did that for a really long time until I stopped trying to be 14 year old boy and learned how to cook food and also learned that vegetables made my brain and body feel better. It only took me, like, 30 years to figure out that cooking vegetarian stuff is fun and that eating healthy food can be totally great. I’d offer to share my expansive knowledge of Cooking Things That Include Vegetables, but you probably already know how because you probably aren’t a stubborn child who thinks processed cheese = freedom.

5) Don’t let the salesperson at the shoe store tell you that the shoes you are trying on that feel a little too tight will “stretch”

They won’t stretch they will just hurt your feet and then if you keep trying to wear them to “stretch them out” they will create painful bumps on your toes and force your toenails into weird shapes. Buy comfortable shoes that fit properly and it will make your life good. Uncomfortable shoes are a huge waste of life (and seem to be an ailment only women suffer from). (Don’t let them talk you into too-big shoes, either. “Just wear an insole” is not a solution to too-big shoes. They’ll just always be too big and it will be annoying. Trust your gut, not the person trying to take your money, on this one.)

6) Have female friends and value those friendships

As women, we need other women to talk to. We need to talk to people we can relate to. I have male friends who are super awesome and who I love, but they aren’t the people I want to talk to if I’m heartbroken or dealing with relationship shit. (Despite my cynicism at relationships with men, I’m often in one — hypocrite, I knowwww.) Men also don’t understand what it’s like to be a woman and they never will. (Plus they give terrible relationship advice.) I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have other women to talk about the challenges of living female — and living female in man-town. I think I’d go crazy.

7) Being popular is for high school kids and characters in movies

Similar to my point about being “nice,” by 36 I really, truly hope you’ve realized that “popularity” is incredibly silly. Who gives a fuck what a bunch of bar stars or Twitter try hards think about you? As mentioned earlier, most likely they are boring dum-dums who’ve done little more than a bunch of blow, mastered the art of the selfie (read: found their good side and a photoshop app), posed in sexy outfits with guns or on motorcycles, got some deep thoughts tattoos, and tried to trick us all into thinking they were interesting by growing a beard. In order to be popular you have to be fake and do you want to spend the rest of your life being fake? Barf, no! Those people are insecure as fuck and will be still searching for meaning in vintage t-shirts and low-carb diets decades from now. It’s depressing.

8) You do not have to like sex or porn or porny sex or strip shows or burlesque

Fuck the porn culture cult. Pretending to be rilly into porn and sexy (read: sexualized) ladies will make you popular. This is because men like to believe their misogyny is cool and great and because siding with men will bring you a certain level of social comfort as a result of that whole “patriarchy” thing. But! Now you are 36 and you don’t have to pretend that things that degrade you and other women super turn you on. You have every reason to feel any level of uncomfortable to repulsed by the porn culture we live in. There is nothing wrong with you and there is everything wrong with people who tell you you’re not “fun” or are a “prude” or a “buzzkill” because you think women are full human beings and not props or accessories. It’s ok — perfectly normal, in fact — not to enjoy your own oppression. Try to connect with other women who share your feelings and views lest you feel totally isolated. We’re out there.

9) Avocado toast

Psych!

10) You should get a dog

I don’t think I really need to explain this one, but in case it’s unclear why dogs are the things that make life good and worth living, here is a picture of my dog:

She is so cute I could just die.
She is so cute I could just die.

To another year of sarcastic ranting and man hating! Hugs and solidarity forever, sisters!

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • rips into labels

    I wish I had known #1 when I was thirty six, or forty six,, or even fifty six. Instead of discovering it, oh, maybe last month. I do know it now and while it’s sort of shocking and appalling, the knowledge does make sense of the world. Pizza rules. I will look for your dog when I’m out and about now, and if I see such a dog, I will look up, and if I see a woman in a hat I’ll say hello.

  • SPLIN

    11) BEER!!!! BEER!!!!

    !!!! HAPPY B-DAY MEGHAN !!!!

    And YES – THANK YOU for fixing my life too! SRSLY.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I cannot believe I left out beer.

  • ProfElle

    That dog!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Right!?!?!?

  • jindi

    happy birthday, thanks for the effing gift!

    • Meghan Murphy

      My pleasure! 😉

  • I have been wanting to get a dog for years…

    • Meghan Murphy

      My doggie is my truest joy in life.

    • Dr.Z

      more adult advice ! Dont get a puppy, its like being assigned a colicky baby that you dont like at all. Go to your local animal shelter (or pet harbor if youre in the states) and pick a calm, adult, altered, house trained fur baby. You will save a life and your sanity. Also happy birthday M this cranberry vodka is for you!

    • Marilynn

      Get a dog! A great breed is a dachshund by the way. I got attacked by a magpie once in Australia lol!

  • pjwhite

    I LOVE this list! So wise beyond your years. And the thing about men is TRUE! Do not settle. If a man is “work” kick him to the curb. Life is hard enough without buying into the lie that relationships are hard work. NO. They should be nurturing and fun – NOT WORK. If I’m working, I expect to be paid. After kicking of plenty of jerks to the curb (and in doing so, setting an excellent example for my daughter) I finally stumbled on a man who is truly the cream of the crop (they are a bit unicornish, but they are the only ones worth having). He was a young widower (strongly recommend widowers) and his wife had died from complications of alcoholism. He spoke about how brilliant she was, how funny, and how he wished he had somehow been able to help her stop drinking. He never mentioned wishing she had been better for him, he only talked about wishing he had been better for her. That perked up my ears! Anyway, it’s been five years and he’s only become a better friend, nurturer, partner, and co-parent to my daughter (she adores him – always a good sign). He has five sisters and had a very loving relationship with his mother (those things help). Anyway – DO NOT SETTLE. If a man doesn’t boost you up and make you laugh every day, dump him. Also – DOGS!! Dogs are angels with fur. If a man isn’t as loving and loyal as a dog, get rid of him. Happy Birthday, Meghan!!!

  • Virginia Howard

    You’re such a good egg, you crack me up 😉

    • Meghan Murphy

      Ha. Thanks!

  • S.K.Law

    I hadn’t thought of avocado toast. But I do put avocado in and on virtually everything. Sort of like hummus. Crunchy peanut butter and lettuce on whole grain bread is pretty good too, give it a try. Happy birthday.

  • Muttmutt

    If i may….. thats a right on list. Happy Birthday.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you!

  • Happy birthday, Meghan Murphy. You are an inspiration.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Aw thanks!

  • This is hilarious and fantastic! Happy birthday Meghan! Live long and prosper! 🙂

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks purple sage!

  • Alison

    Happy Birthday! Great list.

  • Kats Kathleen Klein

    Cheers!

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Happy birthday! 🙂

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you!

  • Jeanne Deaux

    I want just one piece of advice to women to say, “Eat your meat.”

    Raise it yourself if you can, get the properly-fed stuff if you can afford it, but dammit, there’s a whole history tied up in patriarchy of men hogging all the meat to themselves and leaving almost none for the women. And we have paid for that in poor nutrition and shortened lifespans and poor childbirth outcomes.

    It isn’t meat that screwed up our health, it’s wheat. I said that because it rhymes, but really, no grain is actually good for us. At best it has a neutral effect on health, but in a lot of people it’s detrimental. Whether you have celiac or not.

    (and not all food-caused health problems are immediately obvious btw. But some are. I tried going vegan back when my daughter was a baby and it only made me fatter and crazier.)

    Oh and the vegetarians were right about one thing: don’t just eat the muscle meat. Learn to make bone broth, learn how to incorporate liver (no, it is not full of toxins, not any more than anything else is, including those fruits and veggies you actually *can’t* wash the pesticides off of), and learn that gelatin is not actually made of horses’ hooves and is actually your bestest buddy EVAR, as it will help keep your joints happy well into your twilight years.

    I’ve heard of lots of centenarians who ate bacon and eggs all their lives. I’ve never heard of a 100-year-old lifetime cheat-free vegan.

    Ever.

    • Marilynn

      I raise my own chickens and get about a dozen fresh eggs everyday. They taste 100 times better than store bought! My husband is avid hunter and we eat a lot of venison which when cooked properly is very delicious and nutritious. And the bones are so good for stocks and stews.

    • Anon

      Eating meat is horrible for your health, can shorten your lifespan, and your post is full of fallacies. Not feeling up to correcting them all. Far more eloquent writers have already done so elsewhere. Sorry you got fat eating Oreos and drinking Coke. ALL diets have junk foods and a good vegan diet does not include junk food in appreciable quantities. I am currently 43-yrs-old, 5’9″ and 127 lb and an excellent athlete. My veg diet works for me.

  • Jeanne Deaux

    On the lighter side: I have figured out selfies, and I didn’t need a Photoshop app. I’m a sad sorry silly-looking person with a big nose and the left side of my face shorter than my right (I cannot smile an un-crooked smile to save my life, and I had braces on my teeth growing up, too), and I still managed it. Solid-color bathroom curtain backdrop (make sure you don’t catch the hooks in the photo), a mirror for your preview screen (if using a camera) or selfie mode (if you’re using your phone), and the B/W or sepia color setting can work wonders. Because if we’re gonna put ourselves in our social-media profile photos we deserve better than a really bad full-body snapshot taken 15 years ago.

  • Mon Zam

    It is all about AVOCADO TOAST! had it for brekkie today. 😀

  • Tired feminist

    Meghan, a belated but sincere happy birthday! You’re kind of a feminist mentor to me (yes, really – it was your writing that inspired me for example to go and read Andrea Dworkin). Thanks for creating and mantaining this unique and wonderful space.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh thank you so much for your kind words and all your contributions here!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Sabine!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Pigeons! Interesting! I would have never considered them as pets! Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you Kris!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah yes. My puppy is a chihuahua mix and she HATES the rain… It’s not ideal for those of us who live on the rainy west coast 🙂 (And thank you!)

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you marv!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Excellent addition! Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you skilletblonde!

  • will

    Happy Birthday Meghan, you brilliant, courageous inspiring woman!!!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you will!

  • Marilynn

    Happy b-day, I just turned 60 last week and I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. I guess I feel a lot younger than that, maybe because I’ve always ate my vegetables haha. Well one thing I will say is it’s important to always continue to evolve. If I may tell you a few things I’ve learned over the years I hope you’ll listen because I think I used to have some of the same feelings. Yes most people and things are dumb but it’s important to not dwell on those things. I used to be very angry but have learned that it doesn’t really do me any good. It’s very stressful to worry about those things that are out of my control. I’ve learned as rule of thumb that it’s good to treat people the way you want to be treated. I’m nice to strangers now because it makes me happy to smile and receive a smile back or to help out someone I might not even know. I feel like this has added years to my life as I no longer carry a “chip on my shoulder”. As far as the heterosexual relationship point please understand I used to have a deep hatred of most men, even men I didn’t know. I was in 12 year relationship with a woman and they were the worst years of my life. It was a mentally abusive relationship. I was constantly being lied and cheated on. She was very passive aggressive and I unfortunately relied on her for income for most of the duration. It took me a long time to even believe a woman could be abusive which besides the issue of money might have been why I stayed so long. Well fast forward 8 years and I met the most amazing partner who happens to be a man. Everything I ever wanted as far as compassion, love, respect, and friendship I actually have now. Sure nobody is 100% happy all the time but he’s always there for me through thick and thin and I have so much comfort in knowing that. You might be surprised how many men are out there that are like this. I have many friends who are hetero and they have very similar experiences. I’m not sure if you are bi, lesbian, or hetero but a lot of comes from meaningful relationships. Some people both men and women just aren’t able to be monogamous or they aren’t interested in it which is ok too. My marriage is a beautiful thing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • NOT MY NIGEL.

    • Germaine

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      … and they lived happily ever after …

  • Marilynn

    Avocados can be quite expensive in the mid-west so I take advantage of a little trick. There is a store called Aldi’s that is like a discount grocery store. Almost every week they have avocados on sale 3/$1 in an ad in the paper. Sounds good but they are tiny and never ripe. I take the add to Wal-Mart which price matches ads and get the large organic ones they sell for $2.50 a piece. Needless to say we eat a lot of guacamole at my house:)

  • therealcie

    Happy birthday I’m more of a cat person, but your dog is adorable. Looking forward to more ranting!

    • Meghan Murphy

      If cats make you happy, then cats it is! (Thank you!)

  • Lucia Lolita

    Happy Belated Birthday! My admiration for you continues to grow and grow. Thank you!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you!

  • ChoderlosdeLaclos

    Thanks for that.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It is a rather cynical way to look at life, but when you start realizing that often people behave badly towards you and that it’s not your fault and really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them, it helps. I mean, I still struggle with taking stuff personally, but it’s much easier once you start to realize that it’s not personal at all. (And thank you for the birthday wishes!)

    • Marilynn

      It sounds like that chip on your shoulder that I used to carry and it’s such a heavy burden. The sooner people realize that life is all about caring about loved ones the better society will progress. This idea that we can expect society to be one big family is and has always been a joke because it doesn’t work that way.

      • Meghan Murphy

        A funny thing to say coming from someone who’s spent much of her time here in the comments section insulting other commenters for not being more like her…

  • Tired feminist

    I think your comment is not necessary.

  • Mark

    As you are not a man, you shouldn’t presume to speak for our experiences. Many of us were raised by strong mothers and have a more complex understanding of the world than trying to procreate at anything with ovaries. If you think women are incapable of sexual harassment, putting their hands on my body, or diminishing our experiences because they don’t fit into preconceptions, then you are only seeing the world through one eye. Your depth perception will make objects appear closer than they actually are! Feminism vs. Misogyny….why are we all racing to be the vicim of the other?

    Where can I cash in my entitlement card to not see men getting thrown under the bus everytime you can’t see the connection between your own actions and the consequences attributed to them? I’m not talking “all women” bullshit here. I’m speaking directly to the author. Your cynicism is sandpaper. If you want life to be easy, then stop challenging yourself. Sound ridiculous? Then quit complaining. We are all beautiful creatures, and our similarities are far more precious and inspiring than our differences. Sure, we need work, but societies evolve very slowly, so take it easy or you’ll wear out your tires.

    • Meghan Murphy

      lol

    • marv

      Uh oh. Somebody’s masculinity is feeling threatened. Such defensive negativity feels a lot like
      “sandpaper”. If you want life to be less sour then start challenging yourself by cashing in that
      “entitlement card” and making a donation to the Feminist Current. Birthday party pooper.

      http://www.feministcurrent.com/about/donate/

    • Men have it worse than you, feminists! Stop whining and playing the victim, because it’s the boys’ turn!

  • Melanie

    A belated happy birthday Meghan. i hope you had a good one and thanks for the work that you do. I laughed out loud at ‘personalities are made of tattoos’. 😛

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you Melanie!

  • Molleboll

    Great list! And on behalf of all guys in the world I’d like to apologize for the stupid comments, rantings and mansplaining below. We’re mostly idiots unfortunately but some of us are trying to break out of the horrible way we have been socialized by society. Sadly most guys don’t see how this patriarch bullshit is ruining even their own chances of ever being happy and free, as well as everyone else’s.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Welcome to the comments, friend-of-cellphone-guy-sent-here-to-support-his-feels!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks asialita! Your contributions here are always appreciated

    • asialita

      thanks! 🙂

  • David

    Happy birthday. We Libras are wisest. My bday is tomorrow. I agree(not that my validation is needed) with much of what you said. My wife of 32 years is my best friend, I like to believe I’m hers. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have others she shares with. Our lives became solid after I learned to listen. Basically she sat me down and read me the riot act. I had to learn I can’t solve all of her problems nor did she want me to. I cannot repay the countless hours of patience, care and love she has gifted me. I don’t even know if gifted is the correct word, but when I wake from whatever procedure or surgery I have I know she will be there when I come to. I pray I never have to repay her.

  • Tired feminist

    You feel like a boring, predictable troll?

    Interesting.

  • Marilynn

    I agree that happens but it’s not as widespread as you might think.

  • Marilynn

    After talking to my step-son the other day who happens to be 36 and not married I think it’s hard for both sexes to find good relationships. He just broke up with his girlfriend who I thought was quite sweet. I asked why and he said “mom she’s just like all the others. She’s addicted to reality tv, twitter, and her cell phone.” I think that says a lot more about his generation than anything else.

    • cinderchild

      wait, hang on here. your son broke up with his gf because she’s like all other women “addicted to reality tv, twitter and her (their) cellphone”; women have a hard time finding fulfilling relationships with men because men are socialised to see women as second-class, sub-human, disposable sex and baby dispencers and you think these are somehow the same? oh no poor men alllllll the women are addicted to reality tv, twitter and their phones! how terrible for them! that’s clearly the same as the systemic abuse and degradation males perpetrate against females every single day.

      wtf?

  • Meghan Murphy

    My point, w/r/t sex, is that women are often made to feel as though there is something wrong with them if they don’t enjoy male-defined ‘sex’. We live in an extremely sexualized, porn-centered, male dominated culture, and young women are sent the message that if they don’t love sex with men/heteronormative sex or even sex at all, they are prudish, uptight, or not liberated.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Believe it or not, Marilynn, running a feminist website and engaging with other people online and off, every day, about controversial topics will teach you the same thing. Anytime a man comes on to a feminist website and says “As you are not a man, you shouldn’t presume to speak for our experiences,” it is an lol moment. The alternative of mockery is to simply delete the comment, since it’s a pointless addition to the conversation. Sometimes I delete these kinds of comments, sometimes I post them for fun and kicks.

  • Marilynn

    Not really, paleo diets seem extreme to me but given that there are so many people who are sensitive to gluten these days I think there is a point there. Vegan diets are also very extreme and truthfully since I work a co-op farm to market grocery store and I we have a lot of vegan customers I am surprised they stick with it because most seem to have issues with it. You can always almost tell because of the circles under their eyes.

    • Anon

      I don’t have circles under my eyes and I am veg. In fact, I was asked if I needed a student discount the other day. I am 43, healthy, athletic, and at my ideal weight! Also, one does not need to eat much (or even any) gluten on a veg diet. I emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and beans, nuts, healthy fats (in reasonable quantities), etc. I do eat some rice and pasta and bread, but too much, or I feel bloated. In fact, I eat fewer grains than my best friend who is a huge meat eater! I also have fewer health problems and a healthier weight.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh ok. I get it. The solution to all this feminist anger is to simply go full on MRA.

  • Meghan Murphy

    My goodness, for someone so full of Love And Peace For All God’s Creatures you sure do spend a lot of time insulting people.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Marilynn — I’m getting near the end of my rope here. No, feminists do not need to spend more time listening to rando boring men on the internet. Your comments here are silly, insulting, unproductive, and MRAesque. Just a warning in case your comments or commenting privileges disappear in the near future.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The basis of being radical is challenging the root of systems of oppression. In this case, patriarchy. i.e. male dominance. If you believe radical feminists are denying individual men ‘their justice’ because they aren’t interested in male opinions all that tells me is that you don’t actually know any radical feminists… This dude is very clearly an MRA and you are sticking up for him by saying MRA things. Please stop wasting our time with this silliness. Thanks.

  • marv

    You are behaving like a handmaid of the lords of patriarchy. As a man even I can see Mark and Cellphone Guy are full of male foolishness and privilege.

  • asialita
  • “Feminist porn” doesn’t exist, except in the minds of liberal feminists.

    • Ann E. Oakley

      We used to hear the term ‘erotica’ a lot years ago – is there no more erotica that isn’t woman-abusive?

  • Meghan Murphy

    My suggestion is that if you wish to participate in a forum that is sympathetic to MRAs, perhaps this is not the forum for you. “We are all humans” is not a feminist analysis. We look at the world, society, and culture through a feminist lens here. That is the point of this space. I don’t think it’s fair to waste people’s time with defenses of men that pretend feminism is discriminatory because it names the problem.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ha.

  • Marilynn

    I have a dachshund and he’s the best. He doesn’t need to walk too much because his legs are so short. His breed is known to be cuddly too, super sweet doggies.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Full of hate and empty on reasoning” isn’t an insult?

  • Meghan Murphy

    No, feminism is not about humanism. Feminism is about ending patriarchy and MALE violence against WOMEN. It is the opposite of a genderless movement.

  • Tera

    Nah. I’m too much of a prude. Even the term “super hot” activates my gag reflex.

  • Claudia Manion

    I could read your writing all day every day Meghan! Thanks for being you and such an inspiration. Belated birthday wishes btw <3

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you so much Claudia!

  • Sally

    Exactly! It’s also interesting that on the whole women seem to be doing the bulk of the self examination in hetero relationships, whereas men seem more likely to ignore or dismiss a problem as either not being a problem (because we’re all crazy ya know) or the problem is a matter of it always being our over sensitivity, our imagination, etc. I’ve rarely ever witnessed a man admit to hurting me and genuinely apologized for it, and even then I really still can’t be sure those apologies are genuine. But then compared to women, I’ve gotten in some pretty nasty fights, yet in my experience it was very easy to make up, admit both people were at fault and not just totally dismiss the persons concerns because the level of equality permitted for that to happen. I think it’s much easier for women to relate to each other than we think. We just really need to set aside this notion that we should always be in competition with each other rather than being allies.

  • Luke Logan

    Can you explain why porn today is much more violent, aggressive, and degrading towards woman than it was in the 70’s and 80’s? It seems strange to me considering women had much fewer social rights and equality in those days.

    • Meghan Murphy

      The backlash.

    • northernTNT

      Just look at it! Good grief. It is like another planet, and I’ve seen plenty through the years.
      The answer: Because it can.
      Media do not serve the people, Media serves power.

  • ww

    I don’t understand why so many people seem to reflexively care so much whenever they’re presented with someone saying they don’t like sex. Don’t you think people who say anything negative about sex in their lifetimes, ever, typically have heard this spiel you’re giving before? You realize that, especially in the climate we live in, sex doesn’t need /more/ advertising? Okay – sex can be fun and better than chocolate and the girls on Sex and the City sure love it. We get it already. Have you ever tried keeping it to yourself? Some of us are tired of flipping the TV on, taking any glance online, or trying to talk to other people casually, and being bombarded with SEX SEX SEX all the time. Some of us are sexually repulsed due to trauma, some of us are sexually repulsed for a multitude of reasons or none at all, and some of us aren’t interested in being sexual just because other people seem to want so badly for us to be. Seems to me sometimes like that’s harder for other people (people like you, I mean) to accept than it is for us. That’s so typical of a porn-sick porn consumer to patronizingly posit hyper-sexuality or whatever as something we’re missing out on when it’s already clear that no one wants to hear it.

  • Ann E. Oakley

    ‘We don’t need no balls – we got ova!’ a feminist comic once said. Spanish speakers say, “huevos,” rather than ‘balls.’ I don’t mean to bust your chops here. I just want to start the movement to use the Spanish-speakers’ word for the tougher of the two structures, when pointing out bravery. I get so tired of hearing weak people called ‘pussies.’

    • Iris

      heuvos is still slang for balls, though. sorry to burst your bubble, but they’re not talking about ovaries.

  • Lucy Charms

    IMO, no coupling will ‘make’ you happy, hetero or otherwise. Totally agree re: avocado toast and dogs.

    Meh. ‘Man hating’. I’m a feminist and have been for 20 years, and have been arguing with a dude who’s always going on about feminists hating men, telling him it’s not true. It makes me sad that this is even something to joke about.

  • Jackal

    Lesbians who feel valued for their skill and not objectified when they do burlesque and who love porn but not most of the porn available to them might feel just a touch hurt at number 8. Sometimes when a woman gets her tits out onstage, it’s one for the ladies.

    • Meghan Murphy

      What some women may ‘like’ does not change my critique of porn culture or objectification.

      • Jackal

        It doesn’t, but there’s a slippery slope in such critique, and a risk of basically saying that men own any display of sexuality. I don’t think women who don’t like that kind of thing are prudes or joyless, but completely disowning the long female history of erotic performance is kinda busted.

        • Meghan Murphy

          I think there is a difference between nudity, sexuality, and objectification…

          • Jackal

            There is a difference, but some people are just shit, and objectify every single woman, child, and man they see. It’s kind of like how child pornography is a terrible thing, but now we have insane laws where a kid can get in trouble for having a picture of themselves, and materials are evaluated on whether or not a pedophile would experience arousal looking at it, rather than how they were made and why. Paying more attention to how the people who reduce a woman to her body feel about seeing it than to how the woman inhabiting it feels about having it seen is a bad idea.

          • Tired feminist

            Nope, it isn’t. It’s called “naming the agent”.

  • Alex

    Thanks Megan, some lifestyle advice for women actually worth listening to!

  • northernTNT

    oh I missed that one. Absolutely nail on the head! Happy belated bday

  • Laurie conrad

    I think you have being nice and standing up for what is right confused. You see the trouble is you are fighting against injustice – a thing that is not nice. If you yourself are also not nice then you are part of the problem. There is nothing more difficult in the world than to fight injustice and not also somehow be a part of it. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. If you keep your kindness and your niceness, but still stay strong in taking a stand against injustice – then your message is pure. If you’re not nice then that is all anyone will notice about you and you will actually harm your cause. Because they will identify it with ‘not nice’. Alas, perhaps this is not learned until age 46. As long as it is – you’re on the right path!

    • depends on the person. i learned that, whole hog, when i was about 18—i’d say 16 but when i was 16 i was still tormenting my first exhusband. that undeserved torment & how horrible i felt about it later largely created the person i am today: i was raised to be a fighter for justice—i come from union organizers—but the kindness was lacking. it was there, but it wasn’t enough. it’s really not good to throw it away. be careful, true, very careful, but do not rid yrself of it.

  • Kirsten

    By dog, you meant cat.

    • ✧ʕ̢̣̣̣̣̩̩̩̩·͡˔·ོɁ̡̣̣̣̣̩̩̩̩✧

      and also both!

  • Snobo

    What if you work all day and rent a small apartment with no yard? How do you have a dog then?

    • Meghan Murphy

      I have a chihuahua cross. I would never get a big dog with my apartment/lack of yard. I also do much of my work from home. When I was working outside the house full time, and didn’t have a partner to help out, I didn’t feel like I could fairly get a dog. So you’re right — not possible for everyone!

  • Elise Simone Pedley

    Meghan, I am a 50 year old single woman who’s never married and probably won’t ever bother. I just read your article and went, “WOW”! So much of what you wrote resonates with me and encapsulates what I really do think on a daily basis……especially the what you said in points 2, 3, 6 and 7. In point 3 you maybe could have mentioned that having children won’t necessarily complete you either despite society’s obsession with women producing offspring and the never-ending barrage of ,”Do you want children?”, “When are you going to have children?” or “Why don’t you have children?” questions which I’ve had to endure for decades. Thankfully, now that I’m 50 and “past it” and “set in my ways”, most people don’t ask me those types of questions any more but just last year someone had the gall to tell me, in a condescendingly sympathetic tone, “It’s not too late. You can still find someone and have kids”. I just about vomited on their shoes! Now I’m more likely to be asked, “Don’t you regret not having children?” and “Who’s going to look after you when you’re old?” Huh? No, I don’t regret not having children and I will look after me when I’m old…..as if having children guarantees that they’re going to care for you anyway! Okay, that’s enough from me. Keep up the great work. I will follow you from now on as I appreciate your refreshing honesty. I like your style! P.S – I even agree with you about avocado toast but I would substitute a dog for a cat or any other pet that takes one’s fancy.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Elise! So glad to hear this resonated with you.

  • Beast_of_man

    Avocado toast is delicious. Especially with a poached egg on top

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m sorry to hear that…

    I was born and raised in Vancouver and have always had a billion friends — men and women alike! Though I have heard from people who move here from other places that it can be hard to meet people..

    I wonder if you just find it easier to meet people on a romantic level than a friend level? I don’t mean that as an insult, but I can see it being easier to meet men if you are dating/looking for dates than it would be to meet friends, considering on your passtimes, etc.

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    I am 24 and this feels so authentic… I kinda feel you. Maybe I appreciate the fact that this is one “xxxx every woman should know” where I know the author genuinely cares about my well-being and doesn’t care about superficial stuff.
    So I’m sending you love. Love you, Meghan ! Never stop writing, please. (Well one day you will. But until then don’t ^^)
    Also, Avocado toast.

    • Meghan Murphy

      xx

  • Pe Nelope Kay Greenhough

    i really need a dog but i cant have one. i got a geriatric tortoise when my mother in law died but just isnt cutting the mustard in the reciprocal affection dept. cold blooded bastard .. and the cat is just a user.. i love them very much but i fear they dont approve of this establishment.. in fact they would probably eat me if i stood still long enough. the tortoise especially has been eyeing my toes up for years.
    your dog is indeed very adorable. it looks kind of chuhuappet or a whippahuahua? like two of my favorite kind of dogs mixed together..! im not surprised you love her. aaw.
    ps you are so right about men. i wish id known that when i was 36. it took me another 12 years to reach peak patriarchy.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I have speculated that she may have some wiener dog in her because of her markings but this has yet to be confirmed. I love her more than anything.

  • Tina Brisson

    I am going to link this to my daughter, it’s well writen and it’s on point! Thanks

  • I read this. It has a lot of energy. It is judgmental. It’s dramatic. Fun read.

    But I also find some damaging ideas here.

    For example, you say you’re sorry for someone who is happy in a way different than a way you wrote about. Why? You like to tell people they’re wrong, worse off than you for being happy in different ways?

    You wrote, “Here’s to another year of man hating,” as a sort of sign off. Can you help me understand that? Is it a joke about hating a group? Are you actually excited to hate an entire gender? Sounds more sexist than feminist. If that’s your way of living your life, then to borrow your phrase, I’m sorry for you. But not as much as I’d be sorry to have my daughter exposed to the idea of blanket-hating men, her brother, her dad, even her future (if she’s so unlucky) son.

    What if your talents were used solely to move positive ideas forward? Like things you love, things you hate that you want to work on to improve? What’s your drive for writing? What are the reasons you write?

    • Meghan Murphy

      I mostly write in order to deter and perplex men like you.

    • marv

      Men reprimanding women for despising men – whether the women do or don’t – is an act of contempt towards women. Men’s social structures have exploited women since time immemorial. It could be the oldest systemic malice. If you can’t admit this truth then you are exacerbating men’s despotism over women and subsequently failing your daughter as a father. Any man who isn’t encouraging his children (boys and girls) to love feminism shouldn’t be a parent. You have a grave obligation to change your abominable ways.

    • Andrew Cole

      So you read: “To another year of sarcastic ranting and man hating!” — and took it way too seriously. I think that speaks more about you than it does about Meghan.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Is there any particular reason you feel I am obligated to address “the question of pissing on men?” Aside from your male entitlement, of course?

    • Is this real? I like it as an exercise. I find it borderline amusing, like an Andy Kaufman or Kate Berlant show (Notice: MALE listed FIRST! Typical, right?)

      Ignoring your latest gender and personal attack on me and getting back to the subject matter, I certainly don’t feel you’re obligated to address anything anymore than you feel obligated to treat me with any sense of respect or decency. I was interested in hearing more from you, about your seeming pleasure in hating on a gender, to see if I could understand more. I don’t think curiosity or a point of view is being perplexed, but if I am, is that really what you want? Is your writing meant only for women who dislike a lot of men? Is that what feminism is to you? I’m just trying to understand a psychological position I haven’t experienced before.

      I thought you would want to pursue your thoughts, help a reader understand more about your point of view, even if it is a reader whose gender is one of your least favorites. But if you don’t want to converse without throwing barbs at me then is your desire that I should not write anything in the open comments section of this public blog post? My intention wasn’t to cause any bother.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Is it really, truly that difficult for you to understand the purpose of feminism? So difficult that you need me to answer your misguided “questions” directly? Perhaps you could do some research on your own? Read through some posts on the site, check out the internet, etc.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh, I’m sorry… Did you ask a Very Deep And Important Question About Feminism? I missed that.

    Goodness, there is no end to ignorant men who believe they are somehow “challenging” feminists with their stupid non-questions.

    Try saying something interesting and intelligent and it’s less likely you will be mocked, Steve-o.

  • Annabella98

    Love this article! The only thing I’d add, since I’m now almost 43, is “start thinking through your mom situation. You don’t have to become a mom, or want to become a mom, but if you DO realize you really, really want to be a mom someday, you should start making some plans. Because, yes, you can get preggie later in life with the help of IVF, but that path is tough and *expensive* and really, really not for everybody. Best to get pregnant the MUCH cheaper, old-fashioned way – with a turkey baster and some frozen sperm – instead. Ideally, you’d even have a partner for a journey into parenthood, but not everyone does, and it’s not for everyone. What do you think about that? Best to start thinking about it now, and have some decisions made by the time you’re about 37 or 38, in case you want to try to get pregnant naturally.”

    • Sashimi73

      Thank you for your wonderful reminder! This is very valuable.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks sister xx