Sunday, April 4, 2010

Who did I talk to about this?

Someone... was it you? How annoyed I get when people (often older men) demand that I "smile"? I've talked about it more than once... but someone disagreed with me heartily. Here's Abby's (Dear Abby) take and I'm glad I'm not alone in HATING this!


  1. Well, it wasn't me you spoke to, but boy oh boy does that make me crazy. There are some things I deal with as a man, particularly given me being an unusual sort...but I freely and easily admit it is ridiculously much easier for me as a weird man, than it would be to be any sort of woman. This kind of stuff would seriously drive me to serial homicide. This makes me crazy, and Amanda Hess is absolutely right to take Abigail Van Buren to task for not taking the would be pick up dick to greater task.

    An appropriate response would have been, "Surely! And you must drop your trousers and show me your dick, it does suit you so!"

    Just the depth and pervasiveness of the unconscious sexism this common practice implies....and it shows up in fiction too plenty, and always it's supposed to be charming (presumably because said fiction is always written by men) "Here, love, give us a smile!" Bleh! Icky icky icky, makes me want to grab the nearest jar of skippy and just shove a big handful in their mouth. Hate is absolutely the appropriate word for this insanely belittling practice. I think I probably got it as a six year old boy and hated it. To get it as an adult woman...I can't imagine...although it would be a good chance to practice that 40 yard death stare.

    Maria Bamford has a fantastic riff on this exact thing:

  2. Bahahahaha! It was Me!!! I guess I can't relate to the plight of the modern woman quite like Arthur can!


  3. I had never thought about how totally weird this is. I'd just accepted it as something that happens but never thought about its total and complete strangeness. And how it really goes one way. (I don't know any women- even across several generations- who ask men to smile.)