How to Not Tell a Woman What to Do

How to Not Tell a Woman What to Do

Is it okay to rile on women with lovely hair who support their famous partners and have no aim to majorly change the world? Also, daschunds.

So I was reading an article by a Woman. By which I don’t mean a person who identifies as a female, but a Woman whose professional calling is holding forth on How A Woman Should Be (no, it’s not Caitlin Moran, in case you’re wondering). Being A Woman, it turns out, includes broadcasting your outrage on any other (lower-case) woman who isn’t precisely like you. On one particular week the targets were Kimberly Sears (tennis player Andy Murray’s girlfriend) and Kate Middleton (HRH Prince William’s… oh, you know who I mean).

Now, I don’t know a great deal about Kim or Kate personally, which in itself to me seems like a positive attribute of both of their characters. Andy Murray is famous because he works exceptionally hard and is very talented, and Prince William’s famous for reasons which, whether right or wrong, are certainly beyond his own control. To avoid courting media attention in the situation of these young women is, to my mind, an indication of good judgement.

Kim Sears and Kate Middleton are known because they’re in relationships with famous men who, presumably, require a lot of support in their respective careers. However, the fact that they offer this support whilst simultaneously having lovely hair seems to be a source of affront to the aforementioned Woman. This is because neither of them are technically earning their living and therefore fail to adhere to one of the many female ideals, and one which she herself espouses: the Independent Career Girl.

This is a picture of a dog by Kim Sears. It is pretty good.

The thing that perplexes me is that not everyone, no matter how interesting and intelligent they are, can earn their living whilst doing something they love. Given that our time on this earth is finite, if it came to a toss up between the two then I’d rather do something I love, particularly if I wasn’t constrained by having to pay my bills.

Whilst neither of these young women are curing cancer in their spare time (and, by the way, neither is the overwhelming majority of the population, Women included), they’re not doing any harm…. Kimberly paints rather accomplished pictures of animals and walks her dogs a lot, and Kate travels the world and meets a host of interesting people. Both of these seem like pretty pleasant and fulfilling modes of eking out one’s existence and passing the time.

Just because modern society expects the average woman to earn, that is not to say that there is some innate shame in not earning, or indeed offering your time and support to the person you love.

This picture of a cow is also by Kim Sears. It is totally, recognisably a cow. We only thought it was a daschund at first because the thumbnail was really small and because thanks to Work In Prowess we are slightly obssessed with daschunds. Anyway, back to feminism, yeah?

No doubt these women derive support and love from their partners in ways which aren’t quite so public, but to imply that they are subjugating their own existences to men seems presumptuous and verging on demeaning. If Kim and Kate aren’t fulfilled then that’s their own problem, but it is not for any Woman to judge if that ought to be the case. Travelling, pursuing my hobbies, investing time in the people I love; these are all things that are just as vital to a fulfilling existence as earning money. If Kate, Kim or anyone else makes an active choice to eschew a career which is not financially necessary then who on earth is anyone to judge them for it? As the marvellous Jessa from Girls puts it, ‘I don’t like women telling other women what to do’, and any Woman could take note.

When Kate has her baby, I hope that as that kid grows up in the public eye they will match their own positive qualities with a loving spouse to support them through a lifetime of scrutiny and obligation. Hopefully by that point it won’t be a debate about feminism or what a woman should do, but rather an acknowledgment of two people who love and respect one another, living out their lives.

Oh, and wouldn’t it be great if they were gay? And no one cared?

Note from the Editors: That there Woman, we like her, actually. Almost as much as daschunds, which is (if you’ve paid attention, and, Dear Reader, we know you have) a lot. We just don’t like it when people get shamed when they’ve done no harm. Because that’s just so, so anti-daschund.

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