Although the common stereotype is that women are the emo-est gender, anyone who’s ever spent any time around any man knows that there are certain common subjects — income, height, sexual prowess, fighting ability (or lack thereof), hair (or lack thereof), favorite sports teams, mamas. etc — that have the potential to turn us into walking, talking, slobbering Drake albums. Smart women do their best to avoid bringing up these potential sore spots, and very smart women use these sore spots to their advantage. (Seriously, I’d wager that at least 87% of all girlfriend/wife to boyfriend/husband digs intentionally meant to push buttons and/or hurt feelings have something to do with one of seven topics listed above. Ya’ll are some cruel motherf*ckers)
Yet, along with the aforementioned seven, there are a few more topics that we’re surprisingly self-conscious about; things that might not get us all emo if you criticize them, but, well, let’s just say they have a tendency to make us do the “Nah, it’s cool. Don’t worry about it” thing when we want you to know it wasn’t cool at all but don’t want to actually say it and have you think we’re all emo (even though we are)
***Paraphrased convo between a female friend and I a few months ago***
Friend: “You know what I’ve been noticing lately? Ya’ll act like some teen girls sometimes about your weight. Ya’ll stay making self-depreciating comments about how much you weigh or how out of shape you are just to get us to be like “You look fine.”
Champ: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You need to stop dating dudes who drink pink Fanta and listen to old Tweet albums at night”
***Three weeks later with different friend***
Friend: “Why did you change shirts? I liked the other shirt.”
Champ: “I don’t know. I think it makes me look fat.”
Our sense of humor (or lack thereof)
The more I think about it, the more I think that our “funny” = women’s “unique.” Think about it: Just how ***gross generalization alert*** every woman thinks they’re the most unique, interesting, and uniquely interesting broad on the planet, we (men) all seem to think that we’re Richard f*cking Jeni. And yes, this includes me. You wouldn’t believe how many knock down, drag out debates I’ve had with girlfriends, dates, f*ck buddies, and sort-of, kind-of concubines about how funny I am.
The argument usually goes something like this:
Champ: “You claim I’m not as funny as I think I am, but I always make you laugh!!! Look, you’re even smiling right now!”
Concubine: “I’m smiling because you’re a lame”
Champ: “Tomato, tomahto”
You know, I actually have a theory about this. I think that women think we’re funny if we’re just cool with or dating them, but once you’re in an actual relationship, it goes from “Haha. You crazy” to “You are so damn corny. The only women who laugh at your jokes are the ones who want to sleep with you. You put the N-O in Not Funny.”
Obviously, this theory can be interpreted as “women who like you and/or are interested in you will continue to laugh at your stupid-ass jokes and soothe your fragile ego until it’s established that you like them too and they don’t have to pretend that you’re funny anymore,” but if you dare interpret it that way, I’m banning you from VSB.
Our fashion sense
***Every woman who has ever received serious passive-aggressive emo-pushback when trying to convince her man that the velvet wifebeater and pinstriped blazer look wasn’t a good one is nodding her head in solemn agreement***
Our taste in music
***Every woman who has ever received serious passive-aggressive emo-pushback when telling her man that she thinks Wu-Tang is kind of stupid is nodding her head in solemn agreement***
You know how ***gross generalization alert*** most women have frenemies — women they’re “cool” with but secretly hate with the heat of a thousand pairs of Delta thongs — and will spend a good amount of time ragging to you about everything from “that bitch’s pauperized weave” to “that bitch’s lame-ass status messages?” Of course you do, because ***gross generalization alert*** every. woman. does. this.
Thing is, the ubiquity of the frenemy makes them assume that we also have frenemies, and we’re also cool when they talk shit about our “triflin-ass friends.” Well, we don’t, and we’re not. Lemme put it this way: If a Black man is lucky enough to make it to three decades on Earth, he definitely doesn’t have any frenemies. Why? Because all the n*ggas with frenemies die before they’re 24!
Anyway, people of VSB: Can you think of any other subjects that we (men) are surprisingly emo about? Also, fellas, don’t let the ladies off the hook. Name some things you never thought they’d be self-conscious about even though they actually kind of are.
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)
***Please bookmark your calenders for “Myth or Maybe” — a panel moderated by Panama and the homie Rahiel from Urban Cusp, taking place July 26th at the Washington Post building***