Don’t Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity

Illustration for article titled Don’t Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity

An adolescent boy's bed sheet semen's worth of ink has been spilled lately about men acting too much like boys. But the trend of reverse-striving has crossed over: adult women are acting more and more like little girls, and it's really starting to get on my nerves.

Advertisement

There's so much ukulele playing now, it's deafening. So much cotton candy, so many bunny rabbits and whoopie pies and craft fairs and kitten emphera, and grown women wearing converse sneakers with mini skirts. So many fucking birds.


Illustration for article titled Don’t Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity
Advertisement

Girls get tattoos that they will never be able to grow into. Women with master's degrees who are searching for life partners, list "rainbows, Girl Scout cookies, and laughing a lot" under "interests, on their Match.com profiles.


Illustration for article titled Don’t Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity

When I shop now, I have to make sure that garments I think are dresses, are not actually rompers. If you don't know what rompers are, they're shirts attached to shorts, and they used to be called onesies.


Illustration for article titled Don’t Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity
Advertisement

The closest thing Madonna ever did to infantilizing herself was for her 1992 Steven Meisel Vanity Fair cover. Today, KATY PERRY IS POSING IN HEADGEAR.


And despite the facade of cliqueishness, and female friendship, and the Romy & Michelle'ness of gal-pal fun times, let's be real. We all know these manic pixie Muppet Babies are really just in it for the peen. And instead of acting like a woman who might remind a skittish bro more of his teacher or his mother, we're going for the pubeless, twee, Anime-eyed version of whatever dream girl we assume they want or need.

Advertisement

Illustration for article titled Don’t Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity
Advertisement

It's like how we used to hide our interests around boys (‘I hate math! It's so hard!'). Now, instead, we're singing the praises of Skittles Sours instead of emulating, say, Kathleen Turner? Barbara Stanwyck? Any female lead from the pre-awkward era who stuck out her tits and didn't talk like Rocky from the Bullwinkle cartoons? You realize the Harajuku girls who danced behind Gwen Stefani, are like "seriously, bitches?" And then they go to book club.

It's all to the same ends— women are trying to broadcast to men that we won't bite their dicks off. It's just that now, instead of lipstick, we're wearing glittery lip gloss, or that shit you get in the drug store that tastes like Dr. Pepper.

Advertisement

I'm begging age-appropriate females: Read something written before you were born. Stand up straight. Make sure you own one piece of jewelry that you did not purchase on Etsy. Use capital letters in an email to the guy you want to date. Let him take you out on a date, maybe not on a walk or an Xbox session, even if you are, God help you, addicted to LA Noire. Meet your friend for wine instead of fro-yo one night. Watch a movie with no early-90's nostalgic appeal. Bitch, you already know Clueless by heart.

Nobody's asking you to be matronly. Laura Bush is no longer in the public eye-as I write this, she's cheerfully douching somewhere far away, in private. You can make your own modern womanhood-there's no need to fear the dowager.

Advertisement

Because the larger issue is that it is a lot easier for men -or even guys or bros-to demean us, if we're girls. It's much harder to bring down a woman, or to call her a moron, when she's not in pigtails and Ring Pops. Not that his idea of you should influence your style, or your sense of self-worth. But I feel like in a way, it already sort of has?


Julie Klausner is a comedy writer and performer who wrote a book called I Don't Care About Your Band. She hosts a podcast called How Was Your Week and is, in general, a Funny Lady.

Advertisement

This post originally appeared on Julie's website. Republished with permission.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Meh, I see this as an entire generation that has grown up and realized that we don't have to start shopping at Ann Taylor and give up silliness and fun just because we hit our late 20s/early 30s/insert arbitrary age deadline for "Grownupness" here. I get that the proliferation of twee may at times be annoying, but I don't see where it's written that because I have a silver cutout of a bird hanging around my neck (that I purchased from an independent female jewelry designer btw and not from De Beers, where god knows what was involved in its production) that somehow I think math is hard. Bish plz, I minored in math! And you can hate on rompers all you want—that's your right and I myself am conflicted about them, but to judge women's brains by what they wear—isn't that part of this site is supposed to rail against? Hoe is it any different than the tacit assumption that short skirt = asking for it? I actually think it's helpful to women that we don't lock ourselves down in mom jeans in suburbia watching lifetime movies when we hit the big 3-0. The fact that you can express yourself with whatever your individual style is regardless of age is, dare I say it, an improvement. And honestly, what if MY ideal date is staying in for some LA Noire action? Stop assuming we all want to be taken to Chez Trop Chere for filet mignon and presented with a dozen roses for chrissake! My boyfriend bought me a knitted stuffed robot for a birthday once and on a subsequent birthday, had a picture of said robot put into my favorite locket. THAT is romance to me, because I am a human person with my own distinct likes and interests—you can take your generic Hallmark date and stick it in your sparkly rainbow bootyhole, thankyouverymuch!

I seriously do not think that women these days expressing their affection for crochet and Hello Kitty to...attract dudes. I mean honestly, the crafting bit is so effing "dowager"—when was the last time guys were drooling over ladies who knit? Really, I like a lot of Julie Klausner's writing, but this just seems like a complete misfire.