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It's Official: Being A Woman Kinda Sucks (Except For The Love Of Kitties)

Illustration for article titled Its Official: Being A Woman Kinda Sucks (Except For The Love Of Kitties)

Every once in a while it becomes clear that in a lot of ways, being a woman is an unbelievably raw deal. As if it's not enough that once a month blood comes burbling out of our vaginas, as several articles in the news today attest, each stage of our lives tends to be accompanied by the looming threat of some kind of trauma. In your teens, you're plagued by acne, which causes boys not like you, which subsequently causes the kind of angst that leaves lasting scars, "mentally more so that physically," a dermatologist tells the Wisconsin Post-Crescent. You know what else leaves scars? When you're fondled by a filthy old man in dance class.

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After your skin clears up—if it ever does—and you've mastered the "fuck you, old man" glare, it's probably only a matter of time before you'll decide to fuck up your body by growing a human being inside of you, leaving you with tears, saggy breasts, stretch marks and strange stores of fat. "I used to have a washboard stomach but now it's ruined," one new mom tells the Mirror. "It's the bottom of my tummy that really bothers me. It just hangs there, all loose muscle and shriveled skin."

That's nothing, course, compared to middle-aged spread! And you'll be really sad you let your body go to pot when you come to realize your children are nothing but "walking problems" to which you constantly have to "find solutions". It will be then that you also realize that you married a complete abusive asshole. And because he insisted on a prenup, you'll get fuck-all in the divorce, and look how high the price of a Tuscan villas has gone up!

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You'll make do with a small shack and a lover named Benito. But then, God forbid, you get cancer! Even if you survive all of the hideous things specific to the disease, according to Sally Kydd, the author of Intimacy After Cancer: A Woman's Guide, the treatment will fuck up your sex life, maybe for good. "The vaginal walls can become tissue-paper thin, which makes them vulnerable to injury, and slow to heal," the breast cancer survivor told Newsweek. "At any age, the vagina can become as dry as sandpaper and may also shrink, making sexual contact painful. Add to this severe fatigue, night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain and fluctuating hormones, and sex can be difficult or sometimes impossible to enjoy after cancer treatment." If you're fortunate enough to NOT get cancer, you'll still get to experience most of those symptoms with menopause, plus, new research suggests, you'll probably get fat! Benito has, of course, left you by now, but at least you will still have your cat, since he survived his accident.

Annnyway. We're sure you don't really have to worry about any of this stuff. Since you got your new IUD, you don't have to worry about unplanned pregnancies, and surely someone will find a cure for menopause before you get to that point. You will probably age really fabulously, like Susan Sarandon. And your kitty will always love you.

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DISCUSSION

flyoverstate-old
flyoverstate

Um. yeah. I know I'm going to get killed, laughed at, made fun of, or worse, executed, but still. Deep breath. Or...we could stop being victims and realize our lives aren't that bad. There are good men out there, men that might love us if we give them a chance. Children aren't always a pain. Sometimes they are blessing. If you're with an abusive asshole, you should leave, then congratulate yourself on your bravery and get on with your life. If you get sick, you should do everything in your power to make yourself as whole and as healthy as you can possibly be, then live your life to the best of your ability. If you are victimized, you should get whatever counseling or help you need. Then you should stop living in that moment, and start living in the rest of your life. Our lives are as good or as bad as we choose to make them. Yes, we bleed. We hurt. We get fat, then deliver children. Sometimes our lives, our bodies, are never the same. Sometimes people we love hurt us. Then we get hurt some more. What are you going to do? Feel sorry for yourself? Shake your fist at God because your body wasn't designed right? You can moan and groan and bitch and whine, and find plenty of company.

Or. You can decide that whatever life gives you, you're going to deal with it to the best of your ability, cramps, dirty old men, fatal diseases and all, and then do it. Deal with it, not with a raised fist, but with an outstretched, uplifted hand. It is, after all, life. And in the end, it is still, for the most part, precious and fleeting. Only those who don't have a deadline on it take it for granted. I do. I am not going to survive the incurable disease I have. Does that make me want to shake my fist at fate? Sometimes. Mainly it makes me want to savor every moment I have, even the not-so-great ones. Because one day, even those sucky days are only going to be a memory. All those things that come along with being a woman can be a pain. But it also means we have the ability to give life. Literally. Emotionally, Physically, to those we love. Personally, I think the trade off is worth it. And at the end of my life, my greatest accomplishment won't be my career, although I'm very proud of it. It will be the memories I left for my husband and son, happy memories. Not of me suffering, but of us living every day to the fullest. It is my greatest and deepest desire that my son remember me with sunshine, not darkness. I have been sick more than half his life. I don't want his memories to be of sadness, but of joy. I am a woman. I am a mother, and I am determined. There is no stronger force on earth.