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« In Which We Teach You How To Be A Woman In Any Boys' Club »

Can't Be Tamed: A Manifesto


for Kathleen Hanna, Kim Deal, and Kim Gordon

Here are some rules about how to be a girl in a boys' club. This works for any world you're in or want to be in. Pretty much everything in the world is still a boys' club.

Befriend The Other Woman: Always. Seriously. Even if she sucks (expansion on "if she sucks" follows below). Otherwise you will be "jokingly" put into competition with her constantly, and you will be encouraged and generally provoked by some dudes to do this for their entertainment to take focus off the fact that they are in homosocial competition with each other. Befriend her and press your boobs against the glass ceiling together (copyright Kristen Schaal). She is not the enemy. She is never your enemy. The enemy is always any guys who are creating situations that limit the number of females allowed. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. 

What If She Sucks?: Well, there could be a lot of reasons for this. But if she's being a real scary bitch to you, it's probably just because she's threatened you are going to take her spot as "the girl that is cool enough to hang out with the guys." Defuse this by being really super friendly no matter what in order to demonstrate the above: you are not enemies because you have a common enemy and the enemy is exclusionism. This gets easier the more girls there are. One to one situations are especially harsh, because Black Swan. But it's not usually that hard because most girls don't suck.

What If She Actually Sucks? This does happen. It's not unfeminist to admit that some women are assholes, just don't make it your focal point or judge any other situations according to how the all time worst one went down (this is a good rule in general). Some people just actually suck. Definition of sucks: steals, lies, or otherwise tries to ruin your life in an undeniable way. Feel bad for her and then back…the fuck…away…

What If She's Cool But I Still Feel Competitive? Sometimes cool funny girls are initially cunty to other cool funny girls because they are afraid the presence of another cool funny girl will dilute or diminish their own coolness or funniness. But it won't. It just makes you both even cooler and funnier. Forgive yourself for feeling insecure and think about the way you feel around your best friend. Generally the more intimidating you initially find another person the deeper your eventual love will end up being. 

Why Do Dudes Think You're In Competition With The Other Girls? Because if you're in competition with the men, you might be better than they are. And a lot of them can't handle this, and even more weirdly it's like it doesn't even really occur to them. They just automatically compare you to other girls and not other men, even though you obviously compare yourself against everybody in your field, not just the women.

Why exactly they can't handle this is something that I understand but can't really sympathize with for obvious reasons. The sinister underlying idea is that men are always going to be naturally better at everything than women. That the best man will always be better than the best woman, and that women should expect and accept this.

The truth is that most kinds of talent aren't gendered. Sometimes women will be the best at things and other times men will. The implicit fear is that women are going to take spots formerly reserved for men. THIS IS SO STUPID. The most talented people take the top spots. There are no gender quotas. Tina Fey coexists peacefully with Will Ferrell and Danny McBride. They are just all the best at their specific talent (comedy).

Ferrell isn't threatened by Fey because game recognize game. And clearly I'm really aiming for this to catch on, but it's not emasculating if you like it. And a lot of dudes like it. And a lot of other dudes secretly like it but are afraid of what their dude friends will think. Not caring about what other people think is attractive to oh, everybody.

What If I Love Being The Only Girl In The Boys Club? Megan Fox Syndrome, aka Wendy from Peter Pan. It is the delusion that you can become an official part of the boys' club if you are its strictest enforcer, its most useful prole. That if you follow the rules exactly you can become the Official Woman. If you refuse other women admission you are denying that other women are talented, which makes you just as bad as any boys' club for thinking there would only be one talented girl at a time.

You will never actually be part of the boys' club, because you are a woman. You are Ray Liotta in Goodfellas. You are not Italian, therefore you are never going to get made. And you don't want to be a part of the boys' club, because it is dedicated to preserving its own privilege at your expense. Why wouldn't you want to know and endorse the work of other women who share your interests? How insecure are you?

Drive It Like You Stole It: Be the best. That is, assuming that you are the best. Be the best you can possibly be, whatever that means to you. Absolutely do not step down in order to not threaten people. Don't apologize. If you genuinely fucked up fine, you are allowed to apologize once but then stop apologizing. Think about how much you hear women apologizing for themselves for no reason, or being self-deprecating or self-abnegating out of habit. What the fuck are you apologizing for? For being too good?

Complain And Explain: If somebody says or does something fucked up, call them out on it. Don't pretend like fucked up things never get said because you are afraid of getting exiled from the kingdom of being Angie Dickinson in the Rat Pack. It makes people uncomfortable to get called out on their bullshit, and they get weird and defensive (John Mayer), especially since they know they were bullshitting to begin with.

But it's a function of not thinking about how fucked up it feels when fucked up things get said and nobody else thinks it's fucked up, because they just don't knowwwww. They're not always trying to be assholes, they just literally sometimes do not get it. It is better to engage than to roll your eyes. Some guys will keep trolling you until the very last second. You can almost always get them to admit that they're just trying to push your buttons and don't really believe the thing they are arguing in favor of.

Guys will feel REALLY BAD when they get called out, and usually react by either getting really loud and angry and defensive, or really sad and quiet and weird. This might make you feel bad or like a bully but don't. Some conversations are uncomfortable but also necessary. They are so uncomfortable because they are so necessary. Discomfort is not death. You will be fine after, I promise. And then you will feel fucking great, because trying to protect other people from reality is for morons and chumps.

Non-normative guys who still secretly consider themselves the most macho guy in their friend group get totally freaked out when confronted by real actual bros, because it forces them to face the ultimate self-truth that they actually hate bros and they actually do respect women. They're just still embarrassed that they're indoor kids who are not good at sports, because athleticism is to men what beauty is to women. 

What If I Complain And Get Laughed At And Dismissed? Well this might happen 99% of the time, because that is how men are socialized to react to being uncomfortable. The other option is that they get quiet and squirrelly and weird and constipated about talking. It sucks to have to call people out. But it is important, because that is the only way anything is ever going to change. Women have done everything in their power to conform to the existing power structures (even though those structures generally run and ruin our lives). Straight white men are the ones who have to change. They have to.

You know in Shampoo when Warren Beatty says that when he does women's hair all they ever do is complain about all the horrible bullshit men put them through? All I ever witness is straight men showing me how miserable they are with the expectations placed on them as men, how much they hate trying to live up to this impossible standard and how unhappy they still are if they manage to succeed. They have a hard time acknowledging there are other modes of being because they are fucking terrified to deviate from the known, even though the known is horrible and hurts them.

"Masculinity" is as damaging to men as "Femininity" is to women. Neither is something to aspire to. Women who understand this are called feminists. Men who understand this aren't called anything yet, but maybe they can just be called feminists too. 

Lowered Expectations, The Double Edged Sword: When men demonstrate or betray surprise that you know a lot about something or have mastered a skill that they care about, it unfortunately just shows that some guys still don't expect women to care about anything. Except being pretty and shopping and having thoughts that are somehow completely unlike male thoughts in any way. They think we don't like dumb obsessive information hoarding. They think our brains are wired differently. They are wrong. Sasha Baron-Cohen's brother is wrong (man u so fucking wrong Simon). 

The flip side of exceptionalism for anyone from an oppressed group is the realization that you are only considered exceptional because the system is sooooooo fuckkkkkked uppppppppp. The idea that it's fair and you just worked your way in because you're so hyper-talented is a useful seeming illusion that stops benefiting you the moment it fucks over somebody else. When men are like "wow you're so cool, you're not like most girls" it always begs the question oh my god what do you think girls are like?

Some people will never want to talk about the way things are or how and why they got that way. if you end up exiled or excluded from the boys' club for not towing the party line, start your own fucking club. I'll come! I'll bring a lovely bottle of orange soda.

Allies And Enemies Some guys will hate you for being superior to them at the thing they care most about being good at. They are Paul Kinseys. This generally looks like it sounds, and involves sputtering. Cool guys will respect you and your hustle without being personally or professionally threatened. The coolest guys (Ken Cosgroves) will be secure in themselves enough to respect you specifically because of your hustle. 

Most cool girls are totally fucked up because they are used to guys telling them they are "cool" or "funny" or "smart" and they assume it's a euphemism for "not hot" because they already feel like dudes with boobs. But that's okay because a hundred percent of cool guys are fucked up too and secretly feel like girls with dicks. Straight men are sooooooooo pink inside. They just can't tell you or anyone, because they have been socialized expressly not to. But I just told you you, and now everybody knows.

The idea that men will be turned off by ambition or success is just another part of the big lie. It is meant to scare you and keep you from questioning the system. The only men who are turned off by ambition and success are men that are insecure about their own talents and success or lack thereof. You don't really want to know those guys anyway, because they suck and they will constantly attempt to undermine you, and even if you are secure enough in yourself not to care it's still really fucking annoying.

Everyone feels like the worst awkward looking junior high version of themselves at times and has conflicted feelings about whatever demographic they usually date. The best thing you can do is team up to fight all the lame assholes of both genders. 

If You Are A Straight Guy Who Figured Out Girls And Gays Are The Most Fun:

- Of course you can join, but you have to shut up. I mean, you can talk, obviously. But you have to realize and recognize that traditional male privilege becomes your liability in these situations. The same thing that puts you at the top of the pecking order in most social situations (glass elevator) puts you at the bottom of this one. Get used to bottoming. Realize it can be the best. Think about how intense it is to be a woman.

- If anybody makes fun of straight dudes and the lame bonehead things they sometimes do, you are not allowed to get defensive and say that you never do any of those things. Relax, we're aren't talking about you. We're just talking about privilege denying dudes in general, and admitting that they exist is not the same as being one. The best first step to demonstrating that you are not one is to admit that they exist. 

How About When You're The Privileged Person In The Situation? Golden rule. Don't deny that the privilege exists or that while some people might have it, certainly you are not one of those people because blah blah blah. Nope. Don't do that. Admit that the world is unfair, that there are ideologies and systems in place that benefit some people and hurt others, often one at the expense of the other.

Accept that while you didn't create and don't directly control these systems, you have definitely benefited from them at one time or another. Equality isn't about fucking anyone over. It's about learning how not to do that. Listen to what other people have to say. Do not mistake your personal lived experiences for universal truths or cite them as if they were such. Genuinely listen. Pay attention. Listen. 

Things That Might Happen While You Are In The Boys' Club:

- it will be suggested that you are only considered talented because you are a woman, implying that even if you are talented, you are just "talented for a woman." Untalented men jealous of your skills will cling to this even when it becomes clear how blatantly untrue it is.

It involves the idea that being beaten by somebody who is "lesser" is emasculating and humiliating. But that women should be happy, even excited to be beaten by men in all situations, because women's egos are always discounted as being secondary to men's. 

- Whatever you look like, it will be used against you. If you're attractive it will be used to suggest that men are just pretending to care about what you think in order to try to fuck you. If you're unattractive, it will be used to discount you as a human being entirely, on the grounds that a woman who is not physically attractive to heterosexual men is a completely useless entity, no matter how smart or talented she is. 

- You may be praised in a way that is so backhanded and/or condescending you're not really sure if it still counts as praise.

- The conversations will all be oriented around straight men and their desires. 

- Boys' clubs exist to protect and preserve the right that some people believe they have to make no allowance for anyone else. That is privilege.

- If you dig too deep with some people it will come out that they genuinely do believe that women are less interested in things than men are. That women who have interests are outliers or unusual cases, This is part of a larger heterosexual male narcissism wherein it is assumed that all of women's interests are related to men: that if a woman is a record nerd, it is because she learned about it from a guy or she hopes to meet men through it rather than because she just genuinely enjoys music. 

This is obviously total bullshit. Women have interests because they have their own interests, because they are human beings. They are interested in things. And you can have those independent interests and still want to fuck Mick Jagger, and it doesn't discount the authenticity of your fandom for the music of The Rolling Stones. It's not like men don't equally want to fuck Mick Jagger. That's the whole point of Mick Jagger.

Women don't just like things because some dude turned them onto it. You like things because you turn yourself onto things, because you like finding out what you like. 

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She tumbls here and twitters here. You can find an archive of her writing here.

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References (444)

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Reader Comments (174)

Fantastic post! Just two notes:
1 afaik it's "toeing" the line, not "towing"
2 "it will be suggested that you are only considered talented because you are a woman" begs the question why aren't there more women here??!!

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersevenhelz

This is so lovely. My inner bitch is making a comeback.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Awesome piece. Small call-out from an ally on disablism: could you not use "lame" as a disparaging term?

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCas

I don't like this article. I don't like how sexist it is. I am a chick, and I have never, in my life, felt the presence of any "boys' club". In my 31 years of existence, I have never once felt left out of anything for being "a girl". I think this article is playing into some fictional, "fun" stereotype about how "silly" men are, and I find it a bit gross.

You write these articles, and people get all "you GO, GIRL!" about them, and you get praise, yes? But do you realize or care that you're just perpetuating a very bland, incredibly short-sighted view of humanity?

I don't need your advice column. I don't think anyone else does either. I'm actually mildly disgusted with my friend who linked the column. I'm guessing he only read it because of the Mad Men photos.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I love when women write articles about how to fit in with men. Because they usually contain one of the following: 1 - AWFUL advice, 2 - an overly aggressive feminist POV, 3 - Overly simplified advice, like "be really nice". Women - Men aren't looking for you to prove yourself to them. Get over yourselves!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJP

while not every single thing here is true, to my mind, and the descent into excessive use of unnecessary consonants was irritating, overall, I am thrilled to have my experience as the single female owner of a male-dominated business (craft brewing and distribution) validated and swear on a stack of Cosmo Mags to Drive It LIke I Stole It and STOP apologizing for being right, when I am, just to make them feel less threatened by me. And the thing about appearances? True and I will admit to using my slightly better than average good looks to my advantage in said man's world (and won't stop) but will stop judging others by the same standard--until they prove themselves to be lame by their actions or words.
thanks so much for providing a truly thought provoking treatise on the 10,000 pound gorilla in the boys' club room, where we who are invited sit around nervously like we think we should be making the coffee or something....


March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Crowe

"athleticism is to men what beauty is to women" might be the truest thing i ever read on the interwebs. thanks for that.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthusgone

As a young black man, I identify with so many of these points. Whether at my very WASP dominated college or Workplace or social circles, I often need to remind myself of the downsides of just passively taking shit from my peers. Seriously great post and great writing.

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergreg

"The hegemony is not created by some mysterious exterior force, it's created, sustained and affirmed daily by the majority of (in the case of the West) white people because they genuinely fit that mold."

I honestly don't think that this is true. Most people are 'weird', period. Most people have secret thoughts and desires, and I more often find people that are 'just as weird' as I am than people who are especially 'normal'. I say 'weird' and 'normal' because they're all stupid relative terms anyway and aren't worth a damn and normal/weird change every day.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkit

First let me say excellent article. I'm a fan of this, found this way of the awl and web surfing a bit. Second let me say I disagree (respectfully) with most of it. I know women who fit into the boys club, and they aren't push overs, of the most strict gate keeper. The reason, and this article speaks to it, is that often than non-bros (horrible neoglism I know, but it's the best I can come up with, as a late night insomniac with a laptop), is that they take things so seriously. The best job advice I've gotten, is people help who they life. Also I've never seen anyone like the women who picks apart other women. The one's part of the pack, we talk about with respect, in their presence, and absence just like we do with one of the guys.

Affability, genuine affability get you further than "talent", because you have to deal with people, and at the top are the people who are good at that, below them, are the quants, nerds etc... If you come in with that agenda, I'm gonna break this up, I'm going to dissent, well would you want to have a round of drinks with that person.

Also your idea that we are "all" pink inside, that "masculinty" and "feminity" hurt us all, is bunk. Anytime you "all" you are wrong, or at lease ninety nine percent (I had to avoid that paradox). My dissagrements being said, I'm defiently a fan of your articles, and if I'm going to read something I disagree with, it might as well be enjoyable. Cheers.

In your defense, I'm guessing you are a bit more experienced in the work world that I, an early-mid twenty something am. So perhaps it changes, perhaps sides must be chosen, que movie trailer music.

April 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

From the bottom of my heart, Molly, thank you for the greatest morning read I've had in a while. I've reposted everywhere and would tattoo the entire piece on my face if I thought it'd make me look...prettier.

Seriously, thank you.


April 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterApril Swartz

People who dont believe this is true obviously forget about high school. Im a senior girl and know many boy's clubs and nearly everything written here rings true. Thanks for consistently inspiring posts, they encourage me to speak up and not submit to willing ignorance just because it's easier than actually considering complexities. Basically, this is the fucking best.

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMallory

High school sucks/sucked for almost everyone, not just girls.

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

cool thanks, as a fledgeling professional female programmer whose last job was in an all male company, and who wasnt allowed to join the company football in any of the two IT firms I worked in (to name just one thing), i feel this a relevant piece even in todays reality. and even work is only one place where things are like that - working environments are part and reflection of social environments..

May 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

most in life is a boys club (as the article affirms), sadly enough its our women's short sightedness that we dont construct our own clubs and infrastructure.. for nobody is ever gonna do it for us.. living has to be done by the person herself.. no other possibility there

May 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

The major issue that causes me to roll eyes at women who self-identify as feminists is this: The overwhelming majority of these women whom I've encountered don't care about real equality. If they did, they'd be just as concerned about the underrepresentation of women in less desirable careers (eg, coal mining, sanitation, commercial fishing, roofing, etc.) as they are about the underrepresentation of women in more desirable careers. If they did, they wouldn't bristle at the suggestion that women probably shouldn't use their sexuality as a tool to get what they want from men. If they did, they wouldn't be averse to forfeiting the niceties and protections that they generally get from men in the present day. (Ex: When my old girlfriend mouthed off to some burly gentleman on the subway for taking up too much space, it was my teeth, and not hers, that were going to have to answer for it if the guy decided to get physical about it.)

No, instead, what these women want is all the privileges of equality without any of the penalties. If you're not one of these women, then I salute you. But chances are that you are.

Someone else hit on this point. Most people--men and women--are horrible, selfish a-holes. The men who are selfish a-holes are well recognized and widely regarded as nasty people. (Women tend to throw themselves at these guys nonetheless, but that's a different discussion for a different day.) Unfortunately, the women who are selfish a-holes now have a safe harbor for their selfish a-holery--they can throw up the "feminism" banner, and, well, hey, what kind of chauvinist pig are you to challenge that?

In other words, what Tyler said.

May 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAterni

Where was this 25 years ago when I really could've used it?
Sadly though, I suspect 25-years-ago-Me wouldn't have valued all the insights in here. I enjoyed being the odd-man-out as it were.
Now I'm suddenly seeing that by trying so hard to be 'one of the guys' I was aiming for being as acceptable as the least-acceptable member of the club. Seriously? Aim for the bronze, apparently.

Ah well, insight is insight whenever you get it and use it. Thanks for this!

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucretia

I love how people who haven't personally experienced this stuff themselves, or don't realize they've experienced it or whatever, are instantly yelling "THIS DOESN'T EXIST YOU ARE SO WRONG HOW COULD YOU PERPETRATE THIS IDEA." I'm only a college kid but I've already had this happen to me, as a female sportswriter at my school's daily paper. It's not that men are awful or all men are trying to hurt all women all the time; it's that when I started at the paper, it just wasn't automatically assumed that I knew all the same things the guys were assumed to know (and didn't always know!). I had to prove it, bit by bit. (And all the conversations ARE centered around straight men and their desires. Any ideas on a way to deal with that without ending up feeling deeply insecure/awkward after a while? Maybe that's just me personally having issues.)

This is awesome, basically. Maybe this doesn't happen to some women, but I'm sure it happens to a LOT of women, and I am one of them, and I'm so glad this article exists.

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

I have yet to meet a guy (or girl) who can trump me in useless Beatles trivia. Did I say useless? It's LIFE DEFININGLY FASCINATING OMG. But when boys challenge me, I'll admit, I take particular pleasure in ruthlessly running circles of factoids and anecdotes around them, every time.

July 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulia Gazdag
yes indeed... i am asked all the time if i had a brother, dad, or boyfriend who was a mechanic since i maintain and repair kinda small to very big ass engines for a living. and no, i did not:) i didnt even have friends who were mechanics! i do now tho:D!
July 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteraj
You used the phrase "begs the question" incorrectly.
September 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterperson
I think that Simon Baron-Cohen is Sasha's cousin, not brother.
December 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterc
If so, apologize and effect change. Do not attempt to explain anything, especially why you may be offended or why you're caught off-guard as doing so may be inflammatory (trollish, if you prefer). If you're absolutely determined to reply then and there and are without a shadow of a doubt not denying your privilege, you may elect to express only hard facts in their purest form.tthanks
January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterv-pills
It's not that men are awful or all men are trying to hurt all women all the time; it's that when I started at the paper, it just wasn't automatically assumed that I knew all the same things the guys were assumed to know (and didn't always know!). I had to prove it, bit by bit. (And all the conversations ARE centered around straight men and their desires. Any ideas on a way to deal with that without ending up feeling deeply insecure/awkward after a while? Maybe that's just me personally having issues.) thanks
January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterv-pills
Feminism is the movement that desires equality for all.
February 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEjz
Feminism is the movement that desires equality for all.
February 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEjz
God, this article is great! So unforgiving of an unfair system and so sympathetic toward the individuals who have to live in it. Coincidentally, I watched the latest episode of _Mad Men_ immediately after reading it, and it was as if the show's writers had also just read it, even though it was published over a year ago. Weird.

The really annoying thing about the feminism-equals-sexism and political-correctness-equals-fascism male apologists in these comments and in real life is that they are partly right. And they will hold onto their crumb of truth more tightly, the more we argue with them. But they are nowhere near AS right as Molly.

It all boils down to motive: articles like this are about ferreting out social injustices that are such an insidiously large part of our psychic environment we barely notice them. It's hard work to dig deep into such invisible territory in order to make it visible in all its profound misguidedness -- like pointing out that the air we're all breathing is actually poison, when we didn't even realize we were breathing air in the first place. Hard, but very necessary, work.

On the other hand, arguments built for the sake of maintaining the status quo are easier to sell but often end up missing the larger picture. Sure, it would be great if we could act and talk as if we were already all equal in our fight against systemic inequality, but demanding that as a condition on any progress is putting the cart before the horse.

Luckily, we can judge our imperfect methods in these cases by the far more important motives behind them. And luckily we have people like Molly, with motives that are just, rational, and compassionate in equally fierce measure, to help steer us right.
April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew
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June 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercheap air max
'you are not enemies because you have a common enemy and the enemy is exclusionism. ' ....

Some people really missed the point of this (pretty awesome) article.

... And no, I'm not going to elaborate because those who don't get it probably never will... Oops I'm pigeon holeing... Sorry, oh wait a second... Damn it. We live in a world of dualities.
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHM
This article is so amazing! As a teenage girl, I am really interested in the male psyche (because I go to an all girls' school) and this article is particularly interesting. I really love the advice that's been given here, it's great.
July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterViva
Awesome read! Bravo and well F*cking said!
August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary
um, i mean... maybe if you're the only girl with CISGENDER privilege in a club of boys with CISGENDER privilege.

didnt feel like any of this spoke to my experience as a trans girl dealing with gendered spaces. then again, wouldnt really expect cis people to understand the ways they make trans folks invisible...
September 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous
Thank you so much for this. I have forwarded this to every female colleague/friend/family member I know. I have printed it out and tacked it to my fridge. I need to read this every day! :)
September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterImperialStudent
This article makes me think I shouldn't read anything else on this website.

I agree with A: you can try to avoid "hegemony" by falling in with the 'sisterhood' - yet another hegemonic idea. Congratulations! Glad you've discovered feminist thought... from the 1970s. Enjoy trying to catch up.

Dunno if you've noticed, but most women move around in PACKS - they go to the bathroom together, they form gaggles in playgrounds, parties, schools, dinner parties, EVERYWHERE. They go to horrible places filled with clothes, where they spend HOURS looking at shit. On double dates, women are meant to make friends, and chat together about WOMAN things. If you think the sisterhood and women banding together is a novel revolutionary idea, check out how women actually behave. It's a thin veneer of friendship, that disappears the second competition rears it's ugly head.

The fact is, there are as many shit women out there as there are men. "Most girls don't suck" ??? How many girls have you known, like 1??? Fact is, most girls suck MAJOR HAIRY BALLS, whereas there are plenty of guys who don't (perhaps because they're encouraged NOT to compete with women, or are conditioned to have thoughts beyond hair&makeup, I dunno).

All the women my own age I've ever known, even my friends who I love, have reverted to feminine stereotypes (or even worse, alt-"im an individual"-hipster-bullshit stereotypes, which I'm guessing is the bag of the authors on this site, too). With guys - none of the constant competition, none of the BORING hair/men/money conversations that are sadly ubiquitous, just freedom. Fuck the sisterhood - I've got better things to do than sit around pretending to care about your $500 haircut, or the new vegan sustainable diet you picked up at your last sit-in protest, or how fucking NON-COMFORMIST you are. Men are actually allowed to do fun shit in the world, and I'm going with them.

Trashing women just to get in with the guys sucks. But same goes for guys - putting most of them in this "bro" category means either you have a warped idea of men, or you should really try to hang out with better ones. Or rather don't - I'm happy to keep them.
September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUm...
just last night myself and 4 workmates (all male) had to repair a sewer pipe which had burst.
we were in a mucky hole with cut off disk saws literally getting sprayed with shit as we cut out the damaged section of pipe.

would you like to come and join our "boys club"?

didn't think so.

it's equality when it suits you.
October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan
I'm reading the posts from men "It's equality when it suits you" and laughing my ass off. What a clueless bunch.

I'm reading the posts from the scared women, "This article is bullshit! It isn't truuueeee! No! I'd rather hang with the guys! Guys are cool! Women suck! Waaah!" I have news for you, Sister: When you have your baby, or when you suffer a loss, or when you have serious health issues--guess who will be there to hold your hand? Hint: There will be boobs at the end of that helping hand.

From the perspective of a white female who's 53 years old--this article is right on.And as someone else similarly wrote, "Where was this article 25 years ago?!"

I can only shake my head at these 30-somethings who are bitching about your writing. Man, things have changed alot, and these folks have NO clue.
January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMadmoyzelle
Oh my god. I really really needed this list, and it's going on my bedroom wall.

I am a woman who writes and records music, and being in the studio or in the music industry in general can be very draining sometimes, as most of my energy is spent having to stand my ground as a girl in a boys' club - having to be on-point, aware, and good at everything at all times or risk being entirely disregarded on the basis of my gender.

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked by men and women alike, "so who produces / writes your music?" because it is assumed that there must be a man pulling the ropes and taking control of my music behind the scenes. None of my male friends have said they've experienced this.

As your article states, my attempts to explain the above have been laughed off by men 99% of the time, even (in fact, mostly) by the men I consider dear friends and colleagues in the biz. But now I have this article to print out, read over and over, and reassure myself that I'm not being "hysterical" or over-sensitive as my male friends suggest.

Thank you for writing this.

- Mitski
April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMitski
"They think our brains are wired differently. They are wrong."

Got any evidence for this? Cause there sure are a lot of scientific studies that show that male and female brains are indeed wired differently.
August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
There are more studies which show that any differences between male wiring and female wiring is dwarfed by the difference between your wiring and my wiring. Individual variance drowns out weak global trends. The fact that Molly is female makes her 5% more likely to defuse social confrontations by making an emotional appeal; the fact that Molly is Molly makes her 50% more likely to give you the finger. To use a hypothetical example.

Excellent article. My only reservation -and I'm sure any latecomers who read this thread are tired of hearing male commenters deliver that line, but nevertheless- is that you're being a little optimistic about the boys in your clubs. Or perhaps indulging in some unconscious projection, I don't know. But while some men are secretly pink inside, not all of them are. Some men -many men, even- really are who they appear to be. They have their share of worries and fears, but frantically trying to live up to their macho mask isn't one of them. Being a stereotypical male who indulges in stereotypical thoughts and hobbies suits them to a tee. Or else they've been conditioned to think only these thoughts and do only these things for so long that any other potential aspect of their personalities have long since withered on the vine - who knows: there's no way to separate who we truly are from the culture we're steeped in.

But the point is, if enterprising women read this article, kick down the doors of their office treefort and proceed to haul out the huddled men inside and start digging around to find where their secret love of pinterest has been hiding, they will be often be disappointed. Often this will gain you nothing but a surly and confused boy.
August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZac
Would have come off better if you didn't constantly use the "F" word. Not at all classy, mature or professional.
November 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanice
God, I'm so glad I left the corporate world and all of the self centered, scheming, entitled, whining, back stabbing, feminist harpie bitches I worked with behind. I am so ashamed of my own gender, fundamentally we - well a lot of us anyway - are acting like an updated version of the 1950's calculating, game playing shrew. My hatred of feminism and the havoc it has wrought grows daily. I was once the only female employee working in an office of men. I was never treated better or with more respect. I was also promoted and advanced rapidly. My male coworkers were nothing but supportive and helpful. Then we hired more women and the scheming and backstabbing started. Everything went to hell and I quit. To this day I refuse to work for or with women. I remember listening to these bitches, sweet as pie, telling another girl how gorgeous her new hairstyle was, and when out of ear shot carved her up. A few minutes later little miss haircut and one bitch number one were carving up bitch number two who was then out of ear shot. There was constant whining and complaining, and demanding behavior. Give me all male coworkers any time.
November 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMariette Bouroughs
This may sound crazy, but I heard about this from http://cdacontracting.com when they were working on my house. This has reached farther than you have realized.
January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZoe
Great read!
March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSen C.
Some interesting stuffs here women always want to get into a guys club
May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
June 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjeax
I guess women have to do the same man do but playing hard to get
July 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdwords Monterrey
women have to be better than men, do the same they do but even better, thats how they survive on a mens club. http://www.paginauno.net
July 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdwords Monterrey
Interesting isn't it how women constantly not only want access to, but want to infiltrate and control any organization that is strictly male. And, of course they must be accommodated no matter what the implications to men. Yet, men have no interest or desire to enter into any organization that is strictly female. If a man does enter into an all female space - example a woman's gym he is told to leave or the cops will be called and he will be removed. If a woman wants to work out in an all male gym she must not only be allowed to do so, a special area must be created for her and other women. I know, I own a gym. Just another example of hypocritical feminist hatred that has fuck all to do with "equality." incidentally, I am at present lobbying to get feminism classified as a hate movement similar to Nazism and the KKK.
November 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMRM
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January 16, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteradmin
Great article

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