by Kristine Kimmel
Is it hormones or did being a woman become a lot HARDER in the last few years? Lately you feel like setting something on fire. I'm not taking about that amazing scented candle in your bathroom that your bestie got you for your last birthday. Oh, hell no. I'm talking city blocks. Now, before you go do something silly like commit grand larceny, set down your torch and settle in.
Full disclosure: I'm not a doctor, and I'm no scientist, I'm barely qualified to write this, but I am an expert on your infuriated state. Why? Because I am your Ambassador of Rage, self- appointed.
1. HEY MAMA
You had some kids and not only do you love them, you even like them most of the time. They are cute AF, but on some days they can make you so infuriated you long to get in your family friendly sedan, change your identity and start a new life. Something less stressful, like a drug runner for a Colombian cartel - your new name is Colette Dupree. But what makes you even angrier than the garbage behavior your kid pulls at bedtime arises from our countries lack of social support services for families.
Aside from some subsidies for families at the lowest end of the economic spectrum, the U.S. has zero government-funded childcare and that makes you lose your mind. Before you had kids, you kind of knew about this but you were too busy fighting the pro-choice fight. And good for you. Then you had a kid or more and grim reality set in. You really want to go wave a sign about it in front of a building, but you are also SO. VERY. TIRED.
2. SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY
Surprise! You aren't making as much as that guy doing the same thing as you and you are working as hard as he is. Let's be honest, you are working harder. So, there's that. But I also need to go back to the kid thing. Did you have a kid and take any time off? You may be one of those lucky women who has a full time job that you could go back to after a generous maternity leave, and that's great. But, you may be like many women, whether by choice or necessity, who takes a couple years off to see Gideon through potty training and now you can't get any of your professional contacts to return your emails.
Does it make you feel better to know you aren't alone? Because not only did the whole professional world forget about you, now you have to figure out what you can do that pays enough to justify child care. Because childcare takes all your money, amirite?
3. LET'S PRETEND WE'RE MARRIED
I would love to talk about all the types of relationships. But I am only qualified to discuss mine and it's marriage with a white dude who has a German accent and adds ketchup to everything. Feel free to skip ahead if you are like UM, NOT MY SCENE. But if you are, like me, married or co-habitating with a cis male, or maybe you just split household duties with someone who is under the impression that they do a lot more than they do, this might also apply to you. Question: How is that splitting up of the home and child care duties going? Feel like it's an even-steven split? Yeah, didn't think so. Turns out even men that don't have jobs, do less housework than women. RAGE ON GIRLFRIEND, RAGE ON.
4. CAN'T SMILE WITHOUT YOU
Remember how mad you used to get when strange men who were strangers would tell you to smile? Great news, this is likely no longer part of your life. Once you move(d) past your "last fuckable day," which changes depending on where you live, (in Los Angeles it's 28), men don't care if you smile, frown or scream for help while being mauled by an angry bear. I suspect some men would pay good money to watch women over age 30 fight to stay alive versus angry bears on Pay Per View. Should I pitch this to execs? Look, do you want to see women our age represented on TV or not? You are super relieved that men don't tell you to smile anymore because you give zero fucks about what men think about you. But, these same creepers have moved on to new prey- your teen daughters, nieces, and friend's daughters and it makes you want to rethink your anti-gun activism and START. PACKING. HEAT.
Read more: Five Things No Woman Over 40 Should Wear
5. SHE'S GOT THE LOOK
Here is a sampling of things you may hear: "You look great for your age!" "Or, you look SO YOUNG!" "Your skin looks really good. What are you using?" All of these messages are meant as compliments but also remind you that youth must be preserved at all costs. There is nothing of value in just the sheer nature of sticking the fuck around and gaining wisdom and experience.
You may also get the compliment wrapped in a big fat bow of condescension to other women: "I'm so glad you aren't one of those women who tries to dress like a 28-year- old," or, "I'm glad you don't wear a bunch of make-up. It just makes women your age look older." Dear world: How about I dress and age however the hell I want and you can just keep your comments to yourself??? Women are not walking billboards for your opinions of them. How about you ask an interesting question that has nothing to do with our appearance. Close your eyes and pretend you are asking a man a question and proceed from there. FUCKING HELL!
6. ONLY WOMEN BLEED
Remember how your period used to be like NBD? You were weepy for a couple days and then you sailed through the next five days to seven days like the brilliant rock star goddess that you are. You barely even knew you had a period. Maybe you cried one time and ate a little ice cream. Maybe you cried a lot and smoked two packs of cigarettes. Maybe you didn't cry at all and did blow with a Japanese businessman. I don't know your life! Now you know your period is coming because at least 10 days before you start thinking how you wouldn't mind going to prison for murder because then at least you'd get away from all of these fuckwits doing you wrong (every person). Your actual period is The Red Wedding followed by a six to eight hour window where you feel like having sex that never coincides with the person you have sex with, and then the rest of the month you spend actually barking at people like a rabid pit bull. Also, you're probably overdue for a mammogram because you get one every two weeks now.
7. SHE'S LOST CONTROL
I'm not talking about the pee that comes out when you go jogging to the freezer to get your Chardonnay. I'm referring to the massive rollback on our reproductive rights in the last few years. We have unprecedented and unlimited choices in our lives, just not when it comes to when we want to have children. Sadly, while pro-life advocates claim to be protecting children, Texas' recent restrictions hurt abused and neglected teens the most.
Republicans have established themselves as firmly pro-life yet they consistently send the message that they only care about that life while it's in the womb. Whether they are fighting to repeal Obamacare, cut education programs, remove child tax credits for immigrants, cut Medicare and Medicaid, cut food stamps, and slash funds to environmental protections. Isn't it wild because I just got done talking about how everyone feels like it's totes okay to police our outsides, but our insides are actually controlled by law. What the FUCKING FUCK? MATCHES LIT.
8. GIRL, YOU'LL BE A WOMAN SOON
I love young people. I grew two of them in my body, and many of my friends are substantially younger than me. I count on them to keep me hip and cool, by shaming me for using words like hip and cool. But what's up with all of these millennials who don't think they need feminism? I'm not talking about all the millennial women that plan to support Bernie in the polls instead of Hillary. I am sure plenty of them are feminists despite my hero of Gloria Steinem's claim (that she later apologized for) that it's because "the boys are with Bernie." But, there is this movement of young women who not only don't identify as feminists but also are actually against feminism? They call themselves Women Against Feminism, and I was disappointed to see they are in no way connected to the hilarious satire Twitter account @WomenAgainstFeminism which you should follow immediately. Although, my initial reaction was to make jokes and mock them, I have to agree with the writer Emily Shure who warned in her Daily Beast post, "You Don't Hate Feminism, You Just Don't Understand It":
"Mocking Women Against Feminism validates their argument that they don't belong in the movement and affirms their belief that feminism has no space for them. We — and by "we," I mean feminists — need to be the bigger person in this battle."
Okay, fine then. We are here for you when you need us. You silly, silly shits.
9. THE WORST OFFENDER OF ALL.
This came out of nowhere and now it's taking over your life. I'm talking about CHIN HAIR.
Here we are at the bottom.
Did you notice there is no number 10? It's not because I am lazy. We know what number 10 is. It's that motherfucker presumptive GOP nominee whose name I won't type. The guy does not need any more press.
We are angry, we are raging, and we are pure fury. What should we do with all this white-hot rage? I mean, we could drink, scream, punch things. We could turn it inside ourselves and watch as it transforms into crushing sadness. I've done all of these things and more and it got me nowheresville.
OR, here's a thought! What if we did something proactive like vote for people who support the causes we believe in? We could give a little money RIGHT NOW to the organizations that do good things. If giving money isn't an option, how about giving some of your time? Write an angry letter! I know you can do that. I see how pissed you are.