Before I start today’s blog post I’d like to say congratulations to Kahmila and Joanna who are the winners of the ‘Bitch is the New Black’ competition. I hope you both enjoy the book as much as I did!
Right! Today’s topic…
I must learn to stop talking to strangers. Seriously! All too often I find myself engrossed in deep conversation with people who could easily be concealing deadly weapons. We all know London isn’t the safest place on earth so it’s not exactly wise to speak at length with just anyone. The problem is I’m a sucker for a good conversation.
For instance, the other night I went out with some of my girlfriend’s. During the course of the evening we were approached by two men that looked vaguely familiar (as in Facebook/Twitter/perhaps you were on a TV show familiar). By the time I figured out they were strangers (emphasis on the strange) it was too late to escape.
Sidebar: Technically it wasn’t too late but my friends and I had (foolishly) accepted a round of drinks. I’m trying to break myself from the bondage of being that woman that loves free things so much she can be enticed by them. I’m failing.
Despite the men being strange(rs) we soon found we had a few things to talk about. Unfortunately despite how nice people may be they can never resist the temptation to draw conclusions on others based on a limited interaction. One of the men had the gall to turn around to my friend and say…..
‘I’d be very shocked if you’re married by 35’
At that moment my heart sank as I realised he'd uttered a statement that could potentially cost him a testicle. You see the worse thing you can tell an unhappily single woman (who’s tottering over the line between sanity and insanity) is she’s not getting married for another 7 years.
Convinced that my friend was soon going to duplicate the angry black woman stereotype the media seems enamoured with, I began looking around for an exit I could escort her through with minimal embarrassment .Yet much to my surprise all she did was laugh and say….
‘Why do you think that?’
The man then launched into what my friends and I have now dubbed ‘The Average Chick Theory’. I don’t agree with it. I despise it. I think the theory is flawed, archaic, simplistic and borderline chauvinistic. There’s something about the term ‘average’ that riles me up and I think when this man uses the word average he’s unintentionally using the wrong adjective. The word he’s looking for is docile.
Moreover I refuse to believe the majority of men are this unsophisticated and that the theory reflects their thinking. Nevertheless his theory is an interesting one and he even managed to convince a few of my friends, so I thought I’d share it here.
The Average Chick Theory
‘Average chicks are easier for the male ego to cope with, so they’re snapped up quicker. If you all want to live happily ever after, learn to Be Average.’
According to this man, women don’t realise that being successful, ambitious, attractive and strong is a deadly combination. Apparently by being all these things at once women are acting as their own (long term) cock blockers. If you’re the type of woman that wants to settle down whilst your womb is usable and before you need anti-aging serum, the best bet is to ‘Be Average’. You can’t have it all or even give the impression you’re in pursuit of having it all. Why?
On a basic level there’s a cruel numbers game at work. As we know already there are more women than men. No matter what category a woman is in, whether it’s 'above average', 'average' or ‘procreate with her at your peril’, the demand for men will always outstrip the supply of men. This general numerical disadvantage is worsened when a women is above average because two things occur….
1) The pool of available men decreases further
2) She faces fiercer (and more unscrupulous) competition when trying to bag a man in her league
Now in light 1 + 2 you’d think for a woman who is ‘above average’, focusing on staying that way is a good thing? Apparently not.
The man went on to use a rather crude car analogy to illustrate why this isn’t the case. Apparently women who have it all are akin to luxury cars. Every man would love one, but few men can afford to attain and maintain one. Consequently average women/cars will always be in higher demand and more likely to be purchased. A man may take a luxury car for a spin, but it doesn't mean he's buying! More problematically, the type of man that can afford a luxury car/woman is unlikely to want just one. As he can have more, human nature dictates he’s probably going to want more. Hence why rich successful men have a propensity for cheating on their seemingly perfect wives.
Average women always win in the long term not only because they're in higher demand but crucially because they know they’re average. As such they rarely have delusions of grandeur, are more willing to compromise, set the bar lower and therefore have more options. Whereas women deemed 'above average' have a habit of setting the bar at a point most men can’t reach.
The man ended his misogynistic lecture with the words….
‘I mean you’re all on the right track for having a great life but just know it’s probably going to be a lonely one. Regardless of your gender success is an isolating factor. But it’s far worse for women than men. Sometimes being average isn’t so bad....’
Now although anecdotal evidence suggests successful women are more likely to be single, I refuse to attribute the reason to this theory. I’m even contemplating writing a rebuttal! In the meantime I want all your views (especially some male perspective). Is he right? Are women better off adopting the ‘Be Average’ mantra? Or is there some other cause behind this effect? Weigh in and let me know your thoughts!