So, I was sitting here working while my housemate was watching the television. An ad-break came on, during which I heard the refrain 'Here come the girls...' My reaction was quite extreme: I think the correct phrase is 'my blood boiled'.
I suddenly realised I had a profound loathing for the false gender-identities projected by the media. While men and women do have slightly different wobbly bits we are fundamentally the same species, and I find myself increasingly annoyed by the fractious, factious way in which gender differences are presented.
It starts when you're a baby. Walk down the infant aisles of any toy shop and you'll see what looks like a tactical battle-map of baby-blue and pastel pink intended to genderise us before we can even figure out where our own toes are.
With these gender lines drawn, childhood sets about reinforcing them. Certain toys are deemed 'appropriate' for certain genders, and parents not-so-subtly nudge their offspring into stereotyped roles in order to ensure their kid isn't pointed out as 'the funny peculiar one' at school and mobbed like a peculiarly hued crow... or a Muslim.
Adulthood offers no respite. Conversely, the situation worsens in relation to our spending power. According to marketing firms and the media, women are superficial, materialistic, overly-emotional airheads who only care about babies, their weight, Davina's hair-style of choice and whether Kerry Fucking Katona is fat/in rehab this week.
Worse, we hear phrases like 'us girls have got to stick together' and 'men are from Mars, women are from Venus'.
As a bloke I prefer to decide who I spend my time with based on shared values and tastes rather than the fact that we both stand up to pee. I like logical, clear people whose motivations and beliefs are consistent, well-considered and understandable (and preferably geeks in my case).
I imagine a majority of women feel similarly (bar the geeks bit).
Women: next time you hear 'Here come the girls' ask yourself if you feel included in their perfumed, vacuous number. I know a majority of you don't, just like many of us 'guys' aren't obsessed with shaving, football or beer.
We'll love you just as you are.