There are so many stereotypes attatched to being a woman. Though, over the years, several have faded away, many still persist. It’s these pre-conceived notions that comedian Bisha K Ali’s Facebook post addresses.
In a post on “Some stuff people say to other humans”, Ali’s penned down over 60 sentences that women hear in their life — they may hear all, or most — either which way, it’s all within the same circumference.
The sentences range from exclamations to intrusive questions, from judgement calls to rhetorics. Sample this from the London-based comedian: “You can’t dress like that for work, too much leg and too much cleavage. You’re dressed inappropriately. ‘Aaah I’m so hungover, I got wasted last night and went home with this fit bird but I didn’t even get her name, haha.’ Your outfit is distracting in the workplace. You’re gorgeous, I can’t believe you don’t have a boyfriend! You don’t have a boyfriend because you don’t take care of yourself.”
The post has garnered a massive response and has been shared a few thousand times. Ali, a stand-up comedian, told Buzzfeed that the post was a result of a comedy act she was working on centred around the expectation from women in a society. “The fact that this resonates with people shows how far we have to go in making active changes to the way we treat each other,” she said.
Full text of the post:
“You’re so adorable! You’re gonna be a heartbreaker one day. Your daughter’s so well behaved. Aren’t you pretty? If you give me a smile I’ll give you an extra one too. Do you like princesses? Girls aren’t ghostbusters, they’re princesses! You don’t like princesses? Aah you’re a tomboy, that’s cool too. Tomboys are always popular with the boys, but for the wrong reasons. If you want to get a boyfriend you’re better off not being a tomboy. Aren’t you a little young to be dating? Are you really going to wear that outfit? You’ll give people the wrong idea.
Why don’t you show off some skin? Dress a little nicer, that way you’ll be able to find someone. No one’s gonna notice you dressed like that. Never on a first date. What do you mean you don’t feel ready, this is the third date? Frigid b***h.
You f***ed him on a first date? What a slut. Have you seen how she dresses? She’s begging for attention. You read comics? You must like all the attention you get from the guys. Oh you like videogames? It’s not gonna score you any points you know.
You can’t dress like that for work, too much leg and too much cleavage. You’re dressed inappropriately. “Aaah I’m so hungover, I got wasted last night and went home with this fit bird but I didn’t even get her name, haha.” Your outfit is distracting in the workplace. You’re gorgeous, I can’t believe you don’t have a boyfriend! You don’t have a boyfriend because you don’t take care of yourself. If you don’t love yourself, how will anyone ever love you?
I can’t date someone who has been with more people than me, or who makes more money than me. Are you taking contraception? I don’t want to deal with all of that, so you should take care of it. Why are you taking contraception? Is it cause you’re sleeping around? He’s not good enough for you, you’re way out of his league. Why are you so stuck up? You should care more about what’s on the inside. He’s stunning, he’s way out of your league. When are you going to settle down?
Congratulations on your engagement, do you think you’ll take his name? It’s traditional, some traditions are just nice to keep up. You’re not changing your name to his, are you? Aren’t you an independent, free thinking woman?
You don’t want kids? But being a mother is part of being a woman. A family isn’t complete without children, I have no idea why you wouldn’t want kids. You’re pregnant! That’s amazing. Did you plan it? Are you going to carry on working? So you’re going to be a stay at home Mum, huh? A housekeeper? Yeah they say it’s a “full time job.” You’re having a kid but you’re going to carry on with your career? Yeah, good luck with that. How can you abandon your children and let someone else raise them while you carry on working? People shouldn’t have kids if they can’t care for them.
Oh wow, she’s so adorable! She’s gonna be a heartbreaker some day.”
– Some stuff people say to other humans.”
The fact that Ali ends with the line “Oh wow, she’s so adorable! She’s gonna be a heartbreaker some day” suggests that cyclical way in which these stereotypes are transferred from one generation to another.