Since time immemorial, experts have taken it upon themselves to instruct women in the art of conversing with men. Here’s an example from Emily Post’s The Blue Book of Social Usage, one of the most popular etiquette manuals of the early 20th century:
Another helpful thing, if you are a woman talking to a man, is to askadvice. ‘We want to motor through the south. Do you know about the roads?’ Or, ‘I’m thinking of buying a radio. Which make do you think is best?’ In fact, it is sage to ask his opinion on almost anything.
In the 1920s, apparently, you broke the ice at parties by asking the nearest man to mansplain something. At home with your own husband, though, you could just sit back and listen. According to a mid-century ‘guide for brides’, ‘once or twice in an evening is quite sufficient for a…
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You know what’s the most frequently asked question in my life?
“Why are you so emo?”
It comes in several different forms: “Why are you so angsty?” “Why are you always so mad?” “Why do you never smile?”
The answer is very simple: smiling is painful. It literally hurts my face to smile more than a minute straight, even when I’m having a good time around people I like. Who the hell decided to make outstretched, curved lips the universal expression of happiness? It’s physically exhausting, like holding a coffee mug in your palm for an extended period of time. But some people can smile for hours on end like their jaws were born ajar. I used to think those people were phony as fuck until I got to know a few of them and discovered that they’re the sweetest people ever. That’s when I realized that I’m the phony one, baring my teeth like a fucking…
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