This marks my first ever Daily Prompt Post. What could go wrong with this challenge, it’s all about responding to short and quick prompts and seeing if I’m capable of writing more. I’ll limit myself to 500 words, maybe less if I start writing after 1am.
So, I see the word ‘moody’ as a gendered insult. This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me personally, I always find myself subconsciously gravitating to the feminist spin on any given topic. However, this was a very natural, even obvious, gravitation. The average, quietly misogynistic man cannot stand to see women as anything other than super smiley and sugary sweet, it’s too challenging for their fragile male ego. So if she steps out of line, there are a series of euphemistic insults that on the surface may seem like throwaway comments, but are all part of an insidious, yet omnipresent sexist culture. I’m talking about words like ‘moody’ or ‘feisty’ or ‘unlikeable’. These are words specifically reserved for women who are, in some way or another, a threat to their male counterparts, yet pose no real threat. By threat, I again mean threat to their ego. They’re not abusive, manipulative or selfish. These are the women who are simply unafraid to say no to certain advances or hide the fact that sometimes they don’t feel like smiling. Due to the fact that the word ‘moody’ is seemingly inoffensive, it forces women to suppress any emotional responses to this for fear of being called something worse, or overreacting, which means that men don’t get called out on their problematic behaviour. And this is something that extends beyond the ‘playful banter’ of professional or personal relationships. Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, who created the photo series Stop Telling Women to Smile, used this as a platform to protest gender based street harassment. There’s nothing worse than a random man walking past you and commenting ‘give us a smile, love’. Fuck off.
Of course, along with the accusation of being ‘moody’ comes the loathsome question ‘are you on your period?’ Don’t forget, these are the men that will probably also shudder at the word ‘tampon’ and have no basic understanding of how a period works and therefore has no business asking this question. Where did this come from? When did we start telling this lie that for a few days every single month, all the cis women of the world suddenly turn into vengeful, hyperactive psychopaths? By reducing a woman’s emotions down to nothing more than a bad mood allows men to shy away from responsibility to right their wrongs or even do their part in making her feel better, it’s just a bad mood, she’ll get better, it’s not my fault.
I’m literally too moody to keep writing.