Men. Reading this blog could save you from being murdered to death by your spouse, sister, mother or female co-worker. If at any point in your life you walked by a woman, noticed her expression and told her to smile, you are in extreme danger. I’m not shitting you. Your coffee is probably being poisoned while you read this.
One of the most irritatingly condescending things you can say to a woman is, “You look so serious. You should smile more.”
When I’m at work, I’m focusing my attention on my job. I’m not worried that my expression might not be pleasant. I’m doing my. fucking. job. Do you smile when you’re staring at your computer screen or reading a 50-page legal document? Of course not, because that’s fucking ridiculous.
Women have laughed these comments off for a long time, making jokes about Bitchy Resting Face and such, but guess what, guys? Men have Bitchy Resting Face all the time but nobody calls them on it–because women don’t give a shit. We figure you’re working and we would NEVER DREAM of suggesting you smile.
If I’m staring vacuously at my computer with a smile on my face, that would be bad. If I’m giggling stupidly for no apparent reason, I’ve lost my marbles.
I would bet you $1 million you’ve never walked by a male co-worker, saw him focused on his work and felt the need to tell him to “Just smile.”
Even Carly Fiorina, a candidate for the position of president of the United States, was told to smile more during the debate. Fuck that. Did anyone comment that Ben Carson or Marco Rubio took running for national office too seriously? Fuck no.
I’m 100 percent certain no one walked by Einstein as he was working on his little Theory of Relativity and said, “Hey, Al. You look so serious. Lighten up.” Gandhi, John Kennedy, Martin Luther; no one told them to look happy, smile more or stop looking so stern.
I’m aware that when I’m focused I don’t have a smile on my face. If I’m concentrating on a particularly hard piano piece, trying to figure out how to put a fucking IKEA dresser together, even writing a HUMOR blog, my expression is not happy. It doesn’t mean I’m NOT happy, it just means I’m, what’s the word? Thinking!!!
If you’re reading this and have been offended, that was not my intention. I’m just letting you know what EVERY female in the ENTIRE WORLD is thinking when you say, “Just smile.”
So, lighten up, guys. Put a smile on that face.
This is one of my pet peeves. I will never forget being a teen who worked and went to school. I was walking fast through a mall and a stranger sitting on a bench told me to smile. I was stunned. Have heard this plenty of times since then. Yes, it is sexist. It is impossible to smile and think deeply at the same time.
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Yes, if you’re thinking deeply and smiling, you’re probably a sociopath. Thanks for reading!
So funny! Thanks, Peri. So much honesty wrapped in a wicked sense of humor. I’ve already sent the link to a slew of my favorite female colleagues.
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Thanks for reading, Lisa! You’d better be smiling!