Holy cow! A Catholic blog with a link to Germaine Greer! But as a matter of fact, Greer's The Whole Woman (1998) impressed me enormously for her myth-trashing attitude towards men.
Greer blunted stated that men are just as nasty to weaker men, if not more, as they are to women. She also stated that women want to hang out with men more than men want to hang out with women. She observed that the only female relational role anyone seems to care about nowadays is Wife, and in stirring terms she described women's lust to give, to pour out our endeavours as love-gifts (like a great-aunt constantly knitting unwanted pullovers) before our at least somewhat oblivious or ungrateful male beloveds.
Greer's advice was to stop being so obsessed with being where the men are. "Stop chasing men," she seemed to say. And in the Telegraph article to which I link above, she seems to say that is okay for men to be on their own some of the time. It is okay for them to have their own clubs. It is foolish to force private clubs to welcome members they don't want just because those members are female.
This, I think, is enormously sane. I was about to write approvingly about Boys' Nights Out, but then I was distracted by the memory of my Girls' Night Out, which was last night. Three 30-something Women of our Parish (if you count me as 39 + 1) met at the top of Harvey Nichols department store, surveyed its boring bar and left for the much more inspiring mock 1890s black-and-gold cocktail lounge around the corner. As our pregnant member preferred "an early night" we joined the thin, quiet, after-work crowd. We were dressed somewhat soberly, but to the nines, incidentally. The non-pregnant wore pumps.
Three well-educated expat Trad Mass-loving women all chatted merrily together under a very Art Nouveau ceiling with cocktails for the non-pregnant and soda for the pregnant. It felt all very sophisticated, grand and grown-up. But then there was a loud shriek from the doorway from the bar-lounge to the restaurant where we were now seated.
A woman in the prime of life and flashy clothes paused there dramatically with her arms outstretched to the rather large group of bottle-blondes at the biggest table. I wouldn't swear to this in court, but her cry sounded like "PETE-ZAAAAAA!" Her pose reminded me of Samantha returning to her friends in Sex & the City the Movie (don't, I beg you, see it). There were answering female cries from the table, and the tone of the classy joint dropped like a can of fake tan.
The bar-lounge was now packed with groups of noisy women. There were some groups of men, and there were one or two mixed groups, but women definitely outnumbered the men. This surprised me, for this is never true of the pubs my husband frequents. The pubs are quieter, too, the patrons less flashy.
So as I think approvingly of Boys' Nights Out, the great amusement my husband has in occasionally meeting up with his university pals and drinking stunning amounts of beer while looking at old photos and repeating old jokes, I think somewhat less approvingly of the loud Girls' Nights Out in my new town. Do they have to be so noisy and unpleasant? Obviously they don't, but they so frequently are that I wonder what the participants are trying to prove? If it's that they can be as brash and noisy as men, they have rather exceeded their goal. If it's that they don't care what men think, they have rather forgotten that they are visible (and audible) to both sexes. And, if that's what women act like in groups nowadays, it shouldn't be a surprise that exclusive men's clubs don't want us.
What I hope for is a happy medium. We shouldn't chase men, but we shouldn't go out of our way to disgust them either.