I was trying to figure out why the people who bring out this particular magazine had specifically chosen the August edition to pay tribute to women. Then I remembered. Both the publisher and the editor are men. And this is winter. What better way to get a little credit in the love bank than by devoting an entire issue to women?
“Look, honey,” said the editor. “I have given your kind their very own edition. Now take your top off, drizzle honey over your magnificent breasts and come here.”
I was sharing my insight with the Bad Yellow-Eyed Woman when she turned on me without warning and wooden spooned me in the solar plexus. Using language unbefitting a toilet-trained person, she pointed out that since August was Women’s Month, it was far more likely that the magazine’s management was simply in step with the rest of the non-Neanderthal world.
I sloped off into the garden, knuckles dragging on the floor, to lick my wounds and plot my revenge. It wasn’t long before I became distracted by a six-pack of beer hidden behind the bougainvillea for use in times of emergency. I abandoned my nefarious scheming on the grounds that drinking would accomplish better results and also because women generally suffer enough, what with period pains, childbirth, skewed logic, the inability to tolerate criticism and so on.
Instead I came up with my own programme of events to celebrate Women’s Month in 2017. There will be none of the cultural performances, poetry readings and workshops that make this such a dreary month.
Here are some of the activities that will take place next year.
- Catholic women will dress up as priests and take charge of church services around the world without risk of assassination by the Vatican’s holy hitmen. Priests will be expected to dress as nuns and sit quietly at the back with their legs crossed.
- Married women get the week off to relax in bed without once being coerced into having sex.
- All cooking, cleaning and child-related chores are delegated to the husband/boyfriend (or the proxy of his choice) for the duration of the week.
- Women are given the freedom of the cities enabling them to visit bars and clubs on their own, in pairs or in packs and hit on men as and when they see fit without fear of picking up a nasty label. When they return home in the early hours of the morning, they are entitled to slap, punch or kick their men no more than three times with the understanding that there will be no hard feelings the next day.
- Women get to sexually harass their male bosses without fear of retribution. If the idea of fondling the CEO’s bum simply doesn’t bear thinking about, employers can instead be spoken to in sarcastic, disdainful, patronising and/or imperious tones.
- A cosmetics, body maintenance and diet-free week. Women may look as dirty, plain and unattractive as they wish without being publicly denigrated or denied entry to their homes or places of work.
- The Women’s Grand Prix takes place at Kyalami. Classes will be according to colour and not engine size. In other words, red cars versus red cars, silver cars versus silver cars and so on. Categories will include Most Vulgar Hand Signal, Least Concern for Other Drivers and Fastest Lap Combined With Best Application of Makeup.
- Women get to play with the army and navy’s new toys. They may also stage their own war games in False Bay with the understanding that the firing of live shells at Fish Hoek is encouraged.
- Each married woman receives a Get Out Of Trouble card to be used if and when she gets caught having an affair.
- An expropriation from the defence budget frees up enough money to give every South African woman a hair appointment courtesy of the state.
- MaKhumalo takes the reigns from hubby Jacob for a day. She gets to chair a Cabinet meeting attended only by the ministers’ wives. None of the female ministers will be allowed to attend since they already know what power tastes like. During the meeting, the ‘ministers’ will be empowered to make any decisions that take their fancy. Should they, for example, adopt a motion to redecorate parliament or invade Zimbabwe, operational costs will be borne by the taxpayer.
- Free yoga sessions or military training from the Chinese.