I’m a 26-year-old American woman, which means that people assume I have a specific set of interests, usually falling into some kind of bell curve of femininity. And while there are definitely things that are “typically” female that I love – white wine, Real Housewives, DIY home decor – there are many things that I don’t.
And based on my very loose research of “my friends and the extended group of girls I know,” these five things seem to be the most common culprits in terms of “shit you think we care about, but we don’t actually care about at all.” Stop assuming we want to talk all day about this stuff, cause we’re probably tired of hearing about it.
Weddings. I know I am not just speaking for myself when I say that wedding talk may be amongst the most tedious subjects in the entire world of communication. Spending hours poring over place settings and dress necklines and thrilling DJ options may be really fascinating when you’re the one getting married (I wouldn’t know), but I have rarely met someone whose duty as a bridesmaid didn’t leave her at least slightly traumatized. Not only is this not your wedding, even though you’re spending a bunch of money for it, you also get to be subjected to in-depth wedding chat for at least a year leading up to the ceremony.
People tend to assume that women have a limitless capacity to talk about the ins and outs of weddings – and that we view the whole thing as some sort of enormous cultural competition with our friends – but the truth is a lot of us would much rather spend that money on a down payment for a house or something, and the idea of listening to someone go into detail about their process of choosing a modern-yet-rustic barn for the venue makes us break out in hives.
Weight loss. Okay, yes, I do know some women who are obsessed with talking about weight loss, and it sucks. But I would argue that most women, when they talk about food, are more interested in talking about overall health. And considering the food culture in which we live, it’s not an unreasonable thing to make a topic of conversation.
I personally am interested in talking about eating healthier, swapping recipes, experimenting with different techniques to feel better and have more energy, sure. But as soon as the topic becomes “aRe We rEaDy FoR BiKinI sEaSon” I go a little deaf. Losing weight strictly to lose it is not interesting, and it’s kind of offensive to assume that women just want to be a size six, while men are interested in gaining muscle, being active, and getting the right nutrition. Women can be (and are) interested in health without obsessing over the five pounds they lost, or constantly talking about their diets. In fact, I would argue that I know far more women than men who are actually interested in learning better ways to eat at home (including specific recipes), and making nutrition a more integral part of their lives.
Getting Married. Again, yes, I do know some women who are/were obsessed with when a guy was going to ~~put a ring on it~~, but I could count them on one hand. The vast majority of women I know are interested in anything but getting married, and are much more concerned with finding happiness and fulfillment as individuals, and in their professional lives, than they are in nailing a man down à la Carrie and Big. It’s ridiculous (and retro) to assume that women approaching 30 are interested in The Rock and nothing else, or that we still define ourselves as a group by who is and isn’t married. In fact, I would argue that most of the women I know are avoiding the prospect of getting married because it’s a logistical and financial nightmare that will take a serious amount of dedication for the time you need to plan it, and they’re way too focused on other parts of their lives for now.
“Fashion”. I know a lot of women who love clothes, style, and a good day of shopping (myself included), yet I know very few who are into “fashion” as an idea, or know anything about what it really means. I literally know maybe one person in my everyday life who would be capable of identifying a designer handbag, or who lusts after Louboutins, or who devours fashion magazines to stay on top of the latest trends (or even knows what constitutes a trend anymore, with the internet moving everything so quickly).
The truth is that fashion as a concept and industry is really inaccessible to most women (often intentionally so), and even if you could fit in or be flattered by a lot of these clothes, the chance that you could afford any of it is pretty much slim to none. Yes, a woman might like dressing herself nicely or pursuing her own sense of style, but assuming a woman knows Chanel from Chloe is pretty naïve.
Celebrities. This one is the funniest to me, because keeping up on “celebrity gossip” as a whole seems like a full-time gig, and I don’t know anyone who really has the time for it. The truth is that women, like most normal human beings, have their own particular set of interests and people they are interested, and tend to follow them with varying amounts of vigor. Everyone has their group or type of celeb they’re into – and yes, sports stars count, too, guys – and they tend to know about them. But a woman knowing a lot about what Chris Evans has been up to this year is no more strange than a guy knowing every stat about Richard Sherman and what he posted on Twitter the other day.
In any case, though, it’s insane to assume that a woman would just have some kind of mental rolodex of what is going on with every celebrity, simply because she likes a few of them. Just because she’s obsessed with Tom Hiddleston or Nicki Minaj doesn’t mean she knows who Cameron Diaz is dating, or when Coldplay’s next album is due out. And yet men often have a tendency to assume that women just know everything about every famous person, because we love “gossip.” The truth is that everybody loves gossip: They just love gossip about the people that they actually care about.