Feminine Hi-jinx…

????????????????????????????????????????I’m not a feminist OK.  Before you start on that old chestnut.  Or more accurately I’m not just a feminist.  I’m a feminist and a masculist.  Put those together and whaddaya got – I’m an equalist.

I am equally concerned about the equal equality of women and men…. um equally.  OK.

Now, I guess I used to be a feminist.  I read “The Female Eunuch”, and “The Women’s Room”, and “The Beauty Myth”, and “Backlash”, and I tried to read “Women who run with  the Wolves” (Sorry Clarissa Pinkola Estés, I couldn’t get on with it).  And yes, I agreed with an awful lot of what they had to say.

I found myself one lunch time in my favourite book shop in Balmain (no I’m not a basket weaving lesbian, and no, I don’t live in Balmain).  So, I’m in the book shop and I head for my usual spot, which is essentially the Mind, Body, and Soul section.   Not even sure if we used that classification back then.  It may have been “Self Help” or Lord knows what.  Anyway you get the gist.

Something next to the section dealing with Feminist literature – Fem-lit if you will – caught my eye.  It fairly jumped out at me.  It shouted.  It screamed and it yelled, and it said, “F**king look at me will you”, “You think you’ve got it all sorted out do you.”  “You think you understand how things are”.  “Well, read me, I’ll shake you up”.

Now, that was a challenge, ‘cos I really did.  I really did think that all my Feminist text reading had given me a good picture of the “War of the Sexes” (and I hate that expression).

The book in question was Steve Biddulph’s ‘Manhood’.

At first I kind of thought, “Ha, Manhood, get it, like as in Penis”.  “Ha, that’s funny.”, and I’m pretty confident that the double entendre was likewise titter-worth for Steve and his publishers !!

So, I bought the company (Thanks Victor Kiam).  No, I mean, I bought the book.

I those days I almost always read at night.  Before going to sleep.  I read a lot more now, as it’s part of my job – YES, it is… if one is a writer, then one absolutely has to be a reader.  Anyhow, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it like Clag.  No idea why that was relevant, in fact it wasn’t, but hey, stream of consciousness and all that…

Later that evening, ready for bed.  (No, I didn’t have a lover at the time, if I had then I sure as Libido wouldn’t have been reading !!).

I started reading ‘Manhood’ at around 10pm.  I finished it at about 2am.  I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.  I know that expression is used a lot about books – quote unputdownable unquote, but, I truly could not stop reading it… I was so so tired, but I continued reading.

I cried within the first few pages.  I cried when I read the statistics about men and depression, men and suicide, men and “one car accidents” AKA suicide; then read case studies about men and confusion, men and emotional pain.  Cried my little eyes out.

This book totally opened my tear reddened eyes to the fact that a lot of men are in pain.  Prior to that I was sure that they were fine and were simply happy CAUSING pain for women.

This is my Book Club style recommendation.

EVERYONE in the entire cosmos should read Steve Biddulph’s ‘Manhood’.


Next week my lovelies, Alone again, naturally.


rooshkie  x

Cheers Dreamstime.com.au for the shudder-worth image of the beefy cowboy protecting his… erm… masculinity !!




Here’s a picture of some wood.

(continuation of my ‘WTF happened to Sydney in the last decade’ series…)

Take barbies for example, no, not the plastic female-aspiration-warping toy, I’m using the Aussie vernacular for an outdoor hot meal.  We no longer have proper barbies (I’m talking Sydney here… country folk probably do).  Everyone cooks on gas in their ‘outdoor rooms’ dahling (thank you Jamie Durie … who I secretly love), by their donkey-coloured rendered macmansions.

A barbie is meant to be one half of a ten gallon drum, very dangerously cut with evil power tools by some well-hard blokes… thankfully no loss of fingers ensue.  A few holes drilled in the bottom for drainage – chocked up (love that expression) on some makeshift legs, with a slab of iron on the top.  Done like a dogs’ dinner mate!

It has to have wood.  A barbie means to get wood!  Oh stop it.  I mean you must BBQ over wood.

Gas does not do it.  The whole f**king point of the exercise is to infuse (get me!) the food with woodsmoke and occasionally lick it with lignous flames, and even (if you’re dead posh) chuck a handful of rosemary directly onto the flames (ahhh the aroma).

 But gas?  What do you get with a vapour extracted from underground deposits and put in a can.  You get gassy food.  Your snags attain L’essence de petroleum and not much else.

In my day (well it’s still my day, but I mean say in the 80’s) a barbie was usually impromptu (of course, we never used that word !).  Sunday morning, well hung….. over (hah!) guys and girls, dring dring, “Barbie at mine, one-ish, OK?”, “Yup.”.  12.45 drive thru bottle-o, slabs for the boys, Black Tower for the girls (um, yeah, we were ALL class!!).

We NEVER frocked.  We wore what we were wearing.  It’s not a f**king fassshon parade.

Tinnies in ice in the bath, crack the Tour de Noir… plastic cups for the girlie giggle juice.  The barbie would be fired up… literally… no knob-turning here (yes, that IS a euphemism), no nice clean Alessi Clicky thing.

Wood!!  Men!!  Men with wood!!  (Stop it now, we did that already, no need to labour the point. You’re just being silly now.)

Men like making fires.  It’s primal.  It’s good for their souls.  Don’t emasculate your man by insisting upon a Country Road ‘Workwear’ (that’s a laugh in itself) ensemble, and then shouting, in front of the guests, “Wear an apron dear, I don’t want to have to get grease out of those chinos” – accomparied by a slightly manic, wide-eyed laugh – AND then to add insult to serious injury, have him cook on a gas barbie.

Gee Whizz, no wonder Sydney men are flocking in droves to their local ‘Men’s Shed’ – it’s made of wood !!!  They make things with wood.  Men like wood.  It’s a fact.

Men like fire.  It’s in their blood.  Men like beer.  This is also in their blood.

Back in the day, on the 40 gal Barbie, at the start of proceedings, tragically,  a massive sacrifice had to be made.  About 1 can out of the 20 slabs present had to be offered to the God Barbequeous , in order to clean and ‘prime’ the plate.  Not the palate.  It requried MORE than one can to prime the palate!

So, a can of lager and a paint scraper – couple of seconds scraping in a manly, muscular way, making those biceps pop (yummers), and “VOY LAH, she’s apples”.  Culinary* hint – the beer cleaner of course also acts as a marinade !!  (*pronounced COOLinary).

So please, please, this summer when you barbie…. remember this important lesson: Men do it better with wood !!

Next week, my lovelies, feminine itty ?!


rooshkie. x.

Thanks to Dreamstime.com.au images for the wood.