Five things I don't like about one bloke which I'll make into a wider men's issue, by a Guardian columnist

DO most men sit with their legs spread apart and speak with a booming, arrogant voice? For the purposes of this article I have to churn out, let’s say yes.


When I asked my boyfriend to explain the plot of the film I was half-watching while looking at pictures of Caitlin Moran on my phone, he couldn’t help but tell it to me like I’m an ignorant girl. This is clearly symptomatic of a societal problem with men and is completely unrelated to my own short attention span. I was about to lecture him on this before getting distracted by a sale on Emma Bridgewater mugs.

They never look where they’re walking

I once got bumped into by a man who wasn’t looking where he was going, which means the patriarchy has obviously brainwashed them into thinking that they own the pavement. Why didn’t he step into the road and walk around me and my girlfriends as we blithely ambled along and took up all the space? Answer: he’s a sexist pig, just like all men.


As I rode the tube to my overpaid media job, I was disgusted to see a man sitting with his legs wider apart than I personally find reasonable. Rather than politely asking him to make a bit of room, I did the much more mature thing: covertly papped him then put him on blast on social media. It’s exactly this sort of struggle the Suffragettes died for.

They don’t talk about their feelings

My father is a stoic rock who never expresses himself. It’s been that way ever since he once revealed how he felt and I shut him down by saying that women have everything a billion zillion times worse. Since then he just gazes off into space with a vacant expression, as if working through his emotions internally is preferable to being shouted at for having a human experience.


Women don’t snore, that’s a scientific fact. Instead we happily hum away in our sleep like a contented little air humidifier. My partner on the other hand makes deafening grunts all night long, which is probably related to the gender wage gap in ways I am yet to concoct. He says it’s due to his sleep apnea but I know it’s actually a sexist conspiracy. Him and his mates probably have a big laugh about it while they misunderstand the Barbie movie.

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Why are you out for a candlelit meal with your girlfriend? Take our quiz

YOU’RE wearing a suit and sitting opposite your girlfriend at a romantic dinner. But why? Desperately try to figure it out with this quiz.

Is it a birthday celebration?

A) Yes. It’s my girlfriend’s birthday and I’m surprising her with a romantic meal in a restaurant that her friends said she’d pre-approved.

B) It’s not my birthday because my mum hasn’t cried down the phone about how grown up I am. And it’s not my girlfriend’s birthday because I asked her right around the same time she went all quiet. Pass.

Are you celebrating something important?

A) My girlfriend has passed her driving test. She wanted to drive somewhere, so we’re going to this restaurant for the first and probably last time because I’ll get shitfaced and bawdy then fall asleep on the way home.

B) No idea. But I did do 100 sit-ups in under three minutes this morning. Maybe she saw my posts on Instagram and thought she’d treat me. Better not have a pudding though, don’t want to undo all that hard work.

Is it an anniversary?

A) We’re celebrating four months since our first kiss, which happened after a meal in this very restaurant, apparently.

B) Don’t know. I don’t keep track of soppy milestones. It’s definitely not a celebration of our first shag in my new Picanto though, that was two months and five days ago.

Is it Valentine’s Day?

A) There aren’t tacky paper hearts sprinkled across the table, and I haven’t got the creeping dread that I’ve forgotten to buy a card. So hopefully not.

B) Difficult to tell. Mainly because I never remember the date and get in shit on an annual basis. I’ll swing by the garage on the way home and get some flowers to cover my arse.

Are you breaking up?

A) We’re as solid as a rock. Or equally scared of being single. Same difference, right?

B) I don’t think so. Nobody has the balls to break up face-to-face these days, plus we’re in public. I’ll wait and see if she messages me ‘it’s over’ from the bathroom though.

Is one of you proposing?

A) Shhh, don’t blow my cover. I really need her to say yes so we can get a tax break. Oh yeah and she’s the love of my life etc.

B) I’m not planning to, and girlfriends can’t propose. Cheers, patriarchy.


Mostly As: You’re sharing a romantic meal with your girlfriend because you’re in a happy, loving relationship and you’re sickening enough to have date nights. Everyone else in the restaurant hates you both and hopes it doesn’t last.

Mostly Bs: You’re here because you girlfriend found a two-for-one voucher online and couldn’t face sharing another frozen pizza with you. Given the state of your relationship, this is your last supper as a couple.