Dewd = Guy who sucks
Man = Guy who doesn’t
Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
I do not enjoy Pantera.
For most of my life, were I to admit this type of opinion out loud, it would have meant that I would be relentlessly ridiculed by any dewdz in the room. In order to avoid the ridicule, I would have to pretend that I liked Pantera. Even though I can’t stand Pantera.
The closest thing I like to Pantera is Panera. The “You Pick 2” Turkey Chili and Classic Half Grilled Cheese is my jam, and I’m not afraid to admit it. You wanted to see me be brave, Sara Bareilles, so there you go.
Plus Panera has an online ordering app. If you have an app that allows me to order food and pay for it without interacting with a live human, you are my friend for life.
I’ve gotten off-topic here.
So! Not liking Pantera isn’t about getting older and not liking loud music or guitar wankery. I adore guitar wankery, despite my opinion that guitar players are the worst kind of scum. I will listen to Van Halen on 10 any day of the week, and I consider that particular environment to be my natural habitat, actually.
It’s that I’m old enough to stop pretending to like things that dewdz like in order to be accepted by dewdz.
Back when CDs were a thing, that was always the worst part about having a dewd come over to your house for the first time: the scathing review of your CD collection. That’s where the dewd sits in front of your CD tower, scans all of the titles from top to bottom, and makes fun of you for anything in there that they find unacceptable – and by “unacceptable”, I mean anything that is even remotely feminine. Even if you did a preemptive scan and removed anything he might find to make fun of, there’s always something in there that he’ll zero in on and take you to task over. “What is this? A Hole record? Hole sucks!”
Yeah, that’s true. Girl bands are terrible. Luckily there have been so many really great dewd bands out there, you know, like Limp Bizkit and Creed, and Godsmack and Staind, to make up for how terrible girl bands are.
What galls me the most when I look back on all the times these situations that happened to me, is not just that these dewdz thought it was their business to inform me of what my own opinions should be about music, but that I never felt I had the agency to say to them, “I don’t give a shit what you think. You can either start being nice to me, or you can leave.” But there was no way I was going to do that.
I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
For insulting me.
I didn’t want to hurt their feelings for insulting me.
Women are shown from a very young age that it’s our lot in life to be accommodating and agreeable. To go along. To not make a scene. That is someone is being a total jerk to you, you should just stand there and take it rather than risk hurting their feelings by pointing out what a jerk they are. After all, maybe you’re being over-sensitive, you woman-person? Boooooooooooooo.
Now, I don’t have children (and I never will because I don’t have the temperament for it, and believe me, that’s doing a kid a favor), but if there is one thing I wish my friends with kids will someday do, it’s to teach their daughters that it doesn’t fucking matter what dewdz think. Like, it could not matter LESS.
Go ahead – like Sarah MacLachlan. Like The Notebook. Like stuffed animals that are cartoon cats dressed as mermaids. Like “traditionally” girly things with reckless abandon. If you want to drink pink wine with ice in it, wear a Twilight t-shirt, listen to Destiny’s Child, and watch a Julia Roberts marathon, then do it. If a dewd has a problem with it, tell him you don’t fucking care what he thinks, and that he can either be nice to you or he can fucking leave.
Under no circumstances should you apologize for liking the things you like.
Because I can assure you he is not even remotely apologetic about all the dewd things he likes, like drinking cheap shit beer and building a fart collage on the couch cushions, wearing a stained Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt and crusty-crotched basketball shorts in public and pretending it’s not their dirty pajamas, listening to the aforementioned Pantera, and watching a stupid Fast and Furious Part 12 movie for the tenth time with his asshole friends who spend more money on their personal sword collections than they do on paying their grandma the rent they’ve owed her for the past ten years*.
And if you’re a woman who just happens to like Pantera, that’s cool, too. Like what you like, and never apologize.
*This is a hypothetical dewd. It’s certainly not about twenty dewds I used to know.**
**Yes, it is. It is not actually hypothetical.