Saturday, 19 July 2014

Alternative Things Women Need To Know

So. I've seen this post about things girls need to remember floating around the Internet for a while now. And while at first glance, it's faintly inoffensive, when I look at it I can't help but think- this predominantly reduces women to little more than emotional beings who want to be thin and pretty.

Not going to lie- I'd like to think I'm more than that.

Okay, there are days when I sob for no reason, and days where I wish I had my housemate's body- but is that the only wisdom I have to impart? That other people feel like this too? I know guys that cry for no reason and who are more self conscious about their bodies than me!!

So. Here are my alternatives. Ten things every girl needs to know:

1. Being stupid isn't cute. Oh my god. Seriously- you will impress far more people (romantically and professionally) if you know your shit. Never dumb yourself down for anyone. Be a powerhouse. Impress directors and interview panellists and you will go much further than pretending you don't know how to switch your computer on. Men- yeah, you can do this too. 

2. Build bridges. Be polite and helpful. People (particularly in a workplace) respond better to people they like on a personal level. Be nice, and they're more likely to respond when you ask for something. Again- this applies to guys too...

3. Set goals. It's easier to get somewhere when you know where you want to be. There's a quote from Alice in Wonderland that is pretty applicable here:
'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ 
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. 
‘I don’t much care where—’ said Alice. 
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat. 
‘—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation. 
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.'
Do you just want to end up SOMEWHERE? Because you will. If you want to buy a house, travel around Africa, or become the next prime minister, work out what you need to do to get there and START DOING IT. Don't come whinging to me when the thing you want to happen hasn't happened if you've done nothing about it. Oh look! That one could apply to men too...

4. Be selfish. Put yourself first sometimes. Don't stay in a relationship because you're worried how the other person will react. Don't let other people dictate your time. Do make time for the things that are important for you. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do (within reason- you DO often have to do what your boss tells you). Haters gonna hate (potatoes gonna potate), so you might as well just do whatever you want anyway. Hey guys- some of you could do with remembering that too.

5. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. Your twenties and thirties are the shittiest time for comparing yourself to others. Think about number four. What do YOU want to do? It doesn't matter what you THINK you should be doing- do what you KNOW you WANT to do. You can be a doctor, or work in a supermarket, or be self employed. You don’t have to drink. You can buy a house, or you can rent, or you can live with your parents. You can buy your clothes from Primark or The White Company. As Fleetwood Mac once said, you can go your own way.   Are you sending a theme here? I know some guys who could remember this too...

6. Learn a language. Any language, actually. As many as you want. At least learn how to say "please" "thank you" "hello" and a few other key phrases in the language of whatever country you're visiting. It's respectful, and locals respond better to tourists who TRY. And if you have a whole language on your CV, employers think you're awesome. Men? You can do this too.

7. Learning about your car will save you an awful lot of time and money. If you know how to check your oil, water, tyre pressure, and if you're really on it, how to change a tyre, you can stop some things from going wrong before they do. Equally applicable to women and men...

8. Be nice to people. Wish them luck. Cheer their successes. Remember their birthdays. Don't put people down. Stop feeling like you're in competition with everyone you come across!!! It will make you happier, it will make them happier, it will make the world a nicer place to be. Be nice to your mum in particular- she made you from scratch. Don’t demean other people, don’t be stroppy with people for no reason, don’t put other people down. You’re entitled to be in a bad mood- but don’t take it out on the people who mean most to you. Men- my god, would you do well to remember this one too.

9. Learn how to cook. You will save yourself so much time and money if you can cook. Even just knowing how to make ten great dishes (and these could be as simple as roast chicken, bolognese sauce (and therefore lasagne), chilli, fish pie, sausage and mash, beef stew, risotto, leek and potato soup, salmon en papillot, and a pasta bake) will serve you SO well.  Making your own food is so much more satisfying than sticking a pizza in the oven (not cooking), making curry from a jar (not cooking) or ordering a takeaway (definitely not cooking). Knowing how to bake something will impress people too. This one is so applicable to both men and women. EVERYONE should know how to cook something.

10. There is no problem so great or so grave that cannot be greatly diminished by a nice cup of tea. I’m serious. If you’re sad, if you’re stressed, if you’re having a cry in your car, if you’re cold, if you’re hungry- make a cup of tea, and you everything will feel better. It is also the perfect celebratory drink when it’s just that little bit too early to crack out the champagne. It’s the perfect thing to hug while you’re breaking up with someone (as in, clutch the mug like a crux, not hug the actual liquid). It’s the best thing to drink while catching up with friends. Also applies to coffee- but I like tea better. And of course- this obviously is universally applicable.

And overall: Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe.

Being a girl is fantastic. We get to create life, impress people, smash through glass ceilings. We are so much more than emotional beings who like make up and want to be thin. We are different from men, but certainly should be equal to them. And don’t let anyone- male OR female- tell you otherwise.


  1. Alice, I bloody love this post for so many reasons. I agree with so many of your points here and I always think they are so obvious to know, but for some reason, people really don't know it! Plus, I am taking number 7 on board (because I have only recently bought a car and know nothing about how to maintain it!).

    Saskia /

  2. this is wonderful :) every girl should read this.

  3. Thank you so much for this! Your list is actually full of useful, wise and intelligent suggestions - contrary to that other post, which just made me feel a bit tired to be honest....

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

  4. Such a great post Alice! Love a bit of girl power to kick off my weekend haha - and I didn't get chance to comment on your post the other day but I'm sorry to hear you're going through a tough time, sending lots of happy tea-and-cake-vibes your way!


  5. Heck yes on the equality front! I love your reminder that certain "rules of life" don't apply just to women, or just to men, we could both do with learning a lot of the same things.

  6. This is such a lovely post :') i saw that other one ages ago and agree with you, but it did made me feel better about the fact that I cry ALL the time! And ignoring the weight loss thing peppermint tea helps with any tummy troubles too aha :P
    I need to learn to be selfish somehow. I'm always trying to please people and I get extremely upset and worked up if I slightly disapoint someone and I wish more people did number 8 - being nice. I get soo easily affected by people just being rude or slightly unpleasant. I guess that is my own problem for being sensitive though! xo

  7. I absolutely love this post - I agree with pretty much all of these points. I'm saving this to my favourites so I can keep looking at this! Becci xo

  8. This is an AMAZING list! Honestly, more people need to read this, I have shared it on twitter because I love it so much! It is sad because I revealed to a guy what university course I did and he said 'so you're intimidatingly smart' and that was that, which is sad that some guys can't handle meeting their match!

    Emma Louise xx

  9. This is such a great post and so true! I especially agree with learning a language as it seems to be one of those things which isn't encouraged enough in the UK but it very important. Also totally agree about not dumming yourself down - I think every person in the world should read this list and take note! :)

  10. This is great...and so true, "know your shit" is definitely my favourite piece of advice here ;)

  11. I so agree with no.1. Frustrates me when I see a lot of girls pretending to be stupid to try and 'impress' people, or get attention.

    Great post :) looking forward to sending out your postcard!

  12. Ahhh you fabulous lady! I love all points to you list - I like the tea one, I like the cooking one and I especially like being nice. Nothing makes me feel better than just being nice. I'm excited to hear more about your move - and as we communicate over so many bloody mediums I'm probably going to tell you several times! I hope you had a fab weekend x

  13. I didn't see the other post and now I definitely don't want to! You've put this so very perfectly and thank you for doing so, I know so many women and chaps who could do with reading this.
    M x Life Outside London

  14. I can't let you know how much I love this post. It really made me think.
    I love your whole blog so much I have nominated you to complete the Liebster Award, which is just a fun little Q&A type tag that you complete and pass on to your favourite blogs. It also helps with networking and finding new bloggers. You can see the questions I wrote for you on my blog, here -

    I hope you have a good day :)

    - Iona |

  15. amen sister!
    though in my case the last point is coffee instead of tea ;)

  16. Fantastic - so many good and true points! x

  17. I just found this post via Louisa from Duck in a Dress' recent internet round up and I'm so glad I did! I've been meaning to learn how the car works- I really must get on with that! Looking forward to reading more of your blog :) xxx

  18. I love this post and it influenced me to write a blog on a similar topic! I've had a rough rough year so, like this, I made my own alternatives in my life to make myself feel better. You know what? It works! So thanks for giving some kind of inspiration.

  19. A truly excellent blog post! Very inspirational and absolutely wonderful!

  20. Yes, yes, yes to all of these, especially number 1 - knowledge is power and intelligence is definitely sexy.
    Number 5 too, you're completely right, just because other people are doing this or that doesn't mean that you need too as well. Fab post Alice, spot on as always :-) xx

  21. This is such a lovely post!


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