I recently read Nicole Tersigni’s Men To Avoid In Art And Life and immediately had a flashback.
It took me back to the time my company’s chairman berated me in front of a female client, not because I didn’t do my work or because I was unprofessional, but because I refused to smile on command.
As I stood in his office, pen and notepad in hand, I witnessed his once cheerful smile melt into an angry scowl as he barked at me to smile.
“Smile, Rogan! Smile. You’re so pretty when you smile. Smile!” This went on for five minutes. I remained unmoved and visibly angry while the female client stood there with a panic-stricken look on her face and an uncomfortable stance that begged him to stop.
I never smiled that day. The contrarian in me wouldn’t allow it. It was humiliating, insulting and quite frankly, I didn’t have a damned thing to smile about that day. Privately, I was going through a lot of bulls*t and his chauvinistic command was just a continuation of that.
I left his office, but 10 minutes later he summoned me to return. At this point, he softened his tone and asked me if I was going through something privately. I was, but that was not his business. So, I said no.
I stood three feet from him and he remained seated trying his best to study my face and my deportment. He later offered help if I needed it. Puh-lease.
Despite my private problems, I really just didn’t feel like smiling. I don’t know why some men are uncomfortable with a woman not bearing every tooth in her mouth at the drop of a dime.
This is precisely why I related to Tersigni’s book so much.
That story brings me to the reason I’m writing this blog. I was recently in Politics and Prose, one of my favourite bookstores in DC. I wandered to the humour section – as I often do – and came across a book that not only immediately got my attention, but made me laugh my ass off.
Men To Avoid In Art And Life marries classical fine art with hilarious, yet oh-so-relatable captions that are sure to make men cringe and women chuckle.
Mansplaining is a big topic in the book.
As I flipped through the book, I couldn’t help but gasp at the many subject matters that I have either personally encountered or heard about through other women.
I quite enjoy biting humour and this book certainly delivered. It had laugh-out-loud funny moments, particularly when it dealt with patronising men or men who fancy themselves experts, but are not.
I especially loved the way the author paired the perfect caption with the painting. She nailed it.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and I know you will, too. It’s also a very easy read and would make the perfect gift for the women . . . and chauvinist men in your life.
This Bahamian Gyal