Dating Stories: The Misogynist Lady

For my niece’s birthday I bought her a book called The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat.

My date said, “That doesn’t sound like a very appropriate book for someone who should be raised a future feminist.”

I didn’t understand. The book’s by Oliver Sacks, and is about brain dysfunctions. He got permission retell his patients stories of diagnosis. The title character is a guy who couldn’t identify faces, and made decisions based on shapes. He thought his wife was a hat stand, not because she was thin, pointy, and made of wood, but because his brain couldn’t identify the difference. They’re lovingly told anecdotes that have inspired many writers and neuroscientists.

The thing that got me about the feminist line is that I’m potentially misogynist enough to promote the idea of women being equal to hats. Women, hats, same thing. During summer you may need to slip on a shirt, slap on some sunscreen and slop on a woman, or a hat, either way, just take whatever is nearby. Careful you don’t pull too tight and split the seems.

I wonder if someone reading that would visualise the wearing-of-a-woman-as-a-hat as made by using the arse or vagina as a suction point. Either way, be careful! If it was me stuck to someone’s head I’d wiggle a lot. I’d probably try to get off.

In my defence to misogyny claims, one day at work I was told to divide the stock of sunglasses into men’s and women’s styles. That was a very daunting afternoon. I had to assign gender to sunglasses, and I still don’t know if I did it right. There’s a good chance that 50% of people who bought sunglasses there are wearing inappropriate eye-wear for their gender. Some sunglasses designer in Monaco could be watching via Google Earth and going crazy, seeing all these people with gender confused glasses.

We were walking, and after explaining the book to my date she stopped and said, “Oh, I’ve got something in my shoe.”

I thought of everything it could be, and said, “Is it an old lady?”

She said, “What?”

I said, “Old ladies sometimes live in shoes. She might be moving in.”

My date said, “No. It’s a rock.”

I said, “She might have a pebble driveway, or could be throwing rocks at you, trying to get you to move out. If I was you I’d push into the shoe and squeeze her out.”

My date put her hand on a railing, removed the shoe, and tipped it over. Nothing seemed to be coming out, so she shook it.

“Yeah,” I said. “Shake the old lady loose.”

My date looked at me like I was an idiot. Which was fair. I was a grown man encouraging her to step on and violently shake an old lady in a shoe.

Maybe I am a misogynist.

Mum said I can’t be misogynist because that implies I have a perceived power over women, and I struggle to have power over a light switch. Sometimes I get confused which way to flick the switch. Like, if I can’t see the light and I’ll flick the switch, I’ll ask Mum, “Is it on?” and she won’t reply, but when I flick the switch the other way she’ll shout out, “Hey, why’d you turn the light off?”

Anyway, my date didn’t think we were getting along. She wished me good luck and said she’d met someone who’s views more aligned with her own. Which I assume means she’s found a guy who has a firmer concept on what the difference is between a women and a hat. For one, a hat doesn’t have legs, and they do have a brim. Anyway, that’s good for them.


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