You should give your money to women. You should give them other things, too.
The exact ratio of money to gifts depends on the particular woman and how many times you've sent her song lyrics to describe your emotional state because you mistook her concern to mean "gee golly, I wish someone would throw me a puzzle with vaguely dire emotional ramifications should I not fully appreciate the innuendo inherit to Steve Miller's songwriting."
I'm sorry. This isn't a space for sweeping generalizations that malign whole swaths of people that are doing the best they can—
Steely Dan sucks, too.
You have a woman in your life—it's likely you have several—who could use something nice, a tangible acknowledgement of the at-times seemingly insurmountable work thrust on them by society to be pretty but not fake, assertive not bossy, affectionate but not clingy, loyal but emotionally available to all men.
And lo! Maybe this woman, or non-binary person who is assigned female emotional labor by a binarist society, isn't a delicate plate of strudel needing propped up. Maybe you're not here because you necessarily admire her tenacity in ending a gendered oppression that coddles you every.
Maybe you've fucked up. You know you've fucked up. And you know she's seen you fuck up. It's okay; what's a little bribe between friends to make sure she knows, when the revolution comes, that you're one of the good ones?
You're savvy enough to know that a bouquet of flowers doesn't really spruce up the ever-present pressure of patriarchy. It might also send the wrong message. You're not trying to make this earnest gesture of solidarity into a romantic power play. She's just your special lady friend, man.
Don't put your panic on a pedestal—we're here to help.
With the help of our friends at Get Bullish, we have, in fact, as is so often the case, done the work for you.
Buy one (or all five) of these things for that discerning ballbuster in your life and update your fucking Spotify.
I read once: "Kill it or ignore it. Anything else honors it." That says a lot about the ways we allow oppression in our life define ourselves, and thus we exalt it in our pushback. That's pretty deep, when you think about it. And if you think more about it, as in do a little research, you'll find this is part of the rich text of a Magic: The Gathering card.
Friend, I have walked the planes. I have seen garrisons of goblin marauders and spent my weekends wiling away at fruitless crusades to spare the multiverse from Phyrexian greed. And I'm here to tell you, no spell or magical colossus you could conjure from the depths of frozen oceans will ever pack the punch of this elegant script framed—for a little bit extra—by defiant tastefulness.
This print says "I get knocked back down, but I get up again, and I'm taking all you high-fiving motherfuckers with me."
It also costs quite a bit less than a truly competitive M:TG deck would set you back—even with the optional distressed teal frame, which if available is a must—and you'll have made a friend who won't call a fucking judge if you forget to untap your land cards before playing a spell.
Let's dispel this notion, once and for all, that lip balm is in any way inferior to lipstick or lip gloss. Moisturizing and tending to the condition of your lips is essential—cracks created in your lips by the elements allow agents of patriarchy to inject nanobots into your skin when kissing you at cocktail hours. I mean, I'm not saying I know anything about these nanobots, but my friend, the esteemed Senator from Ohio, has yet to confirm nor deny his involvement with the nanobot makeout industrial complex.
These tinted lip balms are a quick two-second statement of self-care, which many women (and non-binary people who enjoy looking pretty) with hustle could use in a society that expects them to spend hours on hair and makeup that look like they aren't wearing any but insists that baths are frivolous. And they'll look great! Earthy, neutral nude-ish colors that will surely accommodate and empower anyone who's had that anxiety of buying the wrong shade of lipstick.
Wearing the blood of the patriarchy is not only an affirmation that you deserve care and to look good, but armor. From nanobots but also from bullshit. It says "step away, if you ask me again if it's serious with my boyfriend this will become a dueling ground".
And let me tell you: when you're up against a broken champagne flute, all that fencing or broad sword training you may have had goes right out the window. There's no parries or ripostes. Just jagged glass and torn clothes and blood.
Buying this ensures the blood of the patriarchy stays on lips and not on broken glass.
If Prince Humperdink tries to bail on champagne flute thunderdome, he won't get far if that special battle ax in your life has this trophy. Let's see what he thinks of "the participation award generation" after he comes to know the sinister whisper of a tiny missile meant for him caressing the wind on its journey to him.
Look: she (or they! or zie!) had acquiesced to his inquiry of how serious her relationships were. She was willing to fight for them, hand to hand, just as so many men back at Humperdink's alma mater wished matters could be resolved in today's wacky society where activism is done on social media and people have conversations that aren't about him and his feelings in full view of the public.
But, as telegraphed by his fleeing the bar right as it was his turn to belt out Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' "You Don't Know It Feels" on the karaoke stage, he would prefer her to destroy him in the parlance of our times, befitting a pop culture mythology where women are swift, calculated killers from a distance.
She is filling that request. And him. With arrows.
And as ol' Humperdink gazes back at the toxic entitlement that had lead him to this road, that was his livelihood and his undoing, hopefully this will allow him to look Death in the face with dignity and muster one last "well actually, that song is from a Tom Petty solo album" before entering that good night.
Maybe she's not so much a battle ax as a cleaver. While both are meant to hack through bone, there are structural, contextual, and aesthetic differences that reflect on the person holding it and the situations they expect to be in. Am I talking about gender and sexual identities, or about what'll happen if some guy screams "nice tits" at your special lady friend while she's trying to buy groceries?
This necklace helps cut through that ambiguity. Or, more explicitly: separates it, like bone beneath sharp metal applied with enough pressure.
This is not the gift for someone with apotemnophobia. And this includes me. If I saw your special lady friend, I might shy away—which may be what she wants! Not all women have to be friends (though it definitely fucking helps, when it can be achieved). But maybe she needs a friend to go bowling with and is like "no, I mean the collective you, like an intangible abstract that is immediately finite in the moment, like male privilege. I want to make space for your concerns and ensure you feel safe whilst I express my needs and desires, which in this case is to wreck the shit of patriarchal agents."
Your special lady friend is conscientious, understanding, and knows what she wants.
She deserves this. And so do all the jagoffs who might step to her; they deserve a warning.
Friend, you've read this far; we've shared some crazy times. I'm ready to let you in on a secret.
Buying your special lady friend any of these wares doesn't just make life easier for her. It supports a business and a space run by rad women who are putting their time and knowledge to empowering women in a socio-economic paradigm that encourages women to get theirs and not to share.
Get Bullish offered to sponsor this post for us right after we lost our initial funding, because they believe in solidarity and lifting each other up.
And as far as I understood our agreement, I was not required to say that.
The Bullish Conference gives your special lady friend a space with like-minded women to share knowledge, learn valuable skills, make solid like-minded networks, and pair a blazer with a bikini, which no other conference can guarantee.
And if you're worried that any of the above gifts might seem a romantic token? I'll tell ya: sending your friend to a retreat and staying where you are is a very, very explicit statement of your intentions. It says "I appreciate you and the work you're doing, even if that work and space needs to not have my presence".
True story: that is may haps the most feminist thing you can do—give women access to your resources to have community to thrive outside of you. This is necessary for overthrowing patriarchy, which is in your best interests, if you are a man and have ever felt punished or ridiculed for not meeting society's expectations of being a man. Also if, you know, you see women and other non-men as people. Can't leave that part out, I guess.
This post was sponsored by Get Bullish, a gentlewomanly resource for aggressive lady advice.