3 Day Quote Challenge: Day 2: Deconstructing “Feminine Mystique” (and still not making sense of it)

******Warning:  Potentially-High-Potential-for-Sarcasm Alert******

Thus begins my second 3 Day Quote Challenge:  Day 2:  Deconstructing “Feminine Mystique” (and still not making sense of it)  You have been warned.  If you continue reading you may encounter symptoms which may include logic (or not), sarcasm, hilarity or mild amusement, nervousness, and irritability.

”Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say No when they mean Yes, and drive a man out of his wits for the fun of it.”  Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Laurie, in Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 12 (1869).

Louisa was the daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May Alcott.  I’ve read rumors of a “troubled marriage.”  I suspect Louisa May have been reflecting on her parents when she wrote the above quote.  But it reflects upon something I once heard described as “feminine mystique.”  I looked that up on Answers.com and the answer frankly shocked me in this modern era of feminism:

feminine mystique

Apparently feminine mystique has to do with coconut cream pie, or, somewhat mildly amusing, the ingredients of a coconut cream pie, which include milk, eggs, and a shredded coconut.

I had to go back to 1834 for this one:

Slang definitions & phrases for coconutExpand



  1. The head (1834+)

So, according to Answers.com, feminine mystique has to do with ovulation (eggs), nursing (milk), and having a shredded head (coconut, brain).  Sorry, ladies, I didn’t define it, Answers.com did.  And, well, that makes total sense (not really).

Louisa may have been onto something with her quote for today, which is that women communicate very differently from men.  Men generally say what they mean, mean what they say, hate excess drama, and don’t pull any punches.  If I’m mad at you, I’ll tell you I’m mad, fuck you, go away until I’m ready to deal with you again.  If a woman is mad at you, she’ll tell you nothing is wrong, she’ll isolate herself or express that she doesn’t feel like going along with whatever is planned, and she’ll treat you with cool detachment until you realize something is wrong, and you’re ready to admit (whether true or not) that it’s you.  Yes means no, and no means no, so just stay the hell away from a woman if you know what’s good for you.

This communication difference, which is not something I enjoy, among other differences I can only celebrate, give rise to male confusion.  As a man, I’m going to tell you what I want.  Sex and Steaks.  If you’re not going to tell me what you want, I have to guess and you’ll have to accept whatever my guess is, not tell me how awful I am because I can’t read your fucking mind.

What I’m suggesting is Louisa May understood why her dad was in a troubled relationship.  Mom didn’t make sense, and he couldn’t understand it.  Mum had a shredded coconut.  But I bet she made a wicked good pie.  My wife does.  So sure, I don’t always want steak.  Sometimes I want sex and pie, not at the same time as that would be very messy.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?  Sometimes.  Sometimes a bit lower.  It’s crude, but keep me satisfied, say yes fairly often to my simple requests, if you want me to put up with the emotional shit storm and the mixed messages.  My emotional shit storm is enough for me to put up with; adding yours makes my life unbearable.  You said yes and you meant no?  I’m going to be frustrated by that because it’s illogical.  You said no and meant no?  Fine.  Come back when you’re ready to say yes.  I’ll be here, because as confusing as my own emotions are, I love you.

I don’t even want to address the whole “girls are so queer,” in the modern context.  Except to say I find that mildly amusing too.  I love you all in spite of yourselves.  And I love you all in spite of myself, too.  I just don’t want to get too close if your coconut is shredded, unless you’re making me a pie.


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