Deborah Ross: Our woman in Crouch End

Sisters, let's be entirely honest, we're crap at lots of things - and we should be proud

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So, Gordon Ramsay reckons women can't cook; advertising executive Neil French says they make rubbish employees; Harvard president Larry Summers says genetic differences condemn females to failure in science - and what has the response of women been to all this? To say how "crap" men are, predictably enough - yawn, yawn, yawn. Come on, girls! At the risk of betraying the sisterhood, women are pathetically useless at some things and, trust me, there is absolutely no shame in accepting that this is so. Here are a few examples:

I have never met a woman who falls asleep in front of the television at 9pm, wakes up at 2am, stumbles off to bed, ricochets noisily off the wardrobe, then scratches her private parts with gusto before falling flat on her back where she will spend the rest of the night making a noise alternating between an oncoming train and a peculiar nasal whinnying. Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who refuses to call a plumber when the pipe behind the washing machine develops a leak and instead keeps insisting "I'll fix it, I'll fix it" although when she does get round to it, several months later, bumbles around so clumsily she causes a second leak but still will not call a plumber and still keeps insisting "I can fix it" while looking daggers at you, you stupid fat nag. Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who, when driving, has punched her navigator full in the face for simply reading the map upside down and so now we are miles from anywhere, and going to be really late, so well done you. Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who falls asleep in front of the television 9pm, opens her eyes briefly at 10ish, says: "I don't know what you see in Sex In The City/Desperate Housewives/ER/Lost," has a slight go at her privates - saving the real gusto for later: something to look forward to - then closes her eyes again, although perhaps not before a last: "I can fix it, I can." Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who, on requiring a black shirt for a performance of their choir, say, purchases one from the Oxfam shop with a white embroidered design on the front because "it's all they had" and then spends several hours colouring in each white stitch with a black felt-tip pen and what do you mean I should have tried another shop... after I'd already been to one? Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who, on passing The Gadget Shop, will declare that the little remote control car is the best thing ever and I must get one and while I'm in there, I think I'll also get one of those little robots that serve cocktails, because even though we need the money for the weekly shop, you just can't beat a little robot that serves cocktails. Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who has a secret "short-cut" that is actually longer than the long-cut but who will persist in proudly calling it "my short-cut" even though all stopwatches and odometers - and even the use of two cars to see who gets home first - prove otherwise, every single time, none of which count "because I got caught behind a milk float". Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who has such a thing for Helen Mirren that she would follow her to the ends of the earth and happily drink her bathwater and has, on occasion, even called out her name during sex because, let's face it, while some people get sexier with age you're not one of them, you saggy-bummed old hag. Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who finds jokey barbecue aprons printed with large faux breasts and a jungle of pubic hair even vaguely amusing and what's your problem, don't you like a laugh? Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are crap at this.

I have never met a woman who, on being told that a particular skin cream will make her skin appear illuminated, radiant and smoother over time as a more youthful appearance is simultaneously achieved, will write it off as the pile of toss it is, refuse to spend her money on it and walk away with both her dignity and self-respect in tact. Sisters, let us be entirely honest, we are really, really, really crap at this.

I have never met a woman who, in spite of her astonishing ability to multi-task - and even multi-task while multi-tasking - can keep up with the plot of a Mafia film - as in who has double-crossed whom - and so will, admittedly, annoy everybody by asking over and over:"I don't understand who killed Frankie, or why?" Now, sisters, this sort of thing, we are good at.

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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