It's a minefield being a woman, according to all the information released in the past few days. Wednesday at 3:30pm is the worst time of the week, reported one survey compiled by a company that makes fake tan. It's when women look oldest and feel worst, with low energy, high stress and bad skin, all caused by the delayed effects of a weekend on the Bacardi Breezers.
Then there was the survey about all the little things that are sent to try women. These included "an invisible snag on your fingernail" and "when the wind blows your hair into your lipgloss". They're so right. Certainly one of the things most likely to ruin my day is getting my hair all gummed up in my Juicy Tubes.
Hardly any more reassuring was the survey conducted by a supermarket, about all the little things (many of which you can buy in said supermarket) that help female shoppers get through a tough day. Cheese is one, and being told that we look thinner is another. Women had better pick one simple pleasure out of those two, because nobody will tell you that you look thinner if you've spent most of Wednesday stuffing Stinking Bishop to cheer yourself up.
Wearing comfortable underwear is also one, and wearing sexy underwear is another. (Are comfy and sexy allowed to be the same underwear? The survey doesn't say.) Being told that we look younger makes the top 10, so we might as well stay home on Wednesdays because that ain't going to happen then.
As if this were not bad enough, it now turns out that man flu is real. Men have more temperature receptors in their brains than women, according to a neuroscientist at Durham University, so when they have a fever they feel worse. Stoical men have been quietly putting up with sweaty receptors for all these years and hardly even mentioning it; it's no wonder that they're not floored by a tiny little thing like an invisible nail snag, and can concentrate on their own simple pleasures, like having interesting jobs and fun lives and friends. Many reports were keen to point out that the neuroscientist who published the research is a real-life woman, though how she managed to get a PhD with hair constantly glued to her mouth is anyone's guess.
It's a wonder that women manage to get through the week at all when we are beset by all of these very gender-specific worries, and a good job that we have men around to do all of the work while we fret about our fingernails and pull our hair out of the grease on our mouths – even on Wednesdays, when, quite frankly, most women are good for nothing.
If I could concentrate on anything more taxing than the bit of fluff that's just got stuck in my nail varnish, I'd like to conduct a survey about women's feelings. I'd ask them how they feel about being treated like a small, harmless and fluffy species, to be analysed and commented upon. Like marmosets. I wish I were a marmoset, with a cute little twitchy nose and all that shiny fur, and no lipgloss.