I’m right on track to transmorph into a cunty bitch and I’m okay with that.

I’m so tired.

Tired of trying to please, tired of explaining myself, tired of trying to be skinny or pretty or put-together or wearing clothes that weren’t designed to fit human bodies.

Tired of still being referred to as “girl” (by men).

Tired of carrying around this belief that I can never be enough (mainly, because I’m not a man).

Granted, I’ve been what we in the patriarchy refer to as a tomboy, so it’s not like I’m new to the ranks of mythological creatures. These are the girls who exhibit characteristics or behaviours traditionally considered typical of boys.

I excelled at martial arts. I liked climbing and biking. I was into sports. I was always physically strong. I’d fall down and just grit my teeth to keep going, even with an injury. I wore skate sneaks, shapeless t-shirts and had short hair.

Then, when I got tired of that, I turned to skirts and dresses, got a diploma as a make-up artist and went to work in the cosmetics industry. I started wearing high-heels, jewellery and went out clubbing with my girlfriends.

But every time I switched from one to the other, it pissed people off. Why, I couldn’t fathom, but the patriarchy doesn’t know what to do with non-binary individuals (other than hate them).

What does it matter what I look like? What does it matter what my pronouns are? I am me and you are you. The only time you need pronouns to describe me is when you’re talking to someone else about me.

So, what’s the patriarchal myth about women over 40?

It’s a set of stereotypes and misconceptions that are influenced by patriarchal attitudes that suggest that women’s value, attractiveness, and productivity decline after they reach the age of 40. 

A woman’s physical attractiveness diminishes as she ages, especially post-40, souring like milk, while men become more ‘distinguished’, ageing like fine wine.

Women over 40 are less adaptable, less technologically savvy, or less capable of career growth compared to their younger counterparts. In short, they’re bitter cunts who resent their younger, spryer counterparts.

Women’s relevance in social, cultural, and media spaces declines with age. This is reflected in the under-representation of older women in media and entertainment.

How many ageing actresses have we heard talking about the phone that used to ring off the hook going silent after they hit 40?

The patriarchal myth emphasizes declining fertility as a key aspect of a woman’s worth, implying that beyond a certain age, women’s roles as mothers or potential mothers are diminished.

This also perpetuates the idea that older women are less desirable as romantic partners compared to younger women. Older men are titled silver foxes, older women are seen as swamp hags and witches.

Older women are perceived as being less mentally sharp or less able to contribute intellectually, despite evidence to the contrary.

All of this is bullshit, of course.

Not only are these myths discriminatory, but they overlook the richness of experience, wisdom, and capabilities that women over 40 bring.

And it’s an easy out to say that women over 40 become bitter, because it’s usually around that time that the anger comes to a crescendo.

The anger of having existed in a patriarchal system for several decades, bending over backwards to try in fit into it somehow. But then you finally realise, that’s never gonna happen.

And you become angry.

At the world. 

At the patriarchy.

But also at yourself. 

Because you’ve put up with the shit, tried to conform to the shit for so long. Because you’ve been complicit in your own oppression.

And once that perspective sets in, the IDGAF attitude comes out.

You realise you ran out of fucks a long time ago.

You stop breaking yourself in order to fit in.

And you start taking up space instead.

You start using your voice.

That’s when the patriarchy turns around and says, “Oh, look, there is the gorgon herself.” (The men as well as the women, because we’re all living in the patriarchy.)

But there’s also freedom here. When the world stops looking at you like you should be eligible to be bent over the next table at the whim of the next stud, you can move more freely in the world.

In this liminal space just shy of 40, I’ve learned to stop saying sorry all the time.

I’ve learned to voice my opinions without being afraid it’s going to be “too much”.

I’ve stopped worrying about being so fucking nice all the time.

And yeah, some days I’m a down right cunty bitch. But when I let her out, instead of shove her back into the box in order to maintain that smiling veneer, I feel better.

I don’t take my shit out on other people (that’s another one of those things I’ve lived long enough to learn), but I also don’t apologise for having an opinion, for voicing it, for not having flawless skin, for showing up in comfortable clothes, for existing.

Being a mythological creature isn’t the end of the world, especially, when you understand that life doesn’t end there, like on some competitive TV show.

Life goes on, the sun still comes up, even after you turn 40.