Today we are going to dive into a quote I read in a book recently:
The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser
He groans. “God save me from self-obsessed, high maintenance bitches.”
“I don’t much like her,” I say, but please don’t call her a bitch.” I lean on the counter, not looking at him.”
“Gendered insults are lazy.” I pause. “High maintenance is also gendered. obviously.”Jackie Fraser
I completely agree that gendered insults are lazy. They are also judgmental and wrong at least half the time. And this goes to statements made against any sex…
Is high maintenance a gendered statement?
When we use the term, what are we going for? What do we mean when we say high maintenance? Do we mean a Harry Met Sally thing? Are we talking about sandwiches with things on the side? Or is there something more?
But is being high maintenance really a thing that can be applied to women more often than men? I mean, my husband is WAY MORE high maintenance than I am…than my daughter is… I know just as many high main men as I do women…
Is this author just trying to jump on the women great/men suck bandstand? Is the author trying to be clever? Is the author trying to be pro women? Is the author so embarrassed that they are writing chick lit? Is the author trying to elevate their status to literary fiction? The whole book is lightweight trying desperately to be heavyweight…A regular maintenance reader can see that this book is full of itself…
Is high maintenance a gendered term? I don’t think so. Is it stupid to continually attribute things to men or women? Yes- I think that’s wrong.
But the real question here is simple: Am I wrong? Is the term high maintenance a gendered term?