Yianni Agisilaou became aware of all the little inequalities between men and women when he accidentally put on his girlfriends jeans and realised that even when it comes to pocket size, women are far from equal. He discusses his show Pockets of Equality and five odd things he’s noticed men can get away with but women can’t.
Hi. I’m Yianni and I’m a man. I didn’t plan it. There wasn’t much to it. It’s just the way things turned out. But walking in my skin means lots of real world differences compared to my female friends - which inspired my Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Pockets of Equality’.
Not all pockets are created equal
My girlfriend and I went to Uniqlo and both bought a pair of black, stretch jeans. Soon afterwards, quite by mistake, I accidentally wore her jeans instead of mine.
Ironically, I didn’t notice my mistake by the length or the fit of the jeans. I only noticed when I put my hands in her ‘pockets’. Women, you won’t know this. It’s a casual secret of the patriarchy.
POCKETS CAN BE ENORMOUS. I could hardly fit my fingers in hers, let alone my manly hands.
We happened to be going to a wedding. While I was ready to walk out the door in 15 minutes flat wearing JEANS and still living up to the dress code, she got blisters from her shoes, her bra dug in, and she still had to take a handbag so she could carry around her make up to do “touch ups”.
I wasn’t even that put out by the jeans mix-up, since my jacket also had a bazillion (standard) pockets. Since then she’s started “borrowing” my jeans in protest until we can go and get her a boy’s pair.
Where are the Silver Vixens?
We all get old. We get grey hairs. Wrinkles. We put on weight.
A 50 year old man with a few wrinkles, a paunch and a complement of grey hairs can be “distinguished” or a “silver fox”. His female counterpart is on an endless treadmill of choosing “smart” outfits to disguise “problem areas”, highlights, dye jobs and possible botox injections.
It’s remarkable how some problems become advantages with the simple addition of a penis!
I don’t have to shave, wax or pluck anything I don’t want to.
As a 10 year old Greek boy with unwanted arm hair, I DESPERATELY wanted to do all of that (and tried. Patchy scissored arm hair, anyone?) but boy, was that tedious, painful work. I certainly wouldn’t want society to expect me to do it regularly on pain of judgement.
I am not assertive. I hate asking for things, I overuse words like “quite” and “perhaps” but at least when I am assertive, people don’t call me bossy. I get to be a boss man! Doing Boss Moves!
You know who the bossy male is? He’s the boss. He gets a corner office. You’d think assertive women at least have “leadership potential”, but more often they get called “pushy” or a “ballbreaker”.
And that’s even assuming that being bossy, extroverted and assertive is the best way to lead, which studies show isn’t necessarily the case. It’s just the man way. Perhaps it’s time for a new generation of leadership where leaders are short, hate confrontation and making decisions and each meeting ends with a cry session where we “let it all out”.
I’m a Cat Man! (skee ba da ba da bow)
Whether we like it or not, cat ownership comes with its own set of stereotypes.
“He’s got a cat? Oh isn’t that cute! He’s so sensitive and caring AND he loves animals!”
“She’s got a cat? Hmmm…I wonder if she’s had a boyfriend in the last five years? Three cats? Call the loony bin!”
My girlfriend is doing her best to redress this balance, having created coffee mugs with photos of me and her cat captioned with ‘Crazy Cat Man’ and sneaks them into my luggage for my tours.
To hear about these and many more of the ridiculous rules we’ve managed to weave into this thing we call a society, come and say hi in the Banshee Labyrinth during Fringe.
Yianni Agisilaou: Pockets of Equality is on at the Banshee Labyrinth from 5th-27th August (not Mondays). Tickets available at www.edfringe.com.