I got seduced in my supermarket, by low priced cereal. Nestle's "Fitnesse" to be specific. It was a pound a box and so, being a woman who likes a bargain, I bought several. Yes, with hindsight I can see that all the signs were there: it's a Nestle product, which kind of speaks for itself but in my defence I didn't register that fact until I got home; the name of the cereal: you see the feminized ending to the word? It's not just "Fitness", which I rather suspect they wouldn't be allowed to use, but FitnESSE, all delicate and pseudo-francais. It should have tipped me off. I'm ashamed as a Radfem that it didn't. So, having failed to recognise the warning signs, I broke into my first box this morning. And here's what I learned from my cereal box today as I read while I waited an inordinately long time for the kettle to boil, only to discover that I hadn't plugged it in:
1."Who's really going to know that you bought those take-me-now shoes a week before payday?" Who indeed?
2. "Who's really going to know that you didn't have one chocolate biscuit during the meeting, you had three?" Anyone else who happened to be in the meeting? Does it matter? I had more like twelve?
3. "Don't be a slave to the scales! What do they know about your shape?" Um. Okay?
4. "Try some alternative forms of exercise....take a dog for a walk - borrow your neighbour's if you don't have one!" No. That's just wrong. You need to be hyper-responsible where dogs are concerned. Dimwit.
5. "The Woman's Code of Honour: Always letting your best friend have first try of that last little black dress that's on sale... Never keeping secret addresses - such as the best hairdresser in town - to yourself...Always coming to the rescue in a man emergency with a glass of wine, DVD and box of tissues..." Oh, that's me alright. I'm never selfish when it comes to the LBD or who does my crew cut.
6."It's your life - live it your way. Three cheers for spontaneity, self-indulgence and self expression. It just feels so good!" Yes. Yes. Yes. And It does. But really, I think you may be patronising me now. Just a touch?
And finally, just when I was losing the will to go on, there was the instruction to "Eat Fab be Delicious". Which is trademarked. Yep. Trademarked.
So there you have it. Everything a woman needs to know from her cereal. Every stereotype going; cheeky little nuggets of "universal truths" humorously gathered together with some dynamic graphics and gorgeous photos of young, healthy vibrant women. All hinting at the great struggle that is femininity on "our terms". We CAN be gorgeous and have that last chocolate biscuit! We CAN wear take-me-now shoes and still have a job in an office! Wow! How empowerful are we?!
If you are looking for a cereal to help you either move your bowels or puke, look no further. Forget the contents, just read the back of the box.