Rosie's Top 20... Ways you're screwing up being a woman.

I recently read about another powerful woman who stood up and declared that there is A New Thing That All Women Should Be Doing In Order To Be Successful Women. Ellen Petrey Leanse, a former Google executive and basic all-around big shot, wrote an article for Business Insider, proclaiming that using the word ‘just’ diminishes women of their power, so women should now avoid using said word. Said word is to be banished, along with others like ‘Voldemort’ and ‘moist’.

Here’s Leanse’s reasoning:

“It hit me that there was something about the word I didn’t like. It was a “permission” word, in a way — a warm-up to a request, an apology for interrupting, a shy knock on a door before asking “Can I get something I need from you?”

Ellen Petrey Leanse – heroically discovered another rule that will make us all better women.

It was after reading that sentence that my eyes glazed over and I JUST wanted to close my computer and take a nap instead of trying to be a human lady for a day. I’m JUST so exhausted by all these rules I’m supposed to be following in order to do womanhood correctly. Whether it’s ‘leaning in’ or ‘apologising too much’ or ‘freeing the nipple’, so many different women have set so many opposing rules in motion that sometimes it can all just feel a bit… Much. And I just said just again. Fuck.

So, to celebrate the fact that another privileged rich lady has given us all another ‘woman rule’ to follow, here is a collated list of the Top 20 rules women need to navigate in order to do womanhood correctly. (Please note, there were so many rules that my very first Top 20 turned into 26, but this is my column and I’d appreciate it if you’d just let me live my life.)

1. Don’t say ‘just’ because it makes you seem weak.

2. Say ‘just’ if you want to because a woman’s language should never be controlled.

3. Waxing your pubes is relenting to the patriarchy.


4. Waxing your pubes is a powerful example of the ownership you have over your body.

5. Lean in because not leaning in means you’re letting the team down by being passive and lazy.

6. Lean out because leaning in is placing unrealistic expectations on women and as a woman you shouldn’t be complacent in that.

7. Avoid eating sugar for a healthy body and mind. SUGAR IS DEATH.

8. Eat sugar, because crazy diets are just a multi-million dollar industry that keep women in a FOOD PRISON. 

9. Cunt is an offensive word to women. Don’t use it.

10. Cunt is a powerful word for women. Use it.

11. Be strong enough to love and accept your body the way it is, fat, skinny and everything in between.

12. Be strong enough to respect your body the way it deserves, by working hard to look like those kick-boxing women in female gym ads. You know, the ones who are healthy, and by ‘healthy’, I mean perfectly toned, because being too skinny or too fat is unforgivable. 

13. Don’t read women’s magazines or you’ll be betraying the sisterhood. “24 steaming hot ways to keep him happy in bed” is an embarrassment to us all.

14. Women’s magazines provide an important and much needed platform for women. “24 steaming hot ways to keep him happy in bed” opens the door for women to talk openly about sex.

15. Don’t say ‘sorry’ all the time. You have nothing to apologise for. Unless you said sorry.

16. Saying ‘sorry’ is fine, it’s just a sign of a female’s natural empathy and nurturing nature. Don’t be afraid to own your feminine traits. 

17. Eat organic to nourish your body the way it deserves. 


18. Eating organic is only for wanky supermodels. Be a cool girl and eat doughnuts. Just don’t gain weight.

19. You’re only over-sexualising yourself because the male-dominated society has forced you to.

20. Celebrating your sexuality however you want is brave and empowering.

21. Don’t put off having kids in case your junk goes bad and your eggs die. You aren’t a real woman until you have kids, and every period is a wasted opportunity.

22. Concentrate on your career before starting a family because that’s what a man would do. Every period means another month of uninterrupted work. YOU’RE SO POWERFUL AND INDEPENDENT.

23. Free the nipple.

24. Freeing the nipple is just admitting that your body is the most important thing about you. Don’t be such a slave to men’s visual expectations.

25. Don’t say vagina, SAY VULVA. Not understanding the correct terminology for your body is embarrassing to your gender.

26. It’s your vagina. Call that special place/beef curtains/lady garden/fish taco/fanny whatever the fuck you want. Just make sure you say it all the time, because real women talk about their vaginas.

See! Being a woman is not confusing at all!

Good luck, ladies!


More by Rosie Waterland:

Thirty Seconds.

Rosie Reviews: Fifty Shades of Grey.

The lie almost every woman has told to impress a man.

Resolutions I probably should have made but didn’t because resolutions are stupid and I’m awesome.