Alex Casey catches the Men’s Panel on Good Morning, where four men dish their tips on how to deal with grumpy women.
“And coming up next on the Men’s Panel: taming the tetchy – our motley crew are going to share their advice for dealing with grumpy women” Jeanette Thomas says, as I sit bolt upright in my dressing gown, instantly grumpy. I’m sick today, so am doing what all reasonable humans do on a sick day: watching Good Morning and placing urgent orders for a Nutribullet, a Bambillow, and a bunch of funky containers that you can flatten into smaller containers in order to turn my life around.
But let’s pause all of that extremely positive personal progress for a moment. What the hell is the Good Morning men’s panel and why does it still exist? We HAVE a men’s panel already. It’s called THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. Do we really need any more hot takes on how blokes can cope with grumpy old bloody pesky women? “YES” screams Good Morning, suffocating me under 900 Bambillows and turning on the Shark Navigator to drown out my very loud groans.
So, chicks, right? They’re grumpy, right? “Sometimes you’re normal, other times we have to call a priest in” says actor Greg Johnson. The rest of the men’s panel nod with various rates of enthusiasm – we’ve also got Mayor of the Men’s Panel Robert Rakete (nee Wiggle), actor Will Hall and publisher and Spinoff contributor (fourth wall collapse) Finlay Macdonald.
Robert’s son recently asked him what he should do when he has a girlfriend and she is grumpy at him. The panel are impressed at this sophisticated question coming from a ten year old, whereas I am disheartened that boys as young as ten have already learned to treat the opposite sex like gremlins fed after midnight. Luckily Greg Johnson’s got a weird answer in the form of a gaffed Taken quote – you just ring your girlfriend and say “I know who you are, I’ve got special skills, I will find you.” Great start.
Will Hall regales us with a story of how his partner got angry at him this morning after he told her she had toothpaste on her mouth. It was apparently “his fault” for showering too long, steaming up the mirrors and not buying bright enough light bulbs. Will is saving all that up for “ammo” next time they fight. I feel equal parts uncomfortable and bored by these intimate petty insights, paired with combative lingo taken straight out of an early edition of the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ board game.
Finlay takes more of the grumpy blame upon himself, almost as if both men and women get grumpy sometimes because we’re all just humans who have to sit through terrible things like daytime variety show panels. He elaborates on how his partner’s grump levels are often more of a reaction to his mood, “I get irrationally grumpy, she’s rationally grumpy.”
Cool, job done. Panel over.
“But… what makes them moody?” Robert pushes.
Nobody needs to answer that, there’s no reason to start making any absurd claims here. Wheel out those funky containers from earlier, someone, please.
“Well… it’s hormones…” says Will.
“…the elephant in the room” nods Greg.
Robert warns “don’t ever mention… their cycle.” I can’t believe I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor in my dressing gown, listening to four grown men tell me about my menstrual cycle. Has anyone ever considered that it’s this exact type of bullshit that might make women so pissed off all the time?
The men share their tips on how to deal with hormonal women. “I don’t want to sound like a sexist stereotype” says Finlay, trailing off. Greg picks up the gauntlet, booming proudly “I just treat her like a foreigner who has asked me for instructions”. Robert’s tip is to always nod warmly, and say the last word that your partner has said back at her. You’d think they were giving tips on using voice commands to control a dysfunctional Furby, not ways to communicate with another equal adult human.
“You just gotta be careful, you got to read the wind” says someone – I didn’t see because, at this point, my head was in my hands. Will blabs out some more nonsense about how hugs release hormones, and the men turn to what makes them angry. “I don’t like John Key’s accent” barks Greg. “We never like the All Blacks losing” says Will. He knows a man who won’t speak to anyone for three days after the All Blacks lose a game. Ironically, that’s by far the moodiest example I’ve heard on this panel.
Proceedings wrap up with a touch more psuedo-science sexism. “Women are on average grumpy for ten days a year”, Will tells us, imploring that men keep tally on their “lady friend.” “Oh, a ‘lady friend’ – it’s the 1950s is it?” Greg jabs. Look around you Greg, clearly it still is. The panel cuts to Jeanette, penned away in her own little box (probably because of hormones). What a great chance to get her point of view, to actually have a woman talk about the experience of being in a woman’s body.
“So, are you experiencing one of the ten grumpy days a year?” Robert asks her.
I turn the TV off.
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