Saturday, 9 December 2017

The Most Interesting Woman in the World 
By Tricia Lunt


A few years ago, I emailed Dos Equis. I had an idea to expand their marketing strategy and customer base. Why not introduce The Most Interesting Woman in the World?
I got a polite form email. Thanks, but no thanks.
I wasn’t surprised.
This exchange with Dos Equis somehow came up in conversation at a barbeque on Labor Day weekend, even though no Dos Equis products were in sight.  
My friend Nate asked, somewhat incredulously, “But what would that look like?”
Here I should point out that he wasn’t talking about appearances. He was suggesting that it would be seemingly more difficult to find a woman who could successfully embody the abstract concepts associated with “being interesting.”
I think it would be easy. Just envision the same characteristics attributed to The Most Interesting Man in the World present in a woman.
He’s charming; she’s charming.
He’s adventurous; she’s adventurous.
He’s charismatic; she’s charismatic.
He’s athletic; she’s athletic.
He’s creative; she’s creative.
What’s so difficult?
Then, of course, Nate mentioned something about whether or not she would or should be a portrayed as a mom.
Is The Most Interesting Man in the World a dad?
Do we know?
Do we care?
Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.
Maybe the most relevant thing is that it doesn’t appear to be relevant.
This exchange reminded me of George R. R. Martin’s famous remark with regard to his talent for creating compelling female characters.
His reply, “You know, I've always considered women to be people.”
Considering women primarily as people: sadly, an idea uncommon enough to be considered a remarkable insight.
I recall a previous conversation with Mike, who also happened to be at the Labor Day BBQ. (At this point I should admit that it is awfully nice to have so many interesting and thought-provoking—though clearly vexing—conversations).
My friend Mike and I were talking about sex. You could wonder why, but I believe I read somewhere that the average human thinks about sex several times a minute. Anecdotal evidence seems to support this estimate.
In any case, we were talking about sex: how great it is, and how healthy. Any respectable doctor, therapist, or councilor will tell you an active sex life is a very good thing indeed.
At some point during the conversation, I said I enjoyed how powerful sex made me feel, eliciting a blank stare from Mike.
Once again, I confused a man.
“You feel powerful?” Mike asked.                           
“Yes,” I said, “sex makes me feel powerful.”
“Doesn’t sex make you feel powerful?” I asked.
“Yes, I feel powerful, I just didn’t think that women would feel that way,” he replied.
Recently, a genetic test revealed that the mummified remains of an ancient Viking were those of a woman. Since the discovery in the 19th century, it had been assumed that the remains were male due to the presence of paraphernalia fit for a heroic warrior.
I encounter so much failure of imagination.
Imagine a woman as interesting.
Imagine a woman as powerful.
Imagine a woman as warrior.
Imagine a woman as a fully human, capable of anything.