GreenasSky A gambol in the goodies by Sloan Nota

The Pushbutton Smile of Perpetual Girlhood


Woman grinning

smiling female

I say women, I mean women as traditionally socialized. I say wimmin, I mean valkyries who’ve had it with patriarchy and its affectations. Wimmin are hungry for power, women say “Oh gosh, not me.’ And I don’t need all women to be wimmin. Lord what a mess! I just need wimmin to win elections and elbow the dickheads out of the way.

Violent? Not as violent as they’ve been to us.

Resentful? Like we never noticed your stolid dependence on inequality. Us notice?

Wimmin have storm in their chests. Women storm elsewhere. Maybe in pie crusts or crocheted coverlets, not in your face. Wimmin will get in your face.

Now our challenge is to find an ‘off’ button for The Smile. Ladies, just turn it off! Maybe the hardest thing you ever try to do. Can you decondition yourself from The Smile? The model’s smile, the johnny-on-the-spot smile, the grit your teeth but disarm him smile? The wife smile, the podium smile, the everything’s-just-rosy smile. The secretary smile, the tiara winner’s smile, the store clerk’s smile. “May I help you?”

We hide such chaotic fantasies behind those smiles. That smile placates when we’re damned if we’ll placate. That smile quickly slides into second place, it won’t compete. They beguile when we’re goddam done beguiling. Our pushbutton smiles are wired into our systems like the twitch in a cat’s tail is wired into the cat.

Wired in like braces on teeth.


The Smile is a girl’s useful tool with many gadgets to deploy. The Smile is also useful to men, to keep us smiling into their eyes. Proof that we don’t trust ourselves yet.

When will wimmin decide to trust ourselves?




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