Austin went viral again this week, and for quite the embarrassing reason. By now y’all have probably heard about that training session at city hall — you know, the one with all the valuable advice for handling the slight increase of ladies on our city council. Yeah.
So, this session went viral because the speaker claimed, among other things, that women just naturally ask more questions than men, and staff must be prepared for that radical change. Well, what do you know? Now the #whatwomenask hashtag is no joke!
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I’m a lady, so I feel better qualified than this fella in assisting the fine folks who work in our city government with all these dang lady questions. After all, we just can’t help ourselves! Since this sort of training was so necessary, I’ve come up with my own coursework for our clueless city staffers, who clearly must have no idea how to talk to women.
So, what kind of inquiries might an unsuspecting staffer expect from our majority-female council? These here are my top 10 now-most-likely-coming-from-a lady questions that city staff urgently need training to deal with. (Bonus: This list was also vetted by my editor, who is a man, just so y’all know it’s totally valid and to be taken 110 percent seriously. ;0)
10.) Would you mind carrying that for me?
Women are the weaker sex, so expect to lend a hand to those damsels in distress, carrying around those heavy file folders or, heaven forbid, an expensive piece of office equipment. Also, be on the lookout for the ladies who need help reaching the top shelf in the copy room. Every woman knows that’s where all the reams of pretty pastel paper are stored, and they will naturally need your help. Then again, who thought up that silly storage system in the first place? Probably a man.
9.) Do you want a cookie?
I hope the city has an employee gym, because with all of the baked goods surely flooding the break rooms at city hall, there’s bound to be some pants feeling tighter. As we all know, every woman loves to bake, but the sugar shock they inflict upon offices can be intense. Well, just blame it on the hormones! They can’t help but crave all manner of fattening junk, and they will want to share the guilt of eating it with you, so watch out.
8.) Is there any Advil in the first aid kit?
Speaking of hormones, it’s widely known that women who work together will all have that time of the month together. If city staff really want to be supportive, I suggest keeping a hoard of painkillers and feminine hygiene supplies in the office supply closets from now on. You know, just in case. And even if it’s not that time of the month, women are always getting headaches or complaining about something. Ugh, stupid hormones!
7.) Does this make me look fat?
Ah! The Million Dollar Question That Should Always Be Answered With A Convincing No! Besides, it’s just water weight. A couple of brisk walks around the hike and bike trail in the heat of the day should take care of it.
6.) Have you tried Zumba?
Ladies who sit in meetings and snack all day eventually can’t fit into their power suits. This inevitably leads them to begin dieting, and the next step is leaving work early three days a week to attend fitness classes. But since women are notoriously fickle, expect the watercooler fitness conversations to change frequently. Basically, this will all revolve around whatever they’re doing at the moment. Expect to hear about crossfit, acrobatic yoga, or even pole dancing (which you should never ask them about). Also, Ballet Austin has tons of great classes and it’s just a couple blocks away from city hall. It’s probably okay to ask about that kind of dancing.
5.) Where did you get that jacket?
Everyone knows the only thing women love more than fashion is shopping for fashion! If you’re rocking something fabulous at work, those lady council members are going to want ALL the details. Like, what brand? Was it on sale? Yadda, yadda, yadda. Of course, women also love getting their hair and nails done, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear soon of important city business happening in massaging pedicure chairs. What’s that, madam councilor? All our meetings will be at the W spa from now on? Yes mam!
4.) Do you need a hug?
A woman’s intuition can detect an emotional crisis from miles away, so expect the city’s top decision makers to be drawn to your petty drama like moths to a flame. If you’re having a bad day at work, expect to be confronted about your mental state and promptly consoled, even by that one lady who is usually a bitch. There’s no use trying to conceal your angst, because we all know that a woman will nag you into telling her what’s wrong. And if you disclose something especially scandalous, be prepared for her to tell everybody else about it.
3.) Can I talk to my husband first?
Females know they are nothing without their male companions. Nothing! Guys are just better at certain things like making important decisions, and city staff needs to know that right now. That means after you’ve patiently gone over the math of a proposal, and even explained things in “lady terms,” fielding a bajillion questions along the way, don’t be surprised if a female in a position of power delays her decision until after a consultation with her number one dude. Sure, she could decide things for herself, but city staff must understand that she’ll be a lot more confident with the decision if she gets her man’s approval first.
2.) Do you mind if I breastfeed?
Look, women have breasts. Those breasts are for feeding babies. They are not sexual objects. If you have a problem with a woman feeding her child, then you need to get over it. A woman shouldn’t have to sequester herself in a special room or bathroom stall to sustain her little one. When this becomes a much more common sight at city hall, staff will need to graciously go about their business. Yes, that’s right, ignore this beautiful and soon-to-be-ever-present event. And especially don’t stare!
1.) Who arranged this ridiculous training session?
Let’s get real. Women do not like being treated as if they’re some kind of special-yet-unequal class of citizen. Women have brains just like men, and all over the place it seems like women are using those brains to become your boss. So, if you’re in a position to arrange staff activities at Austin City Hall, make sure you don’t arrange something as shockingly offensive as this little session turned out. As the organizer of this event discovered, your lady boss might fire you… But only after consulting her man, because that’s just the way it is.
Male editor’s note: In case you couldn’t tell, this article is satire. Also, sorry for #mansplaining satire just now. You knew that already. We’re just really trying our best down here in Austin. Honest.