R&G Week – Battle of the Sexes | Ashleigh Hayman

AshleighImage3In the unlikely event you haven’t heard: R&G week is here! We’ve long been saving our airgead, RSVP/guestlisting on Facebook and planning our outfits for this notorious affair. The lads amongst you may not have actually done the latter because, although we can all agree it’s time for the craic, the women and men of UCC will have slightly different experiences of this week.

Firstly, ladies face the truly daunting challenge of grooming and attire.

AshleighImage1That’s not to say there aren’t some guys out there who put in an effort, but even the GTL Jersey Shore types can’t compete with their female counterparts. The mission starts with making sure one does not possess a single hair other than on one’s scalp – in the most extreme cases, even the eyebrows or side-scalps don’t survive. When you are waxed/shaved raw, you turn to plying yourself with pungent brown liquid in an attempt to con others into forgetting it was miserable and wet all winter. Then come the body lotions, hair oils and other concoctions promising to turn us all into Victoria’s Secret models in less than 24 hours. These rituals have to be done before the week has even started.

Come the night, we still need foundation, perfume, fake eyelashes, nail polish, lipstick, bronzer, blusher… anything that ensures our true looks never see the light of day (or the fluorescent lighting of the Bodega bathrooms). Throw in the mixture of preening under the influence of alcohol and it is little wonder so many of us end up looking more Krusty the Clown and less Angelina Jolie.

All made up and smelling of the nauseating mix of coconut shampoo, Penneys’ tan and sweet perfume, the female must then squeeze into clothing purposely designed to make one feel uncomfortable. If it doesn’t cling to any hint of a meal eaten in the last week, you are not doing it right. It may be minus 20°C outside, but the brave broad will cast aside the need for a jacket and put on 8 inch heels eerily reminiscent of old Chinese foot-binding customs. One final tug of the curling or straightening iron and they are ready for the night. Of course, one hour later, after mere minutes in the sweat pits otherwise know as nightclubs, all this effort has slide off into a pool of perspiration and drunken tears.

However there are some challenges faced more predominantly by our male equivalents too. A spritz of Lynx or a quick shower may do the grooming job justice, but there is the mysterious matter of the male ego in all its bravado. It dictates one must consume copious amounts of alcohol in short periods of time to display his ‘tankness’ to all the other males watching. He must then partake in activities heralded purely for their stupidity in order to attain some ‘ledge’ status and make at least one walk of shame to ensure it is known he is not dry. Women can do these things too if they like, but men must do them to prove they can. Common sense, interests in college or sobriety are often looked down upon.

Should any of the above activities make said male feel insecure or upset, there is no cosy heart-to-heart to revive his spirits. Girls gather around the next day consoling and gossiping over tea, assuring each other that they are all strong independent women. None of that sentimental nonsense for the lad though – he must just laugh off the unavoidable mockery and go right on shot gunning his cans.

The gals of UCC will spend far too much on beauty regimes and taxis. The lads however must spend twice as much of their savings on their own beveRAGes, not to mention the drinks they will buy in an attempt to win over unsuspecting girls. Should any of this winning-over go to plan, the nicer ones may even splash out on taxis home or a McD’s cheeseburger. Who says chivalry is dead?

However, come the end of the week, we will all share the RAGing headache, very empty pockets and the pile of untended college work in exhausted unison.

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Disclaimer: I am not in any way advocating the consumption of alcohol, avoiding of lectures or eating of fast food. I swear.