The title of the post reveals a secret we have all been longing to know. It is the secret, the very essence, of femininity. How do I know? A drag queen told me so.

Yep. Last night, at the bridge club Christmas party, a barman named Derek* spent an agonisingly long time discussing his drag equipment, and showing us (myself, Ariel and a couple of other women, neither of whom was in drag) his make-up box and high-heeled white boots.

[* Real name equally prosaic.]

I wanted to SCREAM. I mean, if getting up in drag is what you like to do, then fine. But if you want to tell me about it, please don’t do so as though we are having a cosy girly chat about the kind of stuff we women talk about all the time. Please don’t just expect me to be interested in your make-up problems (somebody pinched my best red lipstick!) or to empathise with the agonies of trying to find sexy high heeled boots in your size. And whatever you do, if you don’t want a blank look, please don’t ask me whether I think that the corset you bought in Ann Summers was a good buy. Contrary to what you evidently assume, I am not an expert.

And OK, the bit about the massage sponges did engage my interest briefly. They are, indeed, about the right size and shape. Yes, I’m happy to talk about boobs. I like boobs. But why-oh-why, dear Derek, did you have to follow up your little demonstration with the comment that “Unlike you poor ladies, I get to take mine off at the end of the night!” ??

(Because, of course, having boobs that don’t come off must be the height of inconvenience.)

I couldn’t resist commenting that if I did take mine off before I went to bed, the toddler sitting on my lap would find that most distressing. Sadly, nobody took the bait and I was left internally screaming – NOOOOOO! I’m not into drag, I’m not into make-up, I’m not into fake boobs or high heels, and I really really wish, dear Derek, that you would stop looking at we women with that conspiratorial air of one who thinks he is initiated into the secrets of womanhood, an honorary “girl”.

You aren’t.

You can put on your slap-red lipstick, you can insert those sponges, you can wear a dress and your white high-heeled sexayyy boots. You can wiggle those hips, and camp it up in fairy wings. But those boobs come off. The femininity is external. Whatever else you may be, the one thing you aint, is a woman.

You don’t know the half of it.

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