Welcome back to Lady Things, the column where we celebrate Jesus' birthday by thinking of his poor mother.
This week, our column is directed not just at ladies but at the people who want to give December gifts to ladies. Stuff those stockings right this year, and make sure the human woman in your life has something she might actually be able to use.
Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Playset ($14.95)
It's possible, maybe even likely, we'll have a lady president in the nearish future. Sure, she's in the pocket of corporate interests, and voting for her is voting for a presidential dynasty. And yes, she's no Bernie Sanders, and she's not likely to rock the boat on a lot of lady-related things. But still, get this paper doll set and play out your own feminist future America fantasy. Make Hillary's cabinet be Oprah, R.B.G and a powerful lady eagle.
Menstrual Cup (around $40)
On Dec. 25, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But did you know his dad cursed all women by making them bleed from the vagina once a month during their most active, white-pants-wearing years?
Help your lady keep those pants white by buying her a life-changing device to put inside her body to catch God's punishment fluid. Happy birthday, Jesus! Tell your dad thanks for nothing!
Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels ($18 per book)
The Buddha said, "Life is suffering." Yet, most novels that women are raised on, as well as TV and movies and Facebook status updates, do not portray the reality of this situation and, in fact, fill young-lady heads with false ideas about how life is going to be (romantic, full of meet-cutes and happy endings, well-styled, well-lit).
The mysterious Elena Ferrante has other ideas. Her insanely readable quartet—OK, I'm actually only on the third book, but I read the first two in two days and now, on day three, I am pretty pissed that I have to be at work instead of on my couch binge-reading—tells the story of two friends growing up and becoming adults in the brutal poverty of 1950s and '60s Naples. Italy, in these novels, isn't dreamy Venetian gondolas, pasta, wine and stone-paved streets but instead an unescapeable prison for almost all women, where they are considered property, beaten regularly and assaulted in pretty much every way you could imagine.
Sure, our culture is a little bit more subtle than that of midcentury Italy. But still, it isn't too difficult to see the struggles of our mothers in the lives of the main characters, Elena and Lila. The struggle to be treated as human, to be allowed to attend school and college, to have control over their bodies, not to be beaten to death. Of course, it doesn't take much imagination to see that those battles aren't exactly resolved (see: Stylish Bulletproof Vest below). So buy your lady these books—the younger, the better. Maybe it won't change the world, but at least they might reorder her expectations and save her some future disappointment.
Clone-A-Willy for Crafting ($44.95)
Give your lady the gift of creatively expressing penis envy this year. Buy her one of these Clone-A-Willy kits, and she can make her own version of the male sex organ in any shape she wants!
Gift Certificate to Planned Parenthood (any amount you want!)
They always say it's better to give someone an experience than to give them a new piece of junk. This year, consider giving your lady the experience of curing her UTI, the experience of finally getting the IUD put in, or even the experience of an HPV vaccine. Please note, I have no proof that Planned Parenthood sells gift certificates, but you could just give your lady some cash with the note: "This is for Planned Parenthood."
Stylish Bulletproof Vest ($119.99)
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: "Every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten." Also: "The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent."
With recent terrorist attacks by white men on female-centric places like Planned Parenthood and the theater where Amy Schumer's movie Trainwreck was being shown, women now don't just have to worry about being shot by their angry male partners, they also have to worry about being shot by angry male strangers.
Put a fun spin on personal safety by getting your lady a stylish "leather motorcycle" bulletproof vest! Nothing says "I love you" like not shooting your spouse. But if you can't do that, the next best thing is to allow her to protect her vital organs when you do end up shooting her.
Adele's New Album ($9.99)
Is your lady a human and not a robot? Get her this.