Stefania Prestigiacomo, minister for Equal opportunities in the Italian government, has come up with ten commandments for female happiness:
* Consider motherhood a value – it is the greatest experience for women
* Follow your childhood dream
* Keep falling in love
* Buy something useless every once in a while
* Take pride in your own beauty
* Do not be upset by your man if he doesn’t notice when you’ve been to the hairdresser – it is his loss
* Do not be envious of important people; they, too, often spend evenings just watching television
* Travel to broaden your mind
* Defend other women
I don’t agree with all of them. Number seven for example. Since when did I ever envy anyone who has to go out every night? My idea of a good evening is the apero a grande vitesse, followed by dinner with my husband and children and bed with a good book by 9.30pm. Or watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Number nine is slightly dodgy too – defending other women is just not in our genetic make-up. As a friend of mine said yesterday when we were discussing what makes us happy “nothing makes me more miserable than seeing other women happy.” In France, at least, sisterhood is dead and buried.
And what about men? Their list is a lot shorter, as I saw at lunch yesterday with Leo and his friend Louis, both aged four.
“Mine’s bigger than yours,” said Leo, holding up a piece of emmental to compare with his friend’s bit of emmental.
“No,” protested Louis. “Mine’s much bigger.”
It starts early…….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007