A timely and entertaining exploration of why ambitious women are often perceived as rude and how the power of rudeness can be harnessed in relationships, in bed, at work, and in everyday life.
During a TV interview with a comedian, journalist Rebecca Reid found herself unable to get a word in edgewise. So, when she put her finger to her lips and shushed him, she became instantly known on the internet as “Rebecca Rude.” It was only then that she realized that being rude could actually be her superpower.
A captivating blend of advice and pop culture, this “breezy feminist guide” (Publishers Weekly) shows you how to use the power of boldness in every area of your life. Exploring famous women who have been perceived as rude—including Princess Margaret, Anna Wintour, Taylor Swift, Meghan Markle, and others—Rude demonstrates how those women used their “rudeness” to get what they want and deserve out of life.
Reid also addresses whether there are different rules of rudeness for women compared to men (yes, there are) and how being taught not to be rude actually prevents women from being successful—especially because when women are assertive, they are often judged as being aggressive. And while there’s a place for politeness, Rebecca argues that it’s never a bad time to stand up for yourself and achieve your dreams.
Chapter 1: RUDE to Your Friends
THE RIGHT KIND OF Rude to Your Friends
Your friends are some of the hardest people to be rude to, especially if you’ve known them for a long time and set the expectation that you will behave in a certain way. However, good friends will be understanding (if a little surprised) when you announce a regime change.
It’s normal for friendships to ebb and flow. It is not your responsibility to keep every single one of your friendships in perfect harmony at all times.
Friendships should involve give-and-take. If you come away from every meeting feeling drained, having only talked about the other person, then that friendship is not working for you.
When your friends have children, it will change their lives. You are not obligated to completely change yours, unless you want to.
A little bit of bitching and gossiping is normal—women have been socialized to talk about each other rather than to each other. That said, if you are constantly expressing the same frustrations about the same person, that’s a compass for your true feelings about them and you should follow it.
Sometimes friendships need breakups, just like romantic relationships do.
Friendship groups where everyone gets along brilliantly and you’re all equally close to one another are fiction. Liberate yourself from that aspiration and you’ll feel a whole lot freer.
You are not an unpaid therapist and if someone is using you as such, you have the right to set boundaries.
That said, you should expect people to mirror the boundaries you set for them. Being rude doesn’t mean being unreasonable, and you can’t do the three a.m. “Why doesn’t he love me?” call if you’ve told your girlfriends that you will have friendship office hours between eleven and one on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Rebecca Reid is a journalist based in London. She is a columnist for the Telegraph women’s section and for Metro. She writes regularly for Marie Claire, The Guardian, Telegraph online, the Saturday Telegraph, The Independent, Grazia, Stylist, and the iPaper, and she appears regularly on Good Morning Britain, where she argues with everyone from Piers Morgan to Jameela Jamil about gender politics, social class, and sex and relationships.