Cheeky. It's a word that many, many men have used to describe me. And I take issue with it.
I had a near miss with a knobhead on the dating site - someone that I was actually going to meet. And then he described himself as an 'Alpha' male, repeatedly called me cheeky and said things like: "I'll let you win that one."
This is not a one off occurrence. Recently I've had quite a few real life men also refer to me as 'cheeky' and then said things like "We have such a connection," and "You're so challenging."
The reason I have specifically said men here is that, on the last occasion I was called cheeky by a man (about three days ago) I had a little think about whether any woman ever had said anything like this. And no, they haven't.
Every time a guy says this to me, I cringe and sick up a bit in my mouth. It's a very weird power word to use to a woman who is pushing 40. If I argue with you, then I don't have a valid point, I'm just being 'cheeky'. If I stand up to you, then I'm not to be taken seriously, for I am just being 'cheeky'.
When have you ever heard of a grown man being called cheeky for arguing, debating or even indulging in the scourge of our times, 'banter'?
The last time a man called me cheeky and it was OK, it was because I was 19 and the man was David Baddiel and I was being cheeky. Because when I meet celebrities I get all weird and sarcastic and decide to ask them point blank about the break up of their iconic comedy partnership and whether Rob Newman is a knob. So, being called cheeky in those circumstances was OK.
But it makes my stomach turn to be called cheeky by a man who obviously is trying to get me into bed. It's weird and control freaky and really patriarchal. It turns me and my personality into a cariacture of a 'cheeky little girl' trying to get one up on the big man. Just look at the synonyms in the definition: saucy, impertinent, insolent.
All things you'd expect a rosy cheeked teenage maid of all work to be called by the 19th century master of the house. It doesn't work with a 37 year old woman who can certainly be rude, argumentative, contrary and irritating, but is never 'cheeky'.
And that, mate? That isn't a connection, that is not be flirting, it's me consistently showing you vocally that I think you're a bit of a knob. It's a fine line between flirty banter and using actual words to tell someone what you think of them, but so many times recently it's been dismissed by the guy as 'ooooh, you're a cheeky one' and 'I can tell by the way you question me and answer me back that we have such a connection.'
Answer you back? You're not my fucking teacher or my boss, you twat. I'm not being cheeky. I just don't like you.