Bloody women

July 16, 2014
Thank you Pinterest
So yesterday was Emmeline Pankhurst’s 156th birthday. Please already know this but if not, she was (in my humble opinion) the mother of modern feminism who dedicated her whole existence to seeking equality for women-albeit using some occasionally questionable methods. Call me naive but I expected the streets to be filled with ladies of every ilk chanting ‘votes for women’ and generally embracing the sisterhood. Not so. 


I stopped off to wash my car after work dressed in my finest corporate get up – pencil skirt and heels. As I pulled into the car wash there were three other people there: two men and a woman (I’m like Jason Bourne, I notice this shit). I wouldn’t say that I felt intimidated or weird about it but it did cross my mind that I might get heckled by the men whilst clambering about the back seat of my car in my snugly fitting skirt and red shoesies. It made me sad that I thought it but I did. I guess we all have some work to do there… 

Imagine my surprise when, other than a nod and a smile, they proffered no reaction at all to the small woman with the big hair athletically cleaning her own car*shock horror*. Imagine my further surprise when the woman who was also washing her car openly stopped to stare at me for a good 4 minutes (the precise length of time the hoover lasted for my one English pound). As I was popping the nozzle back on it’s little holder I dropped it with a bit of a clatter, had a little chuckle to myself and rolled my eyes at my clumsiness. I heard the voyeur mutter ‘silly bitch’ not particularly quietly and turn around to carry on with her own car.

What. The. F@!k?? 

I generally like to give people the benefit of the doubt, maybe she was having a bad day? Maybe she’d just had some bad news? Maybe she was just a real nasty bastard? Who knows. But it did get me thinking about the way we perceive and thereby treat eachother. Of course I have no idea what was going on in her head but she’d clearly made a judgement about me based on what I was wearing and felt the need to be a complete prat about it. 

You know my thoughts on feminism already, in a nutshell it’s all about equality not one gender crapping all over the other, but how can we ever expect to be treated equally when we have so much ‘in house’ back biting? Surely as a starting point we should all be rooting for our fellow women at all times whether we want them to get the vote, be successful at work or wash their damn cars in whatever clothing they happen to be wearing. What we should never be doing is using hideously unnecessary anti-female language to any randomer we meet in the street. 

In response I gave her a smile and a wave. She at least had the self awareness to look vaguely contrite and ashamed. What I should have done is say all of the above to her – so if you’re reading this moody car wash lady (I wish!):  be a nicer person no matter what kind of day you’re having. Be nicer to everyone: men, women, children, cats. Everyone. Because life’s hard enough without being a pillock. Don’t wish other women ill or be vile to them at the car wash and don’t ever judge anyone based on what they wear on their body or their face. Wish for equality for everyone and strive for it whenever you can. 

P.s. I got the highest mark in the country for one of my A Levels (the rest were alright too), I have a degree from a top 5 university, I’m interested in politics and the world around me and am working very hard to build myself a career in a challenging industry and time. I also wash my own car, wear lipstick and dresses, knit and crochet and like to cook. 

Emmeline would be completely and utterly ashamed of you.

Life in Print
Socialising for Introverts

The Real Live Column

I write a column too (I KNOW!) Here's one I liked writing: On slut shaming. Conclusion: not cool.