Just what sort of crap do you have to put with on a daily basis just because you are a woman? That’s probably something the women reading this have had cause to ponder on a regular basis, whereas the men reading it may not be quite so attuned to the annoying and unnecessary stuff that goes on in everyday life. Three things happened today to inspire this post. The first was booking on to Dr. Lucy Jackson’s lecture on “Gender trouble / troubling gender” at University of Liverpool @livuni. The second was sitting on the V1 bus between Manchester and Leigh @FirstBusNews, just prior to travelling into Liverpool to hear Dr. Jackson’s talk, listening to the “banter” directed at Laura from two young men – both under the influence of alcohol, and showing signs of poor, socio-economic upbringings (but none more so than my own, as it happens), and perhaps a good deal of substance abuse, judging by the state of their teeth (which Laura herself commented on, btw (the state of the teeth, not the substance abuse)). And the third, which came prior to the second, as I travelled on the V1 into Manchester from Leigh in the AM, reading the Metro @MetroUK and an article about how staff at Stevenage FC @stevenagefc subjected female supporters of Grimsby Town FC @officialgtfc to public bra checks by male security attendants (in front of fans of both sides, the police (who were present, but did not intervene in what, effectively, was a mass sexual assault), and Stevenage officials) #BraGate.
Dr. Jackson’s talk touched on such things as #GenderPayGap, #ReproductiveRights, #EverydaySexism, #PoliticalGenderDisparity, and stuff (why are more people not up in arms about such things?).
Laura, a woman in her mid to late thirties (she said so), and her mum, who was sitting separately until the woman sitting next to me alighted the bus so that she could join her daughter, had to endure around 50 minutes or so of “harmless” banter in front of everyone on the top deck of the bus (the young men were quite drunk and very loud): you’re beautiful; you’ve a lovely smile; the way you bite your lip; she likes a bad boy; can I have your number; I’d love to share a bed with you; and on, and on… On the face of it, not all that extreme, nothing too vulgar, and probably far tamer than many women experience on public transport, but really irritating for Laura, I imagine, who, given the situation, kept her cool, played along with the “banter” (because sometimes it’s just easier to), and eventually got to leave the bus with the two drunks still on board, to her relief, again, I imagine.
So, ask yourself: how annoyed are you by all of the above? And then ask yourself: what do you plan to do about it, moving forward?