2 articles Tag feminism

Dear ‘Woman At The Gym’…

Dear Woman at the gym,

I’m sorry that my car was in your way when you decided to swing your own car door into it in the car park today and I’m sorry that I didn’t meet your entirely insincere apology with acceptance. I’m sorry that I flipped you the bird after you asked me “what my fucking problem was” when I just shrugged after you screeched “I DID SAY SORRY” through my car window.

I’m sorry that you felt the need to start throwing petty insults at me as you walked away and I’m sorry that I sank to your level when I got out of the car to confront you about your aggressive and abusive demeanour. I’m sorry that you decided to stoop even lower and start insulting my appearance, my weight and my apparent lack of effort at the gym. I’m sorry that you felt the need to tell me that I should “get my fat arse to a personal trainer” because you didn’t actually see me squat 45kg, deadlift 65kg and bust out my overhead press, despite fucking HATING that lift.

I’m sorry that I don’t wear make-up to the gym, like you. I’m sorry I don’t look good in lycra yet. I’m sorry that I don’t see the point in blowdrying my hair before I lug heavy weights around. I’m sorry that my car was obviously an indicator of how “poor” I am, according to your words. I’m sorry that after absorbing your nasty words I sank even lower to meet you in the gutter and hurl insults back at you.

I’m NOT sorry that I called you an old hag, because damn it felt good to give you a taste of your own medicine.

I’m sorry that I’ve spent all day stewing over your words. I’m sorry that I’ve given you space inside my head that you seriously don’t deserve. I’m sorry about whatever happened to you today to make you behave so randomly aggressive towards me for no reason. I’m sorry that your world view makes you think you’re somehow better than me because you weigh less. Your behaviour today is the biggest indicator that this isn’t true.

I’m sorry that men get SO much of the blame about being intimidating to women when it’s actually women like YOU who are a betrayal of the sisterhood, a reason that some women may not even have the courage to venture into the gym. I’m sorry that there are probably women out there who are sacrificing their health so they don’t encounter bitches like you in the a place where people should all be supporting each other. I’m sorry that your life is so shitty that you need to take it out on other people. I’m sorry that I burst into tears in Waitrose, after the adrenaline had dissipated, because your words had actually really hurt me.

I’m NOT sorry that, actually, FUCK YOU lady, I won’t let your words bother me any longer, I’m not sorry that I’ve decided to be happy and positive and carry on doing what I’m doing despite your efforts to hurt me. I’m NOT sorry that you no longer have space inside my head. I’m NOT sorry that I’m choosing the supportive words of my daughters, my sister-in-law, mother-in-law and all the female friends who’ve given me encouragement as the ones I choose to listen to, instead of a woman like you who needs to cut others down in order to lift yourself up, because that’s just sad.

What’s that old quote? I won’t always be fat, but you’ll always be a c*nt. Or something like that…

Yours Sincerely,

The Woman in the Silver Car (with a small dent in the door, which I’ll shortly be reporting to my insurance company, along with your registration plate and the CCTV from the gym…)

Is This Really What Passes for Humour in 2013?

Sometimes, it’s really difficult to maintain a sense of humour at the same time as upholding certain standards. I consider myself to be a person with a good sense of humour but I do also feel like I spend a disproportionate amount of time in a state of moral outrage. I’ve been told by family members, in the past, that I take things too seriously, which may well be true but I prefer to think that I don’t settle for the bordeline-offensive tripe that some people find amusing.

Sometimes, I see or hear things and I think “Does anyone find that amusing?”. Yesterday was one of those days. I was in the Post Office waiting to pay in a cheque for work and I glanced at the greetings cards. This was one of them:

At best it’s a clumsy, outdated attempt at irony which misses the mark by a mile. At worst it’s a massively misogynistic, insult of a card that I’d shove where the sun doesn’t shine if someone bought it for me. Either way, it’s just not funny and I’m so fed up with this kind of thinly-veiled woman-hatred plied by a MAJOR card company as humour.

On a completely base level, I know I don’t have a single female friend or relative who chose their spouse based on the size of his packet, be it his pay or the one in his pants. I’m sure there are women out there who are ruthless enough to factor these things into their choice of partner, but this card flippantly portrays ALL women like this and I resent the implication.

Maybe this is one of those occasions where I’m taking things too seriously, but my gender has dealt with enough shit over the years and things like this card being blindly swallowed up by the masses are exactly the reason that a glass ceiling still exists and women are overlooked in many fields. As a mother to a daughter, I don’t want her growing up thinking that this is okay, or worse, falling into a stereotype because of what’s expected of her as a female.

It’s about time women were afforded more respect and dignity, which is a shocking statement to have to make in 2013.