A few annoyances recently (apologies for length):

-I was in our local shop recently, & this guy- who has form when it comes to making sexist & off-colour comments & ‘jokes’- was there. He made some comment to the effect of how one thing men never get right is knowing what a woman wants, which ticked me off royally. Because OF COURSE all women are impossible to please, & to (mis?)quote someone another poster mentioned, want grilled ice! This isn’t the worst this man has said- on one occasion when it was a nice day, he made a comment about the weather, but managed to incorporate women’s ‘bits’ (sic) into it (I forget exactly what he said, but it was off-colour).

-I watched an ad for the JML Phoenix Gold iron recently, & it featured a woman doing the ironing. Because OF COURSE ironing is woman’s work, right?! The Vanish ads are also female-dominated.

-I posted about sexism in Heartbeat before, & have noticed more since (hardly surprising, since it was set in the 1960s). In the episodes I’ve been watching recently, a character called Jenny Latimer (who was the pharmacist at the doctor’s surgery in the village for a time) recently married a character called Dennis Merton, who was the local police sergeant at the time. Merton was naturally kept quite busy by police work, & when Jenny objected to this, she was made out to be demanding & unreasonable (the doctor that she worked for remonstrated with her for complaining about the fact that Merton hadn’t phoned her while he was away on a conference, & told her that his job was important, & that his work comes first & wives come second. This comment ticked me off royally, especially since the doctor was female, although she was hoist on her own petard in another episode, when she was a bit put out herself because her own partner Ben Norton had been a bit elusive of late due to important work commitments- I did feel like pointing out to her what she’d pointed out to Jenny!), & Merton even said in one episode that he’d better get home otherwise Jenny would give him grief again. This comment was addressed to the aforementioned female doctor (they were at the local hospital on a case), & she smiled wryly & said “the constraints of married life”. I know that in the 1960s, women were considered to be ‘less-than’ compared to men, & married women were expected to support their husbands’ careers sometimes to the detriment of their own, but I was still annoyed by that attitude. I also felt bad for Jenny, & couldn’t help thinking that if the roles were reversed, & it had been her who was very busy at work & rarely at home (or kept having to cancel things like going shopping for curtains for their new home at the last minute due to work commitments), she would’ve been crucified by her husband’s male colleagues- one in particular, I suspect- & other people in the village for being ‘selfish’ & a ‘bad wife’ because she spent more time at work than at home, & been accused of neglecting her husband! Indeed, I think one of the previous village doctors, Kate Rowan (who was also married to one of the former village policemen, PC Nick Rowan), may well have had similar accusations levelled at *her* when *she* wanted to further her medical career! Jenny was also made out to be hysterical in another episode because she wanted to help a mother find her child, & got quite heavily involved. Pardon her for caring! She got described as ‘highly strung’ by PC Alf Ventress (yep, him again), if you please. That episode was sexist against both women & men- I actually felt bad for the child’s father in that episode, as the child’s parents were separated, & the mother hadn’t let her ex-husband see their child for a YEAR, so her ex had had to take her to court in order to see the child. On the face of it, I couldn’t see any valid reason why the ex-husband should’ve been stopped from seeing his daughter (I don’t think he’d been abusive to his ex-wife, had alcohol or drug problems or abused his daughter)- I think his ex-wife was just using the child as a weapon, which I thought was out of order. Not that that made what he ended up doing (kidnapping his daughter with the intention of taking her out of the country) OK either- 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

-Whatever your opinion of Diana, Princess of Wales, surely you must think that the Daily Mail (yep, that paper again) was out of order for doing a pull-out section on how Diana made swimsuits sexy? Ridiculous! I’ve yet to see a pull-out section in the Mail about how a male member of the Royal Family made swimming trunks sexy!

-I’ve watched a couple of programmes on the Crime & Investigation channel recently which talked about how the police solved certain cases. Both programmes featured female murder victims who’d been raped before they’d been murdered, & the police implicitly victim-blamed in both episodes. Both these victims walked through isolated areas to get home, & the policemen said something to the effect of how [the areas] were unsafe for women walking alone. Um, excuse me? Instead of telling women & girls not to walk in isolated areas at night, why not tell predatory men not to attack women in these aforementioned isolated areas?! Blimey O’Reilly! Also, when I was at uni (years ago!), I saw a notice in the Union Bar telling students not to walk through the park that backed on to the main campus (I assume at night) on the grounds that people had been attacked there. To be fair, this notice wasn’t specifically aimed at female students as far as I can remember, but I do think it should’ve been a case of instead of telling students to avoid that park at night, it should’ve been a case of telling predatory men not to attack students in the park!