Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The worm will turn!

Well, I am outraged I tell you. I was in Paperchase yesterday, trying to buy a Happy Birthday card for my old dad and in the end I had to take my rapidly increasing pulse, bulging eyes and dangerously elevated blood pressure out to cool in the street. I looked around to see if I could spot a police-boy – well, they’re all so young these days, aren’t they? Fortunately I came to my senses before I did anything rash but, short of involving the authorities, what can I do? I may have to content myself with a strongly-worded letter, yet that seems such a cliché: “signed, Brigadier Slightly-Worrying (retired), Brize Norton”

The object, or should I say objects of my ire? The subject matter of ‘dad’ card illustrations. Golf, fishing, gardening and cars– stereotyping much? How do they know my eighty-year old, old man isn’t a huge Daft Punk fan or a devotee of Strictly Come Dancing? Or maybe he’s into social networks; why not an iTwitterSpace themed selection? But no; golf, fishing, gardening and cars – I feel we’ve all been put in a box like so many discarded toys. We’re not just objects, we have feelings too. And ideas. We can still make a contribution to the new power industries of diversity, inclusion and industrial strength offence-mongering… should we become sufficiently arsed with it.

And then I got to thinking of the other ways in which casual blokeism rears its ugly and insidious head every day. ‘Sir’ they call us, without any suggestion that we may or may not be married, or have honours heaped upon us… or just not identify as ‘sir’. And they never bother to ask; for all they know I may prefer to be addressed as Lord… or just plain Marjory, much that they care. Or, and this is far, far worse, ‘mate’. I tell you, I will swing for the next pubescent, pustule-laden, moon-faced simpleton that dares leer at me and address me as an equal.

And try and buy clothes, for heaven’s sake. It’s not enough, as a man, that we have to brave the blaze of spring colours and delicious soft pastels all the way through the Marks & Spencers ladies’ department to get to the elevator, we also have to suffer the indignity of being forced against our will to pretend not to notice the shimmering rows of saucy, provocative female ‘nether garments’ on display. And then, when we get to the menswear department- hidden away shamefully on the second floor - we are faced with a drab sea of greys and fawns and everywhere the terrible reminders of our violent nature; why are all the suits black and blue for god’s sake? Haven’t we attoned enough without being always reminded of the Stan Collymore that lurks within?

I just want a coffee, damn it! A plain, ordinary, no-fuss, simple mug of steaming hot coffee. I have no idea what a mocha-chocca-fucky-wucky-love-a-duckie-maté-latté is and nor, do I believe, will I ever want to know. How dare you make us choose? And by the way, you’re a spotty shop assistant not a bloody ‘barista’ and no, I’m not your sodding mate and HOW MUCH???? You’re just taking the piss now. Oh and for gawd’s sake I never want to see a frigging heart drawn in my froth, or for that matter a sodding shamrock on my Guinness. But no, you never bothered to ask me what I wanted, did you?

Everywhere you go, you realise the modern world is just not made for men. We are discriminated against every minute of every day and nobody cares one jot for our feelings. If we’re not being laughed at by Loose Women we’re being attacked in the pink pages of the national press for not understanding those same loose bloody women. We are stereotyped as not caring and not listening, but the simple truth of the matter is that nobody has anything to say to us that we care enough about to listen to in the first place. What you see as discourteous, we see as saving precious minutes. It’s about time we men took a stand. Nobody else will defend us; we are not born with natural disadvantages, while others have far more than their fair share.

Full set - some people have ALL the luck!

We say “No!” to every day sexism and we reject the labels the world tries to stick on us. We men must stand together and stand firm and erect on this issue. Join me at Men Against Raging Sexism and help launch our campaign - Sexism Has to End, Dummy! Yes the men from MARS will rally around the SHED and together we will fight for equal treatment… if that’s all right, dear? Oh and my dad’s card? In the end I got him a My Little Pony one. Fuck it, he’s blind, he’ll never know. The lucky bastard.

(Note: Before you, as a feminist, a woman of colour or a muslim decide to take up cudgels either for or against my cause I should explain that the foregoing is just a joke. I only mention this because I appreciate that all three of those conditions appear to come with a sense of humour as only an optional extra.)


  1. This reminded me of a customer (yes, I know) when I worked in the job centre a few years ago. "Bloody 'ell." he said looking at the vacancy sheet. "How am I suppose to get a well-paid job when they are only paying minimum wage for a barrister." "Barista son. They make coffee in Starbucks."

  2. I admit i have an aversion too to being called someone mate when I am paying money for a product or service. Equality may have gone a little too far here, though I did tell one youth: "Thanks, but I am not your mate."

    I'd do it more often but they usually have your credit card details and who knows what mate-like penalties they can impose on you.