Now, I’m hardly anyone’s idea of a feminist. Well, perhaps I should rephrase: I’m not any feminist’s idea of a feminist. I tick most of the right boxes: pro-choice, liberated, independent; but for the most part I don’t feel the need to keep screaming and fighting like so many do. I honestly believe that the real progress now has to be achieved by women themselves, since in this country at least many of the institutional barriers are non-existent.
That said, I was shocked to see this van on the road outside my doctor’s office the other morning. My initial reaction was mild bemusement, but after a moment I was outright horrified. Firstly, it does nothing to dissuade that knee-jerk stereotype of the unenlightened working class male. It may be that this is an ill-judged marketing ploy and in fact most women are as horrified as I am, but what terrifies me is the thought of women equating the need for skilled labour with the need to be married. I may be lucky in coming from a family that recognised either gender may need basic skills like wiring plugs, putting up shelves or unblocking a sink, but surely it’s not so hard for the less fortunate people who have to learn as they go along? Even if you argue that we London types with our high-falutin’ careers simply don’t have the time for doing odd jobs, then why is it only women who need this? Overall though, I’m annoyed at thinking there are women like this out there, who need someone else to everything for them, either through marriage or paying a professional. Whatever happened to self-sufficiency?