Tuesday, 5 January 2016

As long as we have thinkers like Henriette

THANK YOU Henriette Reke!

For without you, how could I discuss, with my little women grobbletots, thoughts and practical ideas about how to live as a woman in our western liberal society?

THANK GOODNESS you have shown us the way!

Even though my family of women live in the bucolic UK shires - and we haven't yet been groped on the streets of Cologne - the ideas about how to live as a woman, an equal citizen, in today's society are relevant to us, too.

Indeed, these ideas are pertinent to us women, wherever we are. They inform our discussions of feminism, patriarchy, social values, cultural upbringings, and all the practical ways of living which flow, like, Who's cooking dinner? and Does anyone actually own the oven?

Thankfully, we now have very practical advice which is, DO NOT STAND WITHIN AN ARM'S REACH OF A MAN.

This truly illuminates for me a way to live life.

Take, for example, my conversation this morning with the scaffolding man* - as we both bent over a garden drain peering into the midden. Our talk went as follows:

Man: You need chicken wire over your drain, love.
Grit: I'll put some on right now!
Man: Right-eo.
Grit: There! Done it!

This is ALL WRONG. I should not assume MAN and WOMAN (and a man whom this woman has never seen before) can simply work together to achieve a result with a drain. (Not a metaphor. It is an actual drain.)

With MY CODE OF CONDUCT I should have had a conversation which went thus:

Man: You need chicken wire over your drain, love.
Grit (thinks): He is a MAN. I do not know him. I must stay an arm's length from him in case he gropes me.
Man: Do you want to see what happens if you don't have chicken wire?
Grit (thinks): He looks a bit swarthy.
Man: Are you alright?
Grit (thinks): I must gather my girl-children and we must stay in a group for safety, then together we will witness his attack upon any woman passer-by.
Man: Got any chicken wire?

Thank Goodness for Henriette Reke! She has given womankind a whole new mindset, a full new horizon of thinking! A wonderful world of opportunities! From this will flow our new future! With our new arm's length guidance (better not have short arms) then we must have WOMEN-ONLY BUSES, WOMEN-ONLY RAILWAY PLATFORMS, WOMEN-ONLY ENTRANCE AND EXITS, WOMEN-ONLY SEATING IN THEATRES! WOMEN-ONLY STREETS! WOMEN-ONLY WORKPLACES!

OOPS! Obviously, all this might be a bit of a problem if we're trying to build a fair and equal 50/50 world with the chaps.

Perhaps we women had better not go out at all, unless accompanied by a male family member whom we know and trust, and then maybe when we do go out, we should better protect ourselves, maybe with an attractive black bag over our heads that looks like we just rose up from the grave?

But of course this is just Grit, following her usual provoking line of argument. The future will not be like this at all. Not while I have three girls who are going to stand for NO SUCH NONSENSE. For here is my heartening conversation with Squirrel:

Grit: Henriette Reke said a woman could protect herself from being groped if she kept her distance from a man. What do you think Squirrel?
Squirrel: Eh?
Grit: If a woman is groped by a man, who is to blame?
Squirrel: The man.
Grit: But if I stood very close to the man, who is to blame then?
Squirrel (looking as if I am stupid): The man.

*We are having our gutters cleared. (Not a metaphor. They are actual gutters.)

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