Monday, 31 August 2009

Things I hear in the pub: #2, Arguments about Feminism

I bet they'd just say the tits are better on the bird behind the KP peanuts.

Saturday night, and the second of my twice-weekly shifts behind the bar in my local. Again, the German men were in, trying out every type of ever-changing local ale, which prompted yet another discussion of their origin. At risk of repeating the last post, I'll keep it to a quotation, 'well, I suppose they can't be Dutch, their shoes aren't made of wood'.

Eventually the group of slightly entertaining middle-aged men dwindles to one increasingly drunk old man who repeated everything he's already said in the past four hours. I would have thought little about his incomprehensible ranting had I not come home to an email with the subject heading 'a woman is worth half of a man'. This was clearly some kind of begging charity email that I guiltily discarded to my junk mail, attempting to lure in money with a shocker of a subject. However, it chimed in with Mr. Drunky's last rant before popping round to the rival Shire pub for Karaoke.

Claiming himself the epitome of chivalric behaviour - which is obviously why he was staring at my chest on a Saturday evening rather than spending quality time with his wife and son - he was bemoaning the lack of gentlemen in my generation. Although I agreed with him that holding doors open and being polite were admirable qualities in a man, there was a point of contention when he said he refused to accept drinks from women. Clearly plenty offer to buy him them ALL the time.

In short, I found myself getting onto a metaphorical feminist soapbox, arguing that if he deems women equal why are they not worthy to buy a man, and especially such a questionable specimen as himself, a pint with their career-woman money?

I'm no raving feminist. Indeed, having sat through half an hour of a woman shouting 'I AM A WOMAN. I HAVE A VAGINA, I MENSTRUATE, AND HELL, I EVEN MASTURBATE SOMETIMES' in between Simone De Beauvoir quotations during a first year Feminist Literary Theory lecture, I'm yet to work out my view on this broad and quite frankly, dangerous, territory. I'm quite scared of feminists and I'm a girl. Yet, I found myself embodying that same lecturer on Saturday night, banging my fist on the bar with the same ferocity she hit the lectern.

I'm clearly never going to be cut out to be the giggly, bosomy bar maid, but there just aren't many girl-friendly pubs round here. Maybe I'll leave a copy of The Female Eunuch hidden amongst The Daily Mail next time I'm working.

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