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Friday, December 09, 2005


“They’re all cunts” said the bloke next to me, as he gestured at the teenagers ahead of us who were ignorantly unimpressed by the brilliant performance of the support act Clor.

Both his friends went red-faced and nodded in my direction. “Oh sorry,” he said apologetically. “I forgot about present company”.

I laughed. “I think you’ll find pricks just as an effective word to use. It has a bit more meaning, don’t you think?”

He looked at me and nodded. “Yeah, pricks. That is a good word. They’re pricks, the lot of ‘em! Clor are fantastic!” We both grinned and turned back to watch the band.

With the man on my right still swearing, but now using a far more appropriate masculine put-down to insult the youths in the crowd, I pondered whether life would be less sexist if it were as easy to convince men to change their behaviour as it was to get them to alter their language. It had after all been relatively simple to get him to stop using the word cunt; maybe he could be taught not to stare at women’s tits just as easily?

Not that I think by the end of this night, I managed to influence this man to challenge any sexism he might have, but I’m sure I made him see a different, female perspective – which is a good thing. I suppose it’s not that frequent for a man to be confronted by a woman telling him that she liked the shape of the lead singer of Maximo Park’s arse. I like to think the puzzled expression on his face when I told him that, showed some empathic understanding.

Though it might have just been shock; the silence that confronted me when I said I hoped Paul Smith’s tightly-fitted trousers might rip when he jumped in the air and did the splits, said a lot. Clearly the swearing bloke was unable to grasp the idea that women might sexually objectify and enjoy visual stimulation just as much as men; he might have benefited from a healthy intellectual debate about it.

But I was busy watching the guitarist passionately playing his instrument and imagining how well his digital dexterity would translate in bed, so I didn’t attempt to debate the merits of the portrayal of men’s sexuality via women’s fantasy with him.

Occasionally you see, politics does have to take a back seat to more important things in life. Like, for example, my making a mental note to make sure I ask whether a man has the ability to play an instrument next time I am on a date; a new factor on my must-have list and one that needs to be given priority.

Even if its just because it would give me a nice visual image of him using those same hands to play with himself: a bonus in my opinion.

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