|I am a woman, yes|
I was in her house an hour or so later when we saw the bin men go past with their lorry. I thought they might be wanting me to move my car so they could turn round and sure enough, one banged on the door and asked if anyone in the house owned my car. Fine I think, in seconds I can move my car, they'd be on their way and I can get on with my day.
So far so non-sexist.
I step out the front door and look the bin man in the eye. Without a greeting, he shouts straight at me "TYPICAL WOMAN DRIVER". I am taken aback. Ha ha. The bin men think it's all very amusing. I suppose technically he was right, it is the act of a typical woman driver to park her car in a perfectly normal car parking space.
"Sorry, I didn't know you were coming." I say,
"Well it is Thursday. Typical woman driver eh??"
"I don't know the bin days because I don't live here, I'm just visiting. Where is best for me to move my car?" I am opening the door of my car at this point, feeling irritated and wanting to get this interaction over with as fast as possible.
"Just move it forward" he points 5ft in front of my car.
I get in my car and shut the door, he's still shouting indistinctly at me through the window. I turn the key and look round at him,
"I said..... IF YOU CAN DRIVE IN A STRAIGHT LINE."
Unfortunately I was so annoyed I had no witty retort. I just scowled, moved my car and went back to the house as soon as I could, seething with a vicious rage that ruined my day and left me imagining all the brilliant things I was too surprised to say at the time.
It's the sheer unfairness, the feeling of utter impotence it leaves you with. If I wasn't a woman the bin man would have said "Alright mate, can you move your car there" and that would have been the end of it.
When this sort of blatant and aggressive sexism happens it's inevitably such a shock to me that my only response is to ignore it and get out of the situation as fast as I can.
What can you do when you're cycling down a hill and pass a group of guys who yell "TITS" at you? When you're walking down the road in shorts and a guy scuttles up behind you, slaps your arse and runs away laughing? When an estate agent says that 'as a women' I wouldn't want to be 'trying' to drive down any narrow country lane shortcuts?