Men’s Club Much?Posted: June 7, 2008
So, I was sitting with the Little Chef at lunchtime on the edge of the chefs’ lunch table (yeah, the kitchen staff get pretty territorial at lunch!), chatting, as the table began to fill up with the others.
And we’re pretty involved in our conversation, which has been ranging over such diverse topics as death, destruction, and why Tamora Pierce is a good author, and finally moves on to shoes….
And I become aware that the men are taking the piss. And when I say, ‘taking the piss’, I mean:
“God, do women talk about anything else?!”
“Maybe they should move to another table”
“Yeah, guys, shoes” [sarcastically]
“Yeah… football!” [loudly, in an attempt to distract us from our conversation]
And so on, and so on, ad infinitum.
And you know what? Fuck the lot of them. Fuck them for being so shallow, so wrapped up in being masculine, that they have to rip the piss out of two young women, neither of whom have done anything wrong, said anything offensive. Fuck them for not seeing that what they’re doing is cruel – not to me, because what they think of me, my sexuality and my femininity couldn’t matter less, but to the Little Chef, because she’s still too young and too nice to realise that you don’t have to give a crap about them or their inane opinions.
Fuck them all for treating it like a joke, when it’s really, really not funny anymore.
Of course, that’s not what I said.
What I did say, turning straight to my manager, Executive Chef, was:
“Oh, I’m sorry, Chef, I didn’t realise our conversation was scaring you – we’ll tone it down a bit, shall we?”
This, calculated as it was to undermine his manliness, unsurprisingly elicited a response of “I’m not scared! What are you talking about?! I’m not scared!!”
“But Chef,” I said sweetly, “I can listen to your conversations about pubs and football without feeling the need to run away from it. So if you can’t listen to mine without wanting me to be out of earshot, who’s the scared one?”
And, as the other men started laughing (bastards, turning on each other for cheap laughs), I turned to Little Chef again, and smiled.
“So – shoes!”