I don’t remember seeing an announcement from the DVLA to say that, during a heatwave, car owners are permitted to drive with their face pressed against their window if a woman walks past wearing anything above the knee.
Nor do I recall attaching a BEEP IF YOU CAN SEE SKIN sign to my back when I put my skirt on this morning.
And actually, now I come to mention it, I’m struggling to locate a news story reporting that this is the first summer that some men have been outside.
But there must have been otherwise what could explain what’s been happening?
It’s hot out there. The weather is as close as Bert is to Ernie, as Jaffa Cakes are to perfection… It’s so hot that when I come out the shower I’m not sure if I’m drying water or sweat off my skin. It’s a very sexy time.
And to avoid passing out, we girls wear a little less than usual; we slip on a skirt, climb into shorts, opt for a strap instead of a sleeve, maybe we’ll wear a shoe with an open toe… Feel free to loosen your collar if this is getting too much for you.
And most people are cool with it; they’re so busy applying Factor 50 that they wouldn’t give a damn if we walked around naked. But for a few it’s just too much. Their flesh detector goes off and all of a sudden they’re like a dog catching sight of a ball: Look! It’s a ball! Walk-based propaganda has led me to believe that I like balls! And that I must run at them! And bark at them! And stare at them until I dribble!
I know, I know, marketing can be misleading. But here’s the thing: I ain’t no ball. And nor is the girl in front of me, or the one ahead of her. We’re just boiling and it would be a lot easier if our decision to sport a sundress didn’t spark a car horn toot-off.
Now don’t misread – this is not a compliment, it’s intimidating. Having a stranger leering at you like you’re spinning around a rotisserie is nasty and demeaning and enough to make us stay indoors until the leaves start falling off the trees.
But then, when you think about it, it really isn’t surprising that this still happens. Did you know that – even in this modern age of 2013 – we still live in a world where women are treated like ogling fodder by some members of the national press? Did you know that some newspapers STILL publish photographs of topless women on page three for every man, woman and child to behold? In 2013! I know, amazing isn’t it. If they will tell the world that our flesh is there for their entertainment, what hope have we got when the summer comes? It’s National Ogling Season, surely?
Of course there are lots of other things to blame too – these car-horn-beepers probably don’t know how belittling it feels, or forget that their wife, mother or daughter could be getting the same treatment, or perhaps their driving instructor just forgot to tell them to look straight ahead whilst in charge of a vehicle… but it certainly doesn’t help.
But thankfully there is an answer. The wonderful No More Page 3 campaign, which, as the name suggests, wants to get rid of this outdated tradition. There’ll still be news and sport and perhaps even the occasional Sudoku to keep you busy – just no naked female bodies to stare at, which I think is for the best.
I’ll wear what I want to wear, you wear what you want to wear and we’ll all keep our eyes on the road. Deal? I thought you’d come round, now do sign this, won’t you.
Just remember to pull over before you do.