Jobs for the *insert sex here*

If there is a bad way to begin your day, it is by push starting an Omega Estate.

Somewhere in my education I have managed to pick up an “Anything you can do, I can manage just as incompetently” attitude towards Boy Jobs. The very idea of not doing my own tiling or refusing to assemble flat pack furniture just smacks of letting the side down. As a result, when there is a man whose car will not start I am there with my hands against the bumper before you can say “Theo, do you realise how much that car weighs even without the 19 stone bloke behind the wheel?”

Luckily there was a hill at the end of the drive so all I had to do was get him onto the road. Unluckily this meant taking it at a bit of a run because the drive slopes slightly upwards at the end and it took a few attempts because it was Not Allowed to push him into the path of an oncoming vehicle however much I personally felt he deserved to be for making me undertake such a task in the first place. Now he is complaining because he can’t find the magic code to unlock the radio and must drive around in silence rather than to the haunting strains of The Incredible String Band.

Feminism is something which has rather managed to pass me by. When the Spice Girls were being vocal about the Girl Power I surprised to find I had been doing things I wasn’t supposed to but definitely ought to be because it wasn’t right that girls shouldn’t. I read The Female Eunuch when I was about 18 but couldn’t really find any relevance in it.

He Who Knows Everything was moaning about feminists the other day. He had been allowed to watch part of the Kate Spicer program about cosmetic surgery.

“They’re all the same,” he muttered, “They think it’s all a plot by men to oppress them but as soon as they think they can become better looking all their principles go out the window.”

One could argue that perhaps the reason I don’t understand feminism is because I have been lucky enough to live a life in which I am not oppressed because of my sex. One could argue that but one would be factually incorrect. As a child I was desperate to join the Scouts. They played with knives and lit fires. Instead I was made to join the Brownies. Their motto is Lend A Hand. The only badge I ever earned was the Art one. Even Strider had more than me.

The Scouts had a dangerous hut next to a river and filled with deadly insects. We had the hall at the school except for when somebody else wanted it and then we had to use a spare classroom and spend an hour playing Heads Down Thumbs Up. The Scouts did useful things for the Community. We were encouraged to wield a vacuum in the privacy of our own homes.

The Scouts could look forward to joining the Army Cadets. The Brownies could look forward to being a Girl Guide at which stage we would be allowed to look after the younger girls! Even at that young age I could see the flaw in that plan, it meant all I had to look forward to was looking after people like me. In any case there were only two Girl Guides in the whole village; one of them was the Strider’s Nemesis, the other was the daughter of the head of the PTA.

By the time they began letting girls in, I was too old. Makes you want to weep doesn’t it?

In actuality, the reason I have never understood feminism is because I’m not a girl. I’m a gel. It is an important difference.

Where a girl will ride a pony in a dressage competition, a gel will take the fences at Badminton and break a collarbone like a man. A girl will call the AA when she has a flat tire, a gel will change it herself and probably fit a new exhaust while she is down there. When she is married and has a family, a girl will dress the kids nicely and worry about sending them to the right school whereas a gel flings them in the direction of whichever one is closest (or whichever one their father attended) and dress them in the clothing of older siblings regardless of sex. A girl will hesitate to hold a barbeque, a gel will cook a five course meal (plus sorbet) on an open fire in a jungle in a warzone. A girl will marry a CEO or politician; a gel will marry an army officer or vicar’s son. Girls are bred to have languid arms and nice hair; gels are bred to have childbearing hips.

A girl should do flower arranging and interior decorating, they should dress nicely and make men feel manly. A gel should be able to cook, play the piano, sing and shoot. I don’t do this last one because I’m a hippy but on the occasions somebody irresponsible has given me an air rifle, I certainly put the boys to shame.

On sideways note, I have pulled the muscle in my right arm. Every movement is agony.

It wasn’t caused by push starting the car, cladding the downstairs ceiling, bleaching the upstairs ceiling, falling off the scaffolding (again) or shifting a bookshelf up the stairs. All of those things I managed quite adequately.

I did it while making a cottage pie.

I always said the onions were out to get me.