By Ben Pensant
Dear ladies. Dear, dear ladies.
I know what you’re thinking: Who is this impeccably mannered progressive? Why does he use such big words? And what the bloomin’ hell is an open letter?
All good questions, sisters, but nothing to worry your pretty heads about. (Though for the record: 1. It’s me! 2. I use them because I’m clever 3. An open letter is a quaint custom popularised by The Guardian as a platform for fuck-witted comedians to hold intellectual dick-waving contests with the two blokes out of Creepshow.)
Because now the dust has settled it’s time to let your metaphorical cool auntie take over. That your little dalliance with independence didn’t work out is nothing to be ashamed of: when uneducated women think for themselves bad shit happens. It’s a fact of life. No-one blames you for it and it’s not worth fretting over. Seriously, we got this.
And frankly you have enough on your Jade Goody commemorative plates at the minute, what with watching Jeremy Kyle, shoplifting from Aldi and braying the shite out of your multi-coloured feral children. Life is grimmer than ever for working-class women, though mercifully not half as grim as that endured by news readers and Hollywood actresses, forced to survive on a few hundred grand a year while their male counterparts rake in twice as much just because they were born without a working fanny.
But your lot has suddenly become just as difficult, especially those of you lucky enough to have crawled out from under the weight of Turkey Twizzlers to find gainful employment looking pretty and flashing your tits. I’ve no doubt you watched in dismay as your jobs vanished overnight, bringing joy to middle-class feminists who spend their lives railing against self-hating women for having the temerity to work where the hell they like.
So on behalf of those middle-class feminists, their middle-class allies and the middle-class media I’d like to say to the grid girls, walk-on tarts and yo-yo-knickered toastmistresses whose sudden unemployment was celebrated far and wide: Thank you. Sincerely.
Because words can’t express how grateful we are that you let your livelihoods and human rights take a hit in the name of social progress. And as anyone who’s spent more than five minutes on Twitter knows all too well, there is no social progress more important than putting a stop to women doing jobs that liberals disapprove of.
Which us why we owe a huge debt to you sweet, simple women for risking your mortgages and Ella subscriptions to bring happiness to strangers who know as much about your jobs as I do about knitting wooly hats shaped like piss-flaps.
And let’s face it, the feminists who’ve spent the last fortnight crapping all over your freedom of choice aren’t likely to suffer for the cause. They’re far too important to risk their own incomes, much like journalists with privately educated children who campaign enthusiastically for unlimited immigration, safe in the knowledge it won’t affect their kids’ class sizes.
No, it would be a national catastrophe if bourgeois leftists started losing their jobs, which is why you working-class women need to step up so we don’t have to. It’s almost like an intersectional updating of Thatcherism, only decent and virtuous instead of callous and evil.
So while working-class communities felt the pain in the ’80s as jobs were lost and services slashed under the guise of saving the economy, in 2018 attractive young women are thrown under the bus to placate middle-aged Gender Studies professors still angry that no-one wants to fuck them.
And that’s what separates us contemporary progressives from the likes of Maggie. While her brutal policies were solutions to actual problems, we spend our lives solving problems that don’t exist. While she cruelly removed miners from a physically draining, highly dangerous work environment, we freed you from the tyranny of air-conditioned clubs and sun-drenched race-tracks. And while she smeared working-class trade unionists as ‘the enemy within’, we spent the last fortnight comparing you to chimney-sweeps, prostitutes and ‘shit-shovellers’.
And as many have pointed out, the benefit to the next generation of vulnerable women will be enormous, surpassing even the huge societal changes that occurred when slavery was abolished. It may not feel like it now as you turn on the telly and are informed by well-off activists that your redundancy is for the greater good, but one day you’ll realise that by ending the barbaric practice of women waving score cards you played a pivotal role in stamping out an injustice every bit as abhorrent as buying and selling human beings. Trust me: your unemployment will be worth every red letter if it hastens an era-defining turning point that will change society not one iota.
And you brave, selfless, kebab-munching women are at the centre of the whole revolution. I’m almost jealous I don’t have my own job to lose in the name of equality. Almost.
Thankfully, you’ll have no trouble finding new work. I know this because it’s been endlessly repeated by the same people who never shut up about mass unemployment, the gig economy and the horror of GPs forced to sleep in bins behind food banks, arguing with pigeons and sucking off tramps for Big Macs.
And thanks to the hysterical feminist wing of the Labour Party, you’ll soon be able to pursue that childhood dream of becoming a fork-life driver too. Or at the very least get a job on a checkout in Tesco that pays the same. Granted, neither will give you the satisfaction of earning money doing something you enjoy, nor will they offer the same wages you pulled in being a snooker hooker or baring your arse at Brands Snatch. But as you know, societal change trumps happiness and job security any day of the week.
In the meantime be grateful that as well as privileged journalists, privileged politicians have your back too, not least Harriet Harwoman and Emily Thornbirds, who recently took to TV and social media to attack a supermarket chain for paying two different rates for two different jobs. The fucking cunts.
In response to the brilliant news that Tesco are facing a £4billion lawsuit for paying warehouse staff more than check-out girls, Harriet took to Twitter to channel her inner Emily Pancake and rail against inequality:
‘Women £8 per hour at Tesco. Men £11. The equal pay uprising continues. #tescowomen #bbcwomen. Pay inequality can not survive exposure’. Indeed it can’t, and neither could her passionate and downright untrue tweet judging by the subsequent torrent of abuse she received from Tory trolls.
Predictably, they engaged in lame whataboutery by pointing out that she was comparing pay rates for two completely different jobs, as if such dangerous logic has ever had the slightest impact on those whose entire existence depends on the gender pay gap narrative.
Others brought up the fact that neither position is gender specific, with male and female employees already working in both departments. Unsurprisingly, the bullies provided not one shred of evidence to back up this claim, preferring to coast on their privilege by offering the lame ‘proof’ of lived experience and visiting supermarkets. Cowards.
Luckily, the chances of Harperson and Lady Nugget doing their own shopping or setting foot in a warehouse are about as likely as Diane Abbot winning Countdown. Which made their eagerness to exploit an environment they know sod all about even more impressive. It’s refreshing to know Labour MPs are so in touch with modern gender roles they believe only women sit behind kiosks and only men drive fork trucks.
Fork trucks which women are more than welcome to learn to drive if they fancy working nightshifts for an extra 3 quid an hour. The fact that most women would rather scan sweets and stack shelves is utterly unimportant, which explains why Harriet and Dangleberry wisely ignored such inconvenient facts and clung to the trusty meme that women are being paid less than men for doing the same work and it has to stop NOW.
Because what these right-wing loons refuse to grasp is the concept of equal value. The two jobs may require entirely different skills but only a bigot would argue one has more value than the other, as any nurse or firefighter on a third of an MP’s salary would no doubt agree.
Happily, with the court action kicking into gear there are surely happier times ahead for those oppressed ladies forced to labour for a pittance. I look forward to Tesco informing their checkout girls that as their job is now of equal value to the warehouse staff they are contractually obliged to alternate between standing behind the tab counter one week and getting up at 4am to drag heavy pallets around a cold depot the next. I can’t see that widening the gender pay gap one iota.
Neither will the potential knock-on effect of more men applying for check-out jobs now that they pay an extra 20-odd quid a shift. Because any idiot can see this will be offset by the huge amount of women who will go the other way, free at last to fulfil their destiny of loading crates of baked beans onto wagons while freezing their twats off. Fingers crossed the trend spreads and ballsy women start taking over other traditionally male dominated fields such as crab fishing, sewage control, waste collection and high-rise window cleaning. (Though it’s important we tackle gross inequality in the boardroom first. Paris wasn’t built in a day, sisters.)
But I know what you’re thinking: What if it doesn’t happen due to the patriarchy or something? What if our misogynist society fights tooth and nail to scupper this long overdue revolution? What if the only noticeable effect on the pay gap is that it gets bigger because greedy men start taking all the well-paid check-out jobs? Well, my answer to all three questions is the same: Hallelujah!
Because the last thing modern feminists want is for the gender pay gap to disappear and give them one less thing to cry about; the fact that on a like-for-like basis the gap barely exists at all is hard enough to deal with. No, it’s vital that the collective suffering of women in the most tolerant liberal democracy on the planet continues for at least another century.
In the meantime, working-class women, just keep doing the dirty jobs so Oxford graduates don’t have to, sacrificing your independence in the name of ideology and remembering your place in the hierarchy before embarking on offensive careers that middle-class feminists know bugger all about but have decided are problematic anyway.
With a bit of luck a few thousand more of you will lose your jobs before the year’s out. Because every war needs casualties and we couldn’t ask for a better gaggle of grunts to lay down their lives on the intersectional frontline.
Thank you for your service.