i work in a bookshop.

in many ways, it is deeply lovely. but the level of sexism one encounters working in a bookshop is STAGGERING, fyi.

thursday night, a customer went ON AND ON AND ON about how i look perfect for working in a bookshop.

and how i am probably one of those girls who looks like they work in a bookshop but has a real naughty side at home.

to this- because this is my workplace and it is my job and because these things happen so quickly that, in coping with them, you act on instinct rather than intelligence- i smiled.

exiting the bookshop, he turned from the doorway and called out, loudly, one suggestion: i should dye my hair just a little bit darker.

i am at work on a thursday evening, and a man has just discussed- in front of other customers and at high volume- my body, my sexuality and my hair.

i work in a bookshop, often at nights and often alone. more than once, a man passing by on the street has leaned into the doorframe and shouted into the store that he likes my hair.

(there is a way of thinking in which this is all my fault- because i have had the audacity to dye my hair red…)

when i work with a male colleague, some female customers will only make eye contact with him, even as what he is telling them to do is to talk to me about a book i have read.

a male customer once complimented my jewelry by saying it was so unique that the man who bought it for me obviously knew me very well.

i bought it myself.

are these things the end of the world? no.

are they part of a broader awkwardness many of us have towards the people serving us? maybe.

but do they happen to the men i work with? no.

is that a problem? BIG BIG YES.

because i’ve just been talking about my own experiences in one bookshop over the last eight months. multiply that by all the women working in bookshops, all the women working in libraries, all the women working in other service jobs, all the women in other sectors, all the women working (and riding the tube and walking down the street and being on the internet and on and on and on). and what have you got?

that isn’t a problem. that is a calamity.

(please note: at the end of the film funny face, audrey hepburn MARRIES this douchebag. blurgh!)

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