Apologies for a noticeable lack of life on the blog front – I’ve been living as a softy Southerner for the last week or so (by which I mean that I went back to London to spend some time with my family, and thus wasn’t around on the internet).

You see, once again, driven by a need to have money to buy food, I’m back in the sordid world of catering.

Actually, I quite like catering. There’s free food, lifts home if your shifts go on too long, and as long as you can remember the ingredients in the canapes, you’re fine.

However, there is a drawback. I’m doing this again because I have little money. Therefore, I have little money to spend on clothing. Unfortunately, with the possibility of work comes the necessity of uniform. So off I went on a uniform hunt. I have had to shop in the men’s section of Primark for every single item, bar the trousers. I was not happy.

White, long-sleeved shirts with a button-able collar. They should have been simple to find. They weren’t. The theory seems to run something along these lines:

“Most women have breasts. I shall design women’s shirts only for women who have breasts of a certain, average or fashionable size. Women who have breasts may wish to emphasise their breasts. I shall design women’s shirts to always emphasise their breasts. To emphasise breasts, it is good to leave some shirt buttons undone. Since I have decided that all women wish to emphasise their breasts, I shall design all women’s shirts in such a way that they cannot be buttoned to the collar, because no woman would wish to button the shirt to the top.”

So, button-able collared shirts didn’t exist for women. So I went to the menswear department. On the plus side, I now know what size collar I take – and who knows when that might come in useful?! And I’ve got cheap shirts.

Not so good is the fact that although the shirts button over my breasts, they do not button over my hips. Luckily, the (men’s) waistcoat and high-waisted trousers cover this up. This might seem like a little thing to be annoyed about, but it’s bloody infuriating. It’s infuriating that I can’t find generic workwear to fit properly. I’m not asking for the moon, it’s just a plain white shirt. What’s so difficult? And it’s irritating that the buttons on “male” shirts are on the other side of the shirt compared to “female” shirts. There’s no good reason for it. Trust me, you know if you wear a shirt not designed for your body shape. It’s not rocket science. Yet another tiny little thing to make it clear that socially, there’s meant to be some kind of Great Divide between the genders.

And on the subject of the Great Divide, one of the fems recently lent me the book Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein. It’s definitely worth reading. It’s a very personal book about the less popular end of the LGBTQI umbrella, but without being a “woe is me” memoir. Which means that it sits very neatly alongside Whipping Girl (Julia Serano), a book that isn’t really personal at all. Both are worth a read, although I think I’d recommend Whipping Girl first.

While Gender Outlaws is mostly very interesting, it did remind me of Cunt in places – the difference being that whilst Inga Muscio has a chapter or two that involve a lot of moon and goddess worship, Bornstein had shamanic rituals and a copy of her play.

It was a very good play, but that’s not really the point.

Perhaps being a little peculiar is necessary for radical feminism? Maybe that’s just how these things work – the radical people do a lot of hard work and a lot of activism, the liberals do some work, some activism, talk lots and try to get the media to write nice things about the cause, and then people like Germaine Greer decide they’re bored and want to stir shit.

And, in doing so, emphasise the Great Divide. A whole article dedicated to, of all things, Michelle Obama’s dress – and the dresses of their daughters – only serves to highlight the different ways that men in politics and women in politics are treated. Because of course, Barack Obama was wearing a suit. Like every man in politics. Not much you can say about that, unless for some reason his tie was the wrong colour.

Well, perhaps one day it won’t be like this. Perhaps I’ll live to see the day when women can buy whatever style of shirt they need, and aren’t vilified for what they wear. Maybe. When my optimism doesn’t look like this:

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