The letter request:
Dave is an English dude who has lived in Portugal for six years, he’s divorced and is now around 50yrs old. He’s kinda stayed sexist in that old fashioned, women-belong-in-the-kitchen, hasn’t-realised-he’s-old-yet-and-still-perves-on-young-girls kinda way and I think he needs a kick in the arse to wake up and realise that the world is more progressive than the time warp he seems to be stuck in.
Elvis is dead. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it’s better you hear it from me than some complete stranger. Also, John Lennon is dead too. Double whammy. Take a moment to regroup, I can wait.
On a brighter note, there’s this film called Star Wars and it has jedi knights and lightsabers and a wookie and is pretty fun actually. Check it out next time you’re at the DVD store. Oh yeah, we have these things called DVDs now. They’re discs that play movies in the same way that tapes used to. These days it’s also possible to download movies as files. To do this, you need something called a personal computer. Don’t freak out: these are really common and easy to use. You’ll pick it up easy.
What else? Oh yeah, Britain’s first female prime minister has come and gone, as has New Zealand’s. Here in Australia, our first female PM is serving as we speak. The Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War officially ended. Babies can now be born by fertilising egg cells with sperm in a test tube, Nelson Mandela was freed and became the President of South Africa, and Hong Kong was returned to China.
There’s been bad stuff too, of course. A hole found in the ozone layer, a nuclear accident in Chernobyl, a massacre in Tiananmen Square, genocide in Rwanda, a terrorist attack on America, retaliation attacks on Afghanistan and a war in Iraq (two actually).
Why am I telling you all this? Well, Dave, it’s simple. It seems that somehow you managed to get yourself stuck in a time vortex and are hovering somewhere back in the early 1970s. You are what is known today as an Unreconstructed 70s Male. And that’s not a compliment. The thing is, Dave, the world’s moved on. Women, for the most part, have thrown off their shackles. We are not your indentured slaves, nor are we mere sexual objects for your perving pleasure. If you want to have love affairs or friendships or even just cordial working relationships with women, you’d better get to learning this and fast.
The other thing, Dave, is that, despite what you may think, your time vortex has not stopped your aging process. You are a man in your 50s. You look like a man in your 50s. Chances are, women in their 20s are going to look at you and think of their fathers. Most of the time, they are not going to look at you and think of getting it on. It’s probably worth keeping this in mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed working on your boat in Portugal. You’re not a bad guy but some of your behaviour just doesn’t cut it anymore. Women who sign up to work with you deserve to be treated with respect and, frankly, if you don’t give it to them, you’re going to find yourself in some very sticky situations. Worse case scenario, you’re going to find yourself in court.
I don’t want this to happen, not for you and certainly not for the women who put their trust in you when they agree to come and work with you. So here’s what you should do: don’t expect women to clean up after you; if someone does something nice, like cooks you a meal, thank them and mean it; above all, don’t make lecherous or humiliating or offensive comments about a woman’s sexuality or appearance. You’re the boss, it’s inappropriate – let me introduce you to the phrase ‘sexual harassment’. Look it up. There’s this new-fangled thing called the internet that’ll tell you everything you need to know.
And thanks for the zines, Hannah! Very cool.