Beheading the Archbishop of Banterbury with the righteous sword of shouty, poetic activism

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Banterwatch: the case of the bothersome builder

Meet Ian Merrett.

Ian is a builder from Worcester. And probably not a very good one, frankly, because, for a month, during time when they clearly should have been working, Ian and his builder buddies wolf-whistled, catcalled and generally harassed 23-year-old Poppy Smart to the point that she had to report them to the police

Make no mistake: this was constant misogynist harassment. The builders must have been aware this made Ms Smart uncomfortable: she took to wearing sunglasses and headphones to try and avoid their attentions. They didn't just whistle from a distance, either: on at least one occasion, one of the builders invaded Ms Smart's personal space to intimidate her.

Ian doesn’t see it that way, of course. Ian says that 'no harm was intended' by the month-long campaign of intimidation. Ian says he doesn't understand her comments. Ian says it's been 'blown out of all proportion'. Ian even says that 'if she'd come up to me or one of the other builders and said "I don't like it, can you stop it", I'm sure we'd have taken that into consideration.'

You see what I mean about Ian Merrett being a rubbish builder? This man apparently lacks the common sense to appreciate that a young woman might not feel confident enough to firmly and politely tell a bunch of hod-carrying blokes to stop jeering at her. Do you really want someone that ignorant putting up your load-bearing walls? 

And - oh yes - Ian claims the whole thing was 'just a bit of banter'

Well, I have a message for you, Ian Man-without-merit:

And I want you to know that next time I perform this poem, Ian, I'll be thinking of you. Especially on the line 'shoving razor blades up your urethra'.

Just banter, Ian. Just banter.

No comments:

Post a Comment