Opinion

Is It Time To Fight Dirty With Sexism?

A video of a female cyclist exacting revenge on catcalling van drivers has sent columnist Lucy Vine into a joy spiral

I’m super sorry, but I cannot even pretend I’m not laughing my head off and dancing for joy right now. It turns out, I am totally into revenge – who knew?

In case you missed it, an incredible dashcam video is currently in the processes of going (old person voice) ‘viral’, and I am delighted because it is wonderful. Filmed by a man following the action on his motorbike, we see a female cyclist up ahead, waiting at traffic lights. A white van pulls up next to her, beeping, and then the Absolute Dick of the Century leans out and goes, ‘Alright? Want my number?’

So far, so tedious and obvious.

The cyclist – for ease, let’s call her The Love of My Life – slaps the van, clearly annoyed, and shouts, ‘Go away’. The Absolute Dick of the Century goes, ‘Woah, woah, don’t be like that!’ as TLoML says again, ‘Go away.’

But ADotC does not go away. Instead he continues to be an absolute dick of the century, and says, ‘Woah, that’s not very ladylike, is it? Oi, what charm school did you go to, eh? You wanna tell your mum and dad to get their f*cking money back. Shut up you old dog.’ Gross.

And then he adds my favourite line: ‘You on your period?’

(Side note: this period putdown was one I heard a lot when I got trolled by Piers Morgan and his fans a few weeks ago – my theory is that men like this are so completely terrified of womb shedding, that they think this is a good insult).

So, TLoML ignores him as he continues. ‘Listen, don’t be like that, come on. Give me your number, we’ll go for a drink.’ And then he drives off.

This is the point in the story when most of us would’ve cycled away feeling just utterly sh*t. We would’ve felt vulnerable and helpless and spent the rest of the day filled with such rage. We would’ve played the incident out over and over in our heads, thinking about what we could’ve said to make them realise how disgusting and offensive they were being, so they wouldn’t do it again to someone else.

But not TLoML. No, she LITERALLY GIVES CHASE. We watch as she goes after these dickless dicks of the century, and when they pull over, she stops and RIPS THEIR WING MIRROR OFF WITH HER BARE HANDS. It’s like that thing you hear about, when a woman is suddenly strong enough to lift a car off her trapped child. Adrenaline made her a superhero.

OK, I know it’s vandalism. I know it’s against the law. I know what she did gets us nowhere in the grand scheme of feminist things. But I don’t care. She’s done something we have all fantasised about doing and she did it so beautifully. She is every one of us, furious and vengeful. She is The Bride in Kill Bill. She is Lisbeth in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, she is Beyoncé in Lemonade.

Because I’m sick of putting on my jolly voice and laughing it off every time some idiot makes some shitty comment. F*CK THAT. These guys had it coming. They thought they had all the power. They thought they could speak that way to a woman because she could do nothing, and was alone and unable to defend herself. They thought they could drive away laughing at her. And that’s why watching TLoML punishing them for the casual misogyny they clearly dish out on a daily basis, is such a release. It’s wonderful. It’s like porn for me. It’s better than porn. I am going to take this video to bed with me later tonight and whisper sweet nothings into the ear of this video. This video is my new boyfriend.

I know this woman’s actions probably won’t achieve much more than making me (and you?) feel better, but there’s increasingly a part of me that feels like we have to fight a tiny bit dirty now. Donald Trump and this nonsense, post-truth, alternative facts era has shown that the idiots of the world are happy to fight dirty, so maybe we need to as well. It reminds me of the internet argument from a few weeks ago when literal Nazi, Richard Spencer (when Trump got elected, Spencer gave a speech where he shouted ‘Heil Trump’ and a room full of people did the Nazi salute) got punched in the face. I’m not into violence, and I wouldn’t do it myself, but I will admit I liked seeing a Nazi get punched, and today, I liked seeing an ADotC get some comeuppance.

And you never know, just maybe, if these misogynists have to start paying for a new wing mirror every time they shout at a woman on the street about her period, maybe they’ll decide it isn’t actually worth it…

Watch the clip below.

Follow Lucy on Twitter @lecv

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