‘When I first turned up to the match you could hear some boys just giggling, “No way she is the ref?! no!”,’ she recalls. Today, however, the players just ask her appropriate questions and she hasn’t had to face any kind of sexism on the pitch. ‘There was one time a guy came up to me and said, “I really like female referees, they’re good”.
She says that the term ‘single mum’ is an offensive one. ‘It implies the woman’s been abandoned and I personally don’t know any women who have been walked out on – they’ve chosen to be single. ‘Single mum, childless woman – talking about women in the context of their childrearing and in relation to men is so outdated.’
2017 may have been the year of feminism, but next year is shaping up to be a glorious year of female magnificence. Because the London Underground is going to be celebrating female artists all year, with a programme of works by women. The programme marks 100 years since women were granted suffrage. And it also forms part of Sadiq Khan’s gender equality campaign, #BehindEveryGreatCity, which hopes to celebrate the capital’s role in securing votes for women and looks to increasing gender equality in 2018.
Talking to women is not harassment. Talking to the opposite sex is a necessary part of societal living which can be an enriching experience on both sides. On the whole, women like being talked to by guys. The vast majority of us do not hate men and do not want to live in a world where they are scared to approach us, to befriend us, to want to be part of our lives. But that doesn’t mean that we’re ok with low-level sexual harassment on a daily basis.