Our thanks to Nigel for this. He writes:
Possibly not exactly a look into the “glass cellar” but nonetheless a rare foray by the media into the world of men that keeps modern western life flowing along so comfortably. Noteworthy in that it actually points out that this is a responsible job with appalling hours and there’s a lot more to “driving” than nipping round the corner on the “school run”. So apart from a rare glimpse at people with jobs that aren’t done on a laptop it also caught my attention for this man’s cheery welcome of the idea of more women drivers. Because it so reminded me of an interview on “Look Northwest” in the late 1970s, all part of that decade’s enthusiasm for getting women and girls interested in “male” industries. Memorable to me partly because the haulage firm’s owner was a friend’s dad and the firm local. He too was keen to see “girls drive” in the industry. And in fact it was his daughter who went on to manage the firm before it was sold to a bigger concern years later. Of course in this memory-jogging piece there is also the the very simple explanation as to why all that 70s optimism has not translated into more than a tiny fraction of hauliers being female. Early starts, long hours, little opportunity for chat on long lonely journeys. No “collective responsibility” and an arduous set of training and tests. All that even without the obvious need to deal with things that require strength and concentration.
No doubt any policy now about “women into driving” will be based on the analysis that the problem is “misogynistic sexism” from toxic males such as this happy driver whose sexism is shown by his simple observation that the hours and demands of the job are not family-friendly. Given the timespan between my friend’s dad’s interview and this nicely upbeat article the only practical way of getting women to drive tankers would appear to be to conscript them!
And of course a question that never gets asked, which seems very pertinent, exactly why do men volunteer for so many different and varied jobs and careers in our society? How is it such a man as this can be so happy with wild hours, loneliness and great responsibility? Do men realise you can have jobs that are chiefly about chatting, drinking coffee, tapping a keyboard and “being nice”? And if you’re employed by the civil service you can do that at home! Perhaps feminists should change tack and market “women’s” jobs to men (making government employment more “representative” of the population) so women would have to take driving jobs?
Or just possibly leave people to decide for themselves.
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