Where to stick ‘Tube Tips for Women’?

// 27 October 2005

Transport for London have recently published a handy leaflet ‘specially for those vulnerable lady-travellers who have been plaguing the underground with their antics – sitting too far away from the emergency alarms, falling down the escalators because of their “party shoes”, and fainting left right and centre because they haven’t had breakfast.

Fortunately this guide – written by women for women – is at hand to remind us of the importance of wearing comfortable shoes, carrying a cereal bar and a bottle of water at all times, travelling in pairs, and hopping out of the carriage the moment we feel uncomfortable.

I find it awfully difficult to believe that this patronising tripe could have been written by any self-respecting urban-dwelling female but – yes – it seems it must be so, as it is decorated with pictures of lipsticks (what could be more emblematic of female-dom?) and written in a specially girly non-threatening typeface (you know how intimidated a woman can be by nine-point Helvetica). I was half expecting to turn the page and see a picture of a fluffy kitten.

I’m suddenly dead keen to meet the female author in question and give her a good sharp poke in the eye. With my lipstick.

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