Yesterday an email enquiry from the Van Girls website popped in to the admin inbox. Even two years on I can’t help a little flutter of excitement with every new enquiry and I quickly opened it up, only to be greeted by a charming suggestion from a lovely chap called Jason. I have added some stars for your viewing pleasure.
I had to read it again. Had someone really taken the time to seek out our website and was so put out by our concept of an all female removals team that he felt the need to fill out our enquiry form like this!? Apparently so.
So, I thought about what I should do. Should I email him back? Well, that email address probably isn’t real and even if it was he doesn’t sound up for intelligent debate. Should I just feel a bit saddened and forget it? That didn’t quite cut it either. Then I remembered the twitter feed @EverydaySexism where people are encouraged to share stories of sexism encountered on a daily basis to build a picture of how rife it still is. So I tweeted Jason’s email and tagged @Everyday Sexism to see what other people would think of his advice.
At the very least, I thought I would feel better sharing what felt like quite a personal attack and at best it might gain some traction and would gain our business some exposure and allow Jason to humiliate himself a little more publicly.
Never having had a tweet retweeted more than say 3 times before, you can imagine my surprise when the interactions started to build. More and more retweets and favourites, some thoughtful replies, some just as vicious as Jason had been leveled right back at him. I watched them grow through yesterday evening until I thought wow, I’ve turned a vile communication in to a viral one. Maybe I should email Jason back now to say thanks.
The whole experience was topped off as a positive one today when I received this lovely email from one of our new followers on twitter:
“Love your site and company which I discovered after the email from that pathetic misogynist was sent to Everyday Sexism on Twitter. He’s not only made himself a laughing stock but raised awareness of your company – I’ll definitely be using you should I need your services and recommending you to all friends and family. It’s great to see women excelling and thriving in every field, especially ones still thought to be the preserves of men. All the best!”
This is an approach I would not have thought to take before my involvement in a great programme called Brand Amplifier which mentors female entrepreneurs in brand, PR and marketing. I might have just sighed and shrugged him off as an aggressive loser but this time I feel like we’ve owned the interaction.
So, just shows you can make a positive out of pretty much anything!
Since writing this blog this story has appeared as part of a Metro ‘In Focus’ piece on Everyday Sexism. You can read it here: