From Vile to Viral!

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.

The tweet

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 twitter storm!

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:

Metro article

She is anticipating our future vile to viral success

One of the Van Girls anticipating our future vile to viral success!

 

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13 thoughts on “From Vile to Viral!

    • We don’t think an all female workforce is sexist in this case. The word sexist bears the context of history on it’s shoulders and whilst men should not face discrimination just as women shouldn’t, if there is a valid reason for a single gender workforce it shouldn’t be seen as sexist and there is provision within the law for this.

      Engaging the services of a removal firm is an exercise in trust. Not only are you trusting a stranger to enter the sanctuary of your home, but you’re also trusting them to handle your emotionally valuable possessions. Sometimes, particularly for a woman, this trust can be more easily realised through engaging the services of other women. We don’t for one minute believe that man and van services (which, by the way, rarely get questioned regarding their names or all male workforces) offer less personal security or will treat your belongings with less care than we do; but we are a woman and van service and part of what makes that a unique concept is the implicit trustworthiness it assures our female clients. In the same way that a male GP is just as professionally capable of looking after a woman as a female doctor, when it comes to your body or your most precious belongings, sometimes only another woman will do. This is particularly important for customers moving out of women’s refuges for example.

      We have male and female customers, residential and commercial, and they have made a very specific choice to use us with a large range of all male or mixed gender operations to choose from should they prefer those.

  1. Ladies,

    I saw you moving something the other day and was impressed. I also reckoned (sexism? Possibly) that you took more care over the cabinet you were shifting than the 2 men I helped move my friend with the other day.

    I know who I, when moving in a few months, would prefer to entrust with my precious belongings!

    Inspired to write by YOU, reminded to write by the everyday sexism tweet.

    Look after your backs.

    • Hi Naomi,

      Thanks! Glad we impressed with our cabinet handling! Looking forward to hearing from you when the time comes for you to move. And don’t worry we take good care of our backs (you only get one!)

  2. Pingback: Everyday Sexism: An important voice for victimised women in the Twitter age | News Bd Today

  3. Pingback: Everyday Sexism: An important voice for victimised women in the Twitter age topic | twittme

  4. Pingback: Vile to viral: an update | Emma Lanman

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