Posted by: Admin | March 8, 2011

Don’t patronise me, mate!

God, men my age can be such patronising buffoons! Disclaimer (lol) – I know that’s a sweeping statement: if you’re a guy reading project50 I doubt you fall into that category.

However, I spent yesterday at a photographic trade conference. It’s great because you get to see all the suppliers you might want to use under one roof as well as catch up with friends and colleagues. In my (fairly limited, it has to be said) experience photographers can fall into two camps: those who make images for art’s sake and those who love the equipment more than the image. (Yes, I know that isn’t altogether fair – this is a rant, ok?)

It’s the latter that drive me up the wall. One of the best things about turning 50 is not giving a flying fishcake about showing you don’t know something. I don’t care that I might be showing my ignorance: if I want to know something I ask someone who does. Like camera salesmen and other technical specialists who seem to be stuck in the 1970s when it comes to treating female photographers like equals.

Now most men would never ask directions, right? We all know their penises might fall off if they let on to another man that they know less than him about something. (How do they ever learn anything?) Well, I don’t have to protect my dangly bits so there’s no point in engaging in a willy-waggling exercise if I ask you a perfectly simple question to which you think I should know the answer. Just be polite, answer my question in a straightforward manner and take that smug look of your beardy face. Next time you patronise me, Mr-Generic-Middle-Aged-Camera-Geek, I’ll poke my finger in your bloodshot eye.

Just for the record, I had money burning a hole in my pocket that could have been in your company’s till. I’m off to find a woman-friendly camera shop to give it to instead (and if anyone knows one of those, please let me know!)

Phew. Glad to get that off my chest! Normal amiable service will be resumed tomorrow.

PS: thank you to my lovely friend, Wayne, who answered my perfectly simple question in a perfectly simple way, without a trace of a misogynistic sneer (probably because he doesn’t have a misogynistic bone in his body.)



  1. Several phrases have now entered my daily vocabulary
    I don’t give a flying fishcake
    I’ll poke my finger in your bloodshot eye

    I am enriched!
    And I know exactly what you mean and have encountered similar people, particularly at the point when some were deciding whether to go digital or not. Now there’s a whole other category of tossers – the ‘real film’ protagonists.

    In fact I might go out and poke some bloodshot eyes on your behalf.

  2. Thanks, WH! I know I shouldn’t rise to it, but grrrrr! I’ll take you with me next time – you’ll have a field day with your eye-poking!

  3. You have such a wonderful way with words Jo!

  4. I whole heartedly agree. Being a member of the “dangly bit”crowd I am embarrassed by the arrogance of those buffoons. Next time when confronted with this look around and you just might find the quiet embarrassed guy that probably doesn’t know the answer to your question either but at least he may not piss you off. One of the few male friends I have calls these guys the “dick measuring contest” crowd.

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