It’s a long time since I’ve been wolf-whistled. To be honest, passing comments by strange men died a quick death as soon as I gave birth.
I don’t know if it was the pushchair, or the changing times that did it. Or maybe it was the saggy belly and bum.
There’s an argument about being wolf-whistled – some women purport to like the attention, while others regard it as harassment.
I never really thought about it that much when I was younger, because when you’re safe in the environment of a gaggle of friends these things don’t tend to bother you. But take me out of that environment and I might well have felt differently.
I don’t expect to be whistled at these days as I’m substantially fatter, greyer and saggier.
But on Sunday that changed when the sun came out, the car windows were wound down and my daughter and I went cycling.
She’s as tall as me – just shy of six feet. She is willowy, she has a gorgeous mane of hair and a smile to light up the darkest corner.
She is also 12 years old. Just. But you’d not know that from a distance.
So as you’re driving along and choose to yell out of a window, make sure that you think about the possible ages of who you’re whistling at.
The four lads who slowed down to make remarks about our bottoms were in for quite a surprise when they pulled alongside and actually got a look at who they were pestering.
A middle-aged woman and a girl just turned 12.
Luckily for my daughter, I can ride one-handed and saw off the pests with an impeccable hand gesture or three.
These told them succinctly where they should go and what they should do when they got there.
I didn’t care to explain the origins of my sign language to my daughter. Maybe that’s the last time ever I’ll be metaphorically whistled at, but at least I’ve trained my daughter to respond with no dignity but lots of enthusiasm.
Now all she has to do is learn to ride one-handed and she’ll be away – ready to show that being treated like a piece of meat is unacceptable.