Admittedly I’m in a grumpy mood today: I always am after a bad night’s sleep.
But, but BUT, I wasn’t last week when I went shopping and I was superbly pissed off then too.
I walked into La Senza at our local hypermarket/shopping centre. It was about 9.30am and there were seven guys in their twenties, two of whom were clearly behind the tills, the rest were just hanging out, chatting with the two female floor assistants. Of the guys there, four were clearly watching me as I perused the lingerie. One of the girls came to follow me around and smooth out anything I even breathed on.
I hate that. I don’t care if they do it when I’ve left the shop, but following me and straightening every, single hanger while I’m there, like I’m ruining their display of hanging garments, which is there so that people like me come and look and then, presumably, buy, drives me nuts. Team it with some sexually repressed spectators and, La Senza, there’s not a hope in hell of me getting out my credit card.
So, I left the shop last week without buying. Not before quick glance at the two guys who were still watching me, then the two cashiers, then the guys sitting around the changing rooms with the other floor assistant and saying, in Arabic, loud enough for them to hear, “So, this is where all the guys come to hang out?” and walking out.
Today I went in just to see if it was different. Instead of seven, there were five guys.
I just don’t get it. It’s lingerie. It’s a conservative society. Women are covered up to protect their modesty, and so as not to titillate men, but lingerie stores have men working the tills? I know that there are bra stalls in markets and women pick their bras in full view of everybody, not just the male stall holder, but this is (for Egypt) an upmarket, expensive store.
It’s not just La Senza. A few shops away is Women’s Secret. They have a female floor assistant with a man on the till. The same with Nike Woman. Is it that Egyptian women cannot count and so cannot be trusted with tills? Nope. Perhaps it’s the patriarchial society. I don’t know. I don’t CARE! I don’t want some guy folding my bras, checking out if I might need another size (what the hell does he know about how bras fit?!) by asking and taking a quick ‘glance’.
Egyptian women are smart. They are also really nice and friendly. I would have probably bought something in all three stores today had there not been men checking out what I was going to be wearing for Mr S (and him alone). Egyptian men are also smart, but there are plenty of other retail ‘experiences’ that talented men can work at, there is no reason for them to be pawing my panties!