This has been on my mind so I'll post on it. Several people told me about a programme on Channel 4 called MotherTruckers, thanks Jules and Don't unplug your hub, I watched it last night on 4oD. My first thoughts were why do they even have to make a programme about women working in a male dominated profession, surely all is equal now after all these years. As usual they use the same old cliche 'working in a man's world'. I want to shout at the screen, haven't I been saying for years there is no such thing as men's jobs and women's jobs, there are jobs for everyone. But that is Channel 4 for you, using emotive words for dramatic effect. You have to take what they say with a pinch of salt. The title of the programme leaves it wide open to abusive comments, it is truly awful.
The women they have chosen for this programme, and I think it may be a series, are a mixed bunch, but hey such is life, we are all a mixed bunch. I have met Wendy the instructor at truck shows, in the past. At the beginning I thought, here we go again, I've heard it all before. The aspirations of women who have a passion for their job, the struggles to get accepted, the loneliness, and the joy of finding other women who have the same passion. It brought back all my memories of my Lady Truckers Club, the club I founded in 1986.
I remember well the thrill I got from driving a 40 ton articulated truck around the country, sleeping in it, waking up and for a few seconds wondering where I was. Camping out in layby's and truckstops, being one of the lads and having a pint or two. I like to think I did my bit fighting for the rights of women to drive trucks. I ran the club single handed for seven years, built it up from nothing to over 350 members nationwide. An achievement I am proud of.
The programme, my thoughts. I kind of warmed to it as it went on, as I got to know the characters, and what was going on in their lives. It kind of made them human, not robots sitting in a cab for hours on end. I felt Vikki Marie the transexual was put in for novelty value, a cheap trick which Channel 4 is famous for. This wasn't new to me, we had a male to female transexual in my Lady Truckers Club years ago, so wake up Channel 4. I have every respect for people who undergo gender reassignment, she was very brave to take part. We also had a mother who took her young daughter out with her in a baby seat in her own truck, so nothing new there. I also know of two other female instructors, one of whom has her own truck. The girly night was funny and showed that although they are truckers they still have a feminine side, and do not have to behave like men all the time.
All in all the programme was entertaining, it was made for the general public and not just for truckers, and I am sure many people would have enjoyed it. How did I feel at the end of it, I felt very sad. Sad that I am no longer one of the girls. It's nice to see young up and coming ladies just starting out in their career, but it brings it home to me that I am getting older and my career is over. For a while I wanted to be back there, I wanted to sit in a truck again. I know just how that young lady felt as she came to a halt on the M62 as she hit the back if a traffic jam, I remember it well. She lives in my local area though I don't know her.
After watching I went onto a truckers forum to read what they were saying about it. I am sad to say I was horrified by their cruel and vile words, words that I would not to wish to inflict on my readers here. If you have a vivid imagination you might guess what they wrote. Basically they pulled the whole programme to pieces. A lot of their vitriol was aimed at the physical appearance of the women, Wendy, as an older lady, got a slating, as did Vikki Marie. They also leered at the younger women, treating them as slabs of meat rather than human beings, if you get my drift, typical tabloid newspaper garbage. They poked fun at the girls efforts to master the art of driving a large vehicle, forgetting that they once had to go through the process of learning. I suppose they were perfect from day one.
I am very disappointed to learn that sex discrimination in transport is still rife after all these years, but as long as some men have their brains in their testicles, things will not change. I've a good mind to resurrect the original Lady Truckers Club, just to let these testosterone fuelled truckers know that I am back with a vengeance. I'm going to have to stop now before I explode.