A London woman has accused gas stations of being sexist since the pumps are designed for men and are therefore too big for her hands, causing her pain. The problem is so serious that she now has to have her male partner pump gas for her. Does she have a point?
Melanie Morgan struggles to squeeze the pump. The 31-year-old snapped photos of herself trying to grip the pump at her local gas station to prove to her partner, Jared Griffiths, that there’s a problem. It’s clear she was struggling since her hands are small, but are gas stations really guilty of “everyday sexism,” as she accused them of on Twitter?
Her partner initially laughed off her pain. When Melanie first told Jared what she was experiencing at the pump, he thought it was a bit of a joke. “I’d come back to the van having got out and filled up and when I got back in I was flexing my hand, like when you’ve been writing a lot, and I was like ‘ooh actually that quite hurts,” Melanie said. “I said this to my partner and he kind of laughed it off and I said ‘no really it hurts, you have to grip it really hard when you’ve got smaller hands.’ It’s ridiculous that that’s something I have to think about.”
She never realized what a serious issue this was until recently. “I have fairly small hands. I’m short, I’m 5ft 3, so I’m fairly small generally but I imagine there aren’t many men who have the same size hands as me,” Melanie said, according to The Daily Mail. “When I was younger I remember thinking ‘ooh this is difficult’ but then it’s also something you’re new to doing. But as an adult now who does it regularly it suddenly occurred to me one day that I don’t think most people find filling up the car painful, most people don’t have to think ‘this doesn’t work’.”
While not intentional, Melanie believes the issue needs to be looked into. “I’d assume there’s some kind of reason that it needs to be the broadness it is around that point and you have to pull it in tight, of course, but I think it’s a classic overlooked issue,” she said. “No one’s going to complain about it and those who tend to design things like that I assume are typically male engineers. My partner fills the van up now, and started doing it in October, so I don’t have to deal with it.”
She wants to buy an electric car to avoid the problem. Having an electric car would mean Melanie no longer has to fill up at the pump, eliminating the issue altogether. However, electric cars are still pretty expensive, it may be awhile before the private tutor can make that happen.
Are gas stations sexist? Probably not, but it’s an interesting debate, I suppose…
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