‘You’re being charged extra because you’re a woman,’
As I scooped my jaw off the floor I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.
Apparently because I’m a woman I’m more expensive to insure than someone with similar credentials who happens to be a bloke. Because clearly his extra body part makes him a better driver than me, and therefore cheaper.
I’ve barely ever been told I cannot do something because I’m woman, and this is the first time ever I’ve been told I’m being charged more because of it! Sorry, what century are we in???
Let me reverse a little bit and fill you in on the details – A great friend, and daddy figure in my life recently had major surgery to replace his knee and was knocked out of action for a few weeks because of it. He’s self employed and any time off has an impact so we’d cooked up a plan. I was desperate to drive his van, (it’s so cool!) and he needed a driver, so hey presto we decided to collab for a week and see how it went.
All good so far until I rocked up at his place this morning. He was on the phone to the insurance company and hung up with what can only be described as ‘disgruntled, rage face’.
‘You’ll never guess what they said!’ He said.
‘You can’t insure me because I’m ginger?’ I replied.
‘Nope. I can insure you, but, because you’re a woman, 29, a teaching assistant AND you weren’t born in the country it’s going to cost £93.’
Compare this to a friend he’d insured on the van a few weeks ago, a lovely fella, who they only charged … wait for it … £18!
Imagine if he had told them I was ginger?! Perhaps the price would’ve doubled.
Sorry to rant but how unfair is this? To be discriminated not only because of my age but also my birthplace, my profession and my gender? Hello?!
I’ve never really experienced that before, never so bluntly anyway. Why should my age, gender and place of origin have any baring or influence on the way I drive? In reality it doesn’t, so why should we pay more?
No one ever told me I couldn’t go to school, study at degree level, travel solo, because I was a girl. My student loans weren’t five times the price, neither was my plane fair so why should my insurance be?
We live in a society where on the one hand we completely take for granted the blessing of gender equality – and on the other we still have archaic systems that aren’t fair.
I know in the wider world this ‘small’ issue of mine pales in comparison to some of the beautiful women and men who are discriminated against in much bigger more life threatening ways – but if we let the small things slide do we open ourselves up to letting the bigger things slide too?
There are still human beings in the world who are unable to:
Walk their own neighbourhoods safely
Make their own decisions in life
There are those who are abused, trafficked and treated like property.
There is much injustice in this world. So much more than my ‘first world’ problems – let’s not let it slide.
How can we make the difference?
Act! Do what you can in your world to love people and treat them how you would like to be treated. If we all did a little more of this there’d be a lot more freedom, justice and peace in our world.
Pray! When we are faced with problems bigger than ourselves we should be taking them to the creator! He made us he can fix our problems.
Speak up! If you see someone being hurt, bullied or discriminated against – be brave and speak up. You may be the one person to step in and change the way things run.