As you might know, some of my work has a fishing bent. When describing the fishing industry as a whole, I’d say it’s male-dominated at the best of times and downright mysogynistically uncomfortable at the worst.
That said, some of my best friends are anglers (I say that without irony) and I very much enjoy what I do.
BUT, every now and again something comes along that leaves me literally gasping for a breath of air unfettered by sexist flatulence. Earlier this year it was a comic strip book based on a female angler. “Hoorah”, you may have been forgiven for thinking; “Here’s someone flying the flag for women in fishing”.
That would be before you discovered that our heroine was a ‘hotpants and tight-tee wearing’ kinda gal, just one potential splashback away from a wet T-shirt competition. Bearing all the hallmarks of a Lara Croft piscatorial fantasy for a mostly male audience; I’d tentatively say that any positive ‘girls can fish too’ messaging was lost in the ‘as long as they look sexy doing it’ visual cues, but each to their own and I wish her creator every success.
Having locked that memory firmly away, it was frustrating in the extreme to find it kicking its way out of the under stairs cupboard this week when I was introduced to ‘Pornoflague’ apparel. That’s right ladies and gents, actual camouflage-clothes-that-you-wear adorned with ‘bare-breasted-beauties’ – albeit they’re not that easy to spot- it’s camo doncha know?
But this isn’t a joke. Someone has gone to the trouble of manufacturing this. People who’ve obviously never heard of the No More Page 3 campaign. Let’s not forget that this is the same industry that regularly uses semi-naked women holding fish as an advertising focus – just so we’re absolutely clear, regardless of the whole pheromone hypothesis, there is no scientific correlation between wearing next to nothing on your double DDs and catching 40lb fish. Although gents, don’t let the girls have all the freeboobin’ fun – feel free to get your moobs out bankside for the bailiffs…
I’ll leave it to you to cogitate on the reasons why angling suffers from such a bad press generally, I’m off to enjoy the glut of ‘You look a right tit in that. And a left…’ jokes.