LETTER : A woman's place in the supermarket

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The Independent Online
From Ms Beverley Beckett

Sir: As someone whose life has been influenced by the writing of Germaine Greer, I was rather surprised to read her article ("Never glad confident Sainsbury's again", 10 November). In it, the woman who so fiercely championed women's rights in The Female Eunuch self-importantly declares herself, as a wage-earner, "working woman", while dismissively lumping all other women (presumably including those with babies and small toddlers, whom she finds so irritating for taking up the parking spaces by the entrance, and cluttering it up with their special-needs trolleys) into the category of "fun-loving leisure shoppers", who do nothing but obstruct her on her busy way.

Silly me never to have previously relished shopping at Sainsbury's with my toddler as a fun leisure activity. A previous wage-earner, who is presently committed to caring on a full-time basis for a small daughter, I was enlightened to find that, exhausted though I may be at the end of each day, I am not a working woman and certainly never in a hurry at the supermarket.

Is this post-feminism? Or is it simply the woman who, in Sex and Destiny, criticised the West as a profoundly fertility-denying, anti-child society, expressing her own distaste and hostility towards children's very presence in public places like supermarkets?

Anyway, must dash: I hear there's a free cheese-tasting on at Sainsbury's - or should I just stay at home?

Yours sincerely,

Beverley Beckett

Claydon, Oxfordshire

10 November

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