Each of us plays to our strengths

Man and woman crossing the road

I have observed with dismay the disparity between the average man and woman that reveals itself during road crossing. - Credit: pxhere.com

I have decided to take a stand. Or rather, a jog. And I am doing it for my sisters everywhere.

As a mother of teenage children, I am perpetually challenged, wrong-footed, educated and chastised by my offspring, who wholeheartedly believe it is their life's work to haul me kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

They are horrified by the traditional employment stereotypes their father and I occupy - delivery driver and secretary, respectively - and are determined that we subvert patriarchal dictates at every given opportunity.

They seem conveniently to forget that my husband happily and voluntarily cooks a roast every Sunday, and it always escapes their attention that I lug the bins up the drive and into the street every week - there are no boy jobs and girl jobs in our house, thank you, Mrs May.

In truth, each of us plays to our strengths; my husband definitely excels in achieving a nice bit of crackling on the roast pork but I will turn my hand to Yorkshire puddings if beef is on the menu.

Our children are expected to apply themselves to tasks at hand regardless of gender: washing up, laundry, the Mothers' Day ironing - all are equally distributed, and I imagine this is the same in many households.

I am aware that there is a long way to go to redress the equality balance in the world at large; daily, we are accosted by headlines and stories about gender injustice, from pay gaps to parental leave.

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I am inclined to believe the wheels are grinding - doubtless a fair quantity of oil and elbow grease still needs to be applied, but the cogs are creaking into motion and I have faith that things are moving in the right direction.

I am proud when I hear about women making a difference, punching through the glass ceiling and defying the boundaries that still sadly exist.

Surely, the next generation will achieve even greater things; the future of womankind is safe in their hands, I reckon, but we can all do our bit, and I have identified a particular wrong that I can right in my own life.

For too long, I have observed with dismay the disparity between the average man and woman that reveals itself during road crossing.

Picture the scene: a woman approaches a road, casting glances left and right to ascertain safe crossing. A considerate motorist stops and waves her across.

The woman hurries to the other side at an awkward speed walk, head down after the initial gesture of gratitude for safe passage, regretful half-smile flashing across her face for the inconvenience being caused, discomfiture writ large upon her.

Compare the same scenario for the male of the species: a man strolls up to the kerb, pausing imperceptibly before launching himself confidently into the road, body angled nonchalantly backwards, loose-limbed jog in employ as he raises one hand in a flat-palm salute, fully confident that he is exercising his pedestrian right of way and will not apologise for doing so.

Sensing this is an area where women need to apply greater authority, I hitherto vow to adopt an admirable composure when crossing the road.

Of course, I am aware that my efforts may be impeded.

In our sporadically inclement climate, I am frequently obliged to don winter boots; otherwise, I am likely to be wearing slip-on ballerina flats.

The block heels of the former and the flimsiness of the latter render neither of these ideally suited to a casual jog.

My most habitual crossing occurs when I am fetchingly attired in a strawberry-print apron, delivering food to my parents who live on the other side of a busy road, my hands precariously balancing hot dishes of food.

Cultivating an air of breezy confidence does not come easily when wrestling with these inhibitors, but I cling to the hope that I am making it work.

If you should ever see a forty-something woman diving into traffic with a foil-covered plate in each hand and a conspicuous devil-may-care look on her face, it may be that you have witnessed an important stage in female emancipation.

Please remember: I am not a brave suffragette throwing myself in front of your horsepower; I am just trying to get to the other side of the road with my parents' dinner - and my dignity - intact.

Let's just hope I am making my children proud. Jog on.