Jeans, razors, basic toiletries, the list goes on. Women pay around 37 percent more on everyday items with exactly the same functions as their male counterparts. Growing up with a twin brother, from school uniforms to deodorants, my puberty definitely cost more.
What really hit home for Daphne Greca, one half of the skate shop Brixton’s Baddest, was the luxury tax on our periods. “It pisses me off so much that I spend a fiver on my period, when I’m so cheap I have a packed lunch every day.”
After reading the Fawcett Society article on sexist pricing, Daphne thought what better way to combat this everyday gender inequality than in a largely male-dominated consumer industry. From 18 to 30 October, the South London based skate shop is running the Gyaldem flash sale, offering ladies an exclusive 10-20% discount on all skate hard ware; decks, wheels, trucks – you name it.
The skate scene, she feels, is the best place to start, highlighting this female prejudice to the ‘least alpha male’ crowd. “Skating is fundamentally against male patriarchy. It rejects this stereotypical male figure”. But, Daphne is quick to emphasize that what she’s interested in isn’t exactly about sexism – her agenda is anti-fascist. It’s rather related to combatting the institutionalised and systematic micro-aggressions of “the aggressive capitalist society that we live in, rather than people being sexist or racist or any other kind of isms.”
Originally from Greece, Daphne saw how enormously the lack of a liberal consumer system affected daily life. A locally funded start up, Brixton Baddest railed against Brixton’s new wave of gentrification and keeps the local community at the heart of their projects; giving away boards and working with local kids at their base at Stockwell skate park. Yet Daphne still admits, “It’s really hard when you run a business, to see how you can really make a difference.”
Her version of girl power is not focused on sexual liberation and the wave of feminism championing free the nipple hashtags on Instagram bio’s, “coming from a country of economic war, the virtual feminist craze all seems very trivial.” The sexist pricing reminds Daphne of the traditional monetary value of a woman in dowry practice and she feels like not enough has yet significantly changed. The backwardness of raising a girl equating to being more of an expense, even a burden to her family, is still ever present. And still now, “we are having to justify our existences with paying more to live, whilst receiving lower wages.”
This sale is not just about letting the gyaldem get a cheeky deal, but a way of going against white male domination. Brixton’s Baddest aren’t interested in discriminating against men, there are still discounts in store for them. It’s more letting men feel the struggles of whipping out the extra cash, and letting them feel the hole in their pockets. “Girls are already aware of these struggles, it’s boys like my skater friends who are still so passively ignorant.”
Like the Insta-famous skater, Stephanie Nurding, Daphne promotes gender inclusivity in skating, saying there shouldn’t be a distinction between the sexes. Despite the pretty in pink aesthetic of Nurding’s blog, The Concrete Chameleon, she is adamant that girls should be on a level playing field to boys.
Yet, Nurding’s blogposts have also revealed sexual harassment issues in the skate park, with women admitting to sometimes feeling it’s an unsafe, intimidating environment. Although Daphne says she’s never felt this sexism in the skate park, the unavoidable male gaze has been present at times.
Brixton’s Baddest only opened up shop last November, and their hype’s definitely not dying down anytime soon. The Gyaldem sale’s launch party last month saw the skate shop collab with PageShe, London based feminist art collective for wicked night Baddest Bounce, and the skate shop definitely has a lot left in store for both the gyaldem and mandem. But, they can still count the number of female customers on their fingers, so ladies head on down and grab yourself a deal!