Picture, if you will, Patsy Stone walking down Bond Street and all of a sudden she’s met with a loud whistle or an “Oi, love!“. Unless it’s coming from a hot bricklayer wearing nothing but a trowel or a giant talking bottle of Stoli, she’s probably going to mutter “Piss off, sweetie darling” under her breath and keep on walking. Not Joanna Lumley, though. Joanna Lumley thinks getting hollered at on the street is flattering and would really appreciate it everyone stopped being so damn offended by it.
During an interview with the Daily Mirror, Joanna was asked for her thoughts on casual sexism and cat calling, and she had many.
“How can wolf whistling be offensive to women? It’s a compliment. They’re saying ‘Cor you look all right, darlin.’ What’s wrong with that? We were tougher in [the 60s]. You knew someone would whistle in the street and you weren’t insulted. We have become more sensitive flowers nowadays, people are very offended by everything. When I was modelling photographers were much ruder, they’d say ‘You look frightful, what’s the matter with you?’ ‘You look podgy, you look fat as a pig’. It was good-natured banter, you kind of got on with it, it didn’t upset you.”
Joanna was clearly in a “good ol’ days” mood. She went on about how the 60s were so much cooler than lame-ass present day, and took a tiny swipe at the Kardashians.
“People weren’t so mercenary or so self-obsessed. The rock groups used to walk around, be in the streets and catch taxis. It was less grand, everyone was much less grand, this Kardashian thing didn’t exist. There was no social media, nobody took photos in nightclubs. It was much less self-conscious – now everyone’s self-conscious, they send out pictures of what they look like, what they like, what they think, even their food. It was much more fun, it was freer.”
Joanna paints a picture of London in the 60s as being this groovy place where famous people walked among the regular people and men’s lips were as dry as a scone from whistling at all the pretty ladies. I’ll have to take her word on that one, since I wasn’t there. But I think I might have just found a solution to the catcalling problem. If you feel the need to holler at someone, first double check if it’s Joanna Lumley. If it is, then holler away. If not, save it for the next time you happen to see Joanna Lumley. There, everybody’s happy.