Tag Archives: women

Women-only train carriages

WARNING. This blog is about gender and alleged sexism. I make no excuses for the fact that my views won’t please all women or men – who are as entitled to their views as I am mine.

In her ‘My View’ article in yesterday’s I-News, Laura Bates takes issue with the suggestion of women-only train carriages after shockingly-high levels of sexual harassment and assault on public transport. Which she has personally experienced as the founder of The Everyday Sexism Project.

Laura says that ‘Segregation sends the message that all men are innate sexual predators with no control’ and to get this politically-correct message across Laura is being paid handsomely to perpetuate this myth with a full page in The Independent.

What tosh. This is how it works Laura…

If I am travelling with men I am happy to sit with them.

If I am travelling alone, on a busy train during the day, I am probably happy to sit anywhere I can get a seat.

But if I am travelling alone on a near empty train carriage or late at night I would definitely choose a women-only carriage, given the choice.

Trivial comment follows – Especially if it had a smart coffee bar onboard, as in the FOX Photos/Getty image in the newspaper article.

My reasons for this are simple. It’s all about female perceptions, attitudes and choice.

Segregation makes me feel safer and is surely a matter of personal choice. I enjoy most female company, unless they are behaving badly, which is why I am a member of the WI, the Athena Business Network and Mumpreneurs Networking Club.

And anyone who tells me that women and men behave the same in these environments simply hasn’t experienced the gender differences. And I like to choose which environment suits me best, per occasion.

Of course segregation is no alternative to the Police doing their job but it’ll likely reduce sexual assaults and make it easier for the Police to do their job. And if the Unions could convince me that they’d use a second person on driver only trains to keep us all safer, I’d support their campaign on this basis alone.

Finally, I don’t want anyone telling me what I should or should not do, Laura Bates. Just tell me the facts and present your readers with choices.

A ‘Report It To Stop It’ campaign does nothing to make me feel safer travelling alone at night. If I am assaulted and a women-only carriage might have prevented this, why aren’t you using your considerable clout to advance this case thus making travelling by train safer and more fun for female rail travellers who feel like me?



Women more likely to drive on short breaks abroad

A Ferrari is surely the perfect car to drive in Italy
A Ferrari is surely the perfect car to drive in Italy
It’s probably fair to say that one thing both women and men share in common is a love of going on holiday.

But there may be some destination differences in opinion between the sexes on where to spend their next holiday – and how to get around while there.

Data from the Target Group Index shows 60% of people who take short breaks in Italy are women.

And, it seems, despite the bountiful supply of wine, the research also revealed 54% of ladies said they would drive on their next short trip abroad. Or were expected to drive perhaps?

The findings also showed women are more likely to take their own car, with 27% of the survey saying they’d do this. The theory this might be to take advantage of the extra boot space needed when shopping for designer Italian shoes and handbags, however, remains unproven.

Of course, if you’re going to be driving in Europe any time soon it’s essential to plan ahead, even if that is just where you’re going to put all that shopping. Whether you’re taking your own car or hiring one, let us provide you with some hints and tips that will ensure you’re ready before getting behind the wheel abroad.

If you’re driving through France to get to Italy, you should know about France’s new Clean Air proposals/rules/penalties.

And the latest to do with driving in France of course.

And here is our motoring advice when driving in Italy.

Do you have any top tips to share for driving in Europe? Let us know!

You can get in touch with us @FOXYtweets or via our Facebook Page.

What does FOXY Lady mean?

foxy_lady.mugWhen my husband Paul and I decided to set up a motoring club for women we struggled to find a name we were both happy with.

Me, being a marketer, wanted a business name I really liked. My husband, being a man, thought we needed a name that said what the business would do.

I didn’t much like his plain ideas including ‘Motoring services for women,’ ‘A female car club,’ and one that linked lipstick and dipstick too close for comfort I thought.

After countless variations and lots of wasted time this became a big problem for me. Until, in a bloke-like stroke of brilliance, he suggested we add a female-ey adjective to lighten his combinations. I can’t remember how long it took to get to the foxy lady combo but once heard it hit the spot.

Over the years FOXY Lady has become a female motoring brand that’s memorable for women and the motor trade alike. Firstly it tells the trade that FOXY Lady Drivers are ‘shrewd, canny and discerning’ (so don’t mess with us) and secondly it tells women drivers that the FOXY Lady Approved standard means garages and car dealers that are genuinely female friendly and likely better than most others.

And so FOXY Lady Drivers Club was born.

Back in 2004, before social media had been invented, few of us were all that sophisticated when it came to searching at Google. Nor was Google I’d say or they surely wouldn’t have parked us out in the dark ages, somewhere totally unfindable for starters haha…

As a result, those interested females who’d heard me speak in the early days and remembered the FOXY Lady bit of our name (but not the precise website name) quickly found themselves in deep, murky and often deeply offensive territory – the sort of sites that women we wanted to sell to wouldn’t dream of visiting…

On the other hand, we were probably a good excuse for some men to say ‘Sorry dear, I was simply looking for that motoring website you liked…’

And I’ve often wondered how a fledgling Richard Branson would have fared if he’d launched his Virgin brand online in those bygone days. We did lose some potential customers I’m sad to say, through sheer shock…but we’ve now climbed the Google rankings and most women know to add a motoring phrase anyway…

I also remember phoning the Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 programme from a motorway service station in our early days. I’m not sure about the precise topic but it was something that rubbished women drivers and I wanted to have my say.

My son and husband headed for the Burger bar whilst I braved the phone with the sound of motorway traffic ringing in my ears. ‘We’ll call you back in ten minutes’ they said and did. Whilst I was waiting to be put through I heard Jeremy announce ‘We now have Steph Savill from the Sexy Lady Drivers Club’ on the phone. This broke the ice, we both laughed and I had the opportunity to say our proper business name, to explain what it has come to mean (as in shrewd and discerning) and even get this repeated back. Priceless PR for FOXY as it happened!

I also think that our business name helped me get on Mary Portas’ Secret Shopper when she tried to makeover a car dealership in Aylesbury and ended up nailing a FOXY Lady Approved certificate on the wall at the end of the programme.

Thank you Mary. From one FOXY Lady to another.


Using PCP to buy a new car

When I was young I was taught to save before I bought things. In fact I don’t think my Mum ever owned a credit card.

OK this philosophy doesn’t apply when buying a house but it has always informed my car shopping behaviour.

If I haven’t been able to afford the wheels I wanted, I have either made do with an older car, moved down a brand or used a personalised FXY number plate which I still have.

But apparently nobody saves to buy a new car nowadays so it’s time to get with the beat and understand how the PCP model works.

The PCP car ownership finance model

The market for new cars has been fuelled by competitive finance rates, a tendency for some dealerships to stockpile pre-registered cars at a discount and the ease of car finance methods called Purchase Contract Plans (PCP) and leasing arrangements.

Apparently anyone still wanting to buy a car using cash (older drivers we’re told) may be paying over the odds doing this – how confusing is that? This is because the car salesman is incentivised to sell you a finance deal from the manufacturer that enables him to earn more commission AND discount the car by more than he could do if you paid cash.

Keeping matters simple here, if you have a spare couple of hundred pounds a month (and often much less) you could be driving a brand new small family car and, depending on your contract/likely depreciation/annual mileage you could be able to trade up to a newer/flasher model in Year 2 or 3 and keep paying the same or a lower monthly bill.

Most contracts give you the option to buy out at the end of the period with what is called a balloon payment but I was reassured that 95% of motorists that have chosen to buy a car this way don’t; they simply swap cars and keep going.

Experian research tells us that one in five 18 to 24 year olds lease their car as in hiring one with the majority of cars costing more than £11,000 and nearly four out of ten paying for this by credit of some sort. Whereas 68% of drivers in the 46 to 50 age group pay for cheaper cars (worth £8000 or under) using cash.

I also learned that pet owners can be clobbered severely by wear and tear clauses and apparently few motorists know whether they’ve signed up to a contract or leasing plan.

Whilst the younger drivers are more at home with this monthly instalment method of car ownership and financing, increasingly older motorists are learning how to sign up for a PCP deal then using their ‘opt out’ rights to legitimately cancel that arrangement with the finance house ie pay it off using cash.

The more I learn about this car finance model the simpler and more compelling it becomes. For as long as one’s job is secure and there’s no sign of uncertainty on the horizon.


How to be a FOXY Lady this Easter

easterWe all love our long Easter weekend which should mean the end of the winter hibernation.

To mark this occasion, here are our TOP TEN TIPS so FOXY Ladies can combine some ‘catch up’ chores with relaxation to make this a memorable Bank Holiday break for all the right reasons.

1. Read all those newspapers from the last week or two you haven’t had time to look at because life took over.

2. Call friends you promised to see in the New Year but haven’t got round to.

3. De-clutter your home, desk, garden, wardrobe AND your car.

4. If the weather allows, get out in the garden and tidy up ready for what might pass as summer. Or if you live in a flat, try planting a window box.

5. Go for a walk, clear your head and get back in touch with nature if you live in the country, or your urban surroundings if you’re in a town.

6. Visit somewhere close you’ve always been meaning to go to but never had the time…

7. If you’re able, visit the seaside and walk along the prom with an ice cream (or a hot chocolate depending on the weather)!

8. Treat yourself to a lie-in and don’t feel guilty (unless you have children, in which case, try some of the other ideas…).

9. Take time to read a book, see a movie, pick up a magazine – make a big pot of tea or a mug of steaming coffee perhaps; curling up on the sofa and enjoying what’s left of your Easter eggs on Bank Holiday Monday.

10. Check the oil level and windscreen wash in your car, tyre pressure and tread, and dates for your next service, MOT and insurance renewal. Then take it for a drive somewhere fun…

foxy_lady.mugFinally award yourself a pat on the back and, if there’s any time left this weekend, generally carry on enjoying being a FOXY Lady!

You’re in good company!

FOXY Lady Steph

PS: And if you aren’t an official FOXY Lady Driver yet, but have been meaning to join us for a while, here’s what we do and how easy it is to subscribe!