Shelia’s Wheels, that doyenne of spangly dresses and hairy blokes in drag, has done a survey which found that whilst 55% of women wouldn’t invite a man back to their home* on a first date, 82% would let a male house-viewer into the house whilst they were alone. Apparently 20% had not considered safety issues (they will now) in house-viewings and 63% had not asked estate agents about safety checks on house-viewers.
The message – if something happens, women, it’s your fault, you didn’t consider it, you didn’t ask. After all:
The group also warned that women trying to arrange a sale themselves, such as through the internet, were making themselves vulnerable.
77% of women said safety concerns had to come second to trying to make the house sale. Why might this be? Perhaps because women carry the majority of the burden of household work (including viewings and being in for maintainence people). Because lone women are the most likely to live in poverty? Because, actually and realistically, there is very little you can do to protect yourself except, perhaps, always have a man around (because then you are “his” and so aren’t “fair game”). I mean let’s remember Suzy Lamplugh here – you can ask for a name, he can give you a false one, so what defence is that going to be?
66% of women reported estate agents making viewing appointments when they (the agents) were unavailable to be there. Surely let’s make this a problem of the organiser – estate agents are paid to sell your home for you, maybe women should demand part of that should always be that they bother to turn up with the client.
One third of women reported being made to feel uncomfortable during a viewing, 10% had ended a viewing because they felt uncomfortable with the stranger. No doubt that 10% were then also told by estate agents that they were making it harder to sell the house.
* No commentary is offered as to how many of that is related to dating only or mostly women – heterosexism being alive and kicking.