face mask 16

An open letter to the Superiority Police

Dear Superiority Police

Hope you don’t mind me writing to you like this but you’ve forced my hand.

You see, I’m a one-woman sewing business that’s selling face-masks. The kind that several governments are suggesting we wear. It’s what I do. Sewing things. And suddenly the nation really needs people to sew things. The problem is that I sell them and you, the self-appointed Arbiters of Fatuous Morality, are hissy-fitting like Mariah Carey over yellow M&Ms.

For some reason you think selling face masks is “immoral” and “profiteering”. I know this because you’ve either said it to me or in groups of which I’m a member. That’s right, by being one of the few lucky businesses that hasn’t imploded I’m somehow jeering at you from my Barbadian hide-away while my underpaid staff wipe my arse with gold bullion (pro-tip: ask them to sand down the corners).

So I have to ask: are you on fucking crack? Has the jingoistic Corona-hollering made you hard of thinking?

You see, we need masks. They stop us offloading our viral carnage on others. Yup, there may be debate about how they’re used but barking at me about how customers use them is like barking at Oral-B because some consumers wank with their electric toothbrushes. It’s frivolous of me, I know, but I assumed that sentient beings could make their own purchasing, and masturbatory, choices.

Also, I’m running a business. It’s a teeny one that involves a single sewing machine but it stands between my family eating food vs dust gathered from the skirting-boards (I’m a ‘slattern’ as well as a ‘profiteer’). And at a time when businesses are going under faster than Titanic passengers, I assumed it was my economic duty to, well, stay afloat. Unless, that is, you’d prefer me to ask the Government for financial support instead? Sorry? What’s that? You’re mumbling.

As for the specific act ‘profiteering’ on masks, rather than handing them out like the Metro on the train to Bristol Parkway, yes, I sell them. They’re just £6 each, for fuck sake. Moreover, they are hand made with the stock my business already owned, paid for from an annual profit that barely gets me over the tax threshold. If you want me to hand them out for free, it’d just be quicker to just shower the queue outside Asda with fifty pence pieces.

Do I have to go on? Say I don’t. I haven’t the time to explain why you buying medical grade masks to pop to Lidl is damaging the NHS. Or how you’re letting your sexism show by assuming that women will sew for free because, y’know, it’s their place. Or how I’m also supporting the tiny businesses who rely on me to buy fabric, elastic, thread and envelopes. Or how you should also bark at Kelloggs because it’s profiteering from everyone who craves a Crunchy Nut Cornflake. Or where in the hell masks will come from if they aren’t sold (unless you think the volunteer army of women is big enough to mask up billions of humans). Or whether YOU are actually getting off your arse to make a difference too. Is all of that enough for you? Good, because I’m really tired of your kneejerk hate of anyone who isn’t Captain Tom.

So think for a solid minute. At time when we’re desperate for small businesses to stay open, families to stay healthy and face-masks to survive, you want my business (and others) to close, my family to go hungry and all of my customers (who begged me to make masks) to put themselves at greater risk.. Well done you. Forget clapping for the NHS. Perhaps you’d prefer to clap for yourself.

Really, the next time you unleash your inner Chief Inspector of Mouthbreathing, think first. And failing that, buy a face-mask. I sell them in up to 36 prints and, I’ll say it again, for just £6 each.

You’re welcome.