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A few years ago, I was talking to a colleague over the phone when he asked me my name. But then, "Essex girls" have come to expect a certain amount of sneering when our origins are discovered. It is all ij fault of a decades-old stereotype which is so ingrained in British culture that it has its own entry in the dictionary.
Silly jokes about it are really boring, and make me judge whoever who cracks them.
Journalist Simon Heffer used the term to denote a new type of Conservative voter who was "young, industrious, mildly brutish and culturally barren". Such men were typically self-made and had benefitted from the policies of Margaret Thatcher, he said. An article in The Independent from November related the recent "craze" for Essex girl jokes.
But then, "Essex girls" have come to expect a certain amount of sneering when our origins are discovered. She kicks open the car door.
It is all the fault of a decades-old stereotype which is so ingrained in British culture that it has its own entry in the dictionary. Add to that shows like Birds of esssx Feather - and later The Only Way is Essex - and the reputation of the county's women was firmly cemented.
They often went something like this: "How does an Essex girl turn on the light afterwards? It's part of the battle, all those years of history behind the word. We're strong minded, strong willed - and vor know how to have a great time.
She grew up in Ilford - part of the London borough of Redbridge sincebut still considered Essex in many people's hearts. Another organisation celebrating the county's women is the Essex Women's Advisory Group EWAGa charitable gjrl set up to "challenge negative stereotypes by promoting the confidence and achievements of Essex women and girls".
Juliet Thomas and Natasha Sawkins, from Motherhub, decided to do something about it. Emmerdale actress Zoe Henry believes Essex girls are "strong, successful and independent". The county's women were soon to be stereotyped too.
A few years ago, I was talking to a colleague over the phone when he asked me my name. The Oxford English Dictionary refers to her as "unintelligent, promiscuous, and materialistic", while Collins adds "devoid of taste" to the mix.
Its chair, Juliet Townsend, said she had heard of young women pretending they were from elsewhere when going for jobs loking of the county. The stereotype had informed how I felt.