Mr Trellis’s mother had a strange encounter with oppression at her aqua-aerobics class the other day. She and her classmates had just got changed into their costumes and were heading for class when they found the shutters had been pulled down between the changing rooms and the corridor leading to the pool.

She pulled up one of the shutters and was told off on no uncertain terms. The shutters were down, she was informed, because there were some boys who needed to cross the corridor from the pool to the changing rooms. Mr Trellis’s mother, being of a curious nature, decided to peek. A class of (fully dressed) ultra-Orthodox schoolboys were being ushered past the women’s changing rooms. The shutters were down to protect the boys and their teacher from the sight of some middle-aged women in their swimming costumes.

Mr Trellis’s mother wasn’t going to stand for this. She stood by the now half-open shutter in full sight of the boys, reasoning that the reality of an adult woman in a bathing suit would be far more wholesome for them than their febrile imaginings.

The boys saw her and were not struck by lightning, sent mad with lust or indeed affected in any way at all. Perhaps those people who eulogise “modesty’ and advocate swathing women in layers of concealing fabric could bear this little incident in mind. What is so dreadful about seeing a member of the opposite sex in a swimsuit?

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