Petrol pumps are ‘sexist’, says female driver

petrol pumps sexist, says London motorist

Are petrol pumps sexist? A female private tutor from south west London certainly thinks so. She has complained publicly about how large the hand-held pumps are, and how they hurt her small hands.

Melanie Morgan posted on social media showing how she struggles to hold petrol pumps, accusing garages of ‘everyday sexism’. It was initially to ‘prove her point’ to her partner that filling up was difficult, even painful, because of the equipment – which she believes is designed mostly with men in mind.

The issue is even causing her to consider an electric car, in order to avoid using unwieldy petrol pumps ever again. 

petrol pumps sexist, says London motorist

While her Smart with its small petrol tank isn’t so much of an issue, the large tank in the couple’s diesel van is more of a problem. “I know when I’m filling it up, I’m waiting for it to end,” Morgan told The Daily Mail.

“I’d come back to the van having got out and filled up and when I got back in I was flexing my hand, like when you’ve been writing a lot, and I was like ‘ooh actually that quite hurts’.

“I said this to my partner and he kind of laughed it off and I said ‘no really it hurts, you have to grip it really hard when you’ve got smaller hands. It’s ridiculous that that’s something I have to think about.”

petrol pumps sexist, says London motorist

It’s enough of a problem that I just don’t want to deal with it. But I should imagine for some people it is something they cannot do – if you are weaker or smaller than me.”

In America, many petrol pump nozzles go into the car and fill automatically, so the driver doesn’t have to hold a trigger. Likewise, at others, attendants come out and do it for you. Are these developments we want to see in the UK? Do you think Melanie has a point? Let us know… 

10 replies
  1. Teresa B.
    Teresa B. says:

    I totally agree that the pump handles are to big & heavy, I have arthritis plus small hands it has always been a problem. Since having a stroke I dont have the strength anymore, I always leave in pain. Thank you for speaking out.

  2. Glen Graham
    Glen Graham says:

    Fuel pumps actyally have a little catch on do not have to grip them the whole time but most
    garages remove the small pin which males this function. If the nozzle is kept in the tank it clicks off automatically when almost full. These are usually still operative on pumps for HGVs etc where large amounts are pumped. It’s a shame garages don’t leave them on for cars too.

    • Duane C
      Duane C says:

      Those clips that keep them going are illegal in Canada. No station has them. And it’s because of safety. Most gas station fires are caused by people getting back in their car while it’s fueling. They generate static electricity and when they touch the pump handle again, the spark ignites the gas.

  3. Bern
    Bern says:

    I have small hands, smaller than my wife’s. They’re surely designed around averages. It’s sexist to claim men have large hards how emasculating.

  4. Leigh
    Leigh says:

    Testosterone gives men (even small men) a lot more strength than most women (and particularly small or older women), and this has as much to do with strength as with hand-size.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *