A Watsonia man who is the proud owner of an electric lawnmower says he now spends most of his life justifying the purchase to friends and colleagues. Dan Howard purchased a top of the line electric mower at Bunnings seven years ago after being lured by the promise of environmental responsibility, fuel savings, and reduction of mess in his garage.

However, despite these seemingly attractive features, Howard didn’t realise he’d have to justify his purchase to others who have gone as far as to question his manhood because he uses an electric mower. According to Howard, “The abuse has been severe and unwarranted. Talk about toxic masculinity. How my own masculinity or lack thereof is related to my choice in lawnmowers is beyond me.”

While society seems to have accepted the electrification of many power tools, the lawnmower seems to be one remaining bastion of petrol power. Howard said he even gets yelled at by passing motorists when he’s mowing the nature strip at the front of his Watsonia home. He said, “All kinds of people hurl abuse while driving past. A few months ago an old lady slowed down, opened her window, and yelled ‘WIMP!’ before speeding off. I just don’t understand.”