Such men were typically self-made and had benefitted from the policies of Margaret Thatcher, he said. But then, "Essex girls" have come to expect a certain amount of sneering when our origins are discovered.
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Emmerdale actress Zoe Henry believes Essex girls are "strong, successful and independent". The county's women were soon to be stereotyped too.
Its chair, Juliet Townsend, said she had heard of young women pretending they were from elsewhere when going for jobs outside of the county. 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.
What is the true meaning of 'Essex girl'?
She kicks open the car door. The stereotype had informed how I felt.
Another organisation celebrating the county's women is the Essex Women's Advisory Group EWAGa charitable foundation 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.
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She grew up in Ilford - part of the London borough of Redbridge sincebut still considered Essex in many people's hearts. The Oxford English Dictionary refers to her as "unintelligent, promiscuous, and materialistic", while Collins adds "devoid of taste" to the mix.
A few years ago, I was talking to a colleague over the phone when he asked me my name. Add to that shows like Birds of a Feather - and later The Only Way is Essex - and the reputation of the county's women was firmly cemented.
An article in The Independent from November related the recent "craze" for Essex girl jokes. They often went something like this: "How does an Essex girl turn on the light afterwards?
We're strong minded, strong willed - nicw we know how to have a great time. 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".
It's part of the battle, all those years of history behind the word.