The Woman’s Room

Eurythmics, Aretha Franklin “Sisters Are Doin’ If For Themselves.”

In this blog I mentioned before that I am the Father to five daughters. Suzi and Amy to Aretha+Franklin+Annie+Lennox+25th+Anniversary+werbfMbaXB9lmy second marriage and Emma, Hester and Madeleine are my inherited daughters (I don’t like the word “Step”) from my marriage to Lynda. They are my delight and my joy. They have also taught me so much.

I was born into a typical patriarchal Northern family. My Dad was the head of the family and his word was God. My Mother left her job as a nurse when they started a family and brought up myself and my three brothers and my sister. She cooked, cleaned and was responsible for the house. My Dad went out to work and earned the money. This is the way it was and as a youngster I saw that as normal. My friend’s families were like that, the world was like that. 

As I got older I began to notice that things were not as simple as they seemed. My Mother was no docile domestic home keeper, she exercised her own power in the home but it was more discrete than my Father’s “Do as I say” attitude.

My Mother loved musicals and would often drag us along to the cinema to watch films like “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” or “The King and I”. She had a collection of LP’s of the songs and loved to listen to them. The record player broke and she asked my Father to get a new one. She told him to get one of those fancy radiograms that were very popular. My Dad, never one to spend money he didn’t have to, did nothing about it. One day my 

sterer

Mother announced to my Father not to bother getting the stereo-gram as she had ordered one from the Catalogue Lady* and she would pay monthly for it. My Dad was outraged. He said they were overpriced  and he hated the idea of paying all that interest on the catalogue purchase. He stormed out of the house returning a few hours later with a beautiful wooden stereo-gram. My Mother was delighted. Later that day I asked my Mother if she had cancelled the order with the Catalogue Lady. She smiled and said “What order?” and winked at me.

Womens_Room_cover

The Seventies and the rise of the feminist movement would change much. Wielding discrete power, women demanded much more that a supporting role in the family and in society as a whole.

In 1977 I read The Woman’s Room by Marilyn French, it put into words all the things that had been swirling around in my head, it showed me the world from a woman’s perspective in a way that no other book ever had before. It changed me and although it is difficult, if not impossible for a man to be a feminist, I try my best.

This week’s song needs no further introduction but to say although the fight for equality has made much progress there is still so much more to do. 

 

 

The Woman’s Room

 

From the day a man said

“This is mine”

Rather than

“This is ours”

It all went wrong

 

Not that I had any idea

When, why or where

It was the way the world was

The way things had been

The way they would stay

 

“The Woman’s Room” changed me

It asked the questions

It challenged fallacies

In its pages I found a world

I had lived in all my life

And never knew existed

 

I was questioned

I was confronted

I made changes

I made goat’s cheese quiche

I changed dirty nappies

I changed my attitudes

 

©Jeff Price May 2018

*The Catalogue Lady would have a catalogue of products from a company such as Littlewood’s and you could order from the catalogue and pay for them weekly. The prices were high and the interest payments even higher but for working class families it was often the only way to get credit. 

 

3 thoughts on “The Woman’s Room

  1. The Woman’s Room – I like the changing nappies and attitudes. I like the creative quiche making and ideas. My Father never told me that he loved me but I knew he did. My mother didn’t have her own money until she went out to work. She kept very little back for herself. There was lots of arguments about money but my parents were always there. My Dad would have been considered dreadfully sexist today. My Dad didn’t want to buy a pop-up-toaster. He said, “Why do you want a pop-up-toaster when the one we’ve got gives off smoke signals?” He made us all laugh and was never short of an answer. He taught me to appreciate what we have, rather than what we don’t. I loved him to bits. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. My Father was much the same, I don’t think we can under estimate the impact the war had on our parents my Mam lost her first husband when his ship was bombed and my Dad’s fiance was killed by a buzz bomb as she walked down a street in London. They became stronger living through tough times. Always makes me realise I had it easy in comparison.

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  2. I remember the tick man who came every Monday in his little van,loaded with clothing and odds and ends…He became a lifelong family friend.Most of my clothes came from that van,or the catalogue,and my first job was in the shop where all the tick men and women got the stuff that went in their little vans….

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