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Just because men have a ...........
I saw a really enjoyable BBC funded film the other night called, Made in Dagenham. It is a rather amusing, fictionalised account of the women’s strike, at the Essex car plant in 1968, that led to improved working conditions at Ford and ultimately to the Equal pay Act in 1970. The main character in the film, Rita, the leader of the strike, says, “we gotta demand pay that reflects the job you do not whether you got a dick or not.” How true, we say.
The film is a wonderfully stylish recreation of the post war, working class world of council estates, G-Plan furniture, beehives and blonde bobs, short dresses and sexism. It is a world in which men are the breadwinners, women keep the home and go out to earn a bit of pocket-money, union leaders are all patronising, beer-swilling, overweight assholes who fiddle the expenses to get a snazzy meal at the Bernie Inn on the way to sell the women strikers out. Women are supposed to be grateful if their husbands have a job and don’t hit them. Even the boss’s wife doesn’t fare any better with her first class honours degree in History from Cambridge. But she does get to wear designer dresses!
How many sentences could you end with the phrase, ‘just because men have a dick?’ Call me cynical but I say it all the time. What has really changed? I am thinking about the number of well-educated women I know who follow their men around the world, for the sake of the men’s jobs and keeping the family together. The advantages for the women? The pleasure of taxiing their children around town, keeping a home and occasionally drinking over-priced coffee with their friends.
But the particular slice of modern sexism that really got me going recently was the coffee break advert on Cyprus TV. Even my 17-year-old son laughed at the outrageousness of it, so perhaps there is hope for a new generation yet. If you have not seen it, it is the one where the less than attractive, middle aged woman is dragged out of the water and nobody wants to give her the kiss of life. Enter the man with the coffee break cans and after a few sips, every overweight, ugly woman on the beach becomes a perfectly proportioned, super-sexy model in a skimpy bikini.
I thought it was beer that was meant to do that to you, not coffee but anyway. As my son said, how did they get any women to play the parts of the beached whales? ‘Would you like to play the ugly ones that no man wants to shag? At least not without a can of mind-altering cold coffee first.’ And how much did they pay them? You couldn’t make it up really. It has to be the brainchild of someone with a dick. Surely? Thus proving that nothing much really changes…….