Gypsy Creams

‘Suggestive Looking’ Eyes

Woman's Weekly / 14th May 1965

I’d love to state that Brenda’s problem is a thing of the past, but a simple Google search proves that sexual harassment at work is still alive and well. I’m pleased that I’ve never had to endure it, but there have been situations where being a woman has almost been seen as a character trait, rather than something out of my control.

Still, at least no agony aunt would begin a reply to this sort of letter nowadays with a victim-blaming statement of the sort that Mary trots out, although it’s worth remembering that Brenda had little power to change her situation back then. Sexual harassment claims are still tricky to prove without witnesses willing to back the claim up, or unambiguous written proof, but at least most companies worth working for have a procedure to deal with them.

Tags: , ,


Jamie on 30 April 2012 @ 5pm

Marryat appears to have had her “sensible” hat on when writing this column for once (the opening sentence notwithstanding). Mrs L is given good advice to give to her husband – say something generic and happy-sounding and above all brief. Always works.

For once she advises someone to stay away from a bastard, although Miss P hasn’t married the fecker yet – if she had, no doubt our Mary would be advising her to be more patient with the manchild in question.

The advice to Mrs D is a good one, albeit *impossibly* old fashioned in both parts now (today, I believe, children turn up back home with a string of partners of various degrees of seriousness and nobody bats an eyelid).

Finally, her reply-without-letter to “a worried grannie” shows just how comprehensive, consultative and interventionist the NHS, the local authorities and the GP service was 45 years ago. We’d expect worried grannie to take action herself or butt out now, and if she did intervene in whatever is going on, she would need to balance the risks of nothing being done except offending her grandson’s parents or having him taken into care, with nothing seemingly available in between.

Tanya Jones on 2 May 2012 @ 3pm

The advice to Mrs D made me giggle; although I would have certainly asked permission from my parents, they wouldn’t have dreamed of writing an invitation to any potential beau. If I’d got one of those when I was at uni, I think I would have found it intimidating!

It’s always difficult to know what balance to strike with how interventionist authorities are. Although I approve of child guidance services for parents having trouble, it’s unlikely that if the child had been suffering from something like ADHD or autism, that they would have been able to identify it. I only have to think of my cousin being in a ‘young mothers’ home, as late as 1980, to be reminded how things can get out of hand. On a lighter note, I think the spelling ‘grannie’ has fallen out of use now, which is a shame!

Leave a Comment