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witterings on OS life



  • We'll have to agree to differ then :D
    Also who wants to be a feminist?

    Me! I'm a feminist and proud of it :T

    Penny. x
    :rudolf: Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding :rudolf:
  • mardatha wrote: »
    Ah...but that was the reason for my original post. All the new freedom that womens lib has given us -- have we used it wisely ?
    We run around more, are just as tired, just as trapped, just as unhappy and just as hard up as they were. We are hamsters on a wheel! :rolleyes:

    See my first post in this thread - this doesn't apply to us all ;) Only those of us daft enough to chase "stuff" at the expense of a great life get trapped in that hamster wheel. There are still plenty of women who use their emancipation wisely and have an excellent work-life balance :D

    Penny. x
    :rudolf: Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding :rudolf:
  • mumoftwo
    mumoftwo Posts: 1,903 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    See my first post in this thread - this doesn't apply to us all ;) Only those of us daft enough to chase "stuff" at the expense of a great life get trapped in that hamster wheel. There are still plenty of women who use their emancipation wisely and have an excellent work-life balance :D

    Penny. x

  • Kiwisaver_2
    Kiwisaver_2 Posts: 1,169 Forumite
    I guess we all at whatever time we grew up didn't appreciate and realise that we weren't all the same. I was born in the mid 60s, my Grandmother flew planes in the WRAF - how emancipated was she? She was a terrible cook and quite frankly I'd say she was allergic to housework as her house was always a complete mess. She also had the biggest telly I have ever seen, had bleached blonde-bombshell hair which was always covered in a headscarf, smoked filterless cigarettes all her life and spent every night and all her money at the bingo. Not exactly the OS stalwart we might imagine. :D

    I realised later in my life that my upbringing wasn't quite normal or the same as everyone else. My father was positively 'Victorian', my mother did as she was told and us children should not be seen or heard. My mother spent all her time trying to keep us quiet or out of the house, so as not to upset him. Not that, that was too difficult, we would far rather be out playing than anywhere near that old b"$t"rd, at risk of getting another bash for something we had allegedly done 'wrong'. Such crimes as swinging your leg whilst sitting at the dinner table was enough to deserve another spanking.

    My mother stayed at home whilst we were young, but I think she too needed an oasis away from him and took a part-time job as soon as my youngest brother started school, at which he of course went ballistic - 'What ever would people think?' :eek: She stayed in that same job until quite recently when she retired. :D

    I would not have wanted my mother's life for all the tea in China, she washed with a twin-tub, went to the shops every day on her bicycle, cooked a lunch for us at home everyday, before setting off for work. She would have prepared the evening meal before she went and my job was to light the gas under the potatoes or switch the oven on when I got home from school. No fancy automatic timer things then and we were left to fend for ourselves for an hour or so before she got home. She had very little help from the old man apart from the gardening which was his domain, if he wasn't in the garden then he was at the pub or sleeping off the last booze session.

    Still for all the trials my parents were OS to the core, everything was homemade and us kids were always roped in to help, whether it be peeling sacks of onions, picking blackberries, prepping vats of fruit to make jam, plucking pheasants, stringing onions or planting potatoes in the garden. So for that I am truly thankful, because so many people even of my age and older never had experience of that. They probably never took a beating from their father either, but at the time I had no idea that anyone else did anything differently.

    I've now gone back in time to certain extent, in a land far far away from the maddening and manic crowds of the UK and that old expression 'If I hadn't had such riches, I could live with being poor' often springs to mind. We don't have central heating or double glazing, our houses are freezing in the winter and most people have log fires and very few conveniences.

    Sometimes I would give my right arm to have the choice; the choice to be lazy if I want to and go and buy a ready meal from Marks and Spencers, use instant gravy granules, cos I'm too tired or too busy to cook and not have to worry about what we'll have for dinner if I get home late.

    Amazingly it's nearly 2010 and we have some of the worst domestic violence and drunken driving statistics in the world, because people still live like we did in the 70s, when it was quite acceptable for the man of the house to go to the pub every night, come home demand his dinner be on the table and bash the wife and the kids. That's what womens lib has done for me, it taught me that I don't have to put up with men like my father, I don't have to be a servant and do as I am told.

    It is all about balance and the choices we make. I'm not complaining, I chose to live here, but it doesn't mean I want to live like it was in the 70s with no modern conveniences and have to always love it. :rotfl: The saying that you don't miss what you never had is so, so very true.
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  • Kiwisaver_2
    Kiwisaver_2 Posts: 1,169 Forumite
    I know I rambled on enough already, but I'll tell you something else women's lib gave my generation: the right to live with a man and find out what he's really like before you marry him (with my Grandmothers full blessing). A choice I am sure, my now divorced mother, could never have dreamed of. The worm did finally turn, after we were all grown up and she realised she didn't have to stay in a loveless marriage and put up with the likes of my father. She's now the happiest woman alive, with a new life and soul after having been downtrodden for so many years and wouldn't go back to her old life if you gave her a billion pounds.
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  • quote-Some of the shops still had those thingys where the money was placed in an overhead pulley system in a sort of canister with a bill, then a cashier (also overhead presumably) stamped, returned the bill with the change in another canister. It was all rather surreal. Anyone know what these were called.

    Jacksons in Reading still something like have this. it is an pneumatic tube system which carries the money to the cash office upstairs
  • rosieben
    rosieben Posts: 5,010 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 8 December 2009 at 12:25PM
    I’m a feminist and very proud of it! Back in the 70’s we fought for ‘women’s liberation’ from the rules and limitations imposed by our male-governed culture; in short, we fought for a woman’s right to make her own choices.

    Feminists have achieved nothing? :confused: as Penny says, we have the vote thanks to a rather successful previous campaign :D we can own property, get a divorce and share of the marital assets, we can raise children, train and work in a job of our choosing, and do so many other things that we take for granted now. Yes, the fight goes on in many areas. No, we don’t have true equality, but we have the right to speak up about inequalities when we meet them, and the right for our point of view to be taken seriously.

    As I said in my previous post, the final indignity for me in the mid-70’s was having a huge tax rebate, and the cheque being sent to my husband and made payable to him. I saw not a penny, nor any benefit of it - I was working full time yet had no legal right to my own wages.

    I remember wanting to cheer the first time I saw a woman bus driver, and ditto a woman lorry driver. Now I have to say I never wanted to be either :D but it was a huge step for women to be able to choose to do that for a living! And this is despite the fact that women did all those jobs and more, during two world wars! We don’t think twice about consulting a woman doctor, but not so very long ago it was unthinkable that women should be trained to do anything other than nurse; ditto women lawyers, women MP’s and most recently, women clergy. In the 80’s I worked with engineering graduates and even then, the girls were very often assumed to be someone’s secretary!

    And amongst the choices we have now, is whether to join the full time rat race, be a SAHM, or a mixture of each, according to what suits our own situation and wants. ;)
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string! :D

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • randomer
    randomer Posts: 275 Forumite
    Very interesting thread.:p I know that since I returned to part time work the standard of food in this household has really gone downhill!
    I do not wish to see anything pasta related for at least a week.
  • mummysaver
    mummysaver Posts: 3,119 Forumite
    I think the difference between life in the past and now is that we all have a lot more choices.

    We are not so constrained by expectations, laws, class or money. We can choose to work all hours, have all the latest gadgets and run around like loonies, or we can choose to live a simpler life, trying to achieve what makes us happy is different for everyone.

    I would hate hate hate to have to lay fires every morning and clean grates, I hated it as a kid, I don't want to wash by hand or use a mangle, I don't want to constantly be making do or mending because there is no choice, I don't want to shop every day as I have no fridge.

    Thankfully I have central heating (though it's broken today, sigh, but I have a spare plug in oil filled radiator, hooray!), I have a washing machine and tumble drier for when the washing threatens to take over the house and we run out of drying space, I have freezers and a fridge. I love my labour saving gadgets, and am very very grateful for all of them. We have tellies and computers and games consoles, all are entertaining and can be shared activities, especially the wii, which causes a lot more laughter and a whole lot less stress than monopoly!

    But whilst all this maybe buying into a consumer culture, I think I have the balance right for me and my family. I bake and cook lovely meals every day, I shop wisely so we eat well, I make the time to hunt for bargains when we are buying anything from a new oven to a block of cheese. I am lucky to work part time, and nights, so that I have time to spend with my children. I am there for their plays, assemblies, when they are sick. I have time to spend with my friends and I do not have to ask anyone's permission to go out. We have a car, public transport doesn't exist in our village, and it is needed to get to work, to ferry the kids and I like having it for the freedom it gives us.

    I am generally happy with the balance I have in my life, and can't imagine living a 1950s style life, but nor can I imagine ever wanting to live a life that involved constantly running to catch my own tail, and working simply to pay for the latest trendy items.
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  • Feminist & proud! Very interesting and thougth provoking thread. I always brought my children up to believe that they could be or do what they wanted, and gender shouldn't stop them ( I have 3dds). I think the link between femimism and OS values (if there is one) would make a very interesting programme.

    Personally I like central heating, sky tv and the choice to shop at M&S for a quick meal if I feel like it! However, I am os in the sense that I don't waste anything, recycle where possible, and make sure that I get value for money. We grow our own fruit & veg and live frugally, we live well within our means. I have a cheap second hand car.

    A couple of years ago I downsized my job, instead of working full time in a senior position, I work partime in a less senior position, much less stressful, I can spend more time at home. I help out with my gks, and enjoy just pottering around at home. I am fortunate that I can afford to do this. Although I feel that I can afford it, because I don't buy into the consumerist & materialistic aspect of society.

    I feel very fortunate that I have the best of both worlds, but certainly wouldn't want to return to the "old days". Things may have been different then, but I don't think everything was always better.

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