Love is in the air!

Winter is a time of blustery winds, warm blankets, and book friends to fill your heart.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wives and Lovers and other Propaganda

I was just sitting around working on my computer when this old song popped into my head.

It seemed bizarre, even to me, until I recalled a remark made in a news article I had been fuming about all day. The prosecutor told a mother he wasn't going to pursue the rapist of her five year old daughter because "boys will be boys." 

Hours later this song popped into my head and won't  go away . . . probably because of the line, "and men will always be men."

Then when I ran the entire song through my head I was incensed.

Jack Jones (the singer) was popular in the 60s, if you are old enough you may know his voice from doing the theme song for the Love Boat. Jack is a tall, good looking man (He was in the 60s and he still is today.) with a pleasant voice.

In 1963 Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote this sweet little ditty which Jack Jones made a hit record of.

Let's talk a little about propaganda. Wives and Lovers stands right up there with Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man.

Can you imagine a world where a woman has to be perfectly coiffured each morning as she kisses her husband at the door and sends him off to work? Because heaven forbid, if she isn't perfect "she may never see him again."

When I was little I lived in a well to do city. We lived in one of two tenements that were across the street from the Catholic church and the well to do people lived in the beautiful old Victorians on Center Street, Commonwealth Avenue, and Beacon Street.

The Center of our Village housed a beautiful small brick library, which was next to the large brick building which was known as the "Women's Club". I could watch the women in their pointy toed shoes, dresses, hats, and gloves go in and come out. I always wondered what they did in there.

I never found out, because unlike those women, my mother ran around in slacks, popped out a baby a year, and worked at the Hood Rubber making P.F. Flyer sneakers.

Every mother I knew worked outside of the home. They didn't have the luxury of going to weekly hair dresser appointments, wearing white gloves anywhere except to church on Sundays, and it may have been a blessing to many of those women if their husbands didn't come home.

It could have stopped the baby a year and the black eyes so many of them wore on a weekly basis. Please remember, in those days the attitude was "men will always be men" and she must have done something to really piss him off.

The late 60s and the 70s brought us music that made us question the attitudes that were acceptable up to that time.

There were many causes, all of them good, but right now I am only concerned with one. Women's Rights.

Before the pill women popped out baby after baby.

Women earned 59 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

Women were kept out of key jobs.

A battered woman had no recourse. If the cops showed up at the door, one cop would take the batterer for a walk to "cool down" while the other cop would tell her to stop doing whatever had set him off.

A woman very rarely reported rape. They were too ashamed.

Can you imagine a victim of a violent crime being too ashamed to report it?

For the last several years I have watched in horror as certain politicians and media people have tried to tear down some of the advancement women have made in equal rights.

Don't let this happen. To quote a Virginia Slim commercial (Heaven help me, I quoting a cigarette ad!) You've come a long way, baby. Don't let anyone take it away from you.

Break the Silence, let Washington know that we are here and we are not going back to a time when we were afraid not to be perfect.