Tag Archives: feminism

The Archers: an  everyday story of feminist folk

Robert Henderson

The Archers is the world’s longest running radio soap opera,  having run continuously  from  1951 to the present day. It is  set in Ambridge, a fictional  farming  village in the English midlands .  In the real world such a place would  even these days be  very white,  very English and  decidedly traditional in its ways.  For most of the Archers’ existence  the fiction  generally corresponded with the reality, but two decades or so ago things changed when the producer and scriptwriters of the series decided that the programme  should  pay homage to the three gods of political correctness: race, gay rights and feminism.  Consequently,  Ambridge has had visited upon it sundry  black and Asian characters,  a raft of gays, a female engineer, a female vicar, a white English vicar married to a Hindu  and a steady flow of politically correct storylines .

This new politically correct regime introduced  rules  which the characters have to meet. Non-white characters  must  invariably be middleclass with professional jobs  such as schoolteachers or lawyers. They must never be shown behaving badly and any criticism of them or ethnic minorities generally  by white characters, a very rare event, must be done in a way to portray the  white character as being  utterly beyond the politically correct Pale. The men must be  generally stupid, feckless, weak  or  cruel, while  the women and girls must  be shown as either oppressed by their men or superior to them , for example, when school public examination results hit the Ambridge doormats  this year all  the boys in the cast  were depicted as being none too bright  academically while the girls all came through with honours and headed  for university.

All that is in a day’s politically correct  agitprop work for the writers and producer  of the programme. The politically correct issue which has been dominating the series lately is the  coercing and control  of women by their menfolk. This  is  a storyline  of a different  order to anything which has gone before in terms of  sustained  – it has lasted for a year or more –  and remarkably crude politically correct propaganda.

The central  character in this propaganda  is Helen Titchener (Louiza Patikas). She is  a member of the Archer clan and  has been  much put upon by the scriptwriters  over the years  who have used her as a vehicle for various feminist issues. She has been an anorexic who was hospitalised. More generally her life has been a  continual round of failed relationships  with men,  including  that of her live-in lover Greg the gamekeeper (I kid you not)  leaving their relationship in the most emphatic manner by blowing his brains out with a 12-bore.  In despair at not finding a man who hangs around for  long Helen has had a child (as you do in feminharpy world) by artificial insemination with sperm provided by an anonymous donor. The result is a son Henry who is now aged five.

In her mid-thirties the scriptwriters gave her  a married man Rob Titchener (Timothy Watson) as a lover and eventually he becomes her husband.    Rob is generally  depicted as what feminists fondly but mistakenly  imagine  constitutes the behaviour of an alpha male, namely, being a selfish one-dimensional  brute who simply wants to control and use women. He   is depicted as perpetually  controlling Helen but  this control includes   (in politically correct eyes)  such heinous things as not wanting her to work  too hard while she is pregnant and being concerned about  her driving whilst pregnant  after she has an accident. There are also episodes where rape is hinted at. More of that later.

The  plot also attempts to show the controlling behaviour is a matter of conditioning with Rob’s father being a blustering bully and his mother highly manipulative. This of course fits neatly with the politically correct view of humanity, whether male or female ,being nothing more than the product of their social environment.

Eventually,  whilst still pregnant with Rob’s child,  Helen tells him she is going  to leave him  and in a piece of ludicrously  clumsy plotting by the scriptwriters they make Rob  place a knife in her hands before  telling her that the only way she can leave him is by turning the knife on herself.  As Helen is well advanced in pregnancy the idea of her stabbing herself to death is particularly far fetched and it is clearly just a  device to get a knife into her hands without her picking one up herself and thus  potentially incriminating herself.

Soon after Helen has had the knife thrust into her hands her  son Henry comes into the room and Rob orders him back to bed. He has never hit Henry and does not hit him now.  At this point  Helen stabs  Rob three times and leaves him close to death. She makes no attempt to call for an ambulance. Subsequently  Helen is charged with attempted murder with an alternative charge of wounding with intent and is held on remand. Whilst in custody she gives birth to her second son whom she calls Jack and Rob calls Gideon.

After being charged Helen ends up with Anna Tregorran, the daughter of a regular Archers’ characte, Carol Tregorran , as her barrister. Not content to simply present Anna in her role as a lawyer the scriptwriters decide to both make her full of angst about her failure to win  past domestic abuse  cases and be in the midst of  the emotional upset of the recent breaking up of her marriage to  her husband Max.  But Max turns out to be Maxine, thus  breaking new ground for the Archers with its  first overt depiction of a lesbian relationship.  (Despite being very eager  to have homosexual relationships in the programme, the Archers has always been strangely  coy when it comes to girl on girl action. )

When Helen is appears in court  at her trial the scriptwriters are  seen at their most heavy handed. They  begin the trial scenes by pushing evidence which makes a conviction likely. Telling facts  are put before the courts such as Helen’s failure to ring for an ambulance after stabbing Rob,  Helen’s threat to kill Rob in front of witnesses shortly before the stabbing were and the evidence of her 5-year-old son  – the only witness to the stabbing – who does not say anything which suggests  Rob had  threatened him.

This scenario rapidly changes as the trial progresses not least because  the judge always comes up with a judgement  favourable to the defence whenever something happens which might well have caused evidence favourable to Helen to be excluded  or the trial to be abandoned. A juror tweets “Man hating lezzie. Gonna make sure she goes down.” The judge allows the case to continue with eleven jurors, without making any attempt to discover if the errant  juror  had made his views known to the rest of the jury. (If he had done so that would most probably have stopped the trial dead in its tracks.)   When Helen makes claims of repeated rape during her evidence , not having mentioned rape at all before she entered the witness box, the  prosecution unsurprisingly objects.  The judge allows the evidence to stand. Rob’s ex-wife Jess comes forward at the last moment to give evidence of Rob’s controlling behaviour towards her which includes rape. Again the judge comes down on Helen’s side by allowing Jess to give similar fact evidence.  When the jury send out a note to the judge after a few hours deliberation saying they cannot come to a unanimous verdict,  the judge makes no attempt to get the jury to press on for a while longer but at the first time of asking says he will accept a majority verdict of 10-1.

Obvious lines of questioning  were  ignored by the prosecution.  For example,  questions about what relationship  Helen had with Jess  leading to the question “When did you last meet or speak with Helen?”  As the pair of them had met at Helen’s request not long before the stabbing of Rob the prosecution could easily have left the jury with the firm belief that the pair of them had plotted against Rob.

Helen’s sudden claim from the witness box that she had been repeatedly raped by Rob because he wanted to have a child soon after they were married and Helen did not – hardly unreasonable on Rob’s part because Helen   is in her mid thirties –went virtually unexamined. An obvious line of question for the prosecution would have been to ask her about her sexual relations with Rob before they were married. Presumably Helen would have said they were normal because it is wildly improbable that a dominant male like Rob would have  gone ahead with a marriage if his intended was denying him regular sex.   At that point the prosecution would have been able to ask a simple but devastating question, viz:  If you had  regular sexual relations before marriage why weren’t you worried about getting pregnant then? Helen would either have had to say she had not worried about getting pregnant then or more plausibly that she used contraception. Either way her claim of rape would  have looked decidedly odd because if it was simply a case of getting pregnant all she would have needed to do was use some form of reliable contraception.

The height of this many stranded absurdity was reached in the hour-long jury room episode .  By the end of the trial on the evidence given it would have been reasonable to have looked for a guilty verdict on at least the lesser charge of wounding with intent, for there was no certain evidence that the stabbing had taken  place in response to a reasonable fear that either Helen or her son were under threat of assault by Rob.

The jury was a distinctly  starry one with some well known  names in British acting including  Dame Eileen Atkins, Nigel Havers and Catherine Tate . Just to make sure the jury passed the diversity test one of the jurors was a Muslim  woman Parveen and to make sure the listeners did not miss this fact the scriptwriters had one of the jurors  compliment Parveen on her “beautiful headscarf”.

The jurors made the jury in 12 Angry Men look like a model of conscientious and restrained citizens seeking the truth.  Dennis  (Graham Seed) , who was dead set on finding Helen guilty,  Catherine Tate’s Lisa  was  the working-class white woman who had little patience with the idea that Helen had acted reasonably,  while Nigel Havers’s Carl, who was the jury foreman,  railed against the injustice of excuses only being made for women in the course of recounting how the courts had given his children to his wife after they split and added insult to injury by banning him from the family home whilst requiring him to pay the mortgage.   Jury vetting is nowhere near as through or as comprehensive as it is in the USA but I really do wonder whether all of those on this fictional jury , especially Carl, would have made it through the vetting system as it now exists which includes a criminal records check.

Set against them was the terminally irritating Jackie (Eileen Atkins)  who in the hectoring tones of  what used to be called a “county”  voice kept on repeating  with excruciating condescension that the point which  mattered was whether Helen had thought she or her son were in danger.  In fact that is not all the jurors have to satisfy themselves when it comes to self-defence  under English law.  They also need to address the question of whether “ a reasonable person would regard the force used as reasonable or excessive”.  Stabbing someone three times and nearly killing them when no certain  evidence had been produced to show that Helen had reasonable grounds to fear that she or her son was in serious and imminent danger from Rob is clearly not what a reasonable person would regard  as reasonable force.  All the jury had to go on was Helen’s word that Rob had given her the knife and told her she should kill herself, a story which in itself sounded far fetched  to some of the jury –   Rob of course denied  giving Helen the knife and telling her that she should kill herself.

The end of the trial comes with ridiculous abruptness. One moment the jurors are still arguing sixteen to the dozen (with six of the eleven for conviction on one or other of the charges), the next we are back in the courtroom with the foreman of the jury giving not guilty verdicts.   No explanation is given for the sudden change of heart of the majority.  Simply  as a piece of drama  this plotting was ridiculous. It was  as if the scriptwriters   had either been told the trial had to be over by a certain date  and simply wrote implausible tosh to meet the deadline or they  could not think of a plausible way of extricating Helen from the weight of evidence against her and the attitudes they had given the jurors, both of which pointed to a guilty verdict on one or other of the charges,  and got to the verdicts of not guilty as soon as they could in the hope the vast majority of the  audience  would not  notice the implausibility of what was going on because they wanted Helen to be found not guilty.

Not content  with the criminal trial the scriptwriters then had  a custody hearing for Henry and Jack held a week or so after the end of the criminal trial. The scriptwriters have the judge who acting in  the criminal trial presiding over the custody adjudication.  At the beginning of the hearing the judge warns counsel for Rob that having heard the criminal case he is going to take a great deal of persuading if custody is  of either boy is to be given to Rob. Could this really have happened in the real world? The judge then  proceeds to give custody of both boys to Helen,  denies Rob any access to Henry and only a few hours a week of heavily supervised access to Jack/Gideon.  This is done on the grounds that Rob – who has never harmed Henry  and has been an exemplary stepfather to the boy – represents a danger to the boy, while  Helen, an unbalanced neurotic who has shown herself to be very violent indeed, is deemed to present no threat at all.

Since the trial Rob has been s portrayed as being given the cold shoulder by the residents of  Ambridge.   No one argues his case by, for example,  pointing out the seriousness of his injuries or the fact that Henry is missing him.  Instead the script writers are making him more and more angry and uncontrolled in his behaviour  to provide one suspects further justification for Helen’s acquittal and grounds for ostracism and vilification by the other characters  and there are already hints that the police may investigate the alleged rapes

This type of black and white characterisation and plotting is pure agitprop. The ideological points are made in  the most blatant way so even the dimmest listener cannot miss them and  the  villain of the piece is deliberately  left with nothing more than a handful of traits which delineate the particular  “incorrect “behaviour which must be both condemned without qualification and punished.  This despite the fact that the scriptwriters have with the characters of Rob’s parents tried to demonstrate that Rob’s behaviour is all down to his upbringing. The scriptwriters want to have their cake and eat it by both punishing  Rob and saying he not responsible . It is what Orwell called doublethink.

Doublethink also applies to the discord between the portrayal of Helen  and what she allows to happen to her. Helen  is presented as  passive being completely  lacking agency within a relationship,  despite the fact that  the scriptwriters throughout  kept on emphasising that the character  started as a confident woman very much in charge of her own life. Well, a confident and capable woman should have the  capacity to say no or to simply walk away from a bullying man. Moreover, Helen was not dependent on Rob for money as they both worked for the family business and Helen could have left Rob at any time knowing that she had a ready made refuge the family farm for both herself and her child.

Part of the purpose of the year-long storyline was to undoubtedly  attract more listeners (which it reportedly did in large numbers ), but even more it was intended as  a cautionary feminist tale. It was designed  to indoctrinate the audience  with the idea that men are often if not invariably ruthless exploiters and groomers of women, who are reduced to being sexual, emotional and psychological slaves, and that  women may  physically attack their men viciously and get away with it provided they say they are being controlled by their men and believed they were in danger.

This  propaganda has probably  been put out now because there is a recently passed piece of UK legislation – Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 – which makes the coercion of those in a close relationship, family members or a sexual partner,   a criminal offence carrying a maximum sentence of five years. The Crown Prosecution Service  guidance on behaviours which are included in coercive control  include “Repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless” and  “Reputational damage”.    Talk about dangerously broad and subjective .

There are two complaints to make of the BBC’s resources being used to make this type of material. The first is  the utterly inept scriptwriting which most importantly  made Helen’s acquittal unbelievable; the second, the use of the BBC as a propaganda  tool in the politically correct interest.  The BBC often does this,  but the Helen/Rob propaganda tool  was extraordinarily one-eyed in intent and astonishingly  crudely  executed.

When the BBC is challenged about bias in a programme their favourite justification is that they attain balance over the whole range of BBC programmes relating to a topic. The use of the Archers over more than a year to promote the “coercion of women”  line unquestioningly is  probably the best example one could find of the BBC not only not  achieving balance over various programmes dealing with a particular subject but making no effort whatsoever to do so.

The intentions of this new law  are made crystal  clear in the Crown Prosecution Service guidance that “The Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy provides an overarching framework for crimes identified as being primarily committed, but not exclusively, by men against women within a context of power and control.” Do not hold your breath waiting for a woman to be prosecuted under this law.

The Archers originally  went out in 1951  with the tagline an everyday story of simple countryfolk. Today it should  have the tagline An  everyday story of paranoid feminist folk.

Politically incorrect film reviews – The Millennium Trilogy

Robert Henderson

The girl with the dragon tattoo – the original and the US-remake

The girl who played with fire

The girl who stirred the hornets’ nest

These are the films made to date from  Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.   I review them  in one fell swoop because there is only one reason to see them if you wish to be diverted  – and it is a very compelling one – the charismatic performance of  Noomi  Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in the three Swedish originals.  More of that later.

There is another less palatable reason to watch the films. They  are monuments to the grip that political correctness generally has on Sweden  and the peculiar place that feminism occupies in Sweden and Scandinavia generally.

The plots, such as they are, revolve around the type of fantasies the politically correct relish: we have the  remnants and descendants of a  Swedish Nazi group, one of whom, Martin Vanger,   engages in the rape and occult murder of women  as his father did before him;  the abusive and dishonest  machinations of  big business  as represented by billionaire financier Hans-Erik Wennerström; paedophilia amongst the rich and powerful  and  a dash of  security services mischief involving one-time Soviets agents, one of whom is Lisbeth’s father, Alexander Zalachenko.  There is even a Frankenstein monster of sorts, a man who cannot feel pain (Ronald Niedermann Lisbeth’s half-brother) .  In short, the storylines  are verging on the absurd.

Amongst these fantastic scenarios  Mikael Blomkvist, journalist and publisher at Millennium magazine,  weaves his investigative way as he seeks to  ruin Wennerstrom,  solve the mystery of a missing woman belonging to the Nazi-tainted Vanger family and expose sex-trafficking of minors, much of this being done through conversations of excruciating exercises in  political correctness with his fellow Millennium journos .

During the course of the three films Lisbeth   is variously forced to provide fellatio, anally raped,  shot and savagely beaten,  with  much of the mayhem being engineered by her father,  half-brother and her state provided  guardian – she is encumbered by the last because of her violent and disturbed past which has seen her spend much time in what in less politically correct times would be called lunatic asylums. Lisbeth  in return engages in much violence and other criminality, almost all of it directed at men.   This aspect of the films satisfies the feminist ideals of all men being potentially violent abusers of women and the ability of women  to strike back against their abusers.

The male characters who are not wearing the feminist version of black hats are required to behave towards  female characters with an insipid subordination.   Mikael Blomkvist must be the most uninspiring male lead in films,  an almost entirely  non-action man.  Even when he  does eventually become involved in action he is the victim.   Not so much an anti-hero but an anti-heroic.

There is also political correctness of an insidious nature.   About halfway through The Girl with the Dragon tattoo a suspicion began to form,  with The girl who played with fire the suspicion became a certainly and The  Girl who stirred the hornet’s nest merely provided confirmation of the certainty: women perform the same role in Swedish films that blacks  routinely perform in Hollywood productions. They are the formal authority figures, the lawyers,    the judges, and , God help us, the  leader of a police Swat team, are women.

In short, this is the hardcore feminist fantasy made flesh with men portrayed either as potential rapists and abusers of women generally (the title of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Swedish is Män som hatar kvinnor–literally–men who hate women) or timid, one dimensional wimps who not only   bow down before the dictates of political correctness,  but who have become feminised by decades of feminist propaganda and political intervention to enforce the mentality.  All very interesting when one reflects on the author of the 2011 Norwegian killing spree Anders Breivik’s complaint about the feminised nature of Norwegian society. On the evidence of  these films the same could be said of Sweden.

The films are saved by a single great performance. Orson Welles does this in Citizen Kane when even that fine actor Joseph Cotton is reduced to a cypher;   Gangs of New York are saved by Daniel Day-Lewis’s Bill the Butcher;  Drive is held together solely by Ryan Gosling’s startling  talent for violence.   Noomi  Rapace  does it with the character of Lisbeth Salmander , a young woman  who is set apart, whether by a disturbed  past or innate qualities, from other people. Her behaviour is autistic. She cannot readily connect with people or understand  the normal rules of  social engagement.  At the same time she is highly intelligent and immensely resourceful.  The consequence is that  she combines heroic self-sufficiency with  a terrible vulnerability . A man playing such a role probably would not be sympathetic but an attractive young woman is.

There is another quality Lisbeth has which is immensely  magnetic.   It is her will to action. There is something  heroic about a character who  meets circumstances head on and instead of dithering or running away from trouble simply responds with action.  Lee Marvin as Walker in Point Blank and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill part I are other prime examples of such characters.    Her determination and courage is in stark contrast to the vanilla quality of  Blomkvist and his ilk.  When she is removed from the action sequences  (after being  shot  at the end of the second film), the consequence is that the final part of the trilogy is by far the weakest of the three. Lisbeth needs freedom to express herself.

The American remake of The girl with the dragon tattoo is in some ways better than the original, most notably the acting overall  is much stronger – Stellen Skaarsgard is especially good as the serial killer Martin Vanger, mixing an overt affability with an underlying menace.  Rooney Mara captures the self-contained distance and the will to action of the character well,  but  lacks Rapace’s vulnerability. That changes the mood of the film.

Recommended  recent Films

Shame – something of Sidney Carton in the Michael Fassbinder  role, a man of parts who is simply squandering his talent on an empty life.

Rampart – Woody Harrelson plays Dave Brown, a wondrously politically  incorrect cop. Dirty Harry without the ideals.

A Dangerous Method – Worth seeing for Viggo Mortensen’s Freud and Keira Knightley’s sporting of one of the oddest accents ever to hit the screen – she is meant to be Russian, but could come from anywhere in the solar system  for all the accent tells one of her origins.

Politically incorrect film reviews – Made in Dagenham

Made in Dagenham

General release 2010

Directed by Nigel Cole.

Main cast:  Sally Hawkins,  Bob Hoskins, Kenneth Cranham, Miranda Richardson,  Rosamund Pike, Jamie Winston, Andrea Riseborough and Geraldine James.

This is a piece of childishly crude feminist propaganda, a fact which has (sigh) inevitably  guaranteed it glowing reviews in the mainstream British media.    The film, based on a true event, is set in 1968 with the machinists at the Dagenham Ford factory (all women) up in arms at being downgraded to  unskilled which provokes them to strike.  They may have been justified in their anger, but the film is so one-eyed in its portrayal of the argument for equal pay that it has all the veracity of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, with the male characters in the role of Tom and the women cast  as Jerry.  British listeners to the BBC Radio 4 serial The Archers will have a good idea of how the men are portrayed, as weak  or  moronic bastards.   Their roles call for very little change of facial expression as all that is required are looks of bafflement, anger ,  fear and condescension.  

Sally Hawkins as the shop steward Rita O’Grady is marginally less irritating than she was as Poppy in Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky in which she carried cheerfulness to the point of imbecility, but to balance this slight relief  her character of  Rita  is even more unbelievable.  She  begins as a neurotically nervous cockney factory hand who transmogrifies overnight,   in heroically unconvincing fashion, into  the leader of the women after their original shop steward  Connie  (Geraldine James)   becomes terminally distracted by her personal  life.  (This involves a tiresome sub-plot revolving round Connie and her husband  George (Roger Lloyd-Pack) who is, yes,  you have guessed it, useless because of his experiences in bombers in the war, the feminist sub-text being the suffering of women lumbered with a man )

With the exception of  the union convener  Albert Passingham (Bob Hoskins), the men routinely behave in a male chauvinist fashion along the lines of “don’t you worry your pretty little head about it”.  As for Albert, he  might best be described as a Quisling in the feminist cause. It is one thing to believe in equal pay, quite another to be indecently gleeful when the machinists’ strike brings the entire Ford factory to a halt and puts thousands of men out of work.

Miranda Richardson as Barbara Castle has the most cringeworthy scenes, either  humiliating two of her senior civil servants (played by Joseph Kloska and Miles Jupp) who literally cower before her,  fraternising  in sisterly solidarity with the Dagenham women’s representatives  or haranguing  Harold Wilson (a rather feeble effort by John Sessions).

There are  modern feminist stereotypes gratuitously thrown in for good measure.  Andrea Riseborough plays a promiscuous girl who is taking the same view of sex as men (and thus becoming in feministspeak empowered) and Jamie Winstone is a wannabe model  who eventually has to choose between Ford giving her a break into modelling and remaining true to the strikers. Guess which she chooses. Yes, that’s right, it’s support the strikers and go back to machining after the strike is over.  Thus sisterly solidarity is verified.

The working class male is not spared parody or lecturing.  Rita’s husband  Eddie (Daniel Mays) is besieged with clichés as he is shown struggling with household chores while Rita is off on union business. He is also a target for stern feminist lectures.  He tells Rita he is not happy with her going off on union business all the time. He is accused of trying to keep her in her place.  He has the  temerity to suggest  that it might not be all for the best  that the factory has been brought to halt by the machinists strike putting thousands of male breadwinners out of work. He is told  sternly that he is being unreasonable.  At his wit’s end, Eddie makes  a heartfelt  inarticulate  plea to Rita  by pointing out that he  is a good husband who works,   doesn’t go out on the booze, beat the children or hit her.  This provokes a short  denunciation worthy of a Soviet  commissar as  his wife shrieks that  such behaviour should be the male  norm. Rita then heads  off on yet another union trip. The saga ends with Eddie making a Maoist-style confession of fault as he  catches up with her as she addresses the TUC conference.

Monty Taylor (Kenneth Cranham)  as an old-style union fixer, a man  in favour of compromise and perhaps complicity with management ,  and all too fond of his expenses. He is cast firmly in the role as the enemy within the feminist camp for not being rigidly aggressive and unreasonable. As he dealt in moral  greys rather than blacks and whites, he did bear a vague resemblance to a real human being.  It was by far the best performance in the film.

Unambiguously   risible is the relationship between Rita and Lisa  (Rosamund Pike) the wife of the managing director of Ford in Britain Peter Hopkins (Rupert Graves). Lisa is decidedly posh and wealthy, yet strangely her son  goes to the same school as Rita’s boy, which is where they meet. Not only that , but the two women rapidly form a mutual admiration society  with Lisa at one point  arriving on Rita’s council flat doorstep to assure her that having obtained a first in history from Oxford ,  she had always wanted to know from someone who was making history (in this case Rita) what it was like to make history.  (I must confess I could not stifle a guffaw at this point).

Poor Lisa is also subjected to  a second scene which could only provoke derision. Ford of America send over an executive (Richard Schiff as Robert Tooley)  to sort things out. Tooley goes to dinner at the Hopkins’ house  where he is treated to a lecture by Lisa about the iniquity of Ford’s treatment of the machinists.  Her husband Peter unsurprisingly shuffles her off to the kitchen to stop her talking. This is portrayed as an outrageous side-lining of Lisa as having nothing useful to say because she as a woman. Any normal human being would interpret as a man  not wanting his wife to queer his pitch with his boss.

What the film failed to address  in any meaningful fashion  was the social circumstances  of the time.  This was an age before it was thought reasonable for women to be single mothers or for a man and a woman to set up home without being married. The norm was for couples to be married with the man as the breadwinner. If the woman worked it was a bonus but not considered essential. That being so it was quite reasonable for the men in the film to believe that the prime good was for the male wage to be put before that of the female.   Yet when this idea was raised by the odd character in the film it was treated as absurd. In 1968 it was the norm.  There was no conception within the film that in the social circumstances of the time the men might have had a point. These were working class people who relied on their pay just to survive from Monday to Monday. Nor was there  an attempt to reflect on  what 40 years of feminism  have wrought; no  questioning of whether women with children working  would be a be a long term good or the fact that we now have a world in which it is impossible for large swathes of the population not to be able to afford to have a family life without the woman working.  

A shame that a strong cast was wasted on such ludicrous stuff.

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