Page 4, 16th March 1945

16th March 1945
Page 4
Page 4, 16th March 1945 — Feminine Foruml c.TaZy - I THAT free-for-all radio debate by sixteen people—men
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Feminine Foruml c.TaZy - I THAT free-for-all radio debate by sixteen people—men

and women—on whether or not a woman's place is in the home was a refreshing change from the heavy pontificating by "experts " with which the B.B.C. usually regales us. It had all the atmosphere of an impromptu meeting and there was little to indicate, as far as I could make out, that the scripts were being read. The absence of an official chairman was all to the good. but I did think that someone might have underlined one important point which no one even attempted to make. It was that marriage and the running of a home is in itself a career. In fact, it's thc most important and exacting career of all and one in which the woman has to be her own arbiter and disciplinarian. The debaters had to be reminded several times that the children of a marriage ought to be mentioned and this was generally done by a freshvoiced woman who said she lived in the country. had to cope with " two pumps " instead of water taps, and was Perfectly happy making a home for husband and children. Unfortunately, this speaker laid so much emphasis on being happy in spite of the archaic plumbing that it earned her the sharp retort from another woman : " Oh, you can keep your two pumps I"

Most honest of the men Was the Cockney cabby, who admitted that latterly his wife had been suggesting that she should go out and get a job. But he had put his foot down. He argued he did not want to come home after a hard day's work to find the house empty and cold with no nice hot supper waiting fohim. And then he said quite frankly that the chief reason men did not like their wives to get jobs was that the women became independent. "We like them to depend on us." he said

Most sensible suggestion of all came from a woman who ,aid that the woman should remain at: home while her children are there. but that during the time they are growing up she should keep abreast of what is happening in the world outside so that when the children leave home she can. if she wants, go out and get something to do. This would fill in the blank that conies in the lives of many women when they suddenly find themselves in an empty house with life generally becoming an anti-climax.

What the debate also missed was the fact that thousands of married women will be compelled to work after the war to eke out the niggardly pensions of their men-folk.

Let's have more debates on these lines. They let off steam and do more in half-an-hour to get at people's opinions than all the prosy talks on social subjects put together.

* * * *

WHEN I found an invitation card on my desk to a " foodless lunch " at a London hotel at which five well-known women were to speak, there was nothing to indicate that the occasion involved voluntary fasting. And so, with a busy day before me 1 fortified myself beforehand with my customary mid-day meal. Only to feel slightly guilty when I arrived at the

luncheon " to find that Dame Sybil Thorndike, Miss Nora Webs, Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence, Mrs. Corbett Ashby and Miss Eve Rees had all gone without their lunch as a protest against the famine in Europe.

In that gesture you get the feminine attitude towards physical suffering. They set impatient with the long delay of officialdom. If a woman knows that a child is hungry she wants to see that hunger alleviated at once, and not hi six months' time when the clogged wheels of administration hall have done one more tortured and groaning turn. Holland. Belgium and France were snecially mentioned, and Miss Wain. who is an American. told us she had made repeated efforts to send the food sent to her from the States to people whom she knows are hungry on the Continent—bur has been stopped by the authorities.

* * * * I T'S nearly six years since most of us have had the chance to be seasick. but when that chance comes again perhaps some may like to know a core recommended by is doctor in a recent 'ssue of the British Medical Journal. It is to wrap the abdomen up tightly in flannel and even pack inside " one of

the monthly magazines"! So away with turkey rhubarb and all those newfangled pills that paralyse the stomach nerves. The doctor assures us that a lady who used to spend her whole time in her berth on Atlantic crossings now enjoys every minute of the voyage.




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