My father used to say “a woman’s realm is in the home and not her husband’s counting house” What he meant was that she had to clean and tidy the house for him and do all his washing and ironing and cook his meals, and everything else, whilst he did what he considered to be important work, usually in the office at the Nonconformist Chapel where he was a lay preacher. I’m not sure what that important work was, but it probably didn’t have much to do with counting.
Anyway, I know that the whole idea of the woman’s realm being in the home is out of fashion, and not exactly textbook feminism. But in my opinion, men are generally such useless lumps that there’s no point in making the home their realm at all, unless you want it to go to rack and ruin.
Back in the day, any woman who wanted to make sure that her home ran smoothly had a ruddy good weekly magazine to help her take care of her realm. Woman’s Realm Magazine. It offered information and advice on everything, from how to make a successful cheese soufflé (as opposed to a failed cheese soufflé) or how to knit flecked wool cable stitch socks for the man in your cellar, (You wouldn’t want him looking at his ruddy magazines with cold feet would you?) through to hints and tips for home décor on a shoestring… Whatever a ruddy shoestring is when its all at home. Did they mean a shoelace? And if so how could you decorate your home on one of them?
The thing was, that when Woman’s realm was on the go, at least women were interested in things like that. Now it only seems that women only want to decorate their houses so that they can get on a property renovation television programme which is probably presented by some ruddy celebrity or other.
And ruddy celebrities are all that most women want to read about in their magazines. Ruddy celebrities injecting themselves with rubber solution glue to get rid of cellulitis or something, or having bad photographs taken of them in unfashionable swimming costumes by the same Pappa Asti photographers who hounded poor Lady Di to an early grave in a French subway station.
Any road, they stopped doing the Women’s Realm Magazine in 2001.
Thank the Good Lord that they still print the People’s Friend Magazine in Dundee. You can still get the odd knitting pattern and recipe in there, amongst the heart-warming fiction stories. Then again, people in Scotland do seem to have to have their heads screwed on a bit better than most of us south of the border. That’s why they don’t elect Tories up there.
I don’t know what my Father would have said now that a woman’s realm seems to be everywhere, including counting houses, chapel pulpits and the houses of ruddy parliament. I don’t think that he would have liked it. But he would have just had to lump it… because all things must pass.