PC AND BITCHING!
A brief summary of ancient history (1974-1980)
Browsing the net and reading American periodicals can be a deeply nostalgic
experience to old hands on the bitch farm. Especially us Scandinavians....
A recent article in the New York Times cast my mind back to finishing high
school and my university years, back through the seventies - just after the
last dinosaur died.
The article was about music and fashion revivals, but that's really beside
the point. It made me think of the years that turned me into a Heartless
Bitch with a wry chuckle.
They were trying formative years, but they were good for your sense of
humour if you had some strength and mental staying power.
Imagine this, if you can:
Women were guaranteed equal pay for equal jobs in 1972, which was the year
we joined the EEC. Big deal. I was more occupied with surviving junior
high. Then "The Movement" really got off the ground, good and very necessary.
Self-help groups. Great. Every woman went to one, if you liked the others,
you came back, and when the initial whining phase was over, we were
supportive of one another.
So far, so good.
Then feminists were linked to the budding environmental movement, and
things started getting complex. By then I'd moved to university and into a
dorm where everyone cooked and ate together. Suddenly, preparing an evening
meal became a major problem!
In the end everyone ate lentils, leeks, carrots and potatoes 7 days a week.
Very healthy, but if you think eating should not just be good for you, it
should also be enjoyable, it gets a bit boring (excuse me,
"patience-challenging"). The bitch slowly woke up, but she stayed in her corner, observing and
- If you ate meat, you were a murderer.
- Fish wasn't quite the same, but the sea was so polluted you shouldn't
really eat them.
- Vegetables had to be biodynamic (organic), and only what was in season.
Good idea, but Northern winters are depressing veggie-wise. You're limited
to cabbage, carrots, leeks and kale.
- Coffee - now here was the true imperialist at work! It had to be from
alternative communes in Nicaragua at three times the price of good Mocca,
and on a student grant that meant coffee once a week (rather overdo it than
The next step was the further development of the groups. I still think the
debate was bred by the boring diet...
The topic in almost every group, not to mention literature, was
mother-daughter and sexual frustration. My bitch came out of her corner the
memorable night when I let drop that I had no trouble coming, by myself or
I got the lecture of my life!
The fact that I had no major sexual problem (apart from being hetero) was
male-imperialist-unsisterly. I was just a pawn and should feel extremely
guilty that I enjoyed my bodily functions when almost nobody else did! I
should denounce my mother because she had taught me to be an object. I
should develop a nice problem to share with the group instead of......etc.
There and then I became a Heartless Bitch. I realized that what I ate, whom
I slept with, what music I enjoyed, where I lived, and what I had gleaned
from my upbringing (i.e. common sense and a sense of humour), was all I'd
Since then I have lived a good, bitchy life, teaching my sons to wash
clothes and cook, and my daughter to stand up for herself. Enjoyed
carpentry, bike repairs, and rigging ships - but also knitting, good food,
and other housewifely pursuits - although my husband is a far better
gardener than I.
The rant then comes to the present-day budding bitches. Please be the fly
in the ointment! Intolerance gets you/us/them two inches down the road and
no further. Don't whine, laugh! A good laugh is the best way of reducing
intolerant self-established authorities to human size - always was.
Bear in mind that the Pilgrim Fathers forbade public laughter as the
Devil's own music and act accordingly!