Moving on from Cartland’s writing tips and technique, I now come to her thoughts against feminism which are more controversial. They were controversial and out of step in 1977, so now, almost 40 years later, they must be antediluvian. Or are they?
In 1977, Barbara managed to arouse the ire of the Women’s Liberation Movement when she unequivocally proclaimed that ‘A career girl is a second-rate pseydo-man who looks her worst in trousers and all that a woman really wants is the protection of marriage,’
But on the contrary, women still want to be looked after, loved, and above all, paid for by men.
I think having the protection of marriage and being looked after, loved by men are not mutually exclusive to having a career. Based on personal experience (and watching The Apprentice) women in powerful positions in business tend to be almost more masculine and aggressive and power hungry than men in equally powerful positions. It’s as if the men can sit back and relax because they’re men, but the women almost need to continually prove themselves, since they are women. This plays out every series of The Apprentice, when the women’s team jostles and argues for who will project manage for the first 3-4 weeks, and the men’s team is full of a group of laid back, slightly Machiavellian men who all let someone else project manage first. It’s almost as if the men feel they’ve proved their worth simply by being on the show, but the women have to reinforce their worth every single week on the show.
Depth of character, a ‘big’ personality comes because one has a real knowledge of life...You yourself have to get down to life, to live it, and only in that experience are you likely to gain understanding, and from that to enlarge your personality and your character.’
This is interesting because it seems to contradict what Carland says earlier. If a woman is expected to not have a career how is she to develop real knowledge of life? Plus, Carland was anything but a woman who stayed at home and looked after her husband. Throughout her life she organised pageants, balls, charity events, wrote in magazines, newspapers and of course her novels.
To her daughter, Raine, Barbara would exclaim, ‘No man wants a clever woman!’
‘It doesn’t matter terribly what a wife does during the day provided she is always home at six o’clock to greet her husband properly when he returns from work.’
Maybe in 1977 there was an element of truth to this, for some men, in some marriages, but in 2016, I think this isn’t the case. Nowadays, due to the high price of houses, most homes are two income, with both man and woman working full time. Even with the introduction of shared parental leave (SPL), the proportion of men taking this up is still very small: 4 out of 10 organisations polled hadn’t seen any men take up SPL. 11% of those organisations involved reported between 0.5% to 1% of male workers taking SPL and fewer than 10% of firms reported more than 1% take up of SPL. This, I suspect is significantly impacted by the fact that few companies choose to enhance the rate a male employee receives their SPL from the statutory £139.58 whereas the majority of companies pay enhanced maternity pay to the mother.
I hope the division of chores in the home is now on less gender-based lines and more skills appropriate basis. Being in a same sex relationship, there's no 'wife' we both get on with chores based on who's best equipped to do so. So in a way that gives same sex relationships an advantage because there are no traditional roles for us to fall into.
If you enjoyed reading this and my other blogs, consider 'donating' by buying one of my books. You may want to read about a same sex couple with an unbalanced division of labour, which the main character escapes, you could check out Escaping From Him, Buy Links: Manifold Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords
Liam Livings xx