Kate Long Profile picture
Jun 21, 2018 37 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Here we go, then, with a Cosmopolitan from 1981. There is some upsetting stuff about sexual violence in this batch, so please mute or unfollow if you need to. x
Very much the theme of magazines around this era: be careful, girls, don't ask for too much equality because it might upset the guys and we really don't want to do that.
In fact, here is the possible effect of feminism on a decent man. You've been warned.
Now for a section about violence against women. Author Celia Fremlin argues that it's our duty as women to stop men being violent and save them from themselves. Previously she's argued that we bring street harassment on ourselves by being nervous of men.
See, sisters, it's our womanly duty to save the males from themselves.
Here she relates the story of how a man on the Tube was going round punching other men. But she realised it was her duty to step in and calm things down. So that's what she did, and we all ought to do this when a male stranger becomes violent near us.
Never mind self-preservation. Men matter more.
On another night, she finds herself alone on a tube station in the middle of a crowd of drunk, heckling men. But all it took was some eye contact and some friendly banter, and that sorted everything. We should all do this more.
Ladies, we all know from experience that making eye contact and speaking to a man who's behaving in a threatening manner is exactly the right thing to do when travelling alone.
She concludes:
How selfish we women have been, making our own safety a priority.
Some night I'll post what she has to say about sexual assault in the street and how we're making a mountain out of a molehill.
In the same Cosmo article, a different writer cites yet another incredibly lenient sentence a man has received for rape.
"Punished enough" here means 'because the woman tried to fight back'.
This is especially upsetting: the words of a rapist, revealing the kind of view he has of women and of the crimes he's committed.
A reminder of the way the Yorkshire Ripper's victims were regarded by the judiciary.
I'm going to finish with less distressing clippings now.
Here's a beauty tip I absolutely urge you not to try.
(When in the history of EVER has anyone wanted a beetroot-pink face?)
It's early in the decade, but already the full horror of 1980s fashion begins to unfurl.
Posted for nostalgia: at 17 I had a pair of these very jeans, and they were utterly fabulous.
That's all for tonight, but I will post the second half on Sunday and it will cover the sexist way health statistics were collected, plus an intense complaint from a man who feels feminism's gone too far.
Here's the second half of the Cosmo 81 thread I began on Thursday.
This section is about how ignoring married women when collecting healthcare statistics has a significant impact on their wellbeing.
How - *how* - does your husband's occupation affect your chances of contracting cervical cancer?
Here women are excluded from the stats because many of them work part time. #WASPI
The staggering stupidity of this kind of sexism is breathtaking. How many lives did it damage or shorten?
And I've tweeted before how the harmful effects of asbestos weren't recognised for decades after they should have been because no one was interested in the health problems of women workers. Which meant that women AND men died needlessly.
For the second half of this thread we'll look at the'controversial' column which almost all women's mags ran at this time. Written by a man, it would denigrate women & their attempts to access equal rights. This particular one's a big whinge-fest by a journalist called Paul Keers
Boo hoo, I'm excluded from women's things, he complains. Going on to give just two examples, one of which is a rape crisis helpline.
And obviously smoking rooms and clubs are exactly the same a rape crisis centres.
I love "It could be argued" - yes, by a complete tool.
Oh, he's never felt before that he was losing out to women? That'll be because well into the 80s women were still being paid less, excluded from many professions, taxed unequally, denied pensions etc.
"See me polishing my halo. I'm not like the rest of them."
I mean, FGS, The Women's Press employing women writers? How dare they?
Ah, now we get to the nub of it.
It'll be women's fault if reasonable men turn all sexist again. They'll have forced lovely guys like him into it.
Right, I am off to commune with the voles. See you later. x

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More from @volewriter

Sep 13, 2018
Tonight's #VintageMagTweets come from this amazing stack of Women's Monitoring Network home-made magazines. They date from between 1981 and 198, though I think the group was active outside those dates.
This was their brief: to choose a date, then get women from all over the country to spot sexist or misogynistic items in national and local publications, cut them out and post them to the WMN for compilation.
The group was methodical in their approach, and the result is a revealing snapshot of attitudes to women as portrayed in the print media in the early 80s.
Read 131 tweets
Aug 24, 2018
Yesterday we saw this graph being passed around regarding gender bias in GCSE subjects. Green is boys, and purple is girls. graph shows only a tiny proportion of girls interested in construction.
Now, where would youngsters get the idea that construction was a field reserved for boys and nothing to do with girls? Here are some boys' T shirts on sale at Asda right now. t shirt showing construction vehicles
boys'T shirt showing construction vehicles
Read 18 tweets
Aug 13, 2018
In last night's #VintageMagTweets I asked how come boys are generally raised to be confident, and girls to be compliant (and the impact that has on their education and career progress). Well, today I was in Primark and I had a look at the messages on girls'and boys' T shirts.
Here are what the boys' T shirts told them they are/can do:
Read 35 tweets
Jun 14, 2018
Here are tonight's vintage mag tweets. They all come from just one copy of Cosmopolitan, and I think make an interesting snapshot of the state of the world for women at that time.
So first off, a first aid quiz in which the idea of domestic violence against women is treated as a bit of a rib-tickler.
Still, they can redeem themselves later in the article and stress how unacceptable men beating up women really is, can't they? Oh.
Read 19 tweets
May 31, 2018
Just to tip you off, tonight's vintage mag clippings will be about the tax system and how it discriminated against women in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The effects of those policies are of course still being felt by #waspi women.
OK, remember the Equal Opportunities Act of 1975/6 that was supposed to bring parity to women's financial status? here's what it left out.
Here are some of the impacts of those exclusions, in 1976.
Read 42 tweets
May 15, 2018
Because I was so impressed by the Brownie pack tonight, I'm going to begin an off-schedule vintage mag thread about girls and science/technology teaching in the 70s and 80s.
Jackie magazine gives us the only reason to bother learning about computers.
This from Pink magazine, about 1980. Even our own comics were telling us science was for Men!
Read 46 tweets

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