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The Forum > Article Comments > Embrace the change > Comments

Embrace the change : Comments

By Jane Caro, published 12/7/2006

From 7UP to 49UP times have certainly changed, and for women it has been in a big way.

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As a woman who has had the chance to live through all this history I find your account very interesting Jane.

I would mention the low level of employment and the 3/4 wages available to women in the 70's resulting in a worldwide economic decline while parity in western countries was obtained, and the blame it drew at the time. That prosperity was at the expense of an oppressed 50% of the population was overlooked.
Posted by Audrie, Wednesday, 12 July 2006 4:45:12 PM
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Jane, you make it all sound so simple and wonderful, like a shampoo commercial. Two legs bad, four legs good.
Wealth has always been the remedy for oppression and the enabler for choice, regardless of gender or any other determinant.
30% of females will never marry or have children, primarily because they won't 'marry down', so consequently 30% of males have no hope of a family because they don't have what women require.
Next time you are in a city go and look at some of the numerous boarding houses chock-a-block with low income men living in rooms smaller than prison cells and ask yourself if it is fair that women still benefit from affirmative action legislation. Of course it is comforting to think simply, that all women are oppressed and all men are advantaged, but it simply isn't true. Feminism has always been about money and political influence and it has worked well for plenty of women, particularly those who weren't oppressed in the first place
Posted by citizen, Wednesday, 12 July 2006 8:28:19 PM
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One only has to look at the Queensland Public Service, with its much higher than "usual" level of female management, to see the result of this change.
With affirmative action driving the process, the catastrophe is obvious for all to see. Has any organisation, in the history of man,[or woman] ever been so dysfunctional?
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 12 July 2006 8:30:18 PM
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Well, this article more than any other shows how distorted the ideology of choice has become.

Most of us when young dream of marrying and having children as a central fulfilment in our lives. But for Jane Caro such a life outcome is cast in negative terms because it is "conventional" rather than individually chosen. She writes,

"Yet 1963 was literally on the threshold of possibly the greatest social revolution in the history of the modern world: the remarkable and rapid change in the status and destiny of women.

For the first time in recorded history, women began to have choices about the kind of life they would live. Indeed, Aptedís four girls, particularly those from working class backgrounds have demonstrated precisely that.

One has had a high-powered career and in the last film had chosen to become a single mother; another is a single parent due to divorce and the third, who runs a mobile community library for children, has not had children at all. The upper class girl, after a startling adolescence, has lived a more conventional life, revolving around marriage and full-time motherhood.

Without doubt, the increase in the choices women have about the shape their lives will take has been exhilarating, exciting and not before time."

So in Jane Caro's opinion, divorce, single-motherhood and childlessness are good things because they increase "choice" for women! She even thinks that experiencing such things would have been "exhilarating" and "exciting" for the women involved, rather than disappointing or even soul-destroying.
Posted by Mark Richardson, Wednesday, 12 July 2006 9:02:19 PM
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I wonder if the writer of the article is the same Jane Caro who wrote about her own life that:

ďAs for my personal life, as well as wanting a career, I also wanted a family. I knew that a career on its own would be a lonely life. To only have a family would be better than to only have a career, but I wanted it all Ė a whole career and a whole family ... I took five years off to have my children. I never considered I would go back to advertising ..."

Here we have real life: a woman who wants, above all, "a whole family", with a husband and children - and who got it.

Yet she doesn't stop to consider that the working-class women in Apted's documentary might have wanted the same thing. She thinks instead that the working-class women have been "liberated" by being unmarried, childless and divorced.

Again, let me point out here the distortion in Caro's ideology of choice - she is willing pragmatically to pursue the important things in her own life, but returns to the ideological view - in which not having a husband or children is a "freedom" to choose - when considering the lives of other women.

http://www.thelounge.com.au/show_library_article.cfm?Article_ID=3910
Posted by Mark Richardson, Wednesday, 12 July 2006 9:30:16 PM
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I feel I am being willfully misunderstood here.
I am not saying that exercising choice for women will always bring happiness, but it does equate with being grown up - rather than infantilised.
When an adult makes a choice- about job, life partner, having kids, whatever, there are never any guaranatees that such a choice will work out well, but not making a choice may not work out well, either.
The women in the 7UP films have struggled with good times and bad times, they are like the rest of us, sometimes happy, sometimes not - but they have made their own lives, as much as any of us can. If women were so content with the lack of choices they had prior to 1963, why did they flood out of their homes with such enthusiasm? Because no choice may be worse than a bad choice.
Yes, I am the same Jane Caro, and this article, if you read it carefully is actually a tribute to my husband and life partner of more than 30 years. He has embraced the changes and supports me through my -sometimes unpredictable - journey to discover myself, as, I hope, I support him on his. If he had tried to limit my choices or I had tried to limit his, I doubt we would have lasted this long. But I am pleading for adult relationships where two grown ups freely choose to be together, not where one partners life choices are so limited they feel compelled to stay against their will.
Posted by ena, Thursday, 13 July 2006 9:33:21 AM
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