a velvet hand in an iron glove (missfrost) wrote,
a velvet hand in an iron glove
missfrost

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i've made some beans chief

I have mentioned this on Livejournal before, but many years ago, and there appears to be no way to search for it, so I shall repeat myself, hopefully to a mostly new audience. I have been reminded of this by Dan Cruickshank's London progrum on the telly, and it is genuinely the only time I have ever, and I say this as a petite make-up wearing blonde, ever experienced sexism. I was at university (I don't have a degree, but I studied for a bit) and was doing a module on socio-economic history. In particular, we were studying the industrial revolution, and you all know what that is - we discovered mass production, because we had discovered new ways with steam and iron, canals, silk, cottons... so in a tutorial with someone who when I look back on it must have been 21, at most, I brought up something interesting that I'd read about. The industrial revolution had brought with it the first printing presses, so therefore the first periodicals and magazines. And those magazines contained pictures of houses, and ladies in other cities, so suddenly the women in Manchester could read about what the women in London were wearing, and how they were decorating their houses. And the women in London could read about what the women in Paris were wearing, and how they were decorating their houses - the curtains and cushions and so on. This provided a tremendous boost to the cotton and silk industries, obviously, as the newly-rich wives and daughters of the industrialists went out and bought stuff, for the sake of it. Because they had money. So in this tutorial I mentioned this development, this boost to the economy, and in summary, I suggested that the industrial revolution had brought with it the start of the fashion industry. I had thought this was a historically valid and interesting point. My youthful tutor said 'oh well, you would be interested in fashion I suppose... because you're a woman.'
That is, quite genuinely, the only time I have ever had anything like that said to me. My jaw dropped so much at the time that I couldn't answer, and my eyebrows still raise at the memory.
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