I’ve been away from home

I’ve been away from home, in Melbourne, visiting family, my old mum mainly, though who am I calling old. I remember my shock on turning 40, realising she was still in her 50s, adjacent decades! and she had always been so ancient, all of 35 when I left home to go to uni. Still, 60s and 80s now, far easier to contemplate.

We took my son Lou, a western suburbs primary school teacher, out for lunch in Northcote for his birthday and to a bookshop, The Book Grocer, and to a nearby second hand shop, so my TBR pile is higher again (Watkin Tench, Rex Ingamells, Sara Dowse, Sheri S Tepper).

I’d set myself the task of responding to Whispering Gum’s query about women in the Vietnam anti-war movement, hadn’t had a reply from Harry, our leader in SDS, but managed to locate Peter, a Trotskyite, a couple of years younger than me so missing conscription, Gough elected at the end of first year. The Trots embraced women he said, any issue a way in to radicalization, the women organizing around equal pay, equal opportunity, abortions, access to public bars, the guys happy to march.

I asked Lou too what his experience was of women in the Occupy movement. He said that a number of women had complained afterwards that a lot of the guys seemed to be in it just for “free sex with the hippy chicks”.

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3 thoughts on “I’ve been away from home

  1. Sorry I didn’t see this when it came through Bill. I’ve been head down over the last couple of weeks on a couple of projects, one a paid contract. Thanks for doing some follow up work on this. It may be, as I said, that the anti-war movement was different to the Civil Rights movement in the USA.

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  2. WG your apologies are completely unnecessary. And despite Peter’s considerable experience in the SWP, I don’t think attitudes towards women were any better in the Moratorium movement than they were in the general community.

    There doesn’t seem to be much writing around this period, Allan Wearne, who was a couple of years ahead of me at school, covers it in a general sort of way in The Nightmarkets (1986) and I used to have a Jim Cairns book, but no longer.

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