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”.