Lay Lady Lay

Times they have achanged.


Thank goodness. I remember on my first trip to New York in the 1970s being shocked at the sight of black men. Black men in suits. I was used to seeing them working on the buses, for the council, on the railways but seeing a black man educated and successful was something of cultural shock. From the 1970s onwards positive discrimination and the rest had pushed racial equality far faster in the States ,where anyway the racial problem was far more historic. Those days in Britain  have largely gone,the problems of uneducated blackmen is far more complicated, but today right across the middle and establishment class there is evidence of  black empowerment.

And what about what about women. My career as a journalist coincided with  female journalists storming El Vinos the  hacks number one watering hole in Fleet Street , demanding to be served. Until the early 70s there had been a men only served rule. Journalism is a  meritocratic business, although I am sure that historically the Times and Telegraph had a cabal of old buffers running the place elsewhere women rose quickly. It was no big deal to have a woman boss. The sense of that sentence shows something of a historical perspective. AS proof of emancipation the biggest name in the hacking scandal is Rebecca.

But still even today because of a racist an sexist childhood I have to do  double takes. A female bus driver,a female taxi driver. A black female bus driver etc. Still require a second look. The inspiration for this  piece was in fact seeing a black female taxi driver who had dangling from her  mirror an Arsenal emblem. Now that what I call emancipation. Far  more than a female judge, ceo or sports journalist.

On the other hand although  have long since ceased to snigger at the idea of male nurses  most men I know make a funny face when it comes to house husbands. So we still have some way to go.

One of the reasons that the Scandinavian  TV dramas Bergen and Bridge are so refreshing is of course the career and sexual equality shown. Not only are all the principals women and just as fucked up as the men ,actually one might argue even more so which is really the height of fictional emancipation, but so many of the assistants and gofors who might well be women in UK dramas are men.

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