Gender and other Equality Issues

Biggles, W.E.Johns related and more. Things in the media, newspapers, films, TV etc

Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Kismet » 02 Sep 2015, 12:30

We seem to have got onto gender issues a couple of times recently. There was a discussion on Worrals which ended up on gender flipping (mea culpa), so I thought perhaps a thread where any random ideas on gender or other equality issues could be discussed might work.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
User avatar
Kismet
Air vice marshal
Air vice marshal
 
Posts: 24783
Images: 107
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 21:10
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Reading last: Cosy Witch Stories
Reading now: J S Fletcher 40 British Mysteries/Crime
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Kismet » 02 Sep 2015, 12:46

Tracer asked on another thread what the difference between 'motherly' and 'fatherly' was.

In my mind there is a lot of cross over: both would include the concept of protection of children, for example, but although there are core concepts common to both, I think that in general a mother is viewed as being kind, caring, nuturing, loving, whilst a father would be a provider, a disciplinarian (wait until your father gets home), an exemplar. The love would be expressed differently.

Tiff made a good point about the word 'protege'. To expand on it: men have proteges, someone special whom they pick out to guide and support. Women are motherly. They are expected to lavish their care and attention equally and without judgement. Women don't have proteges because firstly, they are not supposed to single out one child/ young person for special attention and, secondly, they are not traditionally supposed to have the influence in society necessary to guide and support a young person in a career. A nice example of language lagging a little behind society.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
User avatar
Kismet
Air vice marshal
Air vice marshal
 
Posts: 24783
Images: 107
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 21:10
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Reading last: Cosy Witch Stories
Reading now: J S Fletcher 40 British Mysteries/Crime
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Tracer » 02 Sep 2015, 13:50

I've had young proteges in a professional/serious hobby context. I didn't raise them but I taught them, guided them, mentored them, however you'd like to put it. I had no desire to feed them, wash their clothes or wipe their noses :whatbiggles:
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
Tracer
Squadron leader
Squadron leader
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: 12 Dec 2013, 19:59

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 02 Sep 2015, 14:34

Biggles always watches out for Ginger as in Africa when he walked back to give him water before he drank himself, he flung him back on the boat in Spain so he did not see the horror of the aftermath of the bomb attack and he flings him out of the water in Flies South when the crocodile is behind him. He also puts ointment on his insect bites in Jungle - these are all quite physical things. On the other hand Biggles would do a great deal for anyone who was hurt or in physical danger even if he did not know them.
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Tracer » 02 Sep 2015, 17:40

Yes indeed. Part of the hallmark of a good 'boss' whether service or civilian, is looking after the troops. Think of the lengths the rank and file went to saving their injured officers - reading about medals awarded for valour, over and over again you see this theme. The 'lions led by donkeys' quote was pure enemy propaganda: the records show something way different.

Each of Biggles' team was looked after according to his needs and experience at the time.
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
Tracer
Squadron leader
Squadron leader
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: 12 Dec 2013, 19:59

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 02 Sep 2015, 18:41

That is interesting. I always thought the "lions led by donkeys" referred to the army Generals back at headquarters sending the men out to be killed without any consideration for casualties. As far as I know a lot of the junior army officers were very young and inexperienced but, as you say, there are a lot of instances of great courage and care for their comrades.
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Tracer » 03 Sep 2015, 08:42

At the risk of being savagely beaten :flog: for going offtopic, I read a book called something like 'Six Weeks' (it's in a vast pile of other books so I can't access it readily) which detailed the performance of a lot of very young officers - six weeks being their average life span at the Front. The enemy deliberately targeted the officers to demoralise the troops, which is why many officers discarded pistol and Sam Browne because that helped the enemy identify them.

These young officers were brought up to care for their men like fathers, {paternal relevance] from early days and then public school. It also explained to me why sport is king in so many schools. When you read about a young officer still in his teens catching an enemy grenade and throwing it back, or throwing one of his own accurately into a tank turret, suddenly sport has another meaning.

:truce: Mods please move if this is out of order, and I shall stand lemonades all round.
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
Tracer
Squadron leader
Squadron leader
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: 12 Dec 2013, 19:59

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Fairblue » 03 Sep 2015, 09:53

Tracer wrote:
:truce: Mods please move if this is out of order, and I shall stand lemonades all round.

Well, :thinking2: I haven't used my quota of :flog: lately! :lol: Seriously, small diversions are allowed trusting to our personal sat navs to bring us back on track.
I also mentioned in another thread that Commanding Officers would hand out personal advice to their junior Officers. Indeed the military structure within our armed forces strongly encourages it. And the same paternal care exists among the non-commissioned ranks too. I imagine, though, that in today's world a female commander might not be offering the same sort of personal advice as a male colleague would, at least not on certain subjects anyway, or it would be given in a completely different manner.

Your mention of Sports skills being used on the battle field is an interesting concept, Tracer and one I would like to explore further, perhaps in a thread of its own.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
User avatar
Fairblue
Air marshal
Air marshal
 
Posts: 28466
Images: 119
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 11:05
Location: Arbroath, Scotland
Reading now: War in a Stringbag - Charles Lamb
Reading next: Depends on my mood
My top chap: Bertie - who else?
Starsign: Leo
Aircraft: Spitfire

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 03 Sep 2015, 10:20

There was an RAF pilot from WW2 being interviewed a while back. He was a working class boy who had been to a Grammar School in the 1930s and he said his speed in the air was honed by playing sport at school - quick reactions etc.
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Mac50L » 04 Sep 2015, 00:25

By gender and discussion are you also discussing how women are written or not into a story?

I suspect it depends on the writer's upbringing but not the time the book was written. One might think that books written prewar would put the women in the kitchen where they belong, but not necessarily. Writers like John Buchan "Thirty Nine Steps", Johns and the Biggles books, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Sherlock Holms stories, in all the women were minor, if mentioned characters.

Probably the most notable for equality and written in the 1930s would be the Swallows and Amazons series by English author Arthur Ransome where the toughest ones would be the female crew of the Amazon. Have we had such equality in writing since?

A recent interview on TV of a couple of women who had just graduated from USA's toughest military training. A couple of the men saying they themselves were there because of the women helping them through some tough bits!!!!

Personally? I was brought up by a mother who used to do her own motor strip-down of her Austin 7s in the 1930s, taught me how to assemble Meccano "correctly". My daughter, she's not much use, she used to live just up the road but has since moved a 1000 km away. Problem? She took her lathe and her welder with her....
Mac50L
Pilot officer
Pilot officer
 
Posts: 100
Joined: 16 Jun 2015, 11:18
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Reading last: Spitfire – portrait of a legend by Leo McKinstry
Reading now: Too Young to Die - by an NZ Corsair pilot
Aircraft: DH Mosquito

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Kismet » 04 Sep 2015, 00:39

I think we can discuss whatever we like here under gender and equality issues, Mac.

I would agree that WEJ was very good at writing female characters:they did things as normal. I noted the other day when re reading Little Green God that when Algy said he'd found a woman in uniform, Biggles's first thought was that she was the pilot of the missing aircraft, ie the person in charge. These small assumptions were important to me when I read these books initially. They confirmed that I could do what I wanted, that I didn't have to listen to my mother's ideas on what were suitable occupations for ladies, and I'm very grateful.

It was much more fun riding a motorbike and playing rugby.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
User avatar
Kismet
Air vice marshal
Air vice marshal
 
Posts: 24783
Images: 107
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 21:10
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Reading last: Cosy Witch Stories
Reading now: J S Fletcher 40 British Mysteries/Crime
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby tiffinata » 04 Sep 2015, 07:54

My mum was the home handyperson and her father had unusual ideas about how to bring up a daughter, and mum was given equal opportunities with her brothers.
Growing up I never really worried about equality or inequality. My first encounter was at high school when we were told that sports were segregated and girls were not allowed to play football. The PE teachers took us down the back of the school and gave us a couple of lessons and risked getting the sack over it.

In my working life I didn't really think about it most of the time, except for the couple of men I worked with who insisted I made the tea/got the lunches while they did the 'important stuff'.

It's really only since I had the kids that I have noticed subtle discrimination. It is not always obvious- not being offered training, work, projects etc because there's only limited places and you have kids/pregnant and you'll be home with them and won't want to be doing xxx. I think with it is worse than when I was younger. Access to the internet perhaps?


I used to read 'Famous Five' (who didn't!) and I really disliked the attitude towards the girls, Anne, the future Stepford Wife, and George constantly being belittled for daring to think she was as good as a boy.
If Enid Blyton had left these sort of references out, the books would have been equally as readable and could have been quite good role models.
'....you cannot flout Nature with impunity. Treat Nature with respect, and she will tolerate you, even encourage you; but treat her with contempt, and your days are numbered.' Hits the Trail
User avatar
tiffinata
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 5969
Images: 243
Joined: 27 Dec 2013, 12:02
Location: Melbourne
Reading last: probably something on facebook.
Reading now: about a dozen books at once.
Reading next: hmmm. too many to choose from. sigh.
Aircraft: Beaufighter and Pup.

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 04 Sep 2015, 08:19

Yes Anne was very boring and George was a real tomboy. There are very few women in the Biggles books who take a major part in the story. I cannot think of any offhand. Did Biggles ever come up against a female criminal mastermind? If not that could make a very good fan fiction.
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Tracer » 04 Sep 2015, 08:44

Bulldog Drummond did, in 'Deadlier than the Male', and contemporary crime fiction writer Dorothy L Sayers had a strong intelligent female character that Peter Wimsy took 5 years to wear down into accepting his marriage proposal (and she continued to be a strong intelligent female character even after 3 children).

I rather liked Blyton's George. I should have liked to have been George, and didn't personally feel that she was belittled, but I suspect we all made different ideas of it. But Anne was what little girls were supposed to be, and had to be in there for those little girls who needed an alternative to being Anne, as well as those who were Annes by nature and needed to know they could still be part of a gang and have adventures.
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
Tracer
Squadron leader
Squadron leader
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: 12 Dec 2013, 19:59

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 04 Sep 2015, 09:08

Sherlock Holmes had his femme fatale [i.e. Irene Adler] & Biggles, of course, had Marie Janis! [both men were 'outsmarted' by the fairer sex? lol].
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
User avatar
OzBiggles1963
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4644
Images: 287
Joined: 12 Jun 2013, 10:15
Location: Brisbane. Australia.
Reading last: Ginger Lacey: Fighter Pilot
Reading now: Danger UXB; The Little Prince
Reading next: History Of The Luftwaffe [1936-1945]
My top chap: J.C. Bigglesworth MC, DFC, DSO
Starsign: Scorpio
Aircraft: Supermarine Spitfire
Random: "Live long and prosper."

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Purple Pigeon » 04 Sep 2015, 10:44

Frecks wrote:Yes Anne was very boring and George was a real tomboy. There are very few women in the Biggles books who take a major part in the story. I cannot think of any offhand. Did Biggles ever come up against a female criminal mastermind? If not that could make a very good fan fiction.


I think it would be fair to say that Full Moon played a big part in South Seas. Mind you, she was a girl.
Purple Pigeon
Flying officer
Flying officer
 
Posts: 301
Joined: 26 Apr 2013, 09:50

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 04 Sep 2015, 11:10

Yes she played a very big part and I just love the relationship between Ginger and Full Moon. I found it much more endearing than his friendship with Jeanette. South Seas is one of my favourite books a real old fashioned adventure story. Ginger really took a liking to Sandy as well - if he had not been so attached to Biggles and Algy I think he would have been tempted to stay with Sandy and Full Moon permanently.
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby kylie_koyote » 04 Sep 2015, 11:28

Frecks wrote:Yes Anne was very boring and George was a real tomboy. There are very few women in the Biggles books who take a major part in the story. I cannot think of any offhand. Did Biggles ever come up against a female criminal mastermind? If not that could make a very good fan fiction.


**(Spoiler alert)**
There's one short story where Biggles is a stunt pilot in a film and the German pilot is a woman who has her mind bent on revenge because Biggles killed her brother during the war. She tries to kill Biggles, but he won't shoot back (how noble) and then she dies when her plane crashes.

Anna, in "Takes a Hand", is another semi-major female character, although Biggles seems to consider her a liability a lot of the time.

The wife of the guy in "Takes a Holiday" (Lil, I think her name is) is a strong female character who's not afraid to shoot baddies and doesn't complain about her situation, despite how awful it is. She's only got a short appearance, but I can well imagine she might have jibbed at being left behind with the other women and children and wanting to march up to the Doctor's residence with a gun in her hand, standing right beside her husband, reading to exact revenge on those who have mistreated them.

For a long time, I have wanted to write a fan-fiction Air Police story where Biggles & Co. are sent to the jungle to rescue Dr. So-and-So, who is doing research into tropical diseases, not realizing until they arrive that the doctor is a woman, and then trying to be all "oh, I totally knew that". But unfortunately I can't make my brain think of an actual plot beyond this vague idea.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
User avatar
kylie_koyote
Air commodore
Air commodore
 
Posts: 11855
Images: 436
Joined: 06 Dec 2013, 19:32
Location: Northeast USA
Reading last: Tumult in the Clouds
Reading now: Time & Chance
Reading next: so many choices...
My top chap: Ginger
Aircraft: Spitfire

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Kismet » 04 Sep 2015, 11:43

On the subject of female villains, L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace's Brotherhood of the Seven Kings features a female scientist master criminal of great intellect and astounding beauty. This story is just pre the first world war. L T Meade was female and a very prolific writer and collaborator.


I rather liked Blyton's George. I should have liked to have been George,
I felt that way too, Tracer. One of the vanishingly few characters I did identify with. I did feel that other characters tried to put her down for being a girl, but she fought back and showed them that they were wrong and that was magnificent.


It's really only since I had the kids that I have noticed subtle discrimination. It is not always obvious
I'm with you on that one, Tiff. My daughters got to their mid teens and suddenly there were equality issues that I thought had been sorted out in the eighties rearing their ugly head. Mainly social and societal ones rather than employment or other legal ones, but a rather unwelcome shock.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
User avatar
Kismet
Air vice marshal
Air vice marshal
 
Posts: 24783
Images: 107
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 21:10
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Reading last: Cosy Witch Stories
Reading now: J S Fletcher 40 British Mysteries/Crime
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 04 Sep 2015, 11:48

Perhaps if you go and lie down in a darkened room and have a good think you will come up with a full plot for that story KK - it sounds like a great idea.
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby SopwithCamel » 04 Sep 2015, 14:43

Regarding the difference between motherly and fatherly, a friend once told me that motherly love is a natural instinct while fatherly love is a learned skill :mrgreen: So mothers give unconditionally while fathers tend to be more logical in their love. Or something along those lines at any rate :P

I never liked George from the Famous Five much as I felt like she tried too hard to "be a boy". Everything she did was about how it made her more like a boy, or how things she didn't do were things she looked down on because they weren't things that boys would do (and how would she know? :lol: ) Oddly enough for someone who wanted so badly to be a boy, she could be a spoilt princess at times ;)

On the other hand I also found Anne quite boring and wishy-washy.

(I'm very hard to please :twisted: The boys were okay. Dick was nice and had a good sense of humor, although Julian's "grown-up act" often made me laugh--I find it difficult to believe that major criminals with guns would be all that scared of a 14-year-old boy and a dog)
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

Updates on The Algy Chronicles: All Hallows' Eve posted.
User avatar
SopwithCamel
Site Orderly
Site Orderly
 
Posts: 1561
Images: 0
Joined: 19 Apr 2013, 10:17

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 04 Sep 2015, 14:45

Yes Dick was my favourite too.
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Isaac Reed » 05 Sep 2015, 00:14

I'm not going to read this one. Topics like this only lead to trouble in my experience. Hahaha.
'There's nobody more cunning than a fellow out of his mind' - Biggles Breaks the Silence
User avatar
Isaac Reed
Flight lieutenant
Flight lieutenant
 
Posts: 756
Images: 24
Joined: 06 May 2015, 03:52
Location: Michigan, USA
Reading last: Biggles and the Black Peril
Reading now: Biggles Flies West
Reading next: Biggles in the Orient
My top chap: Bertie
Starsign: Aquarius
Aircraft: Airco DH.2 and DH Vampire

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Frecks » 05 Sep 2015, 08:18

Well so far we seem to be fairly well in agreement. You came to late to the Forum to be involved in the knitted swimwear debate - that might well have made you blush :lol:
Frecks
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 4087
Images: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 19:14
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
My top chap: Ginger
Starsign: Leo

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Isaac Reed » 05 Sep 2015, 18:05

THE WHAT?!?
'There's nobody more cunning than a fellow out of his mind' - Biggles Breaks the Silence
User avatar
Isaac Reed
Flight lieutenant
Flight lieutenant
 
Posts: 756
Images: 24
Joined: 06 May 2015, 03:52
Location: Michigan, USA
Reading last: Biggles and the Black Peril
Reading now: Biggles Flies West
Reading next: Biggles in the Orient
My top chap: Bertie
Starsign: Aquarius
Aircraft: Airco DH.2 and DH Vampire

Re: Gender and other Equality Issues

Postby Fairblue » 05 Sep 2015, 18:21

Ah, you obviously haven't read all the topics yet, IR. We had a discussion on the type of swimwear worn between, I think, the 1930s- 1950s. Knitted swimwear to be precise. I had to wear a knitted cozzie when I was small, **cringing in embarrassment** and we had a very lively discussion. Kismet had one of her friends knit a pair of trunks in the traditional manner with the correct wool. And then she had another good friend model them for her. You can read it here. Start the debate again if you wish.

viewtopic.php?f=73&t=1167&hilit=Trunks
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
User avatar
Fairblue
Air marshal
Air marshal
 
Posts: 28466
Images: 119
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 11:05
Location: Arbroath, Scotland
Reading now: War in a Stringbag - Charles Lamb
Reading next: Depends on my mood
My top chap: Bertie - who else?
Starsign: Leo
Aircraft: Spitfire


Return to General Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest