Thursday, 4 October 2012

“Watch That Girl,” 1967

The Singing Sixties were a high tide mark for female emancipation. The pill was introduced, hemlines headed north, and sex before marriage was legalised for women, as it had been for men in 1182. But this newfound freedom rattled some in Government, and, in an infamous speech he made in Doorford in 1967, Cabinet Secretary Sterling Bellend warned that
The once fairer sex has become a foul plague. There are now as many women as there are men in this sceptr’d isle, and the indigenous British male is in danger of being swamped by these giddy creatures. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. I see the rivers of this green and pleasant land running red with their lipstick. And this must never be let happen, say I. We are men. We are resolute. We will not secede to Babylon.

Bellend lost his seat and three toes at a by-election shortly afterwards, and his career never recovered from what Joan Bakewell called his ‘rampant homomania’ in her 1968 single, Bubblecar Ding-a-ling.

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