Frilly aprons and Feminism


Agatha, dear, did you hear about the latest carry on?

What’s that Mary dear – bit of a carry on?  Sid James has been dead for years dear, I don’t see how they could make a new one?

Now dear don’t tease!  I was just reading my morning paper that Angus had so kindly ironed for me, and I came across this article about women going back in time, to the 1950s.

What, like time travel dear? Do you remember when HG Wells came to dinner with Binkie?  Charming man, but just kept scribbling notes on the napkins –

Yes dear, but as I was saying…some women are deciding that work is not for them and they would rather be at home with the kiddies, baking bread and making scones.  And some feminists are saying they are betraying the cause we have worked so hard for over the last century.


Oh, that does sound like a step backwards my dear! After all you and I have had our battles- Jonty just wouldn’t let me work for that little charity, said I’d get ink all over my hands and I’d have to wear gloves to greet everyone; ‘nonsense’ I told him and said he had nothing to do with it so I worked for them anyway. You see dear, Men just don’t realise that feminism has absolutely nothing to do with them other than the fact that they have suppressed the female race for millennia.

Yes, Agatha dear, don’t get over excited you know how it sets you off. As I was saying, there is this professor (a woman in fact) who has decided that women who previously had good careers are choosing to stay at home and be full time mothers instead of juggling work and children, and this is partly because companies are not being flexible about their hours and working patterns.

So how are they affording this new lifestyle?  I mean, Mary, not everyone has married into the Italian Aristocracy like yourself, and although they’d be saving on childcare it all comes down to money.

Agatha, let’s not bring the Count into it, you know it’s rude to talk about money, Mama was always saying that it was just not done! Besides, he barely pays for my petrol nowadays, let alone my penchant for Bombay Sapphire!

Well that’s as may be dear, and you know I love him to bits, but his money and villa on Lake Como does sort of put you ahead of the pack somewhat!

Maybe, Agatha dear, but you’re hardly strapped for funds yourself.   Your dear departed owned half of Wiltshire as I remember – so I think that makes us even.

Well, maybe my dear Mary, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand what the young people are facing today.  I mean, my niece Lucy is struggling to find a flat she can afford on her meagre salary, let alone find time to start a family with that nice new young man of hers – Jeremy I think she said his name was.

I know, Agatha, it’s very hard these days.  Anyway, apparently this Mrs Professor Whatsit has been criticised for her research because, in fact, most women do not have this choice, its only the really wealthy who can afford to walk away from work.


That’s shocking dear.  I think I need another slice of that lovely Angel Cake to calm my nerves.  Did you know I found out the other day that our lovely British Isles has fallen way behind in gender equality, from 9th to 26th across leading countries?

That is a huge step back for us.  And do help yourself to another slice dear.

Thank you, Mary. So we were lucky to have the choice, back in the day when we were working gals.  Not that anyone would want to employ a couple of old wrinklies like us now!  I mean, what could we do?  I am not sure what skills I have to offer, apart from mixing a super G&T.  But we do love a spot of baking and cleaning ourselves, even in our dotage!

Oh but dear, I think we still have lots to offer – look at The Queen and lovely Dickie Attenborough, still contributing, working hard!

Absolutely dear, but to be honest Mary, I blame that internet thingie.  The pressure to have a good job and still fit in sewing curtains, making quilts and baking the perfect Victoria Sponge seems to be all over us like a rash.  I mean, have you seen Instagram lately?

What’s that dear.  Is that when an old lady rings your doorbell and sings an impromptu greeting?


No silly, that would be InstaGran I expect.  No this is something else.  Lots of yummy pictures about perfect lives and having been through both World Wars we both know, don’t we Mary, that life is not that tidy.  Not ever.

No indeed Agatha.  Just when you think you have all the polishing done, you have to start again with the dusting!

But Mary dear don’t you just think people have just lost touch with who they actually are? All these programmes on TV are just like middle class social porn, it doesn’t mean that everyone is baking more; it just gives them a false standard to live up to and if they don’t live up to it – they think that they are failing.

That’s an interesting concept Agatha, and instead of watching TV those people could actually be doing something like baking a cake or sewing or whatever it is.

But Mary dear, that would mean that people would have to have a hobby or get out and about!

Precisely my dear. Don’t you remember that depressing lady who worked in HR who said she simply didn’t have time for a hobby because she watched 8 hours of soaps each week?

Yes dear, and quite frankly, no wonder she was so depressed! But we seem to have digressed a bit. Do you think that these new stay at home Mums are turning their backs on feminism?

I don’t think they have to dear, only if they choose to. People seem to have forgotten that they still have independent thought; that they don’t have to buy into these programmes and social media to tell them how to live their lives. There are lots of different types of work that you can do at home…. Look at that lady who created that child’s drinks cup from her kitchen table…

Oh yes of course, Tommy Tippee! Yes absolutely! They just need to remember who they are. I mean, can you imagine The Count not knowing who he was going to wake up with?

Well dear, we have had a few occasions… but that’s another story. Another slice of Angelcake or how about some Battenburg?

Oh darling, you do indulge me, you know that’s my favourite.

Battenburg recipe

Apron pattern



My Random Musings

2 thoughts on “Frilly aprons and Feminism

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