Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

In praise of in-laws

There is a well-established tradition in Australian social life of events where, after a little initial mingling, attendees separate out along strict gender lines. The archetype of this is the Ozzie barbecue, where the blokes huddle round the smoking grill, charring chunks of flesh, whilst the women line up on the other side of the garden/over the salad to talk about kids, frocks and recipes. And then head into the kitchen to do the washing-up.
Last night, my father-in-law came out with an anecdote about a time when this segregation seems to have gone a little far – certainly for the benefit of the partygoers.
At some point in the 1970s, an Adelaide rugby club organised a porn party. They acquired a copy of a pornographic film (which apparently featured chocolate cake, which probably made it much more fun than most porn I’ve ever seen). And, in true Australian fashion, the men all sat in one room and watched the movie together. Then they trooped out, and the women all got their turn at watching it. And apparently came out giggling uncontrollably. Given the ostensible purpose of the film… surely this completely missed the point? But then maybe that’s just Adelaide for you.
My in-laws, despite doing an impression of a respectable older couple, are an endless source of risque anecdotes. Like the time when, apropos of nothing, my mother-in-law announced: “Of course, I was the brothel correspondent”.
But that’s for another time.

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This entry was posted on August 20, 2011 by in Australia, Women and Feminism and tagged , , , , , , , .
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