While I was clearing the piles of paper I found a notebook from nearly 6 years ago, when my friend Jessica Mann first had the idea for her book The Fifties Mystique
which is due out later this month. I’d forgotten that we’d vaguely thought of collaborating, and I’d got as far as visiting the wonderful Women’s Library and looking through some magazines from the fifties. To begin with the research was hilarious: in a short story a young woman says, ‘Men don’t seem to like my type very much.’
Her friend is quick to offer advice.
‘Then why don’t you change it?’ asked Isobel. ‘The truth is, Nonie, every time I see you at that office of yours I can’t help thinking you’re looking less like a girl and more like an executive every day. Why not try being more feminine? … men like women to look up to them – and what do you do? You meet them on their own level and that’s no good …’
Eeek! After a while reading this kind of stuff was hugely depressing. Jessica’s book is timely and I can’t wait to see it