Changed Times

A lot has changed in my lifetime.

When I was young:-

1.  Homosexuality was illegal

2.  Women were not allowed in quite a lot of pubs

3.  All newsreaders were men

4.  Women who worked for the state in Ireland, e.g. teachers, nurses etc. had to retire from their job once they got married

5.  There was a permanent smoke cloud in most pubs and when you woke up the next moning your clothes and hair stunk of stale tobacco – whether you smoked or not.

As I say a lot has changed.

Gay Marriage

Now that Gay Marriage has been approved in Ireland will the roof now fall in?

Let me make a prediction.

The sun will rise tomorrow, people will go to work and about their daily business and the tide will still go out and in.

I’ve seen so many things in my lifetime where people thought the roof would fall in over a change – and discovered that life just went on.

Many of CraicOn’s readers would have voted Yes. Many of them would have voted no.

However, life will go on pretty much as normal after the vote.

Female Newsreaders

I remember when there was a national debate in the UK when the BBC appointed a female newsreader for the first time, called Angela Rippon.

People said that this was not a job for a woman.

It was depated in all the newspapers and TV.

Even some women said that the news would not sound so authoratitve if read by a woman.

Job Skills

For goodness sake!

Newsreaders don’t create the news. They don’t even find the news.

All they do is read it out. The only ability needed for the job was an ability to read.

And yet so many people said that this was not a job that a woman could, or should, do.

Angela Rippon continued to read the news and was followed by many more female newsreaders.

No one bats an eye when a woman reads the news now.

No one thinks it can’t be true or it doesn’t have sufficient authority if a woman reads the news now.

Sex Discrimination Act

I also remember when I first went out to pubs in Greenock in Scotland. The Horseshoe was a favourite of mine.

This was before the Sex Discrimination Act was brought in.

The Horseshoe had three bars – the Public Bar, which was the cheapest, the Lounge whcih was the most plush and was the dearest and the Saloon bar which was in the middle both in terms of price and physically.

Woman Not Allowed

Women were only allowed in the Lounge. They couldn’t go in the Saloon or Public Bar.

Indeed, women were not allowed in any Public Bar in the town – and every pub had a Public Bar.

I usually went into the Lounge but I happened to be in the Saloon Bar one day when three middle age women came in.

Immediately the barman, who was also the manager, vaulted over the bar and said to them “You can’t come in here”.

“We’re just going through to the Lounge” one of them said.

“Well, that’s all right then said the barman / manager”.

Public Bars

I remember many people arguing that everything would change if women were allowed into any bar they wanted.

People said that Public Bars were a refuge for men. It was a place where they could get away from women and all their ‘nagging’.

It seemd that these ‘public’ bars were only open for half of the public.

Of course, the Sex Discrimination Act changed all that.

Woman can go into any bar now. They tend not to want to go into the rough old Public bars, anyway, which, men argued, should be a refuge from women.

Dying Breed

Those public bars are a dying breed, anyway, as men nowadays have a preference to go into bars where there are women rather than bars where there are no women.

I do remember one argument at the time against women being allowed in pubs was that they would object to men swearing. Nowadays, it seems, women do a major part of the swearing themselves in pubs. I don’t know whether that is ‘progress’ or not.

We have women newsreaders now and women can go into any bar they want to – and the sun still rises.

So, whichever way you voted on the referendum, I predict that life will go on very much as before – and like most other things that were seen as momentous changes, in 20 years time people will wonder what all the fuss was about.