Monday, 23 January 2012

Thinking about Call the Midwife

Sunday night TV has been a little bit lacking for a long time, so its been great to see Sherlock and Call the Midwife on TV ( See BBC Iplayer episodes ).  I really enjoyed reading Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth ,so was a little bit worried when they said they were going to make it into a series.  It has been a little bit twee, maybe they should have put it on after 9pm, as there is a limit to how graphic it can be before 9pm.  But discussing the pros and cons of production was not my plan on this blog.

I don't know if this book has got to the other side of the pond, so I will give a bit of background.  Call the Midwife, as you may have guessed, is Jennifer Worth's account of being a Midwife in the 1950s.  It is set in the poverty of London's East End, at a time of great change.  The old bombed out slums are slowly being replaced and it is the dawn of the NHS (National Health Service).  Jennifer is sent to Nonnatus House, a convent where the nuns and nurses cover eight square miles of London Dockland and shares in the ups and downs of the community.

However, before I ramble to far off, this weeks episode was about a fifteen year old who had due to poverty, found herself working in a brothel and becoming pregnant. To protect the baby growing inside her, she runs away and Jennifer finds her a place at an unmarried women's home run by the church.There is a scene with the Priest, Jennifer and the Girl and there is a short discussion on blame.  Society blames the women for getting themselves pregnant, the men are not tared with the same brush.  

The reason this scene stuck in my mind was an article I had been reading in a newspaper on line earlier in the day.  You see, part of me wanted to say thank goodness we have really made progress as a society in the last sixty years.  However, as I read the comments people had left about the article, I had to stop myself.  The article was saying that they were now going to let abortion clinics advertise on television.  This obviously created strong comments, but looking through I found there was many comments blaming the women for the pregnancy, many of these types of comments were coming from men.  What they seemed to be forgetting is, that no matter which era we are living in, it has always taken two to tango.  Two people are required to create the situation of an unwanted pregnancy.  

We may not have the same stigma in this country attached to unmarried mothers.  However, I would argue, that we do still have a problem of equality of responsibility.    


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