In 1967 I was 18 and engaged. This one day we headed to The Local Inn at West Ryde as Patrick, my fiancé, needed to speak with one of his mates who was there. I waited in the car as women weren’t allowed in public bars. Of course the mate bought him a beer and an hour later I was still waiting in the car. What made it worse was that I could see him in the pub drinking from where I sat in the car. So I went in, past all the men who just stared gaping at me and asked ‘Are you coming?’ and left. Of course, he followed.
It was unheard of to see women in a public bar back then but there was a ladies lounge where men and women could go. It wasn’t considered ‘flash’ enough for women and it was a place where men felt they could swear without offending anyone. I those days it was considered highly offensive to swear in front of a woman. If you were out on a date and a man started swearing in front of you it wasn’t uncommon for your date to ask them to clean up the language, it’s just the way it was.
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Originally published in Lila Jean Vintage Magazine Issue One | December 2014