09 January 2013

1981: Chas And Dave - Rabbit Upsets Some Feminists!

One of my step-father's favourite chart hits of 1980 was that rollicking "rockney" outing Rabbit, by those two likely geezers Chas and Dave - aka Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock.

This was, I felt, a grotty piece of fogey stuff back in the day, designed for parents, not teens. But I must admit, on hearing it on an '80s compilation over Christmas, it made me smile.

You've got more rabbit than Sainsbury's, it's time you got it off your chest...

However, back in the 1980s, Rabbit aroused the ire of some feminists.

Oh, purlease! Surely the song wasn't stating that all women talk too much? But the letter I've scanned below, from the Daily Mirror, January 1981, reveals that rumblings were definitely being heard in feminist circles.

"The singers list the woman's bodily charms then complain that the only thing wrong is that she talks too much. This implies that men are only interested in a women's body and appearance," snipes the letter writer.

Well, perhaps some are. Just as some women appear to only be interested in men's bodies and appearances. I've sat in enough pubs with female friends who were happily eyeing up every bloke that came in the door and rating their physical appearances, to know that both genders contain examples of this type.

For me, the Rabbit ditty conjured up a strong image of the singer as an insensitive, often monosyllabic male, most animated in conversation when out with "der lads" - and probably a bit of a twit. As, it seemed, was his chattering girlfriend.

Flipping heck - gender issues...

I've worked hundreds of shifts at hospitals with women who spent a lot of the time making hideous generalisations about men, but who were terribly quick to cry "SEXIST!" at anything vaguely similar from the apparently unfairer sex.

Such double standards! Such lack of insight!

Perhaps one day the situation will improve. But not until both genders grow up a bit!

In the meantime, I've revised my opinion on Chas and Dave. The memories Rabbit evokes of 1980 make me smile!

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