Linda Hall: Couldn’t or wouldn’t

Linda Hall: Couldn’t or wouldn’t

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THERE were things that “nice” girls and women didn’t do more than half a century ago. But men encountered restrictions too, although these centred on etiquette rather than morals. 

Things like never carrying any kind of package, parcel, luggage or – heaven forbid! – a shopping bag in the street. Like only wearing navy blue or black socks. Always walking on a woman’s outside on a pavement and never letting her pay for anything in public, in case he looked like a gigolo.

Of course, men were also burdened with the millstone of being his family’s sole provider although this automatically allowed them to avoid all involvement in domestic affairs.

That included pushing a baby’s pram as well as holding an infant anywhere except in the home, as I discovered when our daughter was a couple of months old.

We were shopping in Alicante and had left our 600 in a back street. Baby slings didn’t exist and by the time we’d shopped, lunched and were returning to the car, she had become a heavyweight.

“I can’t carry her anymore,” I said.  “You’ll have to take her.”

My husband looked reluctant, but as the street where we’d parked appeared to be deserted, he reluctantly took the leaden little bundle from me but began to look panicky as we saw an elderly woman approaching.

Dressed in black from head to toe, although she was probably younger than I am now, she looked at us in amazement.

She continued to stare at us both, but concentrated mainly on my husband and child as we drew level with her.  After we’d passed her, I glanced over my shoulder and saw that she’d turned, too, and was still looking at us.

“You see!” the child’s father hissed.  “I told you that men can’t carry babies!”

But that was a long time ago in what seems like another country. Especially when I see unashamed young men who are proud to hold babies in public.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at