While reading Bleak Spring by Jon Cleary it occurred to me just how dramatically attitudes and accepted standards have changed over the last 10 to 15 years. Remember now, I’m a guy and my observations are coming from a guy’s perspective so perhaps I’m about to be howled down because you feel things haven’t changed terribly much in your opinion – and that’s cool, but my feeling is that we’ve moved on significantly to the point where the attitudes portrayed in Bleak Spring are outdated.
This is merely one example of numerous times that the role of women were either commented on disparagingly or else women were portrayed in their “proper” place – in the kitchen, ready to make a cup of tea for their lord and master.
‘I know that!’ snapped the magistrate, giving him the edge of her tongue as if he were her dumb husband. ‘I take it there’s someone here from the DPP then? There’d better be.’
‘Here ma’am.’ Another woman appeared: crumbs, thought Malone, the bloody law is becoming cluttered with them.
The idea of Scobie Malone commenting on how the "place is becoming cluttered" with women really got me thinking about the series and I started to think back over all the books I have read so far, and I can't for the life of me remember a female police officer in any significant role. Hardly reflective of modern Australian society.