Real women don't decorate with chintz
No 147: IKEA
Sunday 22 September 1996
Invoking against chintz, they link it clearly to the dark forces that have suppressed women over the years. Chintz, lampshades with bobbles, pelmets and fussy wallpaper are all symbols of patriarchy. For a fully actualised woman the only place for all this stuff is on a skip.
Out of the sky, over a street of Victorian terraces in that genteel and clerkly part of the old Outer East End, comes a bright blue skip. At the windows of the bright little houses women are waiting for this sign for the Ladies' Revolt to start. Ordinary, pleasant, mumsy women, 25-45, with most races statutorially represented, they look deeply respectable, lower-middle. And yet, so it appears, they are burning inside.
And off they go, pulling down curtains, prising off pelmets, throwing away a flowery bedcover that "does you no credit", stirred by a vaguely C&W anthem "Chuck Out That Chintz". The song says "we're battling hard and we've come a long way, in choices and status, in jobs and in pay". It identifies the enemies of womankind most frankly: "that sofa's so girly, so silly and twirly."
The Alternative turns out to be low-budget middle-class modern: a women's group circulating with cafetieres among prints of modern architecture, strip-wood flooring and pale-beech kitchen cupboards. It's an ad clearly focused on the Michael in every woman. Michelle of EastEnders (Susan Tully) was the girl who got a degree from the poly, had ideas and absolutely hated the Courts ads with Bruce Forsyth (they reminded her too much of Pauline).
TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies
Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
Toy Story 4: Pixar promises a romcom storyline 'separate' from the much-loved trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests