It wasn’t necessarily about the pants, was it? “That’s an oversimplification,” says Leach. “I just see it as being an expression of a belief that a woman with breasts should look good, and there’s no reason to say that’s not a good thing.” But, again, “I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a feminist issue; there were other factors involved. I think it’s because the women in the flapper position are always dressed, but sometimes I think it’s because men can’t get enough of them and want an excuse to take them
Leach, who was married (they had four) and is now in her thirties, was one of the first women to wear her bra on television; her show is also one of the earliest, and most influential, sitcoms for women. Yet some time afterwards, she found herself “at odds” with the women who dominated British male culture. So she decided to become more outspoken, making her own television show, but finding herself being more critical. “I’m a very modern activist, and I’m not afraid to say, and maybe I should have been more outspoken and more outspoken is it has been, in the past, more acceptable — I’m going against that,” she says. And she’s far from the only one: “I’ve got a lot of support and I’ve got a lot of feminists and people who say, ‘Well, yeah! But, look, how can you go against the tide, when there’s not a male voice opposing it?'”
But, for Leach, the tide of progress, even in Britain, was too slow. “It’s like a river, really,” she says. “One day it really gets the flow going; a second day it’s not running anymore; a third day it’s running again. And it’s never quite been in the right direction.” And now it’s too late, too late to change it. “The whole idea of feminism today is an ideal, but we’ve got no way of ever achieving that,” she says. “I’m trying to build that back up; I’m working for it.”
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