The white male characters in the Archers are invariably either louts or cringing wimps who are treated as children by the female characters. (Ethnic minority male characters are of course exempted from this rule, being invariably middleclass and if not always models of moral decorum never pathetic).
In recent weeks the dissatisfaction with men of the crazed feminists who control the programme has reached new levels of intensity and scope. Everywhere in the fictional village female characters are treating their menfolk with a disdain and lack of consideration unusual by the very high standards of contempt and condescension they normally display towards them. This feminine misbehaviour is of course not misbehaviour at all in feminist eyes but female “empowerment”.
Brenda Tucker has given her long-time live in boyfriend Tom Archer the old heave-ho for the high-octane feminist reasons that (1) she wants to follow her own career and (2) is determined not to have children. The announcement of this opened the way for the script writers to have Tom trying to blub his way to getting her back and sundry female characters saying how understandable it was that Brenda had decided to put her own feelings and career first.
Chris Carter, who was recently in intensive care after having an accident after being distracted at his work by his wife Alice being selected for a job in Canada and expecting him to drop his own business as a farrier to join him there on spec. Nothing daunted in the feminist selfishness stakes, Alice spent weeks during his recovery still thinking about going to Canada before eventually deciding against emigrating – for the moment.
Lillian Bellamy’s excruciating geriatric affair with the overtly ineffably wet Paul has hit a rocky patch with Paul revealing more and more of his distinctly sinister side with possessiveness and pettishness alternating, while Lillian continues to show no remorse about betraying her live-in partner Matt Crawford.
Darrell Makepeace and his Albanian wife are at odds over Darrell’s inability to get regular work and is even more concerned over what he is doing to bring in the money he does bring in. Darrell being white, English and working-class is fair game for misbehaviour to be allotted to him. He arrived in the series with a prison sentence behind him and has now been plonked into a storyline which has him caught up in a dog-fighting ring which is where he is getting his money from.
Pip Archer, arguably the most irritating female character ever to hit the airwaves, is permanently in a rage with her father David for daring to expect her to help about the family farm whilst she is living there rent and board free during her time at university.
But it has not quite been all feminist abuse of men. Helen Archer, well into her thirties and replete with child obtained through artificial insemination from an unknown donor, is dating again in the manner of a 15 year-old. Nothing disastrous has happened yet but this being Helen it will. And needless to say, she and the other main female characters will be saying “Men!”
On the everyday story of disabled folk front, the Downs child Bethany born to Mike and Vicky Tucker when Mike is in his sixties and she in her forties, is now greeted with cries of joy by every Archers’ character. This week the “normalisation of disability” in Ambridge took another step forward with the local WI putting on a talk given by a mother and her adult age Downs son. The event was of course greeted with universal praise.
Finally, the introduction of the Muslim character Iftikar Khan into the Archers core family has been at least temporarily delayed. An attempted kiss and embrace between the chatelaine of lower Loxley Elizabeth Pargetter and Khan resulted in a rebuff, gentle of course, from Elizabeth, on the grounds that she was “Not quite ready for a relationship”. But diversity lovers should not fear. It is only a matter of time before they are an item. Indeed, the white, English characters are already preparing the ground . When gossip about a romance was developing between Khan and Elizabeth, a number of them talked about it without batting an eyelid at the prospect of a Muslim ending up as the squire of an English country estate with doubtless the patter of tiny feet of a Mohammed or Fatima or both echoing in the ancient Lower Loxley halls. Will Elizabeth have to convert to Islam is the big question.
Truly amazing what the BBC thinks goes on in an English farming village.