There was an inkling that Ten’s standout show, Puberty Blues, would touch on ’70s-era second-wave feminism a few weeks ago when Sue tried to borrow her boyfriend’s surfboard. Then, last week, she expressed dissatisfaction with their sex life and her partner told her not to “get all femmo” on him. Throw in Sue and Debbie’s strong mothers, and Puberty Blues really taps into “the problem that has no name”—The Feminine Mystique—that both Gary and Debbie’s mums experience, as well.
The show deals tenderly but realistically with Debbie’s parents’ relationship breakdown and how a strong woman in the house both working and doing the domesticities can cause tension in the home. Debbie told her mum in last night’s final that she really admires her for working and having a family, and that makes her believe that she, too, can lead a “big life”.
After saving an old friend from repeated gang rape in the back of a panel van, Debbie and Sue feel empowered and emboldened to do something else with their newfound feminist leanings. So, with nothing to lose in the form of boyfriends and keeping up appearances in the “cool” clique, the young girls the show is centred around venture away from the towels on the beach that is the domain of the “molls” and try their hand in the surf. You go, girls!
Image via This Island Continent…