Originally published in TV Week (Australia). 27 May 1972
“In this country, men are not considered men,” she said, “unless they look sweaty, get boozed and then throw up. Their behaviour and attitude is often revolting.”
In a blistering attack on Australian men, the curvaceous London-born star said:
- They are “all hung up” about the fear of homosexuality.
- They are coarse in their dress, manner and attitude.
- They are not romantic and rarely show subtlety.
- Basically they are afraid and ashamed of sex which they regard as something “naughty” to be discussed only in hotel bars.
She said that much of the attitude men adopted towards women was really the fault of Australian women themselves.
Australian women, she said, once they married failed to maintain the mysterious, alert and alluring qualities they had before marriage.
They also “gave in” too easily in their sexual relationships with their husbands and lovers instead of making such occasion a “romantic encounter”.
Abigail, who plays Bev Houghton in Number 96 has been in Australia about three years. She is an experienced stage actress and has appeared in a number of films, including some made in France.
The 36½-24-36½ star featured in a stark scene in Number 96 a few weeks ago when Alex Lederer, played by Harry Harris, tried to assault her.
She has also been semi-nude in several scenes.
Abigail made her attack on the attitudes of Australian men and women when discussing whether she had any hesitation about featuring in nude or semi-nude scenes for the series.
“If I believe it is necessary for a scene I have no hesitation about getting my gear off,” she said.
“I would do so overseas but definitely not here.
“I believe Australians would like to take a different attitude towards sex but they are all strung up about it.
“One of the things that also struck me when I arrived was that there didn’t seem to be much romance in Australia.
“If a girl wants to make eyes at a man across a room here the man doesn’t seem to realise what it’s all about.
“He just stares back in a gormless sort of way or looks upon you as a pushover, instead of regarding you as an intelligent person who is interested in somebody else because they seem attractive and intelligent.
“How wrong they are. Women want tenderness, understanding, compassion.
“The Women’s Lib business is taking on in Australia and it is easy to see why – women have to have some ideal to cling to and they’ve got precious few here.
“I don’t believe in Women’s Lib because basically I believe women should appear to be subservient to men. That way, by exploiting their femininity and using their wiles, they can extract so much more from a relationship.
“Think of how much more attractive life would be in Australia if men were more attentive and romantic. Relationships would be richer and more beautiful.”