During my sewing adventures this weekend, I was watching Netflix instant watch. I like to have movies in the background while I’m sewing. I had watched Cashmere Mafia and enjoyed it, so Netflix suggested an Australian TV show about a group of women working in a brothel.

So, as I pinned and cut and sewed, I had the Australian show playing in the background, and my mind totted up the following things:

  • prostitution is legal in Australia (I checked and this is true).
  • Australian TV can show absolutely anything (this seems to be true — parts of this program were distinctly x-rated).
  • Australians are serious about fancy undies.

Now, it was when I had this thought that I sort of woke up and noticed the conclusions the unattended part of my brain was drawing while I was busy trying to match notches. Deciding that Australians like fancy undies on the basis of a TV show set in a brothel is pretty irrational, isn’t it? It reminds me of the foreign students I used to teach, nearly all of whom were really disappointed that Americans didn’t carry guns on the street.

On further consideration, I think it involves these things:

  • I was predisposed to believe this because, when I was sewing underthings, I read Australian articles on the subject. Australians are, I believe, big on heirloom sewing, and this shows in their articles about sewing bras and panties.
  • I wasn’t paying proper attention, so the less rational bit of my brain got to do the thinking about it. I bet this is behind a lot of stereotyping.
  • Underwear was a major theme of this program, and they had some quite nice stuff, too. A skinny teenager running away from her unhappy home in the outback had stylish pink lace, and the call girls themselves had things like feather trimmings — possibly impractical for daily life. Plus they kept asking one another, “Have you got any knickers?” and accusing each other of stealing their knickers and whatnot. The motif forced itself upon the watcher.

So I will try not to imagine that my Australian clients are all prancing around the job site in lacy thongs and bustiers. Bad enough that I already think they’re barbecuing shrimp all the time.