All hail Kirstie Allsopp (for non-UK readers, she’s the queen of prime time property-hunting TV).
This week she stuck her head above the three-bedroom semi and told the world – in an interview for The Telegraph – what age women should be having children. 27 apparently. What’s more, according to Kirstie, they should forgo university and careers to find a man, buy a house and make a baby first. Actually the article was about lots of other stuff but it was these comments that made for the kind of contentious headlines that the media adore. Feminists around the world united in indignation and, following my blog on internet trolls last week, I just hope Kirstie didn’t read below the line.
Personally I’d like to commend Kirstie for going where many people wouldn’t dare. I have written myself about the need for better understanding of female fertility and the possible dangers of leaving motherhood too late. And whilst I’m not about to tell anyone how to live their life, I do find it weird that when life expectancy is increasing many women seem to feel the need to cram all the important stuff into their first forty years. The approved feminist order still seems to be school, university, career, man and then baby. Why leave the one thing that has a finite time limit to last on the list?
I’m going to venture here that I might have got far more from going to university now than in my twenties. If I was taking my English degree again, I would savour books like Middlemarch rather than force feeding myself in an afternoon the day before a tutorial. Besides, lectures and tutorials were just a way of passing time until the Union opened. Or is that just me? Surely not!
In fact, going to university put me right off reading books for years but, thankfully, I rediscovered them. Right now I’m reading Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman (yes, I know it came out in 2011 but I’ve always been slow to catch up). I’m currently on the chapter entitled ‘I am a Feminist’. The one where you’ve got to stand on a chair and shout it out! She says that it’s probably one of the most important things a woman will ever say: the equal of ‘I love you,’ ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ or ‘No! I’ve changed my mind – do NOT cut my fringe!’
I felt that crumpling in my chest again when I read the words: ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ because maybe this woman will never get a chance to say that important thing…BUT, putting self-pity aside, I’m going to do what Caitlin says. I’m getting up on a chair…I’m opening my mouth,…I’m shouting out ‘I AM A FEMINIST…
…I AM A FEMINIST AND, KIRSTIE ALLSOPP, I THINK YOU’RE ALRIGHT!’
So for this week’s question, are you with me?