So, this is an article on the Guardian website a friend posted to Facebook entitled “Kirstie Allsopp tells young women: ditch university and have a baby by 27“. I clicked the link, expecting to get a bit pissed at Kirstie but ended up thinking “Hm, yes, she has a reasonable argument for her point of view”. What actually really irked me was the people who commented on the Facebook post slagging her off, saying she is not a feminist, and calling her a terrible mother. Which I thought was totally shitty of them.
Clearly several of the commenters had not fully read the article and just went off on a tirade based on those 13 words in the title. Those who had read it were taken in by the journalist’s use of leading phrases like “Kirstie tells women” and “Kirstie urges girls” which he uses to try and stir up exactly this kind of controversy (you have played right into his hands, fools!). Kirstie gave this advice as HYPOTHETICAL advice to her HYPOTHETICAL daughter. Advice and instruction are two different things, which these soap-box feminists seem to have missed. I started to write a comment on Facebook, which ended up being a rant Then I thought why not make this a blog post, current affairs an’ all that, so below is my opinion on the matter in response to the perpetually defensive feminists:
Playing devil’s advocate (also a very fucking passionate feminist myself) Kirstie is right in saying that in this society we are made to believe our life needs to be carried out in a certain order: Uni, Work, Husband, House, Baby. Kirstie is just saying why not switch that up: Work, House, Baby, Uni? Us saying her point is not valid is just as bad as people saying women should not go to university at all. Sje is just suggesting a different way of doing things. Feminism got us into Higher Education and got us into the Boardroom, but it doesn’t mean we HAVE to be there as soon as we can. It might not be what some women want o,r they might want it, just not til later. This society tells us there is an order to things, and us young women are made to feel like we have to do EVERYTHING in those 15, in that specific sequence, in order to be ‘successful’.
At no point did she say “Find a rich husband” – she does not have a husband herself. She did not say women should not work or study – she said you could go STRAIGHT to work, then you can go to uni AFTER you’ve had baby if that is what you wish to do. So lets not get up on our high horses and start slamming her just because we’re feminists and she has mentioned women’s potential life choices. That is why feminists get a bad name. We need to support each other; if us feminists can’t support each other then how the hell can we expect other people to listen and support us?
It is her opinion, it has valid basis in fact, and her points make sense:
Have kids young
Human bodies are biologically geared for us to have kids in our 20s. She is just stating a scientific fact there. Everyone knows that. Tick. Done. NEXT POINT.
Go to university when you are older
I think university probably could more beneficial to middle aged people than a bunch of 18 year olds who have moved away from home for the first time to the other side of the country all sweaty and excitable and full of hormones; armed with a new found ability to legally buy alcohol, whilst studying things like “Social Anthropology” in between getting freaking wasted. (Seriously, I accidentally went to see a Social Anthropology PHDs 50 minute documentary on gender identity and, despite being a big LGBT advocate myself, after 10 minutes I wanted to gouge out my own eyes with a rusty spoon in the hopes of contracting scepticemia and dying). Who the fuck knows what they wants to do with their lives at 18? And what is realistic? (Marine Biology, whist freaking awesome, does not have great career prospects. Sorry guys, knowing about the microbiome which reside in the digestive tracts of sea faring birds is not a ‘transferable skill’).
I don’t want children, I didn’t got to uni, I went straight to work, I have a fantastic career AND a degree even though my family was SO SHOCKED when I quit college aged 16 and left without a single A-level. Turns out I did pretty fucking well for myself in the end despite not following the prescribed path.
We should just do whatever the fuck we like, when we like. With no judgement on what is right, and when is right, for whom. Regardless of gender or age.
So Feminists, just because she does not share the exact same feminist manifesto as you it does not mean she is not one. PLEASE read a freaking article and form your own opinions before you go all Judgy McJudgerson on someones ass.
EDIT 22:38pm – Link to original interview in The Telegraph here