“No” says Kiddicare ambassador and Apprentice finalist Claire Young. She argues that Kirstie Allsopp is wrong – very wrong – to suggest women should ditch university and wait til 27 to have babies.
Claire writes: “This week celebrity Kirstie Allsopp of Location Location Location fame has ruffled feminist feathers with her latest interview which described her advice to a hypothetical daughter: “Darling, do you know what? Don’t go to university. Start work straight after school. Stay at home, save up your deposit … then we can find you a nice boyfriend and you can have a baby by the time you’re 27.”
My jaw dropped open in shock reading these words. Kirsty Allsopp is a savvy business woman and has a strong career. Being in the public eye she is an influential role model to many teens and young women. Did she really believe the words she was saying?? Will she advise her sons to do the same and find a nice girl friend and have a baby by the time they’re 27? I think not.
I don’t believe her words are genuine and authentic. She may encapsulate the traits of a traditional stay at home Mum – baking, home cooking, craftwork – but don’t be fooled. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a clearly very smart and focussed ‘go-getter’. Would she sit around at home waiting for Mr Right to drop from the skies? No way!
For years women have been battling for education, equal rights and gender equality in the workplace. Today in the 21st century if a girl wants to have a career the option is there, it is a level playing field with opportunities to grab. The old stereotype of a woman’s solo role – being brought up to believe they should stay at home and ‘keep house’ are over – dead and buried with the dinosaurs.
Teachers and parents work every day to inspire girls, encouraging them to think of their career dreams. Ultimately they take small steps of action which create change for the future of women. Aspiration for many is beyond what Kirstie has suggested and so it should be. It’s frustrating to see people’s mind-sets being shaped by what genitals they have been born with. Life can be multidimensional; women can have a career and a family. Her words have been deemed patronising, completely out of date – and most worryingly – damaging.
In her interview she goes onto mention that ‘”Nature is not a feminist. Do whatever you want, but be aware of the fertility window. Make your choices in an informed way”. She does have a very good point about the fertility window dropping past 35 years old. However, many women now safely have children in their 30s, 40s. Some consciously focus on their careers & personal goals in their 20s before starting a family. This is what I did; I had my daughter, Eva, when I was 33. I am glad that I studied, worked hard, travelled, thinking of only myself before I became a mother. I also appreciate that this path isn’t what everyone would chose to do.
There is no set blueprint to what makes a successful woman. We are all different and the perfect life isn’t as simple as setting a to-do list and ticking boxes. I don’t think it is right for celebrities to be telling women the optimum age to be having babies. In an age of feminism I would like to think women have an array of choices and can live their life they wish to without other females being judgemental. Now that really would be something to celebrate and the ultimate in girl power.