The Telegraph: by Emma Barnett —
If we all lived by Kirstie Allsopp’s view of the world, why bother giving girls an education at all, asks Emma Barnett
Does she mean it? Really?”
“She must just say these things to get a rise.”
These are just some of the responses to Kirstie Allsopp’s latest comments regarding mating, motherhood and women’s higher education from my male colleagues this morning. Yes, you read that right. It’s not just the women of Britain sighing this morning as they read an interview in The Telegraph with Britain’s self-style craft queen. The men are laughing too.
For Allsopp has laid out her latest vision for modern womanhood. It’s broadly summarised in this paragraph:
“I don’t have a girl, but if I did I’d be saying ‘Darling, do you know what? Don’t go to university. Start work straight after school, stay at home, save up your deposit – I’ll help you, let’s get you into a flat. And then we can find you a nice boyfriend and you can have a baby by the time you’re 27’.”
Rather than immediately discount Allsopp’s rather depressing view for how women should reverse their lives and go to university later in life – when they can be “free as a bird” in their 40s, according to the TV presenter, I decided to consider the reality of her suggestion by looking at my own life.
Allsopp being crafty
Last night I was reading the latest newsletter from my old school, Manchester High School for Girls, which is aptly called the High Flyer.
In it there were tales of what girls were up to from the age of four through to 84. Being the school where the Pankhursts attended, the unofficial motto was: girls can do anything they set their minds to. Hence it was no surprise to read about fellow alumni such as Paula Vennells, the chief executive of the Post Office, or Catherine Mayer, the editor at large ofTime magazine and currently penning a biography of Prince Charles, enjoying big success in their chosen fields. I went to sleep duly inspired, feeling like I did at my school’s founders’ day ceremonies, all those years ago.
Emmeline Pankhurst being carried off by a policeman
Indeed I remember sitting in school assemblies dreaming of my future, which very much took in a stint at university, landing a job in the Big Smoke, living in a cramped flat with lots of friends and falling in love.
What about the excitement of your twenties?