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to think Mary Berry is at best naive, and at worst deluded, about feminism?

(304 Posts)
MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne Mon 28-Jan-13 13:42:56

Times link if you can get through the paywall
free Daily Mail link

Apparently feminists are shouty. We should enjoy being "looked after" and gently persuade our menfolk with our feminine wiles to do what we want. It's alright if you're surrounded by well-meaning malleable blokes.

No mention of equal pay, equal voting rights, equal employment opportunities, freedom from sexual discrimination or harrassment, etc. No - all you need to do, is "persuade them [men] gently to do things and, of course, when they come back they say, “Oh, wasn’t that fun?” Try telling that to victims of domestic violence Mary...

MoominmammasHandbag Mon 28-Jan-13 15:01:06

Obviously baking of scones is detracting from my spelling in the above post.

Scholes34 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:02:49

We can't have a pop at Bezza!

Do you think there's any chance the DM journalist may have cherry picked their notes to be ever so slightly sensationalist? Is the DM that kind of paper?

I remember her from Good Afternoon, with Judith Chalmers (before she was orange) in the 70s.

threesocksmorgan Mon 28-Jan-13 15:03:20

read the link, can't see what is wrong with what she said, it is how she feels.
and she won't be the only one.

mindosa Mon 28-Jan-13 15:04:44

Mary Berry has lived a life that acted out feminist principles
- Main breadwinner
- Didn't compromise her career when she had children
- Became her own boss and ran her own company

She doesnt want the 'label' feminist as for women of that generation that is quite toxic.
Although she says her husband 'let' her work, its more likely that she chose to marry a man who supported that choice.

Ultimately I think Mary Berry is foolish to shirk away from the label feminist but I think a 77 year old doing this is very different to a 30 year old doing it.

mindosa Mon 28-Jan-13 15:06:42

Bobby Why isnt Harriet Harman a feminist. Ok she sent her dc to fee paying schools but thats hardly anti feminist

MoominmammasHandbag Mon 28-Jan-13 15:09:09

Hmmm I chucked my career in the bin when I had my kids. I don't think that makes me any less of a feminist. And by being reluctant to give maternity rights to other people she has gone a hell of a way to comprimising their careers. Nice one sister.

Oh, how depressing. sad

What a selfish point of view to hold, though.

mindosa Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:51

Regarding maternity leave - isnt this the elephant in the room and what all women like Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Christine Lagarde are saying?

mindosa Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:00

Moomin I am not saying that by not working you are not a feminist, just that Mary Berry seemed to act on a lot of what feminism is about

How is maternity leave the elephant in the room? confused

I can understand that Berry probably hasn't had cause to think of it for decades but everyone else has been discussing it until kingdom come.

I also think plenty of women her age have good knowledge of feminism and were involved in the Second Wave, so the fact she may be stereotyping about it in ignorance is not really an excuse for saying stuff like this, that's going to harm women less fortunate than her.

ithaka Mon 28-Jan-13 15:45:06

Mary's comments are depressing, all the more so as I admire her greatly as a person.

She comes across as a strong and gracious character who has survived the death of her son (which she talks about very movingly in interviews). I wish I hadn't read this sad

mindosa Mon 28-Jan-13 15:51:02

When you listen to women like Sheryl Sandberg, Christine Lagarde, Marissa Meyer, Mary Erdoes etc talk about their work life balance you realise that they simply dont have a work/life balance that allows them to spend what most women would decide is a reasonable amount of time at home. They, by and large, haven't spent 6-12 months off on maternity leave for each child either.

Big jobs in big companies demand a high level of commitment and generally pay a high salary. Unless you are willing to give up a lot of family time you simply wont rise to the top and women are just not willing to make that sacrifice.

I suppose the elephant in the room for me is - if you want to be head of a Fortune/FTSE 500 then take little time off post baby and act more like men, otherwise you just wont rise to the top.

SilverOldie Mon 28-Jan-13 16:02:26

I think she's great. What does it matter if she is a feminist or not? She's a successful and strong woman who has worked hard, runs her own business and has written countless books.

Xenia Mon 28-Jan-13 16:14:41

I don't accept the "act more like a man" phrase above. Lots of women do want to work full time. That is not acting like a man. It is acting like a person. Not all women want to be home with the babies. You can go to work full time and not be acting like a man, but acting like a human. The fact you don't want to work part time does not mean you are man.

Of course most men and women are pretty idle and don't want to d much housework, childcare or work if they can help it so most people don't earn much.

A very few women and men are prepared to work hard and surprise surprise we tend to earn quite a lot but it's a pretty gender neutral thing. Indeed last week's news was that UK female entrepreneurs earn more than male ones. A lovely statistic.

As for this cooking lady she has lived a pretty feminist life and it is not helpful if she chooses not to use the F word. Pity she is not into oil or gas rather than such a stupid feminine thing as cooking.

min - yes, but isn't this what most feminists spend their time discussing? Whether jobs should be structured like this, and if they are, how do we enable women to get to the top?

She'd have to have been living under a rock not to notice people discussing whether or not women struggle with these issues.

IMO it doesn't matter in the slightest whether she calls herself a feminist - but being rude about feminism is just selfish. If she doesn't need it - fine. But leave it for others who might.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 28-Jan-13 16:23:59

Welli agree that Femenisim is a dirty word to many

Sad to see a successful woman attacking women in this way but it's In the dm so would not expect anything else

FreudiansSlipper Mon 28-Jan-13 16:25:30

Feminism even

Fuck my brain .....

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 28-Jan-13 16:32:04

Pity she is not into oil or gas rather than such a stupid feminine thing as cooking.

Arf. Why are there so many male chefs? They do cooking.

Now if you had said baking cakes, you may have had a point, though there are many patissieres in France, for example, who would take exception to this.

mindosa Mon 28-Jan-13 16:35:04

Xenia Whether you care to admit it or not, it is about acting like a man as men are far more likely to brush off concerns about work /life balance than women.

LRD Yes you are right it is, but I just dont see any way around it and it pains me to say it. I took my foot off the pedal when I had children because I didnt want to work 12 hour days. Male colleagues have had children around the same time, put in the 12 hour days and moved ahead. I had the opportunity but I gave it up to spend time with my children. It isnt about birth or breastfeeding, its about all the other time you want to spend with your family and what you are willing to sacrifice to get this.

PeppermintPasty Mon 28-Jan-13 16:35:30

This is depressing, I love Mrs B.

I shall choose to interpret that article as part of her clever (and probably feminist) plan to maintain her place at the top of the Baking Patriarchy (there is one you know) by pretending to be fluffy, light and spongy brained

It's been a long day. Without any cake.

Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 16:36:20

I agree with Xenia to an extent.

The sooner that we stop referring to working full time as 'acting like a man' the better.

And that's why it's disappointing to see someone who has benefitted from feminism making similar statements. She likes the idea of chivalry, she likes being treated like a lady. Quite frankly, I expect everyone to be courteous to everyone but a lot of what she finds flattering is actually insulting. It suggests incapacity or weakness. Can't walk over and pick up your own coat, dear ? Door too heavy for you ? Bollox to that. And yes, I wouldn't buy any of her books after that.

booboomonster Mon 28-Jan-13 16:37:11

Of course she is a feminist - she just doesn't know it! Otherwise, like others have said, it's just deeply depressing. Pity she's so deluded really!

MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne Mon 28-Jan-13 16:38:44

"Sad to see a successful woman attacking women in this way but it's In the dm so would not expect anything else"

It's not just the DM. Also linked to The Times, but decided to do a dreaded DM link as I know lots of MNers don't subscribe to the paywall.

ppeatfruit Mon 28-Jan-13 16:40:53

I agree mindosa

min - I would think the way around it is to get rid of the idea that the best way to work is by working 12 hour days, and that only women take leave when they have a baby?

I don't know.

But I think wherever you stand on this, it's not like there isn't a shedload of debate on it, and if she's not informed, she shouldn't pontificate, IMO. Because she's not just expressing an off-the-cuff opinion - she knows lots of people will take her seriously.

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