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Mariella Frostrup: live webchat about gender equality (and other stuff), TODAY, Wednesday 7 November, 12.30pm to 1.30pm

(71 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Nov-12 15:47:12

We're very pleased to announce that Mariella Frostrup will be joining us on Wednesday 7 November got a live webchat.

Mariella, who is promoting the GREAT Initiative, is a journalist and broadcaster who writes a weekly column for The Observer, a book column for Psychologies and is the film critic for Harper's Bazaar. She also presents The Book Show for Sky Arts and Open Book for BBC Radio 4.

The GREAT (Gender Rights and Equality Action Trust) Initiative is a charity that works to redress gender imbalance. It provides financial and organisational support to women in Africa - particularly Liberia - working at grassroots level to increase gender equality.

In order to help fundraise, the London jeweller Boodles has teamed up with GREAT to launch the GREAT Boodles Bangle, a bracelet designed to celebrate female friendship. All profits from the sale of GREAT Boodles Bangles will go straight to grassroots gender equality projects led by individual women with the know-how to make real changes in their community.

Mariella is keen to hear your thoughts on gender inequality and feminism, and to also to answer your questions on anything and everything. Do read Mariella's guest blog before you post to get a sense of why she set up GREAT.

We hope you can join us on Wednesday. But, as ever, if you can't make it, you are most welcome to post your questions here in advance.

TheBlackShiksa Wed 07-Nov-12 11:03:23

Hi Mariella- love you- what do you think about campaigns like PETA and the FISHLOVE campaign that use womens (naked) bodies to sell their cause. I'm in no way prudish but I find such campaigns really hard to deal with. As a feminist they turn me right off because its like saying its ok to objectify women if it means people don't eat meat blah blah blah. Really interested to hear your thoughts on this.

Also how did you land the agony aunt gig- it is my life's aim to be an agony aunt one day- your column is the best by miles- i love that you don't suffer fools, are feisty but are warm and unbelievably wise. Do you ever take your own advise?

kittykitty Wed 07-Nov-12 11:11:48

Hi Mariella.

In your Observer column this week you wrote that "All of us know that "having it all" was a Utopian dream dressed up as a silly media slogan, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that fact."

My question is: do you think that if we have daughters, it's our duty as mums to give them a more realistic expectation of how their lives might pan out when trying to balance work and home - or should they still be striving to 'have it all'. And if it's the former, what advice would you pass on to your own daughter?

JeanBillie Wed 07-Nov-12 11:14:53

Hello Mariella,
I always wonder - is the Hay Festival as much fun as it looks? I reckon those literary types probably like a drink grin

sieglinde Wed 07-Nov-12 11:59:49

How far do you think your success is due to your looks?

JeanBillie Wed 07-Nov-12 12:26:13

Ooh - just reading up on the story about women earning £500,000 less then men over their working lives.

What do you think - do you think you'd have earned more over the course of your career if you were a man?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Nov-12 12:32:11

Mariella's in the building - just parking up - and will be here shortly.

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:38:33

Hi I'm here, a little the worse for wear after our Great Boodles Bangle launch last night so excuse any typos

WorriedBetty Wed 07-Nov-12 12:39:03

Hi Mariella,

Did you consider using naked men pointing their fingers towards their mouths and looking surprised to promote the GREAT initiative grin

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:40:03

sieglinde

How far do you think your success is due to your looks?

Certainly hope not otherwise I might as well retire now as I approach my 50th

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:40:36

WorriedBetty

Hi Mariella,

Did you consider using naked men pointing their fingers towards their mouths and looking surprised to promote the GREAT initiative grin

Yes and then dismissed it as a bit silly!

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:42:23

JeanBillie

Ooh - just reading up on the story about women earning £500,000 less then men over their working lives.

What do you think - do you think you'd have earned more over the course of your career if you were a man?

It's generally accepted that women earn 3/4 of what men get paid for comparable work so the answer is probably yes. It's a bit embarassing for us in the UK that four decades after the Equal Pay Act we still haven't realised that goal

chipmunch Wed 07-Nov-12 12:43:26

Hi Mariella,Guy here. Long time no see .I just wanted to say what a fantastic experience it was for me to cook for you onboard Irene over the millenium period while you were doing the article for the Daily Mail about diving.It really was the pinnacle of my career and i can safely say that you were one of the nicest people i have had the pleasure to cook for and your guest were great to.
I'm glad i left the boat as i see there was a fire onboard 2003 and the boat sank.shock What an experience that was though. I expect you are still mixing in those circles. I wish you well and every success in what you do and congratulations on the birth of your children. Are you planning anymore trips abroad soon? P.S Please say hi to your brother and anyone else that might know me wink smile

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:45:36

whiskeytangofoxtrot

Hello Mariella
Think you're fab. <tries not to swoon>

Let's get it over with - Favourite biscuit?

Also, MNHQ if I'm allowed a proper question - what has been the biggest challenge in your career?

Milk Chocolate Hob Nobs for normal days and if I'm feeling extravagant Milk Chocolate Choco Leibnitz

As for my career it seems to have taken an inordinately long time for people to come to terms with me as I am rather than as a blonde stereotype appearing in inspired articles like Burka Blondes (how do you tell them apart?) etc etc

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:48:25

AbigailAdams

Hi Mariella, great to have you on here. I just wondered what you think of the campaign to try and rid the Sun of Page 3?

I'm a supporter but I'd love to see men step up and do some campaigning. Fathers can't want their daughters to grow up in a world where women continue to be objected so why don't more of them speak up?

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:49:54

chipmunch

Hi Mariella,Guy here. Long time no see .I just wanted to say what a fantastic experience it was for me to cook for you onboard Irene over the millenium period while you were doing the article for the Daily Mail about diving.It really was the pinnacle of my career and i can safely say that you were one of the nicest people i have had the pleasure to cook for and your guest were great to.
I'm glad i left the boat as i see there was a fire onboard 2003 and the boat sank.shock What an experience that was though. I expect you are still mixing in those circles. I wish you well and every success in what you do and congratulations on the birth of your children. Are you planning anymore trips abroad soon? P.S Please say hi to your brother and anyone else that might know me wink smile

Lovely to hear from you-the food WAS delicious. Are you still cooking?

WorriedBetty Wed 07-Nov-12 12:53:27

In seriousness though, why is a 'decorative trinket' (thanks DH) sold to women seen as the best way to promote the movement of funds and privilege from one gender to the other. Doesn't this approach exclude men, who probably need to think about this issue a little more?

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:53:28

kittykitty

Hi Mariella.

In your Observer column this week you wrote that "All of us know that "having it all" was a Utopian dream dressed up as a silly media slogan, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that fact."

My question is: do you think that if we have daughters, it's our duty as mums to give them a more realistic expectation of how their lives might pan out when trying to balance work and home - or should they still be striving to 'have it all'. And if it's the former, what advice would you pass on to your own daughter?

I'm hoping that by the time my daughter is grown-up we'll have managed to poke a female sized space into a culturally male dominated working world where it will be a bit easier to manage the plethora of roles women find themselves juggling today. The whole structure of how the working world works was created without imput from women, I wonder how different it will look now that we're available for collaboration

UltraBOF Wed 07-Nov-12 12:53:48

I'm sorry to have to ask this, but is George Clooney as funny and good company as he appears?

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 12:58:03

WorriedBetty

In seriousness though, why is a 'decorative trinket' (thanks DH) sold to women seen as the best way to promote the movement of funds and privilege from one gender to the other. Doesn't this approach exclude men, who probably need to think about this issue a little more?

I think that by drawing attention to the principle of valuing women the Great Boodles Bangle gets a conversation going and also raises much needed funds for women focused projects-the bangle is available for anyone of either gender to buy who wants to show their appreciation for a woman in their life so certainly doesn't exclude men.Obviously a bangle isn't going to change the world but small steps eventually take you where you want to go just as well as giant leaps.

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 13:02:16

funnypeculiar

First off, I love Open Book, so thank you for that, Mariella. Not hugely convinced by the blingy bangle idea, but I can see there's something interesting in the idea.

Anyway, my question would be: Orange Prize vs Booker...? I know (think?) you've sat on panels for both - how do you feel the two prizes compare and where the panels approaches different?

I had much more fun on the Orange Prize panel because a room full of women is my idea of heaven but the Booker is certainly one of the worlds foremost literary prizes so I felt quite honoured to be asked. My experience is that the Orange Prize list is often more enjoyable to read and I it's a shame that Orange withdrew their sponsorship as there's no question in my mind that it's still important to seek out women writers, when Jonathan Franzen does domestic it's called 'state of the nation, when a woman does likewise it's too often dismissed as an 'aga saga' or similar.

WomanlyWoman Wed 07-Nov-12 13:02:20

I couldn't afford to buy one of those bangles.

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 13:02:29

UltraBOF

I'm sorry to have to ask this, but is George Clooney as funny and good company as he appears?

Yes

no question here but Happy Birthday for next week grin

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 13:07:04

MoChan

A friend and I were talking about the differences between boys and girls yesterday, and how boys seem to somehow receive the cultural message that they can be confident, and believe in themselves, whilst girls get the message that they are to question themselves and apologise for themselves.

It's a sweeping generalisation, of course; but throughout my life I've met talented, brilliant women who seemed to have no self esteem, while their male counterparts have had no problem viewing themselves as fantastic, never question their own authority, never put themselves down (and verge on obnoxiously over-confident at times).

What do you think we can do to help girls and women grow in confidence, and do you have any thoughts on how can we break down the automatic arrogance and sense of entitlement that we seem to be instilling in our boys (without, of course, damaging their confidence)?

I think this is a very broad question, with a potentially long, intricate and multi-layered answer. I am not expecting a long, intricate and multi-layered answer. grin

I agree absolutely and it's a conundrum that I face personally with raising my own daughter who already seems to be developing those struggles with self esteem. I wish I had an answer and if anyone else does I'd be very eager to hear it? I don't think breaking down boys confidence is the route to go, I'd rather find the key to building up girls. A society where they are judged on their looks, their clothes and their ability to keep youthful for far longer than 'humanely' possible can't help with self confidence issues though and we need to change that and stop being so apathetic about it. Objectifying women isn't post modern irony it's offensive and reductive.

MariellaFrostrup Wed 07-Nov-12 13:08:53

JeanBillie

Hello Mariella,
I always wonder - is the Hay Festival as much fun as it looks? I reckon those literary types probably like a drink grin

Now that SKY have me making four shows over two days I don't get a second to visit the Green Room and check what the writers are doing in their downtime. I certainly need a stiff drink (or five) by the time I finish on the Sunday!

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