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AIBU to think Nigella has no right to feel frustrated?

(232 Posts)
GiveMumABreak Sun 23-Jun-13 21:25:01

'Nigella feels frustrated that the whole world has an opinion about something she feels is a private situation.'

'Nigella feels her hand has been forced.'

'Nigella told friends she wants to rebuild her troubled relationship with millionaire art collector Mr Saatchi and insisted: 'I am not some sort of battered wife.'

AIBU to think: She is a celebrity chef (and role model)who had her photo taken in a public place. We are shocked and concerned - not just nosey, or should the whole world just mind their own business (as she would clearly prefer)?

article here

Emilythornesbff Thu 27-Jun-13 21:58:51

And sudo yes, "how to eat" is fab.

Emilythornesbff Thu 27-Jun-13 21:57:04

I feel for her.
So much pressure on her to be seen to do the "right" thing when it is he who should be helpd accountable for his actions.
So she suffers the assau,t, the humiliation and then the criticism for not acting in a way that sets the proper example to's not fair or supportive or productive.

Also, putting hands to someone's throat is a serious business. He got off extremely lightly IMHO.

I am a big fan of Nigella and her work.(not neccessarily relevant).

BasilBabyEater Thu 27-Jun-13 20:31:04

And of course one of the main ways of educating people, is bringing them face to face with the fact that women they know who they would never have associated with the stereotype of a victim of abuse, is in fact someone who has experienced abuse. But she's not going to tell them because she fears they will see her as more fragile, less competent, etc.

It's such a conundrum.

BasilBabyEater Thu 27-Jun-13 20:20:49

This is true, but how?

Women know that if they speak out about their own abuse, people - both men and women - might treat them differently, or at least think of them differently. The shift in attitude may be subtle, but it's unmistakeable. Being honest here, I wouldn't advise any woman to be generally open with all and sundry about having experienced abuse, unless it was a completely safe space for her to do that - and society isn't a safe space for women to talk openly about their experience of male violence or any abuse, because too many people will either disbelieve them, blame them or make judgements about them which may seriously disadvantage them, either in their personal relationships or in the workplace.

For women to feel safe to talk openly about the abuse they've suffered, they need to know they're not going to be re-victimised by negative responses to that. We're nowhere near that and I don't really know what we can do about that. It's a chicken - egg situation but I don't really think we can put the onus on women to be the first one to break the circle - we need to do so much more work on educating most people about DV etc. first.

mathanxiety Thu 27-Jun-13 06:59:58

I think that has to change Basil. The only people who benefit are the abusers.

sudointellectual Wed 26-Jun-13 17:54:08

How to Eat is a great cookbook tho, Jayne. It's really good. It's got marmite sandwiches and birthday cake and menus for different sorts of occasions. And mostly the food is not madly expensive or difficult to cook, and all the recipes work. It's confident and useful in its directions for shopping, and addresses those normal anxieties of how-much-is-enough. The writing is friendly and a bit flirty and silly and fun. It might not be a useful guide to every life or lifestyle, but it's a really good cookbook.

It's not exploitative! It's not slavery, mate. It's marmite sarnies and advice on cheese. Cheese! Nigella Lawson never sold you her soul; just her opinions on cheese. Jeez.

Next week on mumsnet: Mrs Kirkham has no right to feel sorrow. We demand that Granny Delicious make a statement about her miscarriage!

BasilBabyEater Wed 26-Jun-13 16:55:12

Yes, that thing about "women shut up about violence because society will judge you worse when it knows you're a victim of it" is awful.

However, it's also true; when women tell other people how they were subjected to violence, there is a subtle change in how people perceive and treat them. That's why so many of us STFU about the violence we've experienced. sad

Wuldric Wed 26-Jun-13 00:35:01

I luff Nigella.

Think the poor kid has had a bad time of it. Ignore the wealth and concentrate on the essentials. Dodgy Dad, Mum who was a bit mad and a bit nasty, goes on to marry a lovely bloke who then dies, marries again to someone who is a bit abusive and controlling ...

Leave her alone. She might be frustrated by the media attention but then again the media attention might be helping - in the sense of helping her to recognise that she is not in a good place.

mathanxiety Wed 26-Jun-13 00:11:24

While there are certainly private elements to this, the fact that keeping it private is urged by the DM because it could taint a woman if she is known to be a DV victim is a big problem.

mathanxiety Wed 26-Jun-13 00:08:46

Hully -- And "nasty little secret" is because he knows what he does, she knows what he does and it is nasty but they keep it secret (of course)

Yup, and then there is the layer of editorialising by the DM on top to the effect, 'Women, know your place beware of the effect of outing your man on how you will be viewed by those around you.'

BasilBabyEater Tue 25-Jun-13 21:31:42

Thanks LyingWitch as you say, I don't think we disagree on the fundamentals here. I think it's important to distinguish between the public and private aspects of the case and completely agree that the tone of Schadenfreude coming from some posters is really distasteful. I did momentarily wonder if Nigella had slept with one poster's DH or something, she was so hostile in her tone. hmm It's one thing not to be a fan, it's another thing altogether to sound as if you actually hold a personal grudge against someone. I found that rather startling and weird.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 25-Jun-13 10:55:19

Basil... Maybe that's the crux of it, when I refer to it being a 'private matter', I'm referring to Nigella's feelings and how she will process them. I'm not referring to the incident because that was Saatchi, not her. She was just the recipient of his disgusting actions. I agree - that is a crime and it isn't - and shouldn't be - a private matter.

I think if the discussion would have focused more on Saatchi and his deplorable actions rather than on Nigella and how 'pathetic she will be if she doesn't LTB', I wouldn't have had a problem with it. However, there are some nasty-minded womenhmm posters on this thread who have made it abundantly clear that Nigella should 'take the rough with the smooth'. I wonder how strong they would be in Nigella's - or any DV victim's shoes right now? Let's hope they don't get to find out.

I think you're bang on the money about the media; they seemingly have no responsibility for the trite and indefensible rubbish that they write. It's down to the public who supports that. I don't know if that will ever change because it's like an insidious 'thickness-sickness' almost.

I don't really know much about Saatchi other than that he comes from an advertising family. I'd like to think that there are rich and powerful people out there who are aware of their power and just don't need to brandish it. I think Hullygully might have been right about "Pollyanna land" there?

Again, I absolutely agree with what you say about the impetus for action always being placed on the DV victim - the woman. While her world is sliding out of view and she's trying desperately to right herself, she's being harangued from many quarters into immediate and involuntary action. That's not ok; even though it's undoubtedly well-meaning by some (excluding the disgraceful hand-rubbing rubber-neckers), it must throw some women into absolute panic; a place they really don't need to be when they're vulnerable.

I really don't want to shut debate down; I think there are enough posters on this thread who have, quite rightly, called the abuse, the victim-blaming and defended Nigella's right to her life and own decisions. The knuckle-dragging posts will continue to illuminate greatly.

I really think we agree on a lot of points somehow but even if we don't, I appreciate your post, it's given me more to ponder, thank you.

ophelia275 Tue 25-Jun-13 08:44:07

People are discussing her "business" because she is famous and people (rightly or wrongly) are interested in her. She doesn't mind people discussing her business when it earns her a nice big fat paycheck from her books and when she gets her tv show re-commisioned. Unfortunately, negative publicity (if you can call this that) is part and parcel of being famous. You can't pick and choose which parts of your life you want to show the world, the paparazzi will make sure of that.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 25-Jun-13 07:36:33

Totally agree Cambridge

Sadly in situations like this many women do return to their partners. all women (and men) in dv situations need support not to be told to do this or that as that is what their abusive partner is doing they need to find the strength and beleif in themselves hard what it has been knocked out of you

CambridgeBlue Tue 25-Jun-13 07:25:30

I resent being referred to as an abuse apologist. Having witnessed DV for years as a child there's no apologising going on from me. But having RL experience gives you a different insight.

I despise Saachi's behaviour and think Nigella deserves support from those close to her to gain the strength to leave him (or to work on her marriage if she wishes). But is does have to be her decision and be made when she is ready. Nobody else can do it for her, I know from bitter experience.

What I don't like about the press coverage of this (and the comments on here), apart from everyone looking at what she should or should not do and not focussing on him, is the way she's expected to make a decision about her life based on what Joe Public will think and how her actions may affect them. She didn't ask to be in this situation and does not need the added pressure to be a role model for other abused women.

If her actions do help or inspire other women that's great but she shouldn't be expected to be consider that while deciding what to do about her life.

Lazyjaney Mon 24-Jun-13 23:35:03

"You want Pollyanna land where all the celebs skip through flowers in the papers and then the minute something not so flowery happens, there is some kind of media blackout. How on earth do you think that's going to happen??"

It isn't going to happen, which is why we are where we are on this one.

I am quite bemused by so many people on this thread who either believe they know exactly what Nigella should be thinking and doing, and/or are extremely put out that she seems not to be doing what they (stridently) believe is The Right Thing.

Nigella, clearly, has no will of her own.

Mimishimi Mon 24-Jun-13 23:28:30

When I said I'd be more likely to watch a show of hers now rather than previously, I meant that in the context of her worrying whether the publicity would have a negative impact on her show or not. My point was meant to be that his behaviour probably won't have a negative effect on how she is perceived. It did come out sounding quite patronising though... as if I'd only enjoy it because I feel sorry for her. That's not the case, everytime I watched her when she came out years ago, I enjoyed the shows. As we now don't have a TV, she is in no danger of getting 'sympathy ratings' from us anyway.

Mimishimi Mon 24-Jun-13 23:24:32

When I said I'd be more likely to watch a show of hers now rather than previously, I meant that in the context of her worrying whether the publicity would have a negative impact on her show or not. My point was meant to be that his behaviour probably won't have a negatIt did come out sounding quite patronising though.

BasilBabyEater Mon 24-Jun-13 21:34:04

Lyingwitch, it's been dealt with as a crime. But there are still people on this thread and in RL, who are saying it is a private matter. That just can't go un-challenged. They're not referring to Nigella's feelings or thoughts or what she's going to do next, they are actually referring to the fact that Saatchi is an abuser who probably regularly commits crime behind closed doors.

Also, it is horrible for Nigella, but precisely because she is a public person, this is not the end of the public bit of the matter. It raises public discussion about DV, that's just inevitable. Appalling for Nigella that a heated public debate should hang off her personal experience, but I just don't know what you can do about that. It would be nice if we could have a debate about DV without someone famous being attacked in public first but the media just aren't very interested in it, are they?

You ask what there is to say about Saatchi, he's just vile - but the thing is, chances are, he's not just vile. We always acknowledge the truism that you can't get to the top of your profession or the greasy pole without being ruthless - but we very rarely acknowledge that you also can't get there without being immensely charming, persuasive and in many cases, charismatic. This extremely rich, powerful, respectable man has confused a lot of people by not fitting an offensive stereotype of abuser as a poverty-stricken incoherent drunk.

I personally think there's an awful lot to be said about abusive men which is very rarely said in the public arena. Whenever DV is mentioned, the instant cry is "why doesn't she just leave?" when the cry ought to be "why does he do it?" That is a public discussion worth having IMO but I very much doubt we will have it, because people will inevitably prefer to discuss her behaviour rather than his. And so the idea that women are responsible for DV (for not leaving when it happens) gets reinforced in the public consciousness. There's no point trying to shut debate down, it's not going to happen - all you can do, is keep pointing out that blaming Nigella for being the victim of DV, or asserting that she has no right to feel the way she feels, is a further abuse of her by the people who do that.

Oblomov Mon 24-Jun-13 20:18:23

Rhianna got back with Chris brown. And she seems quite besotted with him. Makes me really sad.
Nigella seems to be playing this down and the comments suggest she intends to 'work at her marriage'.
Both of these, make my heart weep.
I question their self worth and I have a hard time understanding them.

Oblomov Mon 24-Jun-13 20:11:44

I'm not sure it is a private matter. She is a celebrity chef. Celebrity.
She plays the game. Bit like the Beckhams. When it suits them. But then later, after courting the press, you can't the turn around and say, no this is off limits. It doesn't work like that with big celebrities.
Correction. It can. But you have to play by the rules. There are many famous actors , for eg, when asked about their personal life, they say no, no comment. Let my work do the talking. And people totally respect that. And don't chase their wife, and photograph their kids.
Or, as the Chris Martin, gywneth scenarios, you court it. That's your choice.
It you court the press. You have to accept when it comes back to bite you on the bum!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Jun-13 20:03:47

I don't want to talk about Saatchi; what is there to say really? He's vile. I doubt very much that he'll get what he deserves.

I don't like the way that Nigella has been held accountable somehow, that she has responsibility for behaving as the public feels she should. What is wrong with people that they can't think for themselves without celeb endorsement of their thoughts?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Jun-13 20:00:17

It's been dealt with as a crime, Basil, hes' been given a caution. That is a matter of public record now. That is where the public's interest begins and ends. Putting her life back together and deciding the way forward is Nigella's business and nobody else's.

Use whatever denigating terminology you like, I don't care about meaningless terms. I care deeply that a woman is in pain and is being publicly held accountable. I think on this last bit, perhaps we agree.

Hullygully Mon 24-Jun-13 19:54:25


BasilBabyEater Mon 24-Jun-13 19:52:57

Sorry Lyingwitch, if you say that domestic violence is a private matter between a couple, rather than a public matter of a crime, then that is abuse apology. If it is a private matter, why on earth is there a law about it? It's not the state's business to pry into people's private matters.

"It's nobody's business but the people involved"

It is the business of the state. Every crime is and if you say that it's nobody's business that a man assaults his wife, you are abuse-apologising.

I am not making assumptions based on photographs. I am making assumptions based on the fact that Charles Saatchi has a criminal record because he admitted he'd committed a criminal offence. People who keep saying that it's all just assumption when we actually have the evidence of the perpetrator (a man who has access to the best lawyers on the whole of this planet), who says he's guilty, are abuse apologising. Charles Saatchi himself admitted that he is an abuser - we don't have to make assumptions, the perpetrator himself has publicly declared what he is by accepting a caution in order to avoid a court case.

"...considering the media circus that is following what was a private matter, " that is classic abuse apology. It followed a physical assault, which is a crime, not a private matter.

This thread is full of abuse apology.

Nigella's feelings, actions, beliefs of course, are private matters and as I said earlier, I think we should leave her the fuck alone and focus on her vicious violent husband and discuss his feelings, beliefs and actions instead of her's - let's pore over his horrible character instead of her's. But let's not let our acknowledgement of her right to be left the fuck alone, blind us to open abuse apology on this thread.

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