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To think if I had paid £6k a year to have my daughters educated by this woman

(367 Posts)
catgirl1976 Mon 02-Nov-15 19:50:06

I'd want my money back

Glad she's stepping down.

I get telling girls there is a glass ceiling, but she's pretty much telling them to roll over and accept that.

I get telling girls that it's a valid choice to choose not to have children, but her message over all is appalling.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 02-Nov-15 19:53:15

I agree!

I was really shocked - hope she's been badly misquoted, because she sounds appallingly ignorant about what feminism means, too.

Surely feminism is about telling girls there is a glass ceiling, but also about doing your best to help them smash through it?

Holstein Mon 02-Nov-15 19:53:41

The piece in the guardian about it was good. She's right though- have children, and the majority of women will be penalised in the workplace.
There are not many Xenias in this world.

VioletEffingham Mon 02-Nov-15 19:53:51

£6k a term

BYOSnowman Mon 02-Nov-15 19:56:03

I hate the way it's either be a mother or have a high flying career

How about be a mother and work part time in a stalled career which you rev up when kids grow up

Or be a mother and do a job that may not be high flying but has job satisfaction and doesn't demand long hours

And where are the fathers in all this? In couples where they both have careers that I know, the parents are very equal in their input and time with the kids

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 02-Nov-15 19:56:24

holstein - yeah, but she seems to think feminism is somehow in the dark about this, or that feminists don't want to tell women this? confused

Which seems the wrong way around to me. I thought we'd been banging on about how women are penalised for motherhood for ages.

catgirl1976 Mon 02-Nov-15 19:59:20

I have to say I was very much " a man can have children and a career but a woman can't?"

I agree women are penalised in the work place for having children but she should be encouraging them to change this, not accept it.

I have a career and a child. It's slowed down since having him admittedly and I hope by the time he grows up that will not happen anymore.

SarahSavesTheDay Mon 02-Nov-15 20:02:45

If she's speaking in generalities, she speaks the truth - on balance, women can't have it all.

There are of course exceptions, and girls should aim accordingly. Exceptions aren't a zero-sum game, there's no limit on how many can turn this 'rule' on its ear.

hibbleddible Mon 02-Nov-15 20:02:58

Lol its not 6k a year, that would be a bargain!

I have met her, and she is a very intelligent and inspirational woman.

I think the title in no way reflects her message.

Holstein Mon 02-Nov-15 20:03:22

Ah, I see. Yes- well, it's not exactly a secret, is it?

anothernumberone Mon 02-Nov-15 20:05:09

What is the answer though? She certainly does not have it. I do think a much bigger cultural shift needs to happen whereby family life can happen and 2 people can have fulfilling careers because I do think the 2 full time working parent thing is not ideal with young children while the working week and often associated commute are so long.

Men and women should be able to step back in their career while they have young children and take on equal parenting roles and young girls should not be brought up in a world that educates them but then puts every barrier in their way in terms of persuing a career but we live in a capitalist society, is that the problem?

Leavingsosoon Mon 02-Nov-15 20:05:10

Really high flying careers in law and politics are pretty much incompatible with family life.

Seeyounearertime Mon 02-Nov-15 20:05:26

It was on the weight stuff this morning and one of the panelists said something like:
"Yes its okay to tell the girls there's a glass ceiling but shouldn't she be giving them a hammer to break through it?"
I agree with that.

I believe that parenting is a split responsibility so if a mother is penalised in anyway for being a parent, so should a man be.
I also believe maternity and paternity leave should be split between parents and called parental leave. 6 months each instead of 2 weeks for paternity and 12 months for maternity. But that's a different thread.

Holstein Mon 02-Nov-15 20:05:44

This was Harriet Minter's piece in The Guardian. I'm never sure about buzzfeed...

catgirl1976 Mon 02-Nov-15 20:06:39

Sorry - I meant term.

I'm not sure saying "I'm sorry, I'm not a feminist" smacks of inspiration to me.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 02-Nov-15 20:07:00

YY, absolutely not a secret - I think that's what irritated me most, the way she seems to think she's saying something radical and amazing.

If she had some answers, that would be lovely - but she doesn't seem to have any beyond 'uh, it's tough innit'.

HermioneWeasley Mon 02-Nov-15 20:07:18

When I speak to young women I am very clear that I could t do my job and be a primary carer. The women I know who do either have full time nannies (who they organise) or have husbands who are SAHDs. I think it's realistic to tell women they need to be thinking about these things and what sort of life partner they need if they want kids and a career.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 02-Nov-15 20:07:26

I'm not sure saying "I'm sorry, I'm not a feminist" smacks of inspiration to me.


catgirl1976 Mon 02-Nov-15 20:08:59

Really high flying careers in law and politics are pretty much incompatible with family life.

Plenty of men seem to manage. I was back at work part time when DS was 5 weeks old and full time at 5 months. I've just got back from a meeting in the Houses of Parliament (I'm not in politics though) and DS and DH seem to have coped just fine.

SarahSavesTheDay Mon 02-Nov-15 20:10:55

It was on the weight stuff this morning and one of the panelists said something like:
"Yes its okay to tell the girls there's a glass ceiling but shouldn't she be giving them a hammer to break through it?"
I agree with that.

Sure, but (to carry on with the metaphor) how many girls have been given hammers, they hammer away and the ceiling remains?

Part of this is self-inflicted, for certain. As long as it's 'normal' for well-educated women to stay at home with their children long after they are school-aged, this will persist.

MrsMolesworth Mon 02-Nov-15 20:16:27

I agree that she isn't inspiring pupils. And any woman who says 'I'm not a feminist' is a weak role model as head of a girls' school. But it's disingenuous to say men do it as though the two situations were identical. They're not. Men don't suffer morning sickness or have to cart an extra couple of stone around, or get baby brain fog or have raging hormonal shifts and leaky breasts and stitches. They are far less likely to suffer AND and PND. There's a lot women have to contend with when they try to take back careers while their children are young.

BYOSnowman Mon 02-Nov-15 20:16:29

There are some interesting articles around about 'the flexibility stigma'

There is also something on shorter working days in Sweden on the bbc news website.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Mon 02-Nov-15 20:18:12

I used to be a high flyer. I HATE what having kids has done to my career. It's not just that taking "a career break" is hugely detrimental at or above a certain level, it is what motherhood has done to my priorities and energy levels.

We have a long way to go. And knowing Vivienne that is the point she was making. That "having it all" in this day and age is selling women a bill of goods. No one ever says about a man, "oh he has it all, a career AND a family."

BYOSnowman Mon 02-Nov-15 20:18:37

But why does working full time have to be the only way to have a career?

We should be questioning more than just motherhood vs work

And it's all very well saying that full time motherhood is a choice but I don't think it is for most people

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 02-Nov-15 20:19:26

So was she misquoted, hearts?

I agree with everything you say - but I don't see any of it in what she is quoted as saying.

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