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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. More here.

Zoe Williams - Live webchat, Thursday 14 June, 1-2 pm

(102 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Jun-12 11:42:22

Journalist Zoe Williams is joining us for a webchat at MNHQ on Thursday 14 June at 1pm. Zoe's latest book, What Not to Expect When You're Expecting, is a refreshing antidote to the standard pregnancy and parenting books. It considers issues such as the overbearing public guidelines on what not to eat or drink and weighs up the relative merits of different childcare routines - 'It doesn't make any sodding difference.'

Zoe is best known as a Guardian columnist, where she once wrote: 'They are brilliant on Mumsnet. They know everything. If you wanted to know how soon you could breastfeed after taking an E, someone on Mumsnet could probably tell you.' She also writes for the New Statesman, The Spectator, NOW Magazine, London Cyclist and the London Evening Standard.

She lives in London with her partner and two children.

Join her on Thursday at 1pm or post a question to Zoe ahead of the webchat here.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 12-Jun-12 13:11:28

Fantastic choice of guest. I love Zoe Williams. No question yet, just a post of approval!

turkeyboots Tue 12-Jun-12 13:23:58

Can't think of a question, but I love Zoe!

Rabbitee Tue 12-Jun-12 13:56:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FfoFfycsecs Tue 12-Jun-12 16:25:49

Ooooooh yay! No question yet but yay!

pjani Tue 12-Jun-12 17:49:55

Zoe's great!

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 12-Jun-12 18:55:57

oh that's right, she was the first woman ever to be pregnant, even before Myleene Klass... grin

frankie4 Tue 12-Jun-12 19:03:29

Zoe, I don't have any questions about parenting. But I did really like the article you wrote a few months ago about how the State is subsidising companies such as Tesco by letting them get away with paying minimum wage and then the State having to top up the low wages with benefits.

Ok, rant over .... back to parenting....

Rabbitee Tue 12-Jun-12 20:55:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frankie4 Tue 12-Jun-12 21:02:49

Ok but they do pay low wages, like most retailers. I know Arcadia group pay minimum wage. Generally wages are too low which is why the benefits system props them up. But that is another argument for another day and I guess I shouldn't hijack this thread!

Rabbitee Tue 12-Jun-12 21:05:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TwoIfBySea Tue 12-Jun-12 22:21:19

I've seen her on the Sky News paper review a few times and don't really rate her much, sorry, I'll get my coat and leave the love in for the rest of you.

BIWItheBold Tue 12-Jun-12 23:30:36

Oh fuckity buggery bollocks. I think Zoe is absolutely fabulous and would love to be part of the webchat.

Unfortunately I am working Athens this week where the temperature is in the mid 30s and it isn't raining and so I will be a bit busy and not able to take part.

Not that I want to rub your noses in it or anything grin

My question for Zoe - I think, possibly inevitably, that you ended up writing columns about pregnancy/childbirth/babies because of your lifestage. Obviously these will have paid the bills. But do you feel that there is a lot of pressure on women in the media to write such columns? Whilst they are/were hugely entertaining, and well written, I did sometimes feel that you had been sidelined into 'soft/fluffy' instead of more serious journalism - and I notice now that you are writing much more serious stuff. Or was this your choice?

By the way, it's bloody hot here ...

<legs it>

poorbuthappy Wed 13-Jun-12 08:06:04

What? Someone was pregnant before Mylene Klass?? No way...

albertswearengen Wed 13-Jun-12 10:56:48

Hi I read your article about 'The Backlash against breastfeeding' and found it very interesting. I was wondering why, if you think that the studies showing 'breast is best' are methodologically flawed why the government and the health profession are so keen to promote it and to push so much money and resources at the campaign?
I exclusively breastfed for 6 months and at the end of it was exhausted and 3 stone heavier. I did it because I believed some of the hype and felt I had to try and do my best for my ds coming from an asthma prone family. Frankly I would be quite cross if I found out it was a badly researched load of old twaddle. I never swallowed the whole higher IQ bit mind you.

nethunsreject Wed 13-Jun-12 12:41:19

Zoe, you had a go at methodological problems wrt breastfeeding research, yet you are happy to quote the opinions of a woman who works for a formula company wrt how 'good' or otherwise breastfeeding is.

Have you read 'The Politics Of Breastfeeding'?

MooncupGoddess Wed 13-Jun-12 13:45:32

Zoe - think you are doing great work at the moment, your columns in the Saturday Guardian are fab.

Obviously you have been a feminist all along, but can I ask, has having children affected/changed your views on feminism-related issues and if so, how?

SpringHeeledJack Wed 13-Jun-12 17:00:00

no qs at the mo

can I just fawn a bit


Zoe, I find your writing take all the incoherent furious thoughts that buzz through my mind and arranges them into elegant and well argued articles

ta very much

<fawns again>

ps do more on the Twitter, please. Thank you

pps ooh, and more about the DOG. I likes DOGS, I does.

bacon Wed 13-Jun-12 20:06:18

I bottle fed both my boys and would conclude these boys are the healthiest & strongest in their class. Agree far too much pushing with breast is best, what about weaning the best and for mums to feed their children properly. Was fed up with the breast feeding police banging on. Government should be concentrating on mums learning to cook and feeding their off-spring real food.

nethunsreject Wed 13-Jun-12 20:42:26

Actually, I've just noticed that it is one question per poster, so, in preference to my other question I would really like to ask how you square being a feminist with stoking the media invented 'Mommy wars' fire? Personally, I don't think it's entirely helpful to women to be pitted against each other in terms of how they are raising their kids and I do feel that your article in the Guardian Saturday magazine did this.

ecuse Wed 13-Jun-12 21:49:42

Hi Zoe

This is the first live chat I've ever left a question for and I'm starstruck. I have absolutely adored you for years.

Whenever I read my columns I find myself thinking "yes! That's exactly what I wish I had said when I was ranting incoherently at someone the other day!". And then thinking if only there were a way to get everyone else to read your articles they would have to concede the rightness and there'd be world peace and stuff. You are genuinely my favourite political columnist ever.

My question is - is there a writer that makes you think that?

Also I had an epidural on your advice and it was awesome. Thanks for that!

ThisAintKansas Wed 13-Jun-12 22:16:17

Oh, yay! I love Zoe and I am off work tomorrow. Result <Get In!>

Zoe: You are bloody clever and thoroughly sensible and very lovely. You never fail to hit the nail on the head and give it a good battering with the hammer to boot. I love your writing. You know, we could be friends. You could talk and I could just listen and nod and smile like a goon.

(OK, I am not a creepy stalker, promise <strokes Zoe's arm soothingly> grin)

Seriously, though. My questions is: What are you reading at the moment?

For the record, I have just finished 'Half Blood Blues' by Esi Edugyan (beautiful) and am now reading Toni Morrison's 'Home' (great writing, but disappointingly slight for Morrison).

p.s. Are you on wink

maples Thu 14-Jun-12 00:22:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arana Thu 14-Jun-12 05:10:14

Can I fawn too please smile

Can't join the live chat cos I'm in Oz, and I'll be asleep, but here's my vague rambly thought...

You're a very common sense, logical, reasonable person. I absolutely love that, it's the way I think, and the way I deal with the world (I like to think anyway).
Bearing that in mind, how do you deal with overly emotive issues, both in yourself and others? How do you draw the line about head and heart decisions without overthinking the whole thing? How do you keep your cool with people who refuse to consider logic, reason and facts?

Sorry if it's an odd question!

<prostrates self>
<backs out of room while averting eyes>

Sittinginthesun Thu 14-Jun-12 08:12:25

No question, just another fan! smile

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