Yesterday Kirstie Allsopp was hit with a shitstorm. If you live under a rock (or, you know, you’re not on Twitter) and missed the showdown between everyone’s favourite property presenter and what seemed like women everywhere, Kirstie gave an interview with the Telegraph in which she suggested women should forget about working on their careers and settle down to have children much sooner in life:
“At the moment, women have 15 years to go to university, get their career on track, try and buy a home and have a baby. That is a hell of a lot to ask someone. As a passionate feminist, I feel we have not been honest enough with women about this issue.”
The world went mad and Kirstie was lambasted for being ‘the world’s worst feminist’. The reaction she received was something I always consider to be the most negative side of twitter – she was attacked with vitriol and nastiness for sharing her opinion.
And you know what? As a feminist and a staunch career gal I kind of agree with her point of view. Let me explain.
I dropped out of Uni at 19 and immediately got a job in Telesales. I worked my butt off and progressed through a career in Recruitment to get to where I wanted to be, working in Digital Marketing. But from the age of 18 I had suffered from endometriosis, and having gone through operations and hormone therapy I was told that my fertility may be compromised.
Which is why, when I got married, I was keen to test out this womb of mine as quickly as I could.
When Elfie came along I wasn’t actively trying to get pregnant; turns out I’m about as fertile as Katy Price so don’t get your sperm anywhere near me thanks. A sneeze is literally all it takes and BOOM! I’m knocked up.
I was 24 when Elfie was born and 26 when Hux arrived. Yes I had to compromise my career in the early days when I had newborns to take care of, but look at me now! I’m doing what I want to do, making it work for both me and my young family. I’d never regret having children so young and I find it exciting that I get to be a younger mother (because I am, in general, at least 10 years younger than most of Elfie’s friends mums).
I’m so much more driven in my career than I used to be and I can hand-on-heart say my life is a hundred times more fulfilling. Not that yours isn’t if you aren’t a parent, but I used to waste my days, spending my them hungover doing nothing of note. Now I squeeze the most out of each and every day and my life is genuinely full of fun. I travel, I work hard, I read, I socialise. I am a much nicer person because I know the compromise and the love it takes to nurture young people and I enjoy every single day. I don’t exist, I live, and this is something that was missing from my life before I had kids.
You could argue that if I’d waited to start a family I might have found myself in a more stable relationship and consequently would not be bringing my children up in a single parent family. But we have no guarantees in life and I wasn’t willing to risk the fact I might not be able to have children. And if I’d waited I wouldn’t have my beautiful Elfie and Huxley… and the world would be a much darker place without their respective dress and bumblebee obsessions.
What’s your take on Kirstie’s opinion? Is she bringing shame on the world of feminism or do you think she possibly – maybe – has a teeny tiny point?