Why the female journalist who slammed it to the sisterhood has left me IN A TOTAL RAGE

Whatever happened to social responsibility???
Publish date:
July 20, 2012
women in politics, david cameron, glamour magazine, rosa prince, the telegraph

Now that I've got my lipstick on, I'm incapable of reading this seminal feminist tract without thinking about kittens and glitter...

Last week Glamour’s editor, Jo Elvin and online editor, Natasha McNamara, joined 30 of their readers at 10 Downing Street to question David Cameron on the issues that matter to young women.

The event drew some attention from the rest of the media, and it wasn’t necessarily positive. You would think giving young women the opportunity to question their prime minister and actively engage in politics would be applauded.

Erm, it would appear not.

Members of the media and, in particular, certain political journalists found this one-hour question and answer session just hilarious. Women who read Glamour questioning the PM on political issues such as childcare, paternity rights and education? What a hoot!

I fail to see what’s so funny. I also fail to find the increasingly bitchy coverage by female members of the press funny either. Rosa Prince from the Telegraph online, I’m talking to you.

Next time, don’t bother with the derogatory tweets and hugely anti-feminist article. Just chuck a pinny at us and order us back into the kitchen. Congratulations on doing womankind a massive disservice.

Prince’s scathing article on the Q&A session doesn’t just call into question the Glamour reader’s intelligence and political savvy, but that of all women. She tarnished us all with this sloppy anti-feminist coverage that skated over the important questions the readers asked and instead highlighted certain posts on Twitter to suit her own agenda.

Prince kicked off with this little gem: 'The magazine's editor, Jo Elvin, who was hosting the event, set the tone for the morning by Tweeting what she was wearing to meet the Prime Minister.'

And with that catty observation Ms Prince set her own tone; one in which women are once again forced to defend their right to wear lipstick and be smart. Could someone please relieve Ms Prince of her Mad Men box set before she deals feminism another low blow?

Prince is obviously intelligent and in a position with a certain amount of influence, it’s just a shame she has chosen to use it for evil instead of good. No, not all of Glamour’s readers are going to be political dynamite but the same could be said of many Members of Parliament judging by the state of the economy.

Surely supporting and encouraging these women’s first foray into the male-centric world of politics is the way to breed more interest and intellectual debate from women in the future?

Instead she has chosen derision as her weapon of choice in keeping women where many still think they belong.

You would think, given Ms Prince’s coverage that the Glamour readers had about as much intellectual chutzpah as a basket of kittens: 'The fluffy approach to political interviewing continued as the next Tweet put out by the magazine read: "PM tells us this is the room that Hugh Grant danced across the floor in Love Actually."'

Ha ha yes, Ms Prince, that’s all really funny. It’s a shame none of the Glamour readers took the opportunity to ask our Prime Minister about childcare, education or the economy. Oh wait – the panel asked him intelligent, interesting questions on all these subjects, not that her coverage reflects this.

And finally she reminds us that unless you’re giving DC a Jeremy Paxman-style grilling a la Mumsnet, : “entering into a question and answer sessions with the formidable members of Mumsnet is now treated with trepidation by the party leaders”, then you’re reduced to being a fluffy (there’s that word again) dumb blonde cliché.

Why do we have to be either a dumb blonde or a nagging housewife? Why are these the only social parameters women are allowed to fall into? Why can’t we just be women with an opinion and dangerously high heels and a MAC Russian Red lipstick and a brain? Why is this so hard to accept?

I managed to speak to Jo Elvin about The Telegraph piece and this is what she had to say, (she was pretty hacked off):

‘It’s a shame that any time a women’s magazine engages in political conversation, it brings out the broadsheets’ eye-rolling, name-calling instincts. It’s blatant sexism – not to mention lazy journalism - to assume that if a women’s magazine gathers together people to discuss politics that it is without question going to be a lightweight, inane affair.

'The group comprised a real cross section of ages and professions, from politics students to healthcare and teaching professionals, small business owners and people who work in the arts to name a few. All women of voting age who governments should absolutely engage with.

‘I find it laughable that when you search through David Cameron articles on the Telegraph website, you can find this bitchy piece about Glamour’s morning, next to their own headlines such as ‘Athena girl and Cheryl Tiegs were on my wall’, or the Allison Pearson profile where, after spending an entire weekend with him, we have the revelation that he sometimes watches The Killing. Maybe I could get some lessons from them in ‘proper’ political stories?'


And to my final point - whatever happened to social responsibility? If the women with power – political, social, financial - don’t extend their hand to those below them on the way up, and don’t find ways for women to be on an equal footing with men at work in terms of child care, sexual discrimination and respect, we will never experience true equality.

Check out the full video here, and let us know what you think? Should Glamour's readers have given David Cameron more of a grilling, or should they be applauded for engaging in the political debate? Did Rosa Prince have a fair point, or should she be doing more to support other women?