Life

It’s not OK to confuse a woman for her husband’s assistant, say Greg James and Bella Mackie

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
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Bella Mackie

Greg James and Bella Mackie just called out some serious sexism on Twitter, which many more successful women are relating to. 

It’s 2020, and yet the achievements of women are still being overlooked for their husbands’.

Last month, Stylist reported on how men are mistaken for their wives and partners who have a PhD – just because they are male. “Just bought our first home. One of the neighbours comes over for a chat. Looks at my partner and says, ‘So are you the Dr’. He looks at me. I awkwardly waved and said ‘No that’s me. I’m the Dr,” wrote one Twitter user to perfectly illustrate the issue.

Now, radio DJ Greg James and writer Bella Mackie have shared their own infuriating sexist experience.

Greg James and Bella Mackie married last year.
Greg James and Bella Mackie married last year.

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Mackie is a successful journalist for publications including Vogue and The Guardian and is the author of Sunday Times bestseller Jog On: How Running Saved My Life (a must-read mental health memoir). She is also married to James, who presents the Radio One breakfast show and is the author of children’s book Kid Normal.

Suffice to say: both Mackie and James are pretty accomplished in their fields.

But James took to Twitter on Friday to call out a producer who seemed to think it was okay to use Mackie as her husband’s personal assistant.

“A producer just cold called Bella to get ME to do something for them,” he wrote. “She is too polite to have told them to piss off but this is absolutely not OK. She is a person in her own right with a brilliant career of her own and is my wife not my fucking PA so you can absolutely piss off.”

The huge response that the post received (over 19k likes and counting) shows just how relatable this is.

Bestselling author Jane Fallon, whose boyfriend is comedian Ricky Gervais, replied: “Story of my fucking life.”

“Me and my husband jointly own a retail business; the amount of people (sadly, mostly men) who come in our shop and ask me “is the boss in?” added another Twitter user. 

And a third hit the nail on the head, adding: “Can’t believe you even have to say this, but yet again I’m not surprised!”

With women still being judged on whether or not they decide to change their surnames after marriage and the idea of breadwinner wives still being an uncomfortable pill for some to swallow - it’s still so important to continue calling out sexism when it comes to talking about marriage.  

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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