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Claudia Winkleman’s lesson on failure is something we should all take note of

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Hollie Richardson
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Claudia Winkleman

Claudia Winkleman joined Scarlett Curtis for her Feminists Don’t Wear Pink tour in East London on Monday (20 May). Stylist went along to take note of Winkleman’s hilarious but totally on-point feminist thoughts.  

Continuing the success of Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies), campaigner and writer Scarlett Curtis has been taking the collection of feminist essays around the UK on a tour. 

For the last leg in London, she was joined by Claudia Winkleman - who is, arguably, one of the funniest personalities on TV. 

Winkleman is a staunch feminist, after being raised by her journalist mother Eve Pollard. She has no time for ageism, refuses to have mirrors in her house and is always honest about the reality of being a woman in the entertainment industry

Here are five funny and frank feminist thoughts that Winkleman shared on the night: 

Claudia on childcare

“We need to sort out childcare, it’s very difficult for women and we need to help them with that. I know all I do is bang on, look orange and read out loud on the telly – I’m incredibly lucky that I’m at work very little. And when I am there, I make myself look busy, saying, “Hi I’m an idiot,” with my black eyeliner on.

“So I know how lucky I am, but then I look at my friends who have all got much better and more important jobs. It’s hard for them because they want to be at home, but then of course when the kids go to school, they want to get back – some of them take three years off, then going back becomes incredibly difficult. So we absolutely have to sort it out.”

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Claudia on teaching her daughter about failure

“The main thing I’ve talked about with my daughter is that failing is awesome. You don’t always have to come top or do brilliantly. She’s hilarious, you’d love her – she’s very good at cards (I think she went to Vegas while we were sleeping). I don’t want her to feel insecure, but – and this might sound terrible – I don’t want her to be cocksure either.”

Claudia on being a female presenter

“I think the industry has got much better. Lots of women before me proved that you can be odd, kooky, funny, not perfect. And, I’m grateful to them. But there was a huge fuss when Tess and I took over Strictly, because we were two women – so that was weird.

“I remember I went to an audition a hundred years ago for a radio station as a co-host. So I went in asking, ‘Oh who speaks first then? I don’t mind.’ And the producer and presenter said to me “No love, you’re not introducing the songs, you’re doing the travel and weather’. And I’m happy to do travel and weather – I like rain, I dress like November. But it made it clear there was a certain place for women. I do think things have changed though.

“Also, the female presenters today (Davina McCall, Emma Wilson, Holly Willoughby) all look after each other and we are deeply non-competitive. Women support each other.”

Claudia Winkleman on stage
Claudia Winkleman’s feminist quotes are spot-on

Claudia on raising feminist sons

“I asked my son before I left tonight, ‘Would you describe yourself as a feminist?” and he said, “Hell yes!”. I think you learn by example, so they have the Dane (their dad), I’ve told him [my son] to be lovely and respectable and I had quite an interesting conversation with him about porn when he was young – probably too young, it was weird. And, with a grandma like theirs, there’s not a chance that they won’t be staunch feminists.”

“And I just don’t think it [gender] occurs to them. At school they see that the fastest in the class is Grace and the best at maths is Libby. I’m just making up names, but I’m sure Libby really is excellent at maths. I think for them it’s just equal.”

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Claudia on not marrying a tool

“I married a Dane – not a Great Dane, he’s a human, I should point out. We’ve been together 21 years and I don’t think he’s ever assumed that we’re not equal, or that the school run is my job and the football games were his job. It was never my gig to put a wash on or whatever, because that’s not how he was brought up. We’re absolutely equal.

“Don’t marry a tool, I think that’s absolutely key. Marry someone who doesn’t think it’s just your job [to look after the kids] and knows that you’re doing this together.”

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Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies) is published by Penguin.

Images: Getty and Instagram 

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