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Labour peer Joan Bakewell: “Women should not complain about sexism but quietly change things”

Posted by
Harriet Hall
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Cast your mind back to September last year when barrister, Charlotte Proudman, 27, was at the centre of a media storm, after she publically exposed solicitor, Alexander Carter-Silk, 57, who described her as ‘stunning’ over Linkedin.

Proudman called Carter-Silk a ‘misogynist’ and posted his message on the internet for all to see. Soon enough, Carter-Silk apologised for causing any offence.

The nation stood divided as to whether Proudman was a heroic feminist whistle-blower, or a feminist crying wolf.

Now, TV journalist and Labour peer, Joan Bakewell, has said that women like Proudman complain too much.

In an interview with The Times, Bakewell says that women should get on and quietly change things, instead of complaining.

“Take that girl who put a photo of herself on the LinkedIn website,” she says.

“A male member said it was very nice and she complained publicly. The dilemma is that women still look and dress as attractively as possible but the male sex now is required never to notice or comment.”

Charlotte Proudman

Charlotte Proudman

The broadcaster says that being offended by comments such as Carter-Silks, only created bitterness, saying:

“You can’t be angry and insulted the whole time. It makes you sour. You just quietly change things.”

Bakewell says that when she was a young presenter at the BBC, she often had to keep quiet about sexist comments, saying:

“I have always taken the world as it is.”

“It’s very hard to explain to the younger generation. Everyone says how shameful the groping in the 1960s was, but at the time it was a given that men would make passes.

“You had to learn the social means to negotiate without being compromised. It didn’t mean all men were gropers and all women were prepositioned the whole time but at some point men made grabs. It was unavoidable.”

When asked about if such things happened in the House of Lords, Bakewell replied saying:

“The House of Lords is very friendly and amiable but not flirty. There's not a lot of sex, though sometimes I might wish there were.”