Nigella Lawson speaks out in support of #MeToo

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Sonya Barber
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 Nigella Lawson thinks #MeToo is a landmark in the way women relate to men.     

Author, presenter and delicious recipe creator Nigella Lawson has added her support to the #MeToo movement, saying she, like “everyone”, sees it as an important moment.

Speaking at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 20 January, in conversation with Maeve O’Mara of SBS TV, Lawson said that #MeToo marked a departure from the bad old days of sexism.

“It’s also very good that young women are brought up perhaps to fight and to feel they must stand up for themselves,” she said. 

“I think certainly women of my generation were always encouraged to make men feel good about themselves, and I don’t mean we were taught to acquiesce, but in perhaps shunning any overture, we were always told we mustn’t make a man feel bad about anything.

“I think that it’s good that a generation of women aren’t being brought up to think the most important thing is the man feels OK about having made a pass at someone and been rejected.”

Lawson divorced Charles Saatchi, her second husband, in 2013 after he was photographed gripping her neck during a dinner in a restaurant in London. Saatchi accepted a police caution for the incident.

At the Sydney talk, the cook also spoke about bullying and sexism in the restaurant industry, highlighting the position of more junior workers.

“It’s important to remember that this affects women in every line of work, and in very unglamorous lines of work too, where they don’t have voices to complain,” she said. “I think that it’s important that those women’s lives are being paid attention to and being safeguarded.”

During the 90-minute chat, Lawson touched on many other topics including what kind of food she would be (“a very good loaf of bread”), and how cooking is always on her mind – even during the hot stone massage she had before the talk. 

“While they were putting stones on me I thought about adding porcini with salt in a Nutri-Bullet, mixing it with butter and placing it under a chicken skin,” she said. “Then I thought, that’s too fiddly, so just put it on top and put some sage inside. In an idle moment I can’t help thinking about eating.”

She said that she had recently been to a pottery class with fellow chef Yotam Ottolenghi as she wanted to make bowls for her upcoming book, but hadn’t had much success.

“The wheel defeated me,” she explained. “People said it was like cooking but when you do something wrong when cooking you can still eat it. Not so much with pottery.”

Image: Rex Features