Fay Weldon, the author and playwright, has risked the wrath of feminists by claiming the movement was bad for most women, and argued that what is now seen as sexual harrassment was once viewed as ‘welcome attention.’
Weldon, 85, said that the feminist movement shrank the male wage so that men can no longer support a family, forcing more women into the workplace to meet the shortfall.
In an interview in The Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine, she said she was still in favour of the ‘bloodless revolution’ that was feminism, but argued that it benefited only one in three women. Most women were forced to work, and leave the raising of their children to nursery teachers, she said.
Actually if men took notice of you in an office you were very pleasedFay Weldon
“By going out to work they halved the male wage, so a male wage no longer supported a family,” she said.
“So women had to go out to work to support the family. So for two in three women it really was a problem.
“The advent of the nursery has been awful. Because it’s so convenient, because you don’t have the responsibility of bringing up your own child. You put its care, its information, its understanding into the hands of someone else.”
Weldon, who releases the sequel to her seminal work, The Lives and Loves of a She Devil, next month, said that women had to stop thinking of themselves as victims.
“This was right and proper some 20 or 30 years ago when they couldn’t work, they couldn’t earn, they couldn’t join the professions. Well all that has changed. So why do they see themselves as victims? I don’t know. But they go on thinking men are their oppressors.
“Young women need classes in low self-esteem, not in high self-esteem. They’re brought up now to have an unrealistic view of themselves. It makes them live in a sort of bubble. They won’t listen to anybody else. They deny the existence of other thoughts and other people. It makes them terribly easy to offend.”
She also argued that what was once seen as ‘welcome attention’ from men was now viewed as sexual harassment, and that the women who claimed to have been ‘molested’ by Donald Trump were after cash.
“In my youth, what is now seen as sexual harassment was seen as welcome attention,” she said.
“Actually if men took notice of you in an office you were very pleased. I suspect that the kind of women who Trump molests are – though I may be completely wrong – not necessarily against the molestation but hope to make money out of it.
“Because not all women are good women. There are as many bad women as bad men.”
Death of A She Devil is published by Head of Zeus on April 6.