Kirstie Allsopp: uproar as TV star says women 'love' chores
Women appreciate 'repetitive' tasks like ironing because it keeps them 'sane', says gaffe-prone presenter
KIRSTIE ALLSOPP has done it again. Just days after infuriating Christmas flood victims by admonishing their lack of "Blitz spirit", the TV presenter has suggested that many women secretly love doing domestic chores.
In an interview with the Western Daily Press, Allsopp says she finds mundane tasks such as ironing "therapeutic". If the property expert had limited her comments to her own household peccadilloes, that might have been the end of the story.
But the co-presenter of Location, Location, Location warmed to her topic, observing that working mothers find everyday tasks such as washing their children's clothes and cleaning the house, a way of staying "sane".
"I'm absolutely convinced that those repetitive tasks that one does everyday, organising and regularising one's home, and keeping it tidy, is enormously therapeutic," Allsopp said. "I know it is for me, and I have many, many working mum friends who feel the same."
Allsopp has become British television's "queen of domesticity" in recent years thanks to programmes such as Kirstie's Homemade Home, Kirstie's Handmade Britain, and Kirstie's Crafty Christmas. She has "repeatedly criticised" those who admonish women for preferring to look after a home than going out to work.
Her latest comments about domestic chores triggered an immediate backlash.
The Daily Telegraph's Cristina Odone writes that ironing "fills me with self-loathing". Why? Because a "woman who finds herself ironing knows that she has not attained the high-powered job that excuses her from doing anything domestic", says Odone.
Emma Barnett, also writing in the Daily Telegraph, says women don't like people talking on their behalf as if they're "one homogenous herd". She points out that Allsopp admitted in her interview with the Western Daily Press that she doesn't have to do the ironing, but dabbles because she finds it therapeutic.
"Do I really need to state the obvious at this point?" asks Barnett. "Kirstie – millions of women and men don't have a choice about the ironing, tidying or cleaning. It's not an opt-in situation."
— Clare Mackintosh (@claremackint0sh) January 6, 2014
'Kirstie Allsopp: women secretly enjoy doing mundane household chores'
I think I hear Hell being unleashed...
— Spencer (@ADadCalledSpen) January 6, 2014
Allsopp's comments received little support on social media. "Ms Allsopp should really speak for herself," tweeted the Lib Dem peer Baroness Hussein-Ece.