Kirstie Allsopp, the female face of property TV, has garnered a reputation for her traditionalist and somewhat old-fashioned views. Allsopp has propelled herself into the path of derision by shunning the feminist agenda by suggesting that young women should forego a university education to instead marry and raise a family by the age of 27.
I applaud Allsopp’s courage in advocating such a controversial move, but what she fails to realise is she supports an antiquated model.
More women than ever are attending universities, pushing the limits of female education further than feminists of the nineteenth century would believe. In fact the Office of National Statistics has said that as of 2008-9 six in every ten UK higher education students were women. Statistics such as this are indicative of the development of female freedoms in the past centuries.
The society we live in places a high value on education for all, so why should young women turn their backs on something that brings them so many benefits and is easily accessible?
It is undeniable that a university education is foundational of many career paths. Gaining qualifications in your younger years can make all the difference to the heights one reaches in a chosen path. Leave this too late and you limit how aspirational you can be.
Progression from compulsory education to further education is not just about gaining an important qualification. For many young people it represents a transition process from youth to adulthood. University is so significant because it provides an environment in which this transition can occur.
The hope is that students graduate with not only a degree certificate but a handful of life experiences and even a sense of who the are. Making the leap into motherhood without this liminal experience could be detramental- how many of you feel ready to bring another human into the world?
Women are no longer restricted to childbearing, they have a wealth of choices to make about their path in life. Allsopp has reverted to an archaic image of women in which they are no more than mothers.
This view is simply not concurrent with the modern woman. Today’s society has provided women with an array of opportunities beyond that of the maternal. It defies an age of forward thinking and increasing tolerance to assert, as Allsopp has done, that fertility is the driving force of femininity.
It is antiquated to suggest that women shouldn’t take the opportunities afforded by education. Even today we should not take these things for granted.