We’ve Started a National Debate – First Stop GB News!

We had an interesting interview on GB News with Andrew Doyle who is really intelligent and has great expertise and interviewing skills. What we didn’t know at the time though is that after his interview with us, the topic is put to a panel to discuss. Well, that’s great but we were unable to respond, only watch, which was a bit frustrating as we like a good debating conversation, so in true Livvy and Chrissie style, we are responding now. We have transcribed the conversation and now we have the freedom to answer. Shame we couldn’t all be in the studio together; we would have a lively conversation but hey…

We were invited to have an interview with Andrew via Zoom on Saturday evening about our book. The interview lasted nearly eight minutes and then Andrew passed it to the panel to discuss.

First up was Rebecca Jane, author, lawyer, and broadcaster said, “I’m struggling… this isn’t an issue I see or identify with… I do feel like there is quite a bit of representation in media for women of a certain age… do I think it’s as big as what they are saying… honestly, no.”

Andrew had asked for stats in the interview to better illustrate the point, and we said there are lots of stats in the book, which there are.

We never claimed to be statisticians and we do have stats in the book but to have a woman say it is not an issue was slightly incredulous making! Even in the law world, this issue exists. Livvy’s sister was a barrister at the same time as Cherie Blair and boy, did they have to fight and hold their position as women. There are a lot of women barristers and lawyers now and it’s the women before Rebecca that have paved the way for today’s younger women to be in law, but there is still a glass ceiling as it’s still an Old Boys Club, but maybe Rebecca hasn’t come across that – yet!!!

Our point is that younger women need to know that there is no glass ceiling in any career because of age, and we are in our small way trying to make this equality happen.

Lisa Mason, GB Olympic medallist was next. She did feel that there was an issue – although she wasn’t personally experiencing it yet – but she felt that it had “always been the mindset of society that a woman gets to a certain age, and she is deemed as disposable… and then the young one comes along…”

She mentioned how “George Clooney types are deemed more attractive as they get older… I think that’s just the way society has made things” Liz said

Andrew commented “I’m more interested in hearing from older people… I just think they know more”

Lisa replied, “I feel like there are people…we were just saying… I watch shows like Loose Women and there are older ladies on there and I thoroughly enjoy watching them…” At this point, in agreement with Rebecca, she now thought there was a lot of representation of women of a certain age.

A lot of representation we think not… Loose Women is great, but it is one show; they were struggling to find other names which we have struggled with as well. The truth is we are shining this light in a very – hopefully – ordinary way saying, “Hello… there is an issue… it’s a fact… we are not making it or up dramatizing it. It’s just the way it is.”

Benedict Spence, Political Commentator, and Journalist, completely saw our point of view, although he started off by saying, “That’s not society, that’s biology”. He went on to say that “Media is about selling something… a lot of women when they are younger sell their youth… and a lot of men when they are older, they sell the illusion of wisdom and maturity….” He went on to say that, “as women of a certain age represent a really large portion of the population of the United Kingdom, they are healthier and live longer than their male counterparts, and they represent a really large market…”

Exactly what we are saying… a market that is being ignored and patronised!

He goes on to point out that, “there used to be this thing about the wisdom of older people, especially actually older women, but that has slightly evaporated from society… you do see a number of older women on TV… but not quite as many as their equivalent men, and they are dwarfed but younger women, and that is the key… there needs to be a way of re-packaging and selling the older woman.” Said Benedict

Andrew then asked Rebecca and Lisa if it was actually sexism – or was that younger women were not supporting older women!

Rebecca replied that it was because “all women suffer Imposter Syndrome and I kind of feel like this is where this is going… they don’t feel good enough in themselves, and it’s a confidence issue in general rather than it being a major societal issue.”

As we said in our interview, the book is full of stories and exercises, so women do not have to play what she calls ‘Imposter Syndrome’, there are exercises to build confidence which, as she says women are lacking. This is true if you are continuously put down or knocked for being a certain age, but as a gang, as a group, together we can get stronger

Please, Rebecca, don’t blame women for these feelings but in truth what we women are responsible for is empowering ourselves, getting stronger, braver sassier, fun, and fabulous, and together we can do this.

It is great to start this conversation and really begin to hash it out; the more we talk about it, the more it comes into our awareness.

Back to the campaign – we guess we are on a mission; we don’t want to offend the panel on GB News or anywhere else, but we do want to keep talking and we hope the book is the larger version of this conversation.

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