Great British Bake-Off

This is only a quick opinion piece – but I’ve been biting my tongue, so I want to say it.

I love Great British Bake Off. I think it’s great. I enjoy how the show gives three brilliant women a platform, and how the one man on the panel is never put in a situation where he’s invited to comment on the ‘gender inequality’ (and a good thing too, since most gender inequality involves three men and one woman, and is never discussed).

But, even though I love Bake Off and the presenters, I had an issue with this series. I could not help feeling uncomfortable with the level of vitriol directed at three participants – Ruby, Frances and Kimberley. I should have known they were to be the finalists. In the last series, when James was tipped as a finalist, he was … well, no. Women were encouraged to swoon over his jumpers (they were very nice, James). He wasn’t perfect – but nor was he the subject of this vitriol. No-one – that I saw – spend much time explaining that all three male finalists were basically unpleasant, grasping, ignorant, smug, overly modest, machiavellian, naive, etc. etc. etc.

I’m sorry, but I find this really sad. In a moment I will go back to talking about feminism and medieval England interact, but for now, I am just so cross we’ve not moved on very far from 1468.

2 thoughts on “Great British Bake-Off

  1. Don’t you think this is the same for all such contests where women are competing? I, like everyone, had my favourite to win, but I think they all did so incredibly well and tweeted as much. I think it is a particularly nasty part of women’s conditioning that we are encouraged to be critical of other women and resentful of their success. And the level of vitriol leveled at beautiful women is just awful.

  2. Yes, I think you are spot on. It is the same for all contests where women are competing.

    I am so disturbed that I study women’s experiences 500 or 1000 years ago – yet in many ways, nothing changes.

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