No, I don’t hate Liz Jones – I’m just worried about her

Dear Liz Jones

Today you wrote a column about women like me, that is, middle-class women who became mothers in our 30s. Thank you. Usually no one ever pontificates about our lives, motivations, shriveled eggs, outrageous sense of entitlement when we’re out and about pushing a buggy the size of a 4×4 etc., so it makes a pleasant change. Nevertheless, while listing all of our flaws — and heaven knows, we late breeders have got them — there’s one you missed out. Yes, we might be selfish, overly obsessed with our offspring, fussy, flabby and over-tired, but do you know what else we are? Really fucking patronising. Therefore allow me, Liz, to patronise you.

You say “maybe I’m just jealous and bitter”. Don’t be so hard on yourself, not least because everyone knows this is just a persona. At this point I probably ought to refer to your own ill-fated attempts to conceive but I’m not going to (except I already have, I suppose. Sorry). Anyhow, it doesn’t matter what you say about me or others like me. No need to apologise. It’s sort of a joke and it sort of isn’t, and it sells and I guess that’s the main thing.

This is the thing that worries me, though: the constant upping of the strangeness ante. The end of your column was especially weird today, one presumes from a lack of editing, but it sort of freaked me out. I worry about you, Liz Jones. We’re all meant to be amused and think you don’t mean half of what you write, but it all feels quite odd to me. I think it’s quite bizarre for a newspaper to be paying someone to deliberately write articles which will make lots of people hate the author, even if it’s good clickbait. Something in me says it’s not right for a person to be selling off their basic likeability, deliberately, word by word, when they could do so much better (apologies if I sound like your mum, except I’m pretty sure I don’t – there’s enough said about your mum in today’s column to assure me of that).

Since I’ve ventured this far into patronising mumsiness, I might as well go the whole hog: Liz, I hope that you are eating okay. I realise you’ve struggled with eating disorders for most of your life, as have I. I read your pieces on anorexia and they bother me. They are sad but more often than not, they don’t strike me as a useful exploration of the illness, more a very public expression of self-hatred. And yet sometimes you have written more illuminating stuff. I’ve read some of your pieces on eating disorders in the fashion industry and thought “go you!”. I’m glad you say these things. So why is it that you increasingly present anorexia not as a scandalous waste of lives and potential, but yet another crazy Liz Jones flaw? You know it’s not a joke – is it because your editors think it is?

Well, I’ve said enough already. You know what mums are like. Take care, and keep warm.

A Concerned Mum (middle class, over 30)


5 thoughts on “No, I don’t hate Liz Jones – I’m just worried about her

  1. I have come to the conclusion that Liz Jones doesn’t really exist. Like those letters in porn magazines that are really written by middle aged male journalists, I picture Paul Dacre in a padded room, with just a manual typewriter for company, not allowed out by Lord Rothermere until he’s done another 1,000 words guaranteed to generate outraged clicks in the website.

    I mean, you couldn’t possibly be like that for real, and actually survive. Could you?

  2. After reading your post, I just had to read the Liz Jones piece so I could form my own opinion. This is the line the struck me the most in her rant:

    “But you know what? Maybe I’m just jealous and bitter. I tried to adopt a baby when I was in my 40s (when you want to adopt from India, your age and that of your husband must not add up to more than 90. My husband, then aged 30, joked we’d better get a bloody move on).”

    Hmmm, that’s very telling. Your response and the one of the first commenter here though are priceless! Thanks for defending women who choose to have children later in life. Oddly enough, just last week we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, so it’s really sad that a woman no less is criticizing other women’s right to choose when to get pregnant. Please visit Venus Blogs sometimes as they also feature topics that are of high interest to women.

  3. Goodness me. Having just read the article you refer to I don’t really know where to start! I think I agree that this woman deserves pity. Imagine living a life with such vitriolic views? I hope she’s got a good therapist.

  4. I did think too, that Liz Jones’ persona couldn’t possibly be for real, but researching her a bit for my own (very new) blog I came to the conclusion that she really is as unhappy, waspish and lonely as she appears.

    I’ve just watched a video of her at the Mumsnet Blogfest where she said that if her husband was cheating on her she’d think ‘great! I can get some copy out of this!’ which makes me wonder if she approaches most people and most situations with that attitude and probably uses that as an excuse not to have to connect with or engage with others in any meaningful way.

    After meeting the other women at the Blogfest she went away and wrote that they might as well wear burkas! And lied about interviewing 2 of them when she’d only seen their name badge in the lift and not even spoken to them!

    To go away and write such vitriol and lies I think she lives in another world. One where all and every social interaction is nothing but potential column material. Even her own family. She wrote about her 71 year old sister being an alcoholic and she named her, she wrote about her cleaner crying with depression and how she snapped ‘if anyone’s got a right to cry it’s me!’ at her. These people are going to be recognised – others will know who is LJ’s cleaner or sister and they will be humiliated.

    No wonder she’s lonely. I would feel sorry for her but it’s hard to feel any sympathy for her when she seems so cold-hearted and unsympathetic to anyone but herself.

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