Kirstie Allsopp is not telling every woman that she needs to have a baby, flat and nice boyfriend by 27. I'm sure that in the light her comments to the telegraph she will be railed against for these suggestions, made as they were to her theoretical daughter. She is however most certainly a feminist and I'd argue many of her other beliefs far more radical than the average.
If you choose to believe a the stereotype of a certain portion of the tabloid media, the image you conjure when imagining a feminist is some sort of flat chested, hairy footed hobbit creature envious of women with glossy plastic skin, hair and breasts for attracting men. To be a feminist is not, to the shock of many of the more masculine members of our society to wear Doc Martin's, hate men while preaching a communist lesbian utopia. To be a feminist is (in short) to advocate the same freedom, equality of treatment and opportunity for women as their male counterparts, as Caitlin Moran so neatly puts it, 'one of the guys'.
Kirstie has not sought a return to traditional gender roles with her comments but to address a genuine biological imbalance. Despite the best efforts of medical biology, a woman's freedom to have children is far more limited by her biological clock than it is for a man's. When she argues that 'there is a huge inequality, which is that women have this time pressure which men don't have,' her aim is not to force women into having children young but to ensure that women who do want to have children have the ability to do so safely.
If her interview with the Telegraph was asking anything, it was for a wider discussion on female fertility, not a return to some patriarchal confinement. Indeed I particularly enjoy author Bryony Gordon's comment that 'for some, the idea of a women who has made her living selling bed linen and home ware having an opinion is too much.' Let us not slate Kirstie for offering her point of view, even if once taken out of context and spun through a media wrangle she'll be demonised as a patriarchal mouthpiece, instead let's celebrate the very real feminism she dispels.
Allsopp's commentary on marriage is far more radical, calling it the world's greatest tax dodge. Her defiance as to why she and her long term partner would need to tie the knot to affirm her happiness echoes some of the comments of radical Claudia Card, who questioned whether 'we would do better not to let the state define our intimate unions.' In defending her point of view, which she stresses, is her point of view, she ensures that feminism is not about creating a certain sort of woman but allowing people to have choices. She also suggests that she wants to make sure young men are also able to have this debate, something which as a young man who believes himself feminist I'm very grateful for.
Feminism has far bigger fish to fry than a woman whose opinions might happen to encompass childrearing. Take on the men who routinely leer at women and grope them in nightclubs. Take on the men whom shout at my girlfriend if she chooses to venture outside with a knee length skirt on. Take on unequal pay, the oppression and mutilation of women around the world and the states where this repression is codified in law. There is so much injustice to be dealt with in this world. But it's probably not to be found inside Kirstie Allsopp's front door.