I’ll be completely honest here. I’d never heard of Jack Monroe until recently and I’ve still not read any of her food blogs. I have read her responses to the slanderous attacks in the Daily Mail which are sublime. All I know about her is the general information you pick up twitter: a single mother who found herself unemployed and living in poverty who created a food blog on creating incredibly cheap but nutritious meals which led to a Guardian column, a book deal and, now, a commercial for Sainsburys.
I’d have thought the response to any woman with a young child living in poverty who manages to create a career which not only supports their child but helps other women living in poverty would be ‘Go Girl’. Well, I would have gone for something less cringe-worthy like congratulations but Go Girl! has more headline potentional.
So, I was more than a little surprised but Monroe’s column in the Guardian this morning which defends her appearance in the Sainsburys ad against accusations of ‘selling out’. Because a woman making a living in a capitalist-patriarchy is ‘selling out’. A single parent trying to feed her kid is ‘selling out’.
Do people genuinely have no better target for their ire than a single mother? There isn’t anyone more deserving of personal attack for perpetuating the capitalist-patriarchy than a single parent who fought her way out of poverty?
Some people really need to get over themselves.
The following is from the Guardian article. Frankly, this is no one’s business since Monroe had no need to defend herself, after all, no one spends this much time insulting Jamie Oliver for selling out, but whatever:
As for the accusations that everybody has a price? Mine is £1,653 for six weeks’ work. My actual fee is higher, identical to what the other three bloggers in the campaign are being paid, but I am keeping £1,653 to myself – the equivalent of the living wage for the six weeks that the campaign will run for. The rest is going into the tax pot; to a food project in Africa that I am visiting with Oxfam in January; and to my local food bank and homeless shelter. My friends think I’m bonkers. They tell me I’ve earned it, to keep it, to squirrel it away – but if I was in it for the money I’d have leapt at the first advertising deal offered to me almost a year ago for an upmarket butter brand, and all the 50 or so since then. I didn’t. Am I guilty of selling out? Hardly.