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Thread: Hilary Mantel under attack for calling Kate Middleton a “shop-window mannequin”

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Hilary Mantel under attack for calling Kate Middleton a “shop-window mannequin”








    Hilary Mantel under attack for calling Kate Middleton a “shop-window mannequin”


    Comments from the two-time Man Booker Prize-winner's speech have prompted a response from UK's prime minister


    Hilary Mantel, who has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize twice for her fictionalized retellings of life in the court of Henry VII, is this week attracting attention for a different royal scandal: her scathing critique of the English media darling, Kate Middleton.

    Mantel, who last year was asked to “name a famous person and choose a book to give them,” expounded on the question in a speech republished in The London Review of Books, pairing the Duchess of Cambridge with “Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.” This, the reader quickly realizes, is not meant to be a compliment:

    “It’s not that I think we’re heading for a revolution. It’s rather that I saw Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung. In those days she was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore. These days she is a mother-to-be, and draped in another set of threadbare attributions. Once she gets over being sick, the press will find that she is radiant. They will find that this young woman’s life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth.”

    And the parallels she draws between Middleton and Antoinette make that abundantly clear:

    “She was a woman who couldn’t win. If she wore fine fabrics she was said to be extravagant. If she wore simple fabrics, she was accused of plotting to ruin the Lyon silk trade. But in truth she was all body and no soul: no soul, no sense, no sensitivity. She was so wedded to her appearance that when the royal family, in disguise, made its desperate escape from Paris, dashing for the border, she not only had several trunk loads of new clothes sent on in advance, but took her hairdresser along on the trip.”


    But Mantel uses Middleton as an entry point to delve into a larger critique that says the media has created a cage for the royals; that Middleton and Antoinette’s personas have been constructed for entertainment:


    “Is monarchy a suitable institution for a grown-up nation? I don’t know. I have described how my own sympathies were activated and my simple ideas altered. The debate is not high on our agenda. We are happy to allow monarchy to be an entertainment, in the same way that we license strip joints and lap-dancing clubs…cheerful curiosity can easily become cruelty. It can easily become fatal. We don’t cut off the heads of royal ladies these days, but we do sacrifice them, and we did memorably drive one to destruction a scant generation ago. History makes fools of us, makes puppets of us, often enough.”

    Though her message is meant to inspire the media to stop behaving “like spectators at Bedlam” when it comes to affairs of the royal family, Mantel makes her point at the risk of sounding like one of the brutes she condemns. Mantel’s snark (“What does Kate read? It’s a question”) has caught the attention of the British media, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the remarks ”completely misguided.” Said Cameron, “What I’ve seen of Princess Kate at public events, at the Olympics and elsewhere is this is someone who’s bright, who’s engaging, who’s a fantastic ambassador for Britain.” Even British tabloid The Daily Mail called Mantel’s speech “an astonishing and venomous attack on the Duchess of Cambridge.”


    The royal family has not yet commented.



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    Gold Member lucianodel's Avatar
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    But she looks like a 'shop window mannequin" with bad eyeliner.
    BITTER, Callalily and Snarker like this.

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    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    I think England really has more pressing matters to attend to at the moment other than Layabout Kate and her wardrobe.
    Kittylady and Snarker like this.

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I did not take it as an attack on Kate but as an attack on the way the press and public treat the royals and force them (women) into lesser roles.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I think she has damn well earned her keep. Quite a stretch to compare her to Marie Antoinette!
    But it did get ever so much attention didn't it Hilary?
    greysfang and Kathie_Moffett like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    I did not take it as an attack on Kate but as an attack on the way the press and public treat the royals and force them (women) into lesser roles.
    I took that way too.
    twitchy2.0 likes this.

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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    No way has she earned her keep, she's a lazy betch! It's lucky for her that she married well or she'd have been freaking destitute since she seems so work-shy.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Hilary didn't do it to garner attention. She gets plenty of attention, for actual accomplishments. Like having won two Man Booker prizes, the first woman to ever do so.

    I mean I know Kate has accomplished so much, like, um, like......well, she has nice hair.

    The reaction from Cameron is silly.
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    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karistiona View Post
    No way has she earned her keep, she's a lazy betch! It's lucky for her that she married well or she'd have been freaking destitute since she seems so work-shy.
    I doubt she would be so work shy if she had not met Wills early on and knew where they were headed. You may not like her parents but they have built a successful business.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Hilary didn't do it to garner attention. She gets plenty of attention, for actual accomplishments. Like having won two Man Booker prizes, the first woman to ever do so.

    I mean I know Kate has accomplished so much, like, um, like......well, she has nice hair.

    The reaction from Cameron is silly.
    this.
    i don't see anything wrong with mantel's comments and david cameron is an idiot.
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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    I doubt she would be so work shy if she had not met Wills early on and knew where they were headed. You may not like her parents but they have built a successful business.
    Yeah but didn't they break up for a while and she basically did nothing? And they dated for ages, surely in that time she could've done more than work now and again for her parents. Perhaps I'm trying to apply my own values to other people, but I think she should have gotten a proper job at some point in her life.

    And yes, David Cameron is a twat. God help us if he's reelected.
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    Elite Member Fly_On_TheWall's Avatar
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    Why isn't there a Woman Book Prize?

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    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karistiona View Post
    Yeah but didn't they break up for a while and she basically did nothing? And they dated for ages, surely in that time she could've done more than work now and again for her parents. Perhaps I'm trying to apply my own values to other people, but I think she should have gotten a proper job at some point in her life.
    But she couldn't work! She had to be free to go on vacation with Wills at the drop of a hat! We have to be fair now.
    Karistiona likes this.

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I like Kate, but I like Kate for all the silly and inconsequential reasons listed here. I don't have any hopes she's going to save the world, or at this point, even visit lepers or attempt to rid the world of landmines.

    You can be a princess and work. Princess Maxima of the Netherlands met her husband in college while getting a degree in Economics. These are her royal duties per wiki, because I can't say it any better.

    Royal duties

    Princess Máxima focuses on the issue of integration of immigrants into Dutch culture. She was a member of a special parliamentary commission which sought to recommend ways to increase the participation of female immigrants in the workforce. Princess Máxima stresses the importance for immigrants of learning the Dutch language (as she did) in order to fully participate in Dutch society. Dutch is actually the Princess' third language; she also speaks Spanish (her native language) and English.

    Princess Máxima was a member of the Advisors Group for the United Nations' International Year of Microcredit 2005.[11] She travelled to many countries in Africa and South America to promote Microcredit, and attended many UN functions related to the International Year of Microcredit. In 2009, she was appointed a U.N. special advocate for inclusive finance.[12]

    She participates in conferences around the world representing the Netherlands. The Princess was granted a seat in the Dutch Council of State on 20 October 2004,[13] the highest advisory body and court of administration. She became a member of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Women’s Participation,[when?] has a seat on the board of governors of the Chair on the Management of Diversity and Integration at the Free University of Amsterdam, she (along with her husband) is a patron of the Orange Fund (established to promote social welfare and cohesion in the Netherlands), and she also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Prince Claus Chair of the University of Utrecht.[citation needed] The Princess was appointed in September 2009 by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development because of her "extensive knowledge and expertise" on financial matters in developing countries.[citation needed] Similarly, in June 2011, Maxima became Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion to "strengthen the synergy between the UN and the G20 nations on promoting universal access to financial services".

    She is one of the few royals in the world to be an open supporter of gay rights, and was the first royal to attend an LGBT rights conference on 5 March 2008.[14][15]
    She does all the things Kate does - showing up here and there to visit school kids and soldiers, attending openings and charity events, but then she uses her university degree to attempt to do something good for The Netherlands and the world and I admire that. I don't live in Holland, so maybe people don't like her there, but from what I've read about her, she really does at least try to do helpful things with her chosen area of expertise. And can anyone imagine Kate doing any of that?

    Cameron's comments really are silly. Anyone can go to the Olympics and be "engaging". Kate is not a horrible example of an ambassador for Britain, but she's also not a very inspiring and "fantastic" one either.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fly_On_TheWall View Post
    Why isn't there a Woman Book Prize?
    Don't you mean Womyn?
    Waterslide and BITTER like this.



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