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To think Deborah Meaden on Strictly is an insult to women in business

(68 Posts)
JessM Sun 08-Sep-13 09:13:40

I can only think of 4 women on TV who are presented as businesswomen.
The two on The Apprentice (we love Margaret don't we because she is real) , Mary Portas (got to admire her) and Deborah Meaden of Dragons Den, and now, of Strictly Come Dancing.
She is presented as a successful business woman - bit of a guru. She is obviously keen to turn herself into a kind of stereotype (I boss the dragons around etc). She presumably is pretty wealthy. But if she is so successful and is committed to mentoring all those little den survivors how on earth has she got time to be on Strictly? (they must sign up to make themselves available for the duration)
And is she really a wannabe TV presenter and not, actually a businesswoman at all?
Am I being unreasonable to think she is letting down the millions of women who work in the business world in this country, and doing so in spectacular fashion?

Lona Sun 08-Sep-13 09:23:40

Maybe she is just showing her multitasking skills.

Lots of 'famous' people hanker after being on these reality shows, and if she wants to learn another skill (?) and can fit it into her life, well, I don't see why she shouldn't.

I don't think she is letting anyone down in the business world.

henetha Sun 08-Sep-13 09:49:33

Live and let live, I think. I can't see any harm in her indulging in a bit of dancing on tele.

sunseeker Sun 08-Sep-13 10:05:15

I have no idea who this woman is!

henetha Sun 08-Sep-13 10:14:18

She's a regular on Dragon's Den.

thatbags Sun 08-Sep-13 10:20:38

I have no idea who this woman is nor what Dragon's Den is. Whatsmore, I don't think I'm missing anything important.

henetha Sun 08-Sep-13 10:25:54

Fair enough. Each to his own.

JessM Sun 08-Sep-13 10:54:52

Dragons Den is a business programme in which budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of rich business people. The aim is to get one of the panel to invest in your business and act as a mentor. DM is the only female on the panel. She has started up several companies e.g. Red Letter Day.
It is presented as a fairly serious business programme with Evan Davies as lineman. Several of the "contestants" are usually awful with one or two having a viable proposition. It is a very successful TV programme and has been running for years. DM presents herself on that as a hard headed MD.

thatbags Sun 08-Sep-13 11:19:02

Thanks for the info, jess. Still not sure it matters that I'm 'missing' it. As henetha says, each to their own.

henetha Sun 08-Sep-13 11:37:48

It's on at 8pm this evening, BBC2.... just in case anyone is interested.

JessM Sun 08-Sep-13 11:42:12

You don't think it important bags that a high profile woman who could be a role model for women wanting to start their own business is one minute presenting herself as an intimidating hard headed 'dragon' and the next minute potentially making a fool of herself in sequins and false eyelashes?
I don't think either stereotype is remotely helpful.
Don't suppose you watch Strictly either but they always seem to recruit 2 or 3 middle aged women (and some men as well) who seem willing to make fools of themselves.
If retired sportswomen, out of work TV presenters or slightly forgotten singers want to take part then that's fine by me.

Charleygirl Sun 08-Sep-13 11:50:59

JessM Kelly Hoppen has now joined DM on Dragons Den.

Lona Sun 08-Sep-13 12:49:45

They don't always make fools of themselves Jess (ok, Edwina Currie and Anne Widdecombe did), but some of the middle aged women turned into pretty good dancers.

appygran Sun 08-Sep-13 13:02:25

Perhaps she is a role model for not taking yourself too seriously. Lighten up its just a lighthearted tv programme.

j08 Sun 08-Sep-13 13:30:52

It must be a fantastic way to get fit and lose a bit of weight!

j08 Sun 08-Sep-13 13:31:43

Anne Widdecombe did NOT make a fool of herself!!! How can you say that? She was great!

sunseeker Sun 08-Sep-13 13:37:58

I don't watch Dragons Den but I have heard that if they do invest in your company they want a really large share - some people turn them down because they are not willing to part with a large chunk of their company.

They also get it wrong as the dragons did turn down the man who produces the Trunki. I only know this because I read about it in the local newspaper!

janeainsworth Sun 08-Sep-13 14:07:50

I don't watch Dragons Den and have only occasionally watched Strictly, but I think you are being slightly dismissive of the skills required to dance well, Jess. While the false glamour and superficiality of Strictly are not things I admire, the ability to dance well, and the determination to learn, is different.
As one who loves dancing but struggles to do it properly, I think any amateur who sets herself the challenge of going in for Strictly is being brave, and I agree with Jo8 that Ann Widdecombe didn't make a fool of herself.

thatbags Sun 08-Sep-13 14:11:33

jess, in answer to your last question, I'm not stereotyping anyone. As I've said, I know nothing about the programme and nothing about the people on it. How could I stereotype from that? I don't have to want to watch TV, do I?

I honestly don't give a damn about whoever it is people are talking about, or their careers on and off TV.

So I'll say it again: I don't thinking I'm missing out.

Jeez! Anyone'd think my life was boring and needed filling up they way some people go on! wink

thatbags Sun 08-Sep-13 14:13:36

If I wanted to start a business, I'd read stuff first, not watch a TV programme.

HildaW Sun 08-Sep-13 15:02:11 really scratching my head here as to why anyone should find Miss Meadon's adventure on Strictly as being a problem. Why on earth should a business women not also be up for a bit of fun and adventure AND be given the chance to learn to dance by one of the best teachers around? What is so special about being a successful person who runs her own business?
Running one's own successful business does not make you any less likely to want to have fun.
My impression of Deborah Meadon is that she is both a decent human being who has many interests and who just happens to be successful in the businesses she chooses to run. Surely pigeon holing women into simplistic clearly defined roles does more damage to women's rights? Is it not more about having choices. Thus if one wants to be a professional woman with a rich social life then one can. If we still had to choose between one or the other surely that is putting women's rights back several decades.
P.S. sorry if this sounds a bit ranting but I've had my sunday glass of wine and am now just a tad cross by this!

petra Sun 08-Sep-13 15:10:46

So you can't be a successful business woman and have fun.

Greatnan Sun 08-Sep-13 15:12:52

I built up a very successful conveyancing business without help from anyone - in fact, I had to fight the entire legal profession in my area. I did a lot of research, but I could certainly have used the business expertise of somebody like Deborah Meaden. I had to sell the business to a licensed conveyancer when the law was changed.
During the three years of my business, I was having a very active social life, going into central London several nights a week for Single's Dinners. I didn't find any conflict between being a very dedicated business woman and a lively divorcee!
I am astounded by the progress made by most of the competitors on Strictly - there are one or two (Widdecombe, Sargent) who are obviously never going to be more than the light relief. I find the programme hugely entertaining. Nobody has to watch it, but I don't see the point of somebody who never watches TV commenting on a programme they have never seen!
Let's not be po-faced about a programme enjoyed by millions! grin

Greatnan Sun 08-Sep-13 15:28:04

Bags, the huge majority of the contestants on Dragon's Den have already done a great deal of research and got their businesses off the ground. They just need capital and expertise to expand. How on earth could they learn how to run a business just from watching the programme?

merlotgran Sun 08-Sep-13 15:28:54

I am full of admiration for the older women who appear on Strictly and put their hearts and souls into it. They have reached the age when some body parts start to hurt like hell and yet they achieve amazing progress with fixed grins smiles on their faces. Remember Felicity Kendall's splits?

Alex Jones said that sometimes the only thing you can hear is your thumping heart and she's a spritely young gel!

Go for it, Deborah. smile