Dinah Rose backtracks on advice to young women lawyers to find “someone to have dinner on the table”
A leading QC’s househusband could be freed from a decade of domestic drudgery after his wife publicly backtracked on her earlier view that having a “1950s-style wife” is the secret to a successful career.
Dinah Rose — a silk since 2006 at Blackstone Chambers in The Temple — tweeted at the BBC today to tell the world that a sharing approach to child rearing and home chores is the right route to domestic bliss and career success.
But Rose’s social media wisdom — which was read out by Radio 4’s Women’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey — stands in stark contrast to her position of some two and a half years ago.
Back in December 2012, Rose told “the big interview” slot at Chambers Student that her advice to young women barristers was:
“Marry a house-husband! A 1950s-style wife — someone to have dinner on the table!”
It’s understandable that the high-flying silk would need some support. Her Blackstone website profile lists a bulging portfolio of specialist fields: administrative and public law, employment, civil liberties, professional discipline and regulatory, competition, European Law, immigration and telecommunications.
In the Chambers interview, the silk went on to suggest that barristers marrying barristers should be treated with similar abhorrence as society reserves for siblings getting hitched.
“Marrying a male barrister is a disaster,” Rose told the publication. “They’ll always think that their cases are more important than yours and they’ll earn too much money and persuade you to give it up or go part-time.”
Her own approach was to persuade non-lawyer hubby Peter Kessler to jack in his telly producer career in favour of a life of washing up, Hoovering and nappy changing.
“He just lifted a huge burden of anxiety from me,” said Rose in 2012, “and really liberated me to focus on my career, and that’s an enormous gift to give someone.”
Indeed, a year later, Rose slipped into a silk’s robe and wig. But now she seems to be having second thoughts about having consigned Kessler to a decade in Marigold handcuffs.
Not everyone in the Twitter echo chamber immediately agreed with Rose. Indeed, one of her husband’s potentially erstwhile colleagues — fellow TV producer Gabby Koppel — suggested leading members of the bar have more domestic choices available than has the average working stiff.
— Gaby Koppel (@Gabykoppel) May 18, 2015
Dinah Rose QC: ‘Marrying a male barrister is a disaster’ [Legal Cheek]