Why do women have such a negative view of maths?
Had lunch at the Bibendum with Baroness Margaret Jay, who was a former Minister for Women. We want to find out the origins of the bad image that maths has with women.
This was not in the 18th Century when Jane Austin’s women were all busily discussing how much a man was worth and how to get their hands on that worth. I suspect this happened in the 19th Century as a follow on from the Industrial Revolution in Britain (which started around 1820) which produced what we know as the middle class. Some of these women wanted to “better themselves” by conspicuously never having anything to do with money. Husbands handled that.
I like the Bibendum. It has tables that are far enough apart and noise levels are very low. I don’t go to the Caprice any more. After footballers’ wives discovered it, the crescendo of noise was such that you couldn’t hear what your partner was saying.
Thursday 31 July – Went over the research from the Centre for Social Justice into women’s attitudes to maths.
In the afternoon, I looked at the pile of letters for signing in my in tray. I had meant to get round to them at 9am.
At 3pm, I jumped into a taxi and booked myself in at Cannizaro House in Wimbledon for 5 days. That’s the only way I’m going to get the US version of Money Stuff finished. It needs a four-day attack, and the only way I can do that is to leave home. I’ve written instructions for the cat (not that he can read).
Cannizaro House was built in the 18th Century. My room overlooks the park. It reminds me of staying at Woburn, all it’s missing are the stags and the Duke. This is an act of desperation and one that many writers resort to to get a book finished.