Broadcaster Monty Don has found himself at the centre of a sexism storm after asking a mother how she juggled working and caring for children.
The gardening expert was interviewing Sarah Price about her display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show when he said: ‘It’s extraordinary that you’re doing this on such a big stage while looking after young children, in the evenings.’
However he faced the fury of social media users who accused him of ‘everyday sexism’, pointing out he did not ask male designers the same question.
Monty said: ‘It’s extraordinary that you’re doing this on such a big stage while looking after young children, in the evenings’
Sarah Price, 37, is tipped to be the first woman to win the Best in Show award since Sarah Eberle in 2007.
Price is back at Chelsea after five years away, in which she had a son, who turns five in Chelsea week, and a daughter, two.
During a discussion about her work, the Gardeners’ World star said: ‘We were chatting just now, you were saying you do most of your work in the evenings, you have two young children.
‘It’s extraordinary that you’re doing this on such a big stage while looking after young children, in the evenings.
‘Do you feel that you’re constantly running on just a very fine margin?’
But he soon faced the fury of social media users.
Alison Rogers tweeted: ‘Monty Don saying to gold medalist – “you’ve done this whilst having small children! EverydaySexism @BBC how patronising! Woman works whilst be a mother.’
Twitter user Carina added: ‘Catching up on Chelsea Flower show on the BBC and I was struck by Monty Don asking Sarah Price how she manages to design a show garden AND look after her children. He never asks the male designers that!’
The gardening expert was interviewing Sarah Price about her display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The presenter faced the fury of social media users who accused him of ‘everyday sexism’, pointing out he did not ask male designers the same question
Speaking to the Daily Mail earlier this month, Mrs Price spoke about her work/life balance.
She said: ‘There’s a general trend toward men sharing childcare, and if it wasn’t for my husband, who is a writer, agreeing to look after my children for most of May, I wouldn’t be able to do Chelsea.
‘I also think there are more opportunities, such as the RHS competitions, which mean you can get a foothold at a younger age, which is fantastic.’
She thinks these can help women become established. ‘Starting out, I wouldn’t have gone to a corporate company and said: “Please can you sponsor me.” But having these competitions, you don’t have to ask — you just have to put yourself forward in a competition format, so it’s more accessible.’
She’s keen not to stereotype women as unwilling to ask for corporate funding, but adds: ‘I think it all ties into the female-male gender gap.’
Her 2012 offering, a ravishingly romantic meadow that drew on her fine art background, won a gold medal.
This year, her garden for M&G Investments will ‘celebrate light and colour’, featuring plants from Mediterranean regions, earth walls and reclaimed tiles.