This is our truth, tell us yours
There’s an intriguing debate around Jack Monroe and authenticity. This column by Catherine Benett probes the topic well, although the mention of Mumford and Sons, the new folk version of Led Zeppelin illustrates well how music can be a guaranteed source of dispute.
Authenticity is a bit like sexual identification. If I’m a bi man, it’s not about who I have slept with in the past, but who I would sleep with next if I had to make a choice. I’m always astonished by the way in which people make that mistake. Similarly authenticity isn’t about what you have done or where you’ve come from but whether what you’re doing and where you’re going is congruent with your version of your past.
In that regard there doesn’t seem, to me to be anything incongruent about Jack Monroe making money from her skill and being able to provide for herself and the boy. She was a working woman before she started writing, and she is again. Why should that be so unusual?
In that regard, why should the Nigella revelations shock anyone? She married a man whose career was made by his willingness to tell whichever lies were necessary to get the nasty party elected, and, surprise surprise, both she and her husband have behaved as if laws are for little people, not the likes of them.
So forgeive me if I’m a member of #TeamGirlCalledJack. It’s just what she’s doing right now, campaigning, cooking and popularizing is both authentic, to me, and congruent with many of the things I value. Somewhere in my past I can remember organizing a food co-op to visit a deprived estate, and being told that it was pointless because none of the single mums knew how to cook. Anyone who can help bridge that gap is on my side.