Tatler editor Kate Reardon has spoken out and defended the content of a speech that she made to a group of female students in which she extols the virtues of being polite and having good manners and how these are two of the most important traits for people who want to get ahead in the careers.
Speaking during an event at the Westonbirt School for Girls in Gloustershire, Kate Reardon said: “
“It doesn’t matter how many A-levels you have, what kind of a degree you have, if you have good manners people will like you.
“I’m not talking about manners about using the right spoon for soup or eating asparagus with your left hand. I’m talking about being polite and respectful and making people you interact with feel valued.”
The quotes were printed in the Gloustershire Citizen and while she has admitted that they are accurate Kate Reardon has defended the content of her speech and stated that this extract from the speech has been taken out of context.
The comments have led to other publications interpreting them as giving out an anti feminist message to young girls and it was even reported in the Huffington Post as: “”Forget working hard for your A-levels and getting further qualifications, and instead just be polite, the editor of high-end lifestyle magazine Tatler has told schoolgirls.”
A spokesperson fro Kate Reardon told The Independent: “”While Kate did indeed extol the virtue of good manners, this was set against the context of advice to work hard at whatever it is you choose to do, commenting about her early career.”
The spokesperson from Tatler added that the views that Kate Reardon made were not “gender specific” and were simply being made to girls because the speech was being given at an all girls school.
Kate Reardon famously became the youngest ever fashion editor of Tatler when she was just 21 after she left school and rejected a place at university in favour of following her journalism career dream and travelling to New York at 19 years old to work as a fashion assistant at US Vogue.
Later in the speech she reflected on this time in her youth: “So what I learned was the American work ethic – I learned how to work, and hard,” she added: “If you develop just one muscle, one skill, make it the ability to focus and just get on with it. It will not only make you desirably employable, but it will make you happy.”