Opinions: Is it natural for women to nag?

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JEFFREY ARCHER: Mary's never nagged me in 26 years, so going on the evidence of that I'm glad to say no. Am I a nagger? Certainly not]

DICK ALIX, Eric Bristow's manager: Women do nag because everything has to be bleeding perfect, they can't let things ride, or, as my son would say, chill out. They have a compulsion to treat men like kids . . . See you in the divorce court.

JANE COWAN, lecturer in social anthropology: Nagging isn't natural, it's a consequence of women's position in society. Because women have less power, they sometimes have to nag out of necessity. It's appalling that legal cases are being decided by people with such misogynist views.

FATIMA WHITBREAD, athlete: It's a total myth that women are natural naggers. I wouldn't call myself a nag, I'd call myself a very persistent young lady. Men only accuse women of nagging when they don't want to be reminded of what they should be doing. At the end of the day, men need women, however much they complain about them. Women only need men for someone to nag at.

SIR ROY STRONG: Nagging is simply awful, terrible. It is the index of a very unsuccessful partnership. In married relationships both sides have to set parameters for the things that are unsaid. Once things get said the nagging starts, and things go downhill rapidly. That judge made a bit of a sexist comment, didn't he? Very discriminatory.

JOOLS HOLLAND: It's not just women who do it. Pedantic men are the worst naggers. Some people are just born to nag. They just can't help it. I think naggers always know what they are doing. They weigh up the risks, then they go on and on and on until they get what they want or until they get punched.

RACHEL CUSK, novelist: I could nag you round the block on this . . . It's a male word, a way of debasing female speech. Unfortunately, a lot of women have been conditioned to be effective in the sphere of detail - wives remembering their husband's parents' birthdays. Show me a nagging wife and I'll show you a brutish husband.

FAITH BROWN, impressionist: A lot of women won't thank me for this, but I do think women do more than their fair share of nagging. We cannot help it. We like a good nag, it clears the air, and then everything is okay again, whereas men are more likely to mope.

CAROLE BOYD, alias Linda Snell in The Archers: I don't call it nagging, I call it playing games and both sexes do it, only with men it's called bullying. It's a way of asserting oneself, in private it can be a light-hearted process. The problems start when it's in public, when a relationship loses its pride.

CHRIS DONALD, editor, Viz: Nagging women? This is the fifth time you've called me, woman, just leave me alone.

(Photograph omitted)

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