Fay Weldon turns from feminism to boy power

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The novelist Fay Weldon has called on feminists to become masculinist and promote the self esteem of little boys.

Weldon, 65, was speaking following the announcement of a new TV drama Big Women to be shown on Channel 4. The series tells the story of a feminist publishing house over 25 years from the 1970s to the 1990s. It shows heady idealism giving way to disillusion particularly among men.

According to Weldon, "The serial is going to be very sexy but not in a salacious way. Lots of naked women running around in the woods communing with the Mother Goddess."

Weldon, writer of The Lives And Loves Of A She-Devil, said no one can accuse her of going back on her feminist principles.

"I will get stick from all sides! But I can't have deserted because I was never there. There is no headquarters, you know.

"Our duty now is to become masculinist. It is time we looked after the self esteem of the little boys," she declared.

"Feminism was a revolution that happened. It was an amazing movement that worked. Everything is completely different to what it was 25 years ago.

"But what happens with all revolutions is they become the Establishment.

Women's problem has become how to find a man when do you get the opportunity and how do you find the time? Because nobody now is good enough for them."

A Channel 4 spokesman confirmed yesterday that the Big Women series would be based on the Virago Press.

"It will be a satirical look at feminism over the last quarter of a century," he said. The producer will be Tariq Ali and shooting will start in July. The cast has yet to be confirmed.

Channel 4's drama plans also include an adaptation of Anthony Powell's A Dance To The Music Of Time and an adaptation of Francis Durbridge's classic sixties thriller Melissa, updated by Alan Bleasdale. Jennifer Ehle, who played Elizabeth in Pride And Prejudice, will play Melissa. Julie Walters and Bill Paterson will also star. David Lister