Blame for – well, just about anything, it seems – can be laid at the door of the Chardonnay-swilling, self-supporting singleton Bridget Jones. Latest to take aim at her is shadow University and Skills Secretary David Willetts. He believes Bridget has inspired a generation of women to edge men out of their traditional roles, with dire consequences for the nuclear family. So for what else is Bridget, created 13 years ago in a column in The Independent, responsible?
1 Women now outnumbering men in higher education, and thereby edging out men; 45 per cent of women now achieve a university degree, compared with 35 per cent of men.
2 Reversing the trend that has dominated for centuries, so that the majority of young people not in education, employment or training are men.
3 Denying men "the opportunity to bring home the bacon" and provide for their families.
4 Driving up the price of houses in London. Mayor Boris Johnson claimed that single women choosing to live alone were pushing up property costs in the capital.
5 Encouraging British women to consume copious amounts of Chardonnay – there was a spike in sales after the film's release.
6 Putting Britain off chardonnay. The wine writer Oz Clarke blamed Bridget Jones for a 2008 slump in Chardonnay sales.
7 Spawning a host of literary clones.
8 Making "big knickers" socially acceptable – a recent poll showed that nine out of 10 British women now admit to wearing them.
9 Making knitted jumpers cool again. The reindeer pullover worn by Colin Firth in the film sold for £1,900 at Christie's.
10 Encouraging women to procrastinate when choosing a partner, resulting in an increasing number of single people in their 20s.Reuse content