Irish politicians and social media users criticise Sunday Times for 'childless politicians' piece alongside Nicola Sturgeon interview
Published 04/09/2016 | 17:42
Irish politicians and social media users alike have condemned the Sunday Times for its presentation of an interview with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about never having children.
Sturgeon spoke to the Sunday Times in a brave interview about her miscarriage and how “children never happened” for her.
Alongside the article, the newspaper featured a panel entitled “Childless Politicians”.
Many have referred to the panel as “irrelevant” and “crass”.
Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte, spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, told Independent.ie that she was “outraged” at the article.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. What has having children got to do with politics?” she told Independent.ie.
“Would they do the same on an article about nurses and teachers? What has it got to do with the job?”
The panel of “childless politicians” featured a range of UK and Europe-based politicians including UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I’m a female politician with three children and, yes I understand education and childcare, but if I didn’t have children I’d still be doing the same thing,” said Rabbitte.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s irrelevant. What has this got to do with politics?
“As long as the elected person is doing their job, who cares whether they have children or not?”
Rabbitte asked if it was an attempt to scare women out of politics.
“Are they trying to scare women? Are they afraid of us?” she asked.
Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan described the panel as “strange”.
“You shouldn’t have to explain whether or not you have children. It’s a personal matter for every man and woman and nobody else.
“I’m not defined as a person on whether I’m fertile or infertile,” she told Independent.ie.
What an appallingly sad state when women explain why they have no children! A disgusting article in Sunday Times. https://t.co/P93m9MJ0Eb— Jeffrey Morris (@jmbrighton) September 4, 2016
The Sunday Times really printed headshots of "childless politicians" (women). I can't even retweet that - it's disgusting— Class of 199# (@recentlyhatched) September 4, 2016
Oh, I do SO enjoy when I'm catagorised as a "childless politician".... https://t.co/bZyPqZ0aej— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) September 4, 2016
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall a male politician ever having to explain their childless status. It's no one's business!— JenP (@jenp2) September 4, 2016
Social media users were also united in condemnation at the article.