How much more Rose of Tralee can we take?
Published 24/08/2015 | 02:30
Earlier this week Ireland crowned it's newest Rose of Tralee. And though it's been an annual occurrence for as long as I can remember, every year when it rolls around it mystifies me that we, as a brilliant and ballsy nation, still tolerate this rubbish. 'Ah shure who called Joysapper McBuzzkill?'
Every time I open my trap about the ludicrous 1950s Stepford wife parade of naffness (which by the way is highly patronising not just to women but to all Irish people) I get the same water thin response - 'It's only a bit of fun and we've been watching it for years so why complain?' There are so many reasons to complain about the global Lovely Girls competition (so perfectly parodied on Father Ted).
Firstly, as a representation of Irishness, which is what the organisers proudly promote it as, The Rose of Tralee is as genuine as a leprechaun holding a pot of gold.
The women who enter seem like a good bunch - clever, good-humoured high-achievers, which is why it's all the more baffling that they want to take part in a grinning contest to win a crown and sash.
But my criticism is not levelled at the women who enter - because if they want to endure Dáithí Ó Sé's nauseating banter in front of a huge live and televised audience with their hair hairsprayed rock-hard then who am I to judge? My problem is with the Irish people who run the festival.
They can blow on about this being a celebration of modern women all they like but asking 18-28 year-old women to demonstrate their 'caring sides' while wearing frocks and doing a song or dance on stage to impress the judges is the very opposite of modern.
Still, I can't argue with the impressive viewing figures, so maybe I'm the only one who doesn't believe in an anachronistic fairytale version of Ireland where escorts carry their ladies' bags.
At least there seems to be some rebellion on Twitter. Search the Rose of Tralee hashtag which, no word of a lie, is #ROT.
They want to present an anachronistic fairytale version of Ireland where we still have matchmaking and courting, and the men carry the women's bags.
If you want to find out what Irish people really think of it, have a look on Twitter. Just search using the Rose of Tralee hashtag which, no word of a lie, is #ROT.