Friday 20 October 2017

Let's discuss feminism, even if it annoys people

Alison O'Connor

It was an interesting week for Irish feminism. Our strongest female role model exited public life; a well-known female journalist was on the telly saying that women who give up their careers after having children are a drain on society; and a feeble effort to get a little bit of sisterhood going in the Dail was hijacked in a publicity bid by a female TD.

Being a feminist myself -- there I've said it and I can't take it back now -- I find it a positive thing that at least there is some discussion going on, as opposed to the usual grim acceptance that the place of women in Irish society is a boring topic not worth wasting breath or ink on.

Having a female president for the past two decades has given a false impression of a more equal society, masking the pathetic representation of females in Leinster House and at the top level of industry and public life. Despite this Mary McAleese was a marvellous example of a strong, intelligent woman who did the sisterhood proud. I'd like, though, to have heard more from her on the subject of Irish women, motherhood and careers.

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