Wednesday 28 September 2016

So what if a woman takes her husband's name?

Published 27/07/2015 | 02:30

Lena Dunham: a quote from her TV show 'Girls' says: 'I don't like women telling other women what to do'
Lena Dunham: a quote from her TV show 'Girls' says: 'I don't like women telling other women what to do'

It was with a big sigh of rage and tedium that I read Dearbhail McDonald's hackneyed piece 'What price equality if women give up their own names?' (Irish Independent, July 25).

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Yes, we are living in a post Brehon Law society but that doesn't mean we are still in a Norman mindset.

I changed my name when I got married because I wanted to. I'm still the same person, but Ms McDonald claims such women are blinded by the sparkle of a diamond and fall into "a gooey vat of patriarchy and male privilege".

She talks about being surprised at feminist friends who won't listen to her pleas for them to keep their maiden names, and says it would take some man to "top me out of my equality tree".

I consider myself a feminist and no less intelligent than any woman who chooses to stay single. I don't think name changing is as big an obstacle to equality as name calling among women.

If a woman chooses to change her name, so what? Judging other women is not a solution. We're all supposed to be on the same team.

Lena Dunham best sums it up in a quote from 'Girls': "I don't like women telling other women what to do, or how to do it, or when to do it".

Julie Melia, Celbridge, Co Kildare

Paying your debts

James Downey tells us that austerity does not work and that we need contrarian views (Irish Independent, July 24).

Could I suggest a 'contrarian' view: That is that countries and people who borrow money pay it back. Otherwise we all go broke.

A small number of countries borrowed too much and went broke. Greece wants other countries, including some nations much poorer than it, to fund its excesses.

Supporting that is indefensible, despite the fact that it is dressed up as an anti-austerity campaign.

A Leavy, Sutton, Dublin 13

Giving evidence to Bank Inquiry

The declaration by David Drumm, former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank - who is the subject since last January of an extradition warrant to appear in an Irish court - that he would appear before the Banking Inquiry by video link is an outrageous display of condescension and disrespect towards the Irish public and a mischievous instance of self-serving manipulation.

The modus operandi of this expensive Oireachtas inquiry is to examine the sworn testimony of witnesses and to cross-examine their evidence in person.

Mr Drumm's suggestion follows the precedent last April when members of the Banking Inquiry team were reduced to asking questions submitted in advance to Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank (ECB), at the premises of the Institute of International and European Affairs, following a lecture by him.

Dealing with the inquiry strictly on his own terms was couched by Mr Trichet in terms of the ECB being only accountable to the European Parliament. He was inferring that the accountability, obligations and inquiries of sovereign parliaments throughout the eurozone are of no consequence, relevance or concern to the leadership of the ECB.

It would appear that public opinion is very sceptical about the capacity of the Banking Inquiry to achieve anything of enduring value.

But if the stature, protocols and procedures of our sovereign parliament and its institutions are to be disregarded due to the whims and personal convenience of witnesses, what will this lead to?

Myles Duffy, Glenageary, Co Dublin

RTÉ's thrilling sports coverage

So, it's that time of the year again - as our politicians take their extended holidays, RTÉ, our national broadcaster, duly follows suit.

We are now to be subjected to numerous repeat shows and shortened news bulletins to boot. But fear not, the Saturday afternoon viewing this weekend from our media moguls in Montrose was excellent.

On our main station, RTÉ 1, we had 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' followed by 'The Karate Kid'.

But there was no expense spared for the sports enthusiasts among us, too: we were offered the FIFA World Cup draw, live from St Petersburg. Sepp Blatter - yes, he is still in charge of FIFA - was gushing in his praise for the Russian host, their very own 'Karate Kid', President Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, over on TG4 , you could view the blood, sweat and tears of the penultimate stage of the Tour de France as the riders mounted endless attacks on Alpe de Huez, or, if you preferred athletics, Mark English was running in the 800m against the Olympic champion, courtesy of the BBC.

Anyway, such is life on our national channels. Remember, you heard it first live on RTÉ sports - St Vincent and the Grenadines are due to play Aruba in a preliminary qualification game for the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Colm Featherstone, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

High cost of childcare

I'm writing in response to Ivan Yates's comments on childcare (Irish Independent, July 25).

As someone who is in their mid thirties and is struggling to pay all my taxes, USC, mortgage and bills, I am now at a point in my life where I have to think about having children.

If I do decide to have a child, any money left in my own and my husband's pay cheques will be spent on childcare. And that is only if we have one child - we couldn't afford two, so God help us if we had twins.

The current cost of childcare will dictate our family size, as it will for a lot of my friends and colleagues.

More one-child families will mean less future taxpayers to pay for poor Ivan's pension - he should bear this in mind when he is objecting to any childcare initiatives suggested in future.

Trish Duffy, Swords, Dublin

The war on seagulls

It comes as no surprise that Senator Denis O'Donovan of Fianna Fáil has decided not to stand for TD in the next general election.

How in the name of sanity could he expect to be taken seriously by declaring war on the cheeky, peckish seagull in the Upper House?

Is being negative about our feathered friends now a political issue?

I only hope he doesn't take my missive too personally and send a flock of robins to attack my lunch the next time he sees me having a snack outside a restaurant in our home town.

Robert Sullivan, Bantry, Co Cork

Irish Independent

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