'It's women who are online bitching about other women, not men' - Maura Derrane
Maura Derrane says she believes that women must support each other as well as being supported by men.
The RTE presenter, who fronts Today with Maura and Dáithí with Dáithí Ó Sé, was recently subjected to a tirade of abuse from trolls online regarding her appearance and choice of outfit.
Some trolls said the outfit wasn't "age appropriate" and didn't look like it had been ironed. Others complained that Derrane's makeup was too heavily applied. The criticism was drawn to Derrane's attention after a listener to Ryan Tubridy's radio show emailed producers expressing their anger regarding the comments.
While she accepts that some degree of criticism comes with the territory of being a personality on TV, Maura (47) says women need to be more supportive of each other.
Speaking to TV Week with the Irish Mail on Sunday Maura said, "Another thing I find is all of this women empowerment and all of that, I'm really not sure that we need all of that stuff because the contrary is the case. The reality is it's women who are online bitching about other women, not men. Women are the biggest bitches, men just couldn't be bothered."
She added, "The whole #metoo campaign and the empowerment of women, that's all very well but perhaps women should start by the very basic stuff and stop bitching about each other and then we probably wouldn't need a 'hashtag' anything."
Maura has been presenting Today for the past six years and prior to that she worked at TV3 and the flagship morning on Ireland AM. However, social media was not so prevalent when she started out in her career.
These days, she said, "people think they have free reign to say whatever they want about you in a bitchy manner". She said she reads everything that is written about her online and adds, "Everything affects you if it's too much. Normally, nothing much affects me but if it's personal it can be hard not to let it get to you."
However, the mum of one said that she is less affected now that she is in her forties and is "confident" in what she does, "I will wear what I want to wear, and I will have my hair how I want it, and a few comments is not going to change that," she added.