ROB­BIE FOX

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - GIRL POWER -

Res­tau­ra­teur I am def­i­nitely a fem­i­nist. I am mar­ried to a very strong woman and have two very in­de­pen­dent grown-up daugh­ters, and I would de­scribe all three of them as fem­i­nists.

Be­cause I have been sur­rounded by women all my life, I be­lieve that men and women are equal, but I do think a man should hold the door open, or al­low a lady to go first. Some might think it a bit old-fash­ioned, but it’s about re­spect and po­lite­ness, and if it is old-fash­ioned, so be it; it’s some­thing I hope we never lose.

I do, how­ever, have a prob­lem with gen­der quo­tas in the work­place, or any­where else for that mat­ter. In my own ex­pe­ri­ence, women are as good, if not bet­ter, than men at most tasks. Women may not be as phys­i­cally strong as men, but that is be­com­ing less and less im­por­tant in the work­place. Men­tally, I think women can be stronger than men. I be­lieve men and women are dif­fer­ent but equal, and the per­son with the best qual­i­fi­ca­tions should al­ways get the po­si­tion or job.

I think quo­tas can cause re­sent­ment, and will al­most never guar­an­tee the best per­son gets the job. I be­lieve women would pre­fer to make it on their merit and abil­ity rather than be­cause of their gen­der.

Of course, as in all walks of life, there are go­ing to be the ex­trem­ists and, yes, we have ex­treme fem­i­nists. Per­son­ally, I feel they don’t do the cause any favours and if any­thing, drive a wedge be­tween the sexes. I think ex­treme feminism is mak­ing our so­ci­ety overly po­lit­i­cally cor­rect, where men are afraid to com­pli­ment a woman, or pass com­ment on how good she might look. Many women to­day, es­pe­cially young women, think it’s a weak­ness to let a guy pay for din­ner or buy them a drink. Call me old-fash­ioned, but I’m of the opin­ion that if a girl spent her money look­ing that good, the least I can do is buy her din­ner. My wife, Martina, was a very suc­cess­ful model, and I’m sure a lot of fem­i­nists would have is­sues with that as a pro­fes­sion, but I don’t know any­body that I could de­scribe more as a fem­i­nist than Martina. She is, in my opin­ion, a true fem­i­nist —she en­joys be­ing a woman, a mother, and a wife, all the things a man can’t be.

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