TERRY PRONE

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

Chair­man, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Clinic I am a fem­i­nist. What the hell else would I be? Gen­der quo­tas? Amaz­ing how no­body has ever pro­posed a plumb­ing gen­der quota. Fewer fe­male plumbers than TDs.

Feminism has al­ways been de­lib­er­ately mis­in­ter­preted. In the 1970s, it was that fem­i­nists were bra-burn­ing bitches who wanted men cor­ralled in sperm ranches. More re­cently, it fits in the same mis­use cat­e­gory as po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness. When peo­ple say, ‘po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness has gone too far’, you can bet they’re fear­lessly fight­ing for the right to be big­ots. When peo­ple say, ‘feminism has gone too far’, they want women to know their place and shut up about it.

Women did know their place be­fore the 70s. Didn’t like their place: my mother had to get a sig­na­ture from my fa­ther to get a bloody li­brary card and rightly re­sented it.

My sis­ter couldn’t be­come an Aer Lin­gus pi­lot, be­cause at the time, re­ceived wis­dom said fe­male pi­lots would men­stru­ally plough pas­sen­ger jets into ev­ery avail­able hill.

One of the ear­li­est videos I made — at the be­hest of Gemma Hussey and the Women’s Po­lit­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion — was to sug­gest to RTE that they might have it a bit wrong when they said women couldn’t be news­read­ers be­cause no­body would hear the news, as they’d be so con­cen­trated on their looks.

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