“Women are more than just pieces of meat.” I couldn’t dis­agree more. Star Search,

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Front Page -

THIS WEEK, I’ve been hear­ing a lot of chat­ter from women who mostly look like Soviet-era shot-put­ters. “The Rose of Tralee is an ir­rel­e­vant relic,” they say in their deep­est ha­rangu­ing tones. Yawn.

Turn away. Check iPhone. I’ve heard it all be­fore: “It’s de­mean­ing to women to dress them up in frocks to per­form party pieces” or “Women are more than just pieces of meat”.

I couldn’t dis­agree more. Let’s look at the ev­i­dence, shall we? The Rose of Tralee is, as we all know, more than a beauty pageant. Its con­tes­tants have to talk and sing and ev­ery­thing. How can it be of­fen­sive to al­low women to do a

“The sad truth is that – yours truly aside – a lot of lady columnists are spite­ful and ill-kempt”

lit­tle dance for a pay­ing au­di­ence?

Have none of these so-called de­trac­tors made it through fin­ish­ing school in Switzer­land? In my opin­ion, they can’t have paid nearly enough at­ten­tion to their lessons. De­port­ment and eti­quette, de­spite what these peo­ple think, are not to be sneezed at.

As a for­mer cat­walk fre­quenter my­self I can tell you that walk­ing the run­way is not as easy as it looks.

There are so many things to re­mem­ber – boob tape, smil­ing, left foot, right foot – and so many jeal­ous, butch women who are ready and primed, wait­ing for you to make a mis­take.

The sad truth is that – yours truly aside – a lot of lady columnists are spite­ful and ill-kempt.

We’ve all seen that Lovely Girls episode of Fa­ther Ted. We all know that the Rose of Tralee smacks of the Bad Old Days when peo­ple went to church even when there wasn’t a wed­ding on that day. But I’ve seen what some of these other jour­nal­ists wear – it is not their place to crit­i­cise on grounds of fashion, I can as­sure you.

No. The real prob­lem here is that they don’t like be­ing con­fronted with the com­pe­ti­tion.

Ask any guy you know if they want a fix-up with a for­mer Rose of Tralee con­tes­tant or a lady jour­nal­ist with a mous­tache and shrill opin­ions and guess who’ll win out ev­ery time? That’s right. The one with the de­pila­to­ries in her bath­room cabi­net.

Let’s be prag­matic for a moment. The sum­mer TV sched­ules are pretty empty. There are only so many slots on

Big Brother, and they mostly go to freaks.

Be­sides, Big Brother, a con­test that is watched ex­clu­sively by shop girls who vote ex­clu­sively for other shop girls, is no place for a me­dia babe, es­pe­cially not one who is likely to arouse feel­ings of envy among her gen­der’s lesser of­fer­ings.

You may think that the Rose of Tralee is ir­rel­e­vant, but just you wait un­til you fail to se­cure a spot on Celebrity Bain­is­teoir, hav­ing lost out to the for­mer Rose who did that thing with the ping-pong balls. Ir­rel­e­vant? Ha. Is page 6 of

Metro ir­rel­e­vant? I think not. In the end, look­ing pretty in a frock may not be ev­ery­thing, but just like when a guy is driv­ing a Lamborghini, it sure helps the cause.

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