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.