BLAITHNAID TREACY

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

Ra­dio and TV pre­sen­ter When I think of feminism, I think of a voice of em­pow­er­ment. I think of a voice for those who can’t speak up, a voice for those who may not be able to ar­tic­u­late how they feel about their re­pres­sion. I think of strength.

Of course I’m a fem­i­nist; I see quite reg­u­larly how women are treated differently to men in the me­dia. How women are asked ques­tions that their male coun­ter­parts would never be asked, re­gard­ing fam­ily and mar­riage. I see that women are sex­u­alised more of­ten than men, and looked upon differently than men. I see that women are praised differently than men.

In say­ing all that, the ma­jor­ity of my work life is won­der­ful and I rarely feel like I’m be­ing treated differently be­cause I’m a woman, but it does hap­pen, which is the point.

Quo­tas are a sticky sit­u­a­tion, be­cause I do be­lieve that there should be a good bal­ance in the work­place, and the team that I work with is fan­tas­tic, with three women and two men.

I think this is more about cre­at­ing equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for women and men from all back­grounds, and that starts within the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem. You shouldn’t get a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion just be­cause your par­ents hap­pen to be wealthy. Ev­ery­body should be able to cre­ate a bet­ter fu­ture for them­selves be­cause of their own abil­ity and hard work. Equally, I don’t think any­one should get a job be­cause of their gen­der. If there is a job open­ing, the po­si­tion should be given to the most suit­able can­di­date, re­gard­less of whether they are a man or a woman.

I do ac­tu­ally think feminism is un­fair on men at times, for ex­am­ple; go­ing back to the point above. Why should a fe­male get a job over a male, if the male is more qual­i­fied for the job? That is, in it­self, sex­ist. I’ve spo­ken to male friends about cer­tain com­ments made about their sex and they have felt of­fended — all men shouldn’t be painted with the same brush. Most peo­ple be­lieve in equal­ity and if you do, than you are a fem­i­nist too — you just might not know it yet.

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