Laundry apologists live among us

It’s easy to blame Church and State for all the ills that have blighted Irish society. Warehousing the poor in workhouses; separating children from their parents in industrial schools for the crime of poverty; enslaving women in Magdalene laundries for the crime of pregnancy. But those whose ancestors incarcerated women with the temerity to bear children [...]

Return from maternity leave: The new normal

Me on my first day back at work after maternity leave. There was a LOT of concealer involved.  Thousands of us do it every year and thousands more  have been here before us. We trudge, skip or sail back  into the office after between six and ten months at  home, learning how to cope [...]

If the carrot doesn't work, it's time for the stick for sexists

  Ann is in the kitchen helping Mammy make the dinner. Barry is in the garden helping Daddy mow the lawn. Nobody knows what Mammy and Daddy talk about if they ever meet in some strange in between place, but it’s definitely not the equal division of labour or gender fluidity. And they aren’t alone. Despite [...]

Good feminist / Bad feminist?

The debate about ads in the UCC student cafe got a bit heated on the Opinion Line last week. While nobody thought they were funny, the spectrum of opinions ranged from mildly disinterested to downright disgusted. For once, I wasn't outraged about it. It was stupid, sexist and generally unintelligent. As a couple of our callers [...]

Gentlemen only, ladies forbidden

Dan rang the Opinion Line today, to complain about women taking up men's space on golf courses at weekends. There's not a whole lot else to say about this, you should just listen back, really. I did my best to restrain myself. Fair and balanced broadcasting, and that. https://soundcloud.com/opinionline96/dan-the-golfer

2018-12-01T09:55:48+00:00 August 10th, 2015|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , |

Are women suckers for a helpless man?

https://soundcloud.com/fergalbarry/chicken I'm currently presenting a phone-in radio show on Cork's 96m while my colleague, PJ Coogan, suns himself in Santa Ponsa. The difference in callers to a female presenter has been interesting, with my favourite one so far being Diarmuid... who called to ask me how to cook a chicken. Diarmuid said he wouldn't have [...]

2018-12-01T09:56:57+00:00 August 28th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Rwanda’s women get ahead, while Ireland prepares for quotas

Mary Lou McDonald had to fight for maternity leave from the Dail - there is currently no provision for this. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I wrote this piece in March after a trip to Rwanda to meet women politicians there, and after spending about four months shadowing and interviewing women politicians in Ireland. I just [...]