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Mary Mitchell O'Connor playing the gender bias card

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  • 23-06-2017 12:34pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭


    Mary Mitchell O'Connor complained in a speech she gave yesterday (22 June) that:

    "I am very conscious that the Government itself is not leading by example," she said. "I am one of just seven women in a Government team of 34 ministers - just over 20pc."

    There are 35 women TDs - i.e., just over 20% of the total. So women are represented in government exactly in proportion to their numbers in the Dáil. And, in fact, 27% of full cabinet members are women so their gender is in fact over-represented in proportion to their numbers. What more does Mitchell O'Connor want?


Comments

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,706 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tabnabs


    Leo should respond that he has a cabinet of meritocracy rather than pandering to quotas or other unfair systems.

    MMO'C has done extremely well for herself in the few short years she has been in Dail Eireann and if some of the stories coming out of her previous department are true, her performance falls short of a senior ministry job.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,322 ✭✭✭✭super_furry


    gizmo555 wrote: »
    What more does Mitchell O'Connor want?

    More representation in the Dail for a start I'd imagine.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭gizmo555


    More representation in the Dail for a start I'd imagine.

    Measures have been put in place to increase the number of women candidates for election. But you can't be appointed as a minister until you're actually elected. As the numbers show, an individual woman TD actually has a higher chance of becoming a minister than her male counterparts.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,567 ✭✭✭✭Fratton Fred


    More woman presented for candidacy would, in theory mean more able women. That's what is needed.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭For Reals


    An arrogant and ignorant politician won't serve the greater public any better, despite gender. Any strong women in the lower ranks should be given as much opportunity as anyone else of course. I don't see a square peg in a round hole scenario working outside of Seanad appointments, where pretty much anything goes. Maybe making an effort to give more junior roles to new faces rather than making it a door prize for the less in favour or middling politician.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    More woman presented for candidacy would, in theory mean more able women. That's what is needed.
    This.

    It makes no sense to artificially fill your cabinet with 50% women unless the best people for the job happen to be 50% women. In all reality the "best" team is likely to be gender divided along the same lines as the elected members.

    MMOC has never been the sharpest tool in the box anyway. My understanding is that her ministerial role was a gift from Kenny for her support to him when there were questions over his leadership before the last General Election.

    Now after being demoted she's decided to take a pot shot at the new leader. Not clever. That super-junior role won't survive the next reshuffle, I wonder if she'll even be nominated to stand at the next election.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭kunst nugget


    gizmo555 wrote: »
    What more does Mitchell O'Connor want?

    A permanent parking spot on the plinth.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,619 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    A permanent parking spot on the plinth.

    At least it shows she can survive a bumpy ride.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭gizmo555


    seamus wrote: »
    It makes no sense to artificially fill your cabinet with 50% women unless the best people for the job happen to be 50% women. In all reality the "best" team is likely to be gender divided along the same lines as the elected members.

    MMOC has never been the sharpest tool in the box anyway.

    In fairness, although MMOC is a buffoon, there are plenty of male buffoons in government too. As Harry Truman said in respect of the military when he sacked General MacArthur "I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the laws for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail." Same goes for politicians ...

    The issue I have with her and others like, for example Frances Fitzgerald, is their view that women should be given ministerial positions merely because they're women and evidence-free assertions by people like Fitzgerald along these lines: "obviously my own view is that in the vast majority of situations, if you have a critical mass of women involved in decision making - that is the way to go and you get a better outcome."


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭kunst nugget


    gizmo555 wrote: »
    In fairness, although MMOC is a buffoon, there are plenty of male buffoons in government too. As Harry Truman said in respect of the military when he sacked General MacArthur "I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the laws for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail." Same goes for politicians ...

    The issue I have with her and others like, for example Frances Fitzgerald, is their view that women should be given ministerial positions merely because they're women and evidence-free assertions by people like Fitzgerald along these lines: "obviously my own view is that in the vast majority of situations, if you have a critical mass of women involved in decision making - that is the way to go and you get a better outcome."

    I heard an interview with Marcella Corcoran Kennedy after Leo won the leadership contest and she was asked whether she was concerned about being demoted because she supported Coveney and she reckoned she was safe because of her gender.

    I'm glad she's gone because she was useless. Her proposed alcohol bill was the worst bit of nanny state law I'd seen in a long time and I hope it's dead now.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭Needs Must


    She is clueless and should be grateful to be elected in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,362 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    I find these discussions disappointing as if a woman has a right to be promoted or stay in a job because of their gender. The media have been trying to whip it up a little as well, because they can and it plays well with a certain segment.

    The thing I have not heard is, who was obviously talented and not promoted? Was there some shining light in the FG parliamentary party who people can agree on is well able for a ministerial brief? Any?

    Then you have to ask, if there was someone of that caliber left on the side lines, who was promoted who was obviously over their heads?

    No one has mentioned, this. No journalist, no member for the woman's council, no FG female TD. Just vague mentions of disappointment that one of their team didn't get a job because of their gender.

    Maybe they didn't get promoted because they are not good enough, did they every think of it that way?


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,360 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    seamus wrote: »
    It makes no sense to artificially fill your cabinet with 50% women unless the best people for the job happen to be 50% women. In all reality the "best" team is likely to be gender divided along the same lines as the elected members.
    I think there is scope for female representation at the cabinet table to be placed somewhere between the ratio of female TDs and females in the general population, so as to provide role models.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭gizmo555


    Victor wrote: »
    I think there is scope for female representation at the cabinet table to be placed somewhere between the ratio of female TDs and females in the general population, so as to provide role models.

    Role models like Mary Mitchell O'Connor?


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    Victor wrote: »
    I think there is scope for female representation at the cabinet table to be placed somewhere between the ratio of female TDs and females in the general population, so as to provide role models.
    It's a fair point, but needs to be balanced against competence.

    In theory if you have two competent TDs, male & female, and you give the female a position in order to be a role model, then that's not a bad thing.

    But if you have a competent male -v- and incompetent female (or vice-versa, obviously), the competent individual should always get the position.

    There are other ways to create role models that don't involve compromising the quality of your cabinet.

    Ultimately the issue flows down to the grassroots. They're not engaging women at the college level to get involved in politics. You can't improve gender balance at the top level if you don't have the numbers coming in at the bottom.

    There is also a tendency for people to jump up and down when things don't change quickly enough. For example, in the last general election, we had nearly twice as many female candidates compared to 2011. Hooray! But the number of elected women "only" increased by 40%. Oh.

    But, wait, that's not a poor result. More than half of those women running, were running for the first time. So of course their strike-out rate is going to be high compared to male candidates with a decade or more of local activism under their belts.

    We should stick the course now and watch this evolve over the next two election cycles - local elections especially - let more women become embedded and recognised at a local level and therefore give themselves a headstart on the next election.


  • Posts: 25,611 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    As I've pointed out elsewhere, women candidates get elected with an amazingly similar success rate as male candidates. For the assertion that parties don't do enough to engage women in the first place, women are more underrepresented as candidates among independents than the parties.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭For Reals


    gizmo555 wrote: »
    Role models like Mary Mitchell O'Connor?

    We could also throw in Mary O'Rourke, Mary Harney etc. etc. but to be fair, you'd be hard pressed to find a male role model either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,769 ✭✭✭nuac


    For Reals wrote: »
    We could also throw in Mary O'Rourke, Mary Harney etc. etc. but to be fair, you'd be hard pressed to find a male role model either.

    I think Mary Harney was a reasonably effective minister.
    E.g. abolition of smog over a lot of Dublin, and national reorganisation of cancer services

    Re MMO'C, a Taoiseach has many factors such as geography, different abilities etc to weigh and balance. That is political life. She should have taken the demotion on the chin, without going public on it


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