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Token Seat

  • 29-08-2020 12:59pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7


    So a female Senator is alleging that a male Senator referred to her seat as a "token"

    Then happened to be flicking the stations in the car and stopped at 2FM this morning who had a massive rant about men and comments like this.

    Question is why not name the male Senator, allow him to respond and be held accountable?

    It seems quite a good way of generating support by making allegations that generic people are making these types of comments, and a way of drumming up support.

    In a similar way that alot off media happy presenters and politicians in the limelight happened to be diagnosed with Covid in the early days when it was popular, using it to get into the media and gain sympathy. Never seen any of them post a copy of positive test.

    We talk so much of accountability in this country, why not start calling people out. If they want to make populist statements, then prove it!!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,247 ✭✭✭✭Guy:Incognito


    He knows who he is. If he wants to make a comment there's nothing stopping him.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 Western87


    Well the public don't know who he is and surely if it was said, then he should be held to account, starting with consideration to what he offers society and his position in public life.

    Now there is an obligation to name and shame


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,299 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    Western87 wrote: »
    In a similar way that alot off media happy presenters and politicians in the limelight happened to be diagnosed with Covid in the early days when it was popular, using it to get into the media and gain sympathy. Never seen any of them post a copy of positive test.

    And you have evidence to support this?

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • Registered Users Posts: 7 Western87


    Hermy wrote: »
    And you have evidence to support this?

    On the contrary, I didnt see any proof that they actually had it but all very quick to notify the media. Just seems like a good way to raise a profile during early days of Covid.

    Anyhow the main point is that it seems very easy now to make a statement to the media, and nobody challenges to validate it.

    I think the Senate should name the person involved and a response provided. Leaving an open statements like the one made, tarnishs all male Senators, as the potential person who said the remark.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,299 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    So you're countering one unsubstantiated claim with another?

    To extend that to your point about the Seanad is the onus not on the person making the claim to provide more than an open-ended statement?

    Genealogy Forum Mod



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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,152 ✭✭✭Quantum Erasure


    Well, was it a token appointment?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,240 ✭✭✭...Ghost...


    Token appointments are guaranteed when gender quotas are pushed, or the person in charge wants a 50/50 gender split. It's crystal clear that the upcoming interviews to fill Hogans seat is nothing more than lip service and is a waste of time. McGuinness has the position in the bag, not because she is an excellent candidate (which I am sure she is) but because she is the woman put forward.

    Is it really any surprise such comments are being made? Women are being put ahead of men regardless of qualifications, experience and suitability. Anyone who speaks out about it is demonized for expressing their view on it. It happens, so why is it a problem to call it out?

    Funny prediction. If Tubridy leaves The Late Late Show in the next couple of years, he will be replaced by a woman.

    Stay Free



  • Registered Users Posts: 28,012 ✭✭✭✭looksee


    Token appointments are guaranteed when gender quotas are pushed, or the person in charge wants a 50/50 gender split. It's crystal clear that the upcoming interviews to fill Hogans seat is nothing more than lip service and is a waste of time. McGuinness has the position in the bag, not because she is an excellent candidate (which I am sure she is) but because she is the woman put forward.

    Is it really any surprise such comments are being made? Women are being put ahead of men regardless of qualifications, experience and suitability. Anyone who speaks out about it is demonized for expressing their view on it. It happens, so why is it a problem to call it out?

    Funny prediction. If Tubridy leaves The Late Late Show in the next couple of years, he will be replaced by a woman.

    I absolutely agree with your first para, I think it is a great pity that the seat will automatically go to a woman just to balance the books. I think it is very bad for women to risk being considered 'token', it does them no favours. The job should go to the person best qualified.

    I absolutely dispute your second para though. This one instance is jarringly obvious and it does happen in a few situations, but as a general rule women are not 'being put ahead of men regardless of qualifications, experience and suitability.' There are many very highly qualified women in top jobs now who entirely deserve to be where they are.

    Well meaning efforts to create a gender balance are misplaced, but worse is the assumption that existed till very recently, and still exists in many situations that giving a man the job is the default, and for a woman to get it she has to show significantly more capability than a man. Of course this can easily mean that such a woman shows how successful a woman can be and this improves the chances of other women getting opportunities, which is a much better way of improving the gender imbalance than tokenism.

    Your final para sums up the situation nicely - if Tubridy is replaced by a woman you will be able to say, 'see I told you so' even if she is the absolute front runner in terms of suitability and capability. Nah, couldn't be ability, has to be gender balance and political correctness.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,521 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    The only seat in the eithre setup you can validly say is a token seat is Calleary and then McConnologue getting Agriculture because they had to be seen to have a Minister from "the west".


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,466 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    It's crystal clear that the upcoming interviews to fill Hogans seat is nothing more than lip service and is a waste of time. McGuinness has the position in the bag, not because she is an excellent candidate (which I am sure she is) but because she is the woman put forward.

    She's literally the vice-president of the European Parliament but yeah she's only getting it because she's a woman.....ffs


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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,012 ✭✭✭✭looksee


    She's literally the vice-president of the European Parliament but yeah she's only getting it because she's a woman.....ffs

    Sadly President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen did in fact say in an interview that the seat would almost certainly go to a woman, in the interests of gender balance.

    A bad mistake I think, and also meant that the man put forward (Ireland was asked to put forward a man and a woman) would not be the best contender as it was unlikely that any of the top prospects would wish to be put forward just to be rejected, so the whole thing becomes self-fulfilling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,833 ✭✭✭daheff


    Western87 wrote: »
    So a female Senator is alleging that a male Senator referred to her seat as a "token"


    Question is why not name the male Senator, allow him to respond and be held accountable?

    We talk so much of accountability in this country, why not start calling people out. If they want to make populist statements, then prove it!!

    I think you've answered your own question there...the female senator can't prove the comment happened. And to name somebody without proof would be slanderous/libelous.

    Or...it might never have happened and this might be an attempt to attract sympathy (& votes) for the future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,833 ✭✭✭daheff


    looksee wrote: »
    Sadly President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen did in fact say in an interview that the seat would almost certainly go to a woman, in the interests of gender balance.

    A bad mistake I think, and also meant that the man put forward (Ireland was asked to put forward a man and a woman) would not be the best contender as it was unlikely that any of the top prospects would wish to be put forward just to be rejected, so the whole thing becomes self-fulfilling.

    Question -Is the President allowed to make such a request (2 candidates/gender balanced) and then choose? I thought (and I could be wrong) that member states get to nominate who they want as commissioner (when its their term) and the EU don't get a veto?

    Have any other members been forced to provide 2 candidates like this in the past?


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,012 ✭✭✭✭looksee


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fbx_6TfGnk

    This is von der Leyen saying she expects 2 candidates, male and female (1.44). I heard an interview on RTE 1 in which she expanded on this a bit, but I can't find it now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    daheff wrote: »
    Question -Is the President allowed to make such a request (2 candidates/gender balanced) and then choose? I thought (and I could be wrong) that member states get to nominate who they want as commissioner (when its their term) and the EU don't get a veto?

    Have any other members been forced to provide 2 candidates like this in the past?


    It was a request, not an instruction, so yes she can. Our government chose to follow her request.

    The EP has a veto on any and all nominees that the member states make. Unless the EP votes for them in a formal vote of approval, the nominee is not going to be appointed.

    Two candidates for a nomination are unprecedented I believe. I guess one is the formal nominee, the other the backup.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,953 ✭✭✭Genghis


    Not much to go on here, but perhaps its not necessarily a male vs female thing. I can imagine, for example, say a Senator from a non-government party who went through the process of getting elected, could potentially view a Senator who had been simply nominated by the Taoiseach of the day as holding a 'token' seat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 727 ✭✭✭tjhook


    It was well-flagged that von der Leyen wanted a female commissioner. The charade of a single male and single female candidate was just to give plausible deniability. The only way the proposed male would have been picked would be if the female candidate was me squeezed into a skirt.

    As it happens, I think the best of our potential candidates were McGuinness and Coveney. And I think I'd prefer to see McGuinness in the position - so I'm fine with the outcome. But the end doesn't justify the means. Anybody who enters a competition being handed this sort of head start will have to live with the fact that people know they won it in an uneven battle. Even if they do happen to be the best.

    Would you admire a victorious chess player whose opponent has had to play wearing a blindfold?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,240 ✭✭✭...Ghost...


    She's literally the vice-president of the European Parliament but yeah she's only getting it because she's a woman.....ffs

    Perhaps you missed the part right before the section you bolded, where I said I was sure she is an excellent candidate? My observation is a valid one, whether you agree with it, or not. Ursula von der Leyen is on record many times saying she aims to bring gender balance to the commission. This is why she asked EU member states to put forward both a man an a woman for the commissioner roles.

    Simon Coveney knew this and so decided not to put himself forward to face certain defeat against the female candidate. The male candidate has been quoted by RTE News as being the weaker and less qualified of the two candidates. The cynic in me says that he must be getting something out of putting himself forward.

    I speculate here when I say that Ireland appeased Ursula von der Leyen by putting forward a male and a female, though I expect she would have been delighted with only a female candidate, saving the need for wasting time on a second box ticking interview. Why appease her you may ask? Well, we are hoping to keep the trade portfolio, or another high profile portolio and we also need to be the star pupils until at least the conclusion of Brexit.

    Calling for the head of Hogan was a mistake. The man is an arrogant tool and I don't like him one bit, but he was doing a good job as commissioner and should have been left in place for the time being.

    daheff wrote: »
    Question -Is the President allowed to make such a request (2 candidates/gender balanced) and then choose? I thought (and I could be wrong) that member states get to nominate who they want as commissioner (when its their term) and the EU don't get a veto?

    Have any other members been forced to provide 2 candidates like this in the past?

    She can request this, yes. No member state is forced to meet this request, but the ones who don't may not be seen by her in the same light as those who do. She wants as many women in positions of power as possible.

    Stay Free



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,300 ✭✭✭landofthetree


    This is a farce. McGuinness has no experience or expertise in financial services.

    So Europe is no better that our own domestic appointment. Most of our ministers have no experience at all in the portfolio they get.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    tjhook wrote: »
    It was well-flagged that von der Leyen wanted a female commissioner. The charade of a single male and single female candidate was just to give plausible deniability. The only way the proposed male would have been picked would be if the female candidate was me squeezed into a skirt.

    As it happens, I think the best of our potential candidates were McGuinness and Coveney. And I think I'd prefer to see McGuinness in the position - so I'm fine with the outcome. But the end doesn't justify the means. Anybody who enters a competition being handed this sort of head start will have to live with the fact that people know they won it in an uneven battle. Even if they do happen to be the best.

    Would you admire a victorious chess player whose opponent has had to play wearing a blindfold?

    Given that there is unquestionably a pro-male bias in most areas of life, that criticism isn’t justified. Were there no bias, representation of both sexes with be circa 40%+ (with the balance being random “noise”). That isn’t the case by any means.

    Look at the figures, the current Conmission is the thirteenth since we joined. To date, twelve of those Commissions have had Irish males and just one an Irish female. I have yet to see anyone complain about any of those twelve being granted a “head start” due to being male.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,283 ✭✭✭✭Eric Cartman


    there are lots of women put forward in various positions here as tokens to meet the quota , its a real dis service to the women in politics who genuinely belong there as theres always the question of being a token hanging over their heads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    This is a farce. McGuinness has no experience or expertise in financial services.

    So Europe is no better that our own domestic appointment. Most of our ministers have no experience at all in the portfolio they get.

    The position is Trade Commissioner and there are probably only a handful of people, virtually all working for the Commission, that have a lot of experience in complex Trade negotiations in the entire EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 727 ✭✭✭tjhook


    View wrote: »
    Given that there is unquestionably a pro-male bias in most areas of life, that criticism isn’t justified. Were there no bias, representation of both sexes with be circa 40%+ (with the balance being random “noise”). That isn’t the case by any means.

    Look at the figures, the current Conmission is the thirteenth since we joined. To date, twelve of those Commissions have had Irish males and just one an Irish female. I have yet to see anyone complain about any of those twelve being granted a “head start” due to being male.

    If we're going back in history over decades, then there was definitely a bias. The bias was preventing any women from becoming credible candidates in the first place. There would have been few if any credible female candidates for those positions, so I'd assume the best person was selected. That doesn't make the situation right, but I think it's best to to fix the root problem, not counter one bias with another.

    If you can point at a man currently in a role where his sex was one of the criteria to select him over qualified women, then yes, I'll be far less impressed with his achievement in landing the role. I'm not impressed by tokenism whether it's sex, race, geographic or anything else.

    Edit: To add, I would doubt that this statement can be objectively demonstrated:
    ...there is unquestionably a pro-male bias in most areas of life...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,178 ✭✭✭killbillvol2


    View wrote: »
    The position is Trade Commissioner and there are probably only a handful of people, virtually all working for the Commission, that have a lot of experience in complex Trade negotiations in the entire EU.

    The position is not Trade Commissioner.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,240 ✭✭✭...Ghost...


    View wrote: »
    Given that there is unquestionably a pro-male bias in most areas of life, that criticism isn’t justified. Were there no bias, representation of both sexes with be circa 40%+ (with the balance being random “noise”). That isn’t the case by any means.

    Look at the figures, the current Conmission is the thirteenth since we joined. To date, twelve of those Commissions have had Irish males and just one an Irish female. I have yet to see anyone complain about any of those twelve being granted a “head start” due to being male.

    Can you give us a few examples of areas where there is unquestionably a pro-male bias? I am genuinely interested. I wouldn't be accepting if your only proof is that an area is male dominated, because there are reasons some areas are male dominated. For example; you don't see many women gunning for the infantry in the defence forces, or most of the worlds armies. You don't see many women wanting to be in a trade where the work is labour intensive, or dirty. You don't see many women working as fisher(wo)men. Why is that do you think?

    As a generalisation, I would say that some types of work are better suited to one sex, or another. There are certainly roles where either sex are equally capable, but we can't escape the fact that in general, women will work less hours most likely because they are (and generally choose/prefer to be) the primary carers for the children.

    None of this is to try to take away from the value women add to work forces around the world, but quotas in any direction is asking for tokenism. Choose the best person and lets be blind to gender, colour and religion wherever possible.

    Stay Free



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,152 ✭✭✭Quantum Erasure


    Genghis wrote: »
    Not much to go on here, but perhaps its not necessarily a male vs female thing. I can imagine, for example, say a Senator from a non-government party who went through the process of getting elected, could potentially view a Senator who had been simply nominated by the Taoiseach of the day as holding a 'token' seat.

    I think in relation to the OP, that fact flew over most people's heads here


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,240 ✭✭✭...Ghost...


    And the results are in. Shocker....Andrew didn't get the job. Ah well, he had a fair chance, did he not?


    looksee wrote: »
    I absolutely agree with your first para, I think it is a great pity that the seat will automatically go to a woman just to balance the books. I think it is very bad for women to risk being considered 'token', it does them no favours. The job should go to the person best qualified.

    I absolutely dispute your second para though. This one instance is jarringly obvious and it does happen in a few situations, but as a general rule women are not 'being put ahead of men regardless of qualifications, experience and suitability.' There are many very highly qualified women in top jobs now who entirely deserve to be where they are.

    Well meaning efforts to create a gender balance are misplaced, but worse is the assumption that existed till very recently, and still exists in many situations that giving a man the job is the default, and for a woman to get it she has to show significantly more capability than a man. Of course this can easily mean that such a woman shows how successful a woman can be and this improves the chances of other women getting opportunities, which is a much better way of improving the gender imbalance than tokenism.

    Your final para sums up the situation nicely - if Tubridy is replaced by a woman you will be able to say, 'see I told you so' even if she is the absolute front runner in terms of suitability and capability. Nah, couldn't be ability, has to be gender balance and political correctness.

    Sorry, I missed this one. I'm glad to see we both agree that the practice of gender quotas, or diversity quotas are a bad thing and result in people questioning the appointments of positions which are often well deserved.

    On my second para, I wasn't suggesting that women in general are being put ahead of men. You took that one out of context. However, in a great deal of environments, women are given an advantage, based on the simple fact that there are less of them in certain industries, or roles. This is happening in our universities too. Males are being excluded from workshops and talks set up for only females to attend and benefit from. Companies like McAfee are offering female only grants for females in STEM courses. In these and many other circumstances, males are being excluded in favour of gender quotas and it is so wrong that this practice is seen as acceptable.

    My third para was a joke. Tubridy is a bit of a drama queen anyway :D
    Of course his replacement will be a woman. I haven't seen much movement in male promotions in the top jobs at RTE lately, at least not where the viewer is concerned. So, if Tubridy does leave, there will be far more women going for the job anyway.

    Stay Free



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,722 ✭✭✭✭RobertKK


    Gender quotas are token gestures as it implies one gender is not good enough to compete for the same position.
    This in the end does a disservice to men or women who get position based on achievements rather than what sexual organs they have, if the company, group or in this case a political body uses gender quotas. I am not sure if gender quotas were used, but it leads to suspicions they are in the job based on their sex.

    One could argue the vice president of the European Investment Bank was more qualified than Mairead McGuinness for the role she got in the commission, and wonder if it was gender balancing that ultimately decided it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,240 ✭✭✭...Ghost...


    RobertKK wrote: »
    Gender quotas are token gestures as it implies one gender is not good enough to compete for the same position.
    This in the end does a disservice to men or women who get position based on achievements rather than what sexual organs they have, if the company, group or in this case a political body uses gender quotas. I am not sure if gender quotas were used, but it leads to suspicions they are in the job based on their sex.

    Ursula von der Leyen has been a long time advocate of gender quotas. She frames it as a quota which applies to males and females, but the clear aim is to increase the number of females in prominent roles. An interview from 2011 sheds some light on this. She promotes the idea of sanctions where gender quotas are not met.

    Anyone with half a brain cell will know that McGuinness is a gender quota appointed commissioner. She would have only had potential competition if another woman was put forward with her.
    One could argue the vice president of the European Investment Bank was more qualified than Mairead McGuinness for the role she got in the commission, and wonder if it was gender balancing that ultimately decided it.

    I laughed loudly and cynically when I saw this. It was probably the only role where Andrew was better qualified than Mairead and would have been predetermined before a candidate was officially chosen.

    Stay Free



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  • Registered Users Posts: 599 ✭✭✭curioser


    Western87 wrote: »
    So a female Senator is alleging that a male Senator referred to her seat as a "token"

    !
    Of course she was a token. When the Taoiseach's appointments are made in a three party coalition there is very little room for manoeuvre when disappointed general candidates and the like have to be accommodated. There was already one token senator, the Northern Unionist, and with Eileen Flynn's appointment there was no room for the Northern voice. As she effectively replaced a token Senator, she de facto became a token appointment.


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