Irish Times women, 1970s: from left; Maeve Donelan; Nell McCafferty; Mary Maher; Geraldine Kennedy; Renagh Holohan; Gabrielle Williams; Christina Murphy; Mary Cummins and Caroline Walsh.
Of course, The Irish Times would never knowingly objectify women just for larks. That doesn’t make it any less unnerving to me that at evening news conferences, a typical ratio of men to women is 15 to one. When there are two women present, I count it as a good day for the sisters.
I have no idea how to fix a situation that has its origins in the fact that global wealth is the domain of white men. All I can do is consume the few examples of women-controlled media that do exist – strictly non-commercial projects, such as the Women’s Views on News site or the Antiroom podcasts.
The sheer relief that comes with listening to the latter and knowing that its panel discussions were at no time mediated by a man is quite unique. But it’s bittersweet too. Women are not a special interest group. We are not a minority. And yet in terms of media power, we are such small fry, buried beneath a cascade of fried eggs.
As for the blossoming No More Page 3 campaign, I wish them luck in trying to change attitudes to nudity in the news, though doubtlessly “the market” will continue to dictate that breast is best. Nipple counts, like hypocrisy levels, will remain perkily high. It’s not fair, but it is a game.