Gender Quotas And Me


Frilly Keane writes:

I suppose tis no secret that I’m no fan of Gender Quotas. In any walk of life. I’m one’ve those who believe that Equality as a statutory right should be enough. Mad right? But why should it. Be mad like?

Why should a governing policy or funding condition be implemented just to insist on my place on a Board or on a Party Ticket, or to even up the numbers on a Management team if I’m already qualified and suitable for the post anyway.

Aren’t I already entitled to equal consideration if I’ve declared my interest?

At this stage of our evolution here in Ireland, why should anyone still have to sue for a right they already have. I not going to deny it never occurred to me, but on the most recent occasion, I neither had the stomach nor the patience, but mainly because I was mortified that I would have to.

Now I’ll be honest, I really thought that part of what I’m about to introduce to ye would’ve bin done already, by those professional Opinion’ators and Journalists; those we’re expected to take seriously because the Main Stream Media news and views endorses them.

Maire Whelan: She had a job she was qualified for; Yes. She had a responsibility to do it right, honestly and beyond reproach; Yes, and not just to her employer, us, but also to her Professional Body – An Honourable Society apparently. Could she, or did she achieve any of those obligations? No.

She was a shyte Attorney General throughout both her terms. And that’s not an opinion, it’s a confirmed fact; how her responses to the Fennelly Tribunal alone didn’t even earn her a performance appraisal suggests some jobs cannot be questioned.

Even with the blanket of pals in high places she has very obviously depended upon throughout a pretty insipid career at the Bar, could she not muster up some semblance of professional obligation to a profession that’s served her too well as it is.

Nope. Not a bit of it; as AG Maire Whelan was obliged to present to the Government the three applications for a significant appointment in our Judiciary, but she wanted it for herself so she kept the applications to herself. Self-Serving – that’s not fair play and it is a denial of Equality. Something she is required to observe.

It’s not the appointment itself I have an issue with, it’s the conniving snakey way Maire Whelan secured the job for herself that I’m most offended by. And in truth, well my truth anyway, she and the then Government turned their arses to Transparency, Equal Opportunity and simple bog-standard Fair-Play.

Yet when they require it from dependents on the State, and those seeking Social Welfare assistance or Carers grants; Christ they’re all about it.

Anyone caught trying a bitta crafty non-disclosure there might end up with a Blue Shurt Manifesto named after them. Named and Shamed – and with the exchequer funding the advertising campaign.

So why didn’t Maire throw her hat into the ring with the other three candidates; like if she was that sure of herself she would have competed equally with the other candidates.

It’s a disgusting final play from someone who had the responsibility of being the first Woman Attorney General. Would Mary Robinson have conducted herself so grubbily? That’s up to ye. But one thing is certain, I have no confidence in how our Judiciary gets appointed.
I’m disgusted at myself for having had to say the first woman in the job. What the fúck should it matter. The best person for the job is what I want to be endorsing. And that’s where these Gender Quota lobbyists deny us all true and fair treatment.

Another snakey Lady in High Placement is our Garda Commissioner, Noirin O’Sullivan; now I don’t know if she actually earned that Job, or even the High ranks she captured on the way up to it.

That whole organisation has been rotten for decades, and is a closed shop and only serves those secured into it. It’s clear now that we cannot rely on any internal or external oversight other than hoping our Judiciary can. See above.

Here’s annuder one; Mary Mitchell O’Conner – talk about a sense of entitlement. She was elected a TD, that’s the job she has actually earned. That’s it as far as I can see. So what are her credentials to be granted a Ministerial Super Junior job ON FÚCKING DEMAND?

What we do know is that she was a terrible Minister and can’t retain senior staff; that latter part right there is a big enough signal that she’s just not fit for any enhanced role.

Gender Quota advocates should put that into their defence prep notes.

The whole Gender Quota thing is a cod anyway; its pander and lip service the Girls:Boys ratio; The optics – to be seen to be doing sum’ting. But in truth it’s all just what we’ve always called jobs for the boys. Get used to it lads, it’s not really about boys.

It’s about favouritism, payback, and patronage, and what can cope with the spin cycle. Not about Skill, Achievement, Expertise, Qualification, Contribution, Potential or Equality; which is what we deserve.

To be fair I don’t necessarily blame Leoseach for his Cabinet; he had fúck all talent to choose from anyway. But I hate the Gay Mixed-Race Taoiseach header that accompanies every event, photo op, and announcement.

What the fúck has that got to do with him being a Doctor, an elected TD, Minister, Leader of his Party, and now Taoiseach. If there was true Equality in this country, like inherently bred into us, the fact that he’s gay and half this n’ that wouldn’t even occur to anyone; and even less a matter required to enhance positive messaging.

Stick to the fact that #CampaignForLeo is the only thing of substance he has accomplished in years.

I’ve a pal and work colleague that is going to run in the next GE. She’s already a very active Councillor, but deliberately refused at Gender Quota place in the last one.

Her manifesto is very simple; People remember results. If she does get elected; and it’ll be tight if I’m honest, it’ll be because she has worked for it and the constituency she is hoping to represent will recognise her work and contribution already on their behalf, and her capacity to replicate it Nationally.

Not the Mná, and not that she was their only choice. Unlike Leo’s effin’ cabinet.

The Girls mentioned earlier really had a far bigger responsibility; to prove they could do the job under the same rules has the Men that sought to deny women for decades. They’ve done us all harm.

I’ve gone way over again, but for the weekend that’s in it; Hon’Cork

Frilly keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

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30 thoughts on “Gender Quotas And Me

  1. Mr.Ed

    You’re missing the point of gender quotas. There’s plenty of women who’ll be poopy at any job, but without gender quotas those jobs will invariably given to poopy men instead. The point is not too get better people into roles because women are somehow better than men (they aren’t), the point is to assure equality of access to those roles independent of how shite the candidates are.

    Side note: That said I can actually name more good female politicians than male tbh, despite there being a smaller pool to choose from.

    1. Increasing Displacement

      Thanks Ed, good explanation. I can steal this as a well worded reply to idiots I meet.

      Although women attract bears.

    2. nellyb

      You can’t have gender quotas without addressing the whole gender spectrum. Where does this leave bi-sexual or trans individuals? Once you get into it, you’ll be facing arguments popular with radical clericalism, like IONA.

      1. Mr. Ed

        It leaves them in a small minority, whereas women make up 50% of the population.

        Quotas are a thing (India have trialled trans quotas in some areas for example), but it’s a slightly different problem to 50% of the population being discriminated against. 0.5% of 10 people would make a strange quota target.

    3. Mr.Ed

      I can’t believe the moderator corrected my expletives to “poopy” when the article has “F***ING” in all caps???

      What’s this country coming to when you can’t even curse in the comments section of a news website?

      1. Frilly Keane

        sumting else Mr Ed
        I made it clear that all appointments should be based on credentials etc
        not gender

        1. Mr.Ed

          In an ideal world, yes. But there’s two problems with this:

          1. This assumes that currently all appointments are made based on fair assessment of credentials, rather than the reality where such assessments are consistently proven to be gender biased. Placing women in roles (even if they perform equally as poorly as men would) contributes to eroding socialised gender bias in assessment of credentials.

          2. Even if an assessor could manage to evaluate candidates without being affected by their own subconscious gender bias, your statement still assumes there’s only one suitable candidate, rather then a pool, and that choosing a woman to meet quota necessarily involves a compromise. This would never be the case in practice, unless there’s an extreme skills shortage, or the candidate selection process has other, unrelated problems.

          1. AnAccountant

            Right. The ‘shouldn’t it be the best person’ arguments assume, or at least seem to assume, that’s how things are now and that’s just not reality. The author even says that in the article. “It’s about favouritism, payback, and patronage, and what can cope with the spin cycle. Not about Skill, Achievement, Expertise, Qualification, Contribution, Potential or Equality; which is what we deserve.”

    4. Frilly Keane

      the point is to assure equality of access to these roles

      isn’t that what I kinda said
      like Maire not entering into the open process
      or nobody really knowing about Noreen’s different appointment processes

      1. Mr.Ed

        They’re just general examples of poor transparency and probable corruption in government. Equally applicable to all genders and feck all to do with quotas.

        1. Frilly Keane

          so why have them

          so lets shurrup about quotas and insist on the Statutory Rights we all already have

          1. Mr. Ed

            Or we can do both.

            I’m all for striving for transparency and accountability in government, but it’s sadly going to take a lot of change, and probably quite a long time (assuming things are improving, which is a big assumption). Women should just put their rights on hold until we can achieve a perfect utopia, yeah?

  2. curmudgeon

    A no nonsense common sense piece. In the same vein Joanna Tuffy’s election posters around Lucan proclaimed “vote Joanna Tuffy – your WOMAN TD”.

  3. nellyb

    “I’m one’ve those who believe that Equality as a statutory right should be enough.” – do we know each other? ;-)
    I enjoyed the clarity of your piece. Respect.

  4. Jimmey Russell

    ugh this article smacks of internalized misogyny and needs to be taken down

    1. AnAccountant

      Your post smacks of sarcasm but the internalized misogyny does seem like it might be on the money.

  5. rotide

    Great piece Frilly, enjoyed the read.

    ” I hate the Gay Mixed-Race Taoiseach header that accompanies every event, photo op, and announcement.”
    Particularly agree with this. I found it amazing that these tags were constantly being atached to him around these parts as well.

  6. AnAccountant

    This article is a bit confusing. You say things like;

    “I’m one’ve those who believe that Equality as a statutory right should be enough…..Aren’t I already entitled to equal consideration if I’ve declared my interest?” and then you say “The whole Gender Quota thing is a cod anyway; its pander and lip service….It’s about favouritism, payback, and patronage, and what can cope with the spin cycle. Not about Skill, Achievement, Expertise, Qualification, Contribution, Potential or Equality; which is what we deserve.”

    To me it reads like gender quotas are bad because you’re already entitled to equal consideration under the law but a few paragraphs later you outline why you don’t actually get that equal consideration.

    Are you arguing that gender quotas are bad because people should be judged purely on merit (as it seems in the beginning) or because you think the “system” is unfair and quotas won’t change it so we shouldn’t bother with them?

    At the end you say “They’ve done us all harm.” If people should be based on merit, aren’t you contradicting that notion there? Those crap people were women so they’ll harm perception of other women? Isn’t that an argument for gender quotas right there?

  7. Frilly Keane


    just today I met with a Lad, catch up over coffee
    work stuff
    and this person is one of those who I’d recommend and would work with again
    he says
    Noreen is one of the best of them in there (GS), and she’s great to work with,
    and that she’s definitely capable of sorting out all the poopy poo
    and was the only one ever able to manners on the old boys
    and is of the opinion that she was posted to Templemore originally – Chief Accounting Officer, to try an put a stop to the lads carry on

    Interestingly he also said that she is one of the very few, and for a long time, probably the only Garda Senior, that saw the value of Qualified and Experienced Civil Staff at senior level and External Contractors

    It was only fair that I put it out there

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