Bad start

And now Ruairi Quinn is at it too.

“This is one of those questions you can’t win either way, women know more about children than men because they spend more time with children.”

Yesterday, in the library, I met a dad with his little girl. After they finished reading their stories, they were heading off to do the shopping. Then the dad was going to work. Earlier this week, my own little girl’s dad took her up to an open night for her new school. I couldn’t go, because I had to work.

I have the height of respect for Ruairi Quinn as a politician, but his comments are just insulting – to men as well as women.

Yes, more women than men still do spend time with children (I’m sure the stats would bear this out), but more and more fathers are doing day shifts, night shifts, any kind of shifts with their kids, as Irish families change and evolve. I love to see my daughter heading off with her dad to go to ballet, or to do the shopping, or just to hang out. Do I know more than him about her? Probably. Does this mean, when he is put to it, he won’t do as well as me at the open day for the new school? Unlikely.

This is a bad start lads. Pigeonholing women – and men too – is a bad start. Bad start Eamonn Gilmore. Bad start Labour. Bad start Government.