Humour is a notoriously tricky beast, one man’s Frankie Boyle being another’s Michael McIntyre.
It’s a conundrum that we’ve faced, oh, once or twice here at the Guide.
And now, it would appear that an attempt at humour by the MC at our St Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday didn’t exactly land the right way for some local parents.
Due to be posted on social media later today, we were sent an anonymous email from one of those parents.
“Can a woman now go home and make the lunch and do some ironing?”
These are the words the official commentator at the Greystones St. Patricks Day parade said to our daughters as they marched with the Girl Guides. Same commentator told our girls that the song they were singing about girl empowerment was “Provocative”.
As parents of a 10 year old girl we chose to send our daughter to the Girl Guides over the Scouts as the Girl Guides specifically encourages and nurtures the idea of female empowerment. You can imagine our utter disbelief and shock to hear these derogatory comments from the Greystones St Patrick’s Day official commentator.
We were sitting close to the judges stand and had listened with pride to our daughter and her guide friends singing their song all about “can a woman be a…” – full of positive messages about how a girl can be anything she wants to be and obtain any goal she puts her mind too. They had enjoyed lots of verbal support and applause along the parade route when people read their banners and signage which confirmed these positive female messages, only to hear the commentator then tell them that their song was “provocative” and “can a woman now go home and make the lunch and do some ironing?”
This comment is yet another example of ingrained misogynistic behavior in our society. For our daughter, her friends and those amazing leaders who have spent months telling these girls that they can be anything they want to be, to be told this at a public event in front of a large crowd of people was demoralizing for our girls and we are appalled and furious about it.
We dont feel that individuals that hold these views and that would find it appropriate or humorous to say these things to our daughters have any place on a public platform or event.
We feel that our children and all the Girl Guides and leaders are owed a public apology.
If you agree that this is inappropriate behavior please help us to raise this issue by making your local politicians and leaders aware of this event and that this type of behavior is still happening today and is no longer acceptable.
It’s worth noting that our Paddy’s Day MC did apologise in person to the Girl Guides leaders on the day, explaining that his remark was made in jest and was never meant to be offensive, and that they reportedly accepted that apology.
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