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28th Oct 2017

Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry receive sexist comments

Taryn de Vere

It was announced this week that experienced journalists Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry will be the new presenters of the RTÉ Six One News as of January 2018.

This news was met with joy by those celebrating the professionalism and merit of Shanley and Perry, however, some men took to social media to express their outrage.

Some of the slurs aimed at Shanley and Perry were extremely offensive and abusive and are not fit to be repeated, while other men claimed that the appointments were the result of “Political correctness” and claimed that this is proof that men are being discriminated against.

Earlier in the year, it emerged that many women presenters at RTE were being paid less than their male counterparts.

RTÉ Six One News anchor Bryan Dobson’s earnings were between €60,000 to €80,000 per year more than his former co-anchor Sharon Ni Bheolain. The figures for 2014 showed that Dobson’s wages were twice Ni Bheolain’s for that year. The knowledge that women in RTE are earning less than men prompted some to speculate that the hiring of Shanely and Perry was to cut costs.

Speaking to regarding sexism in the Irish media sports journalist Evanne Ní Chuilinn previously said,

“You just have to laugh it off, because otherwise the focus is shifted to you in a new way when all you are trying to do is your job.”

“…there will always be one or two will have notions of themselves, and will offer their so-called opinion without a thought. And it is like something from the 1950s”.

Shanley and Perry have three decades of experience between them and are well-respected journalists in their own right. It is not right that women are asked to put up with earning less than men and having to “laugh off” sexist, abusive or creepy comments or actions from men.

That two women reading the news has unleashed such a torrent of sexist hatred proves the famous saying, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression”.