Oliver Callan’s perceptions of feminism


Sir, – Oliver Callan’s gambol in the direction of a dialogue about men’s perceptions of feminism and their role in achieving gender equality is welcome (“Irish feminists should realise how much they need men”, Opinion & Analysis, November 25th).

Few would dispute that men, no less than women, must recognise the harmful consequences of gender inequalities, stereotypes and violence, and the necessity of working together to transform the attitudes and actions that perpetuate such harms.

The main difficulty with your columnist’s modest proposal is that it gives women yet another onerous unpaid job to do – to “get to”, “to teach” and to take by the hand men who are still attached to chauvinism and, presumably, to cajole them along the road to gender equality.

He also says women must make a greater effort to understand (male) chauvinism in order to dismantle it. But women understand such chauvinism very well; it is why they found it necessary to invent feminism.

I hope the author will dig deeper, beyond social media and popular commercial websites, to form his views about the diverse expressions of feminism in Ireland and around the world. – Yours, etc,


Professor of Political

Science and Sociology,

NUI Galway.