Joan Burton — A Safe Pair of Tits

Susan McKay’s article causes a flap

Joan Burton would have made a safe pair of tits in government.

How about if I said something like that?

Oh, wait.  I did.  What a miserable old sexist I am.

Susan McKay, director of the National Women’s Council, on the other hand, is not a sexist, even though she says as follows in the Irish Times:

Burton should have been made Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. She was not. Why? Because a man wanted the job.

Not a better qualified man. Not even an equally qualified man. Burton, an accountant, has been Labour’s finance spokeswoman for nine years. She is tough, not least because she’s taken part in far too many meetings at which she was the only woman. Brendan Howlin has no significant experience of finance, but he’s a man. A safe pair of balls.

Ironically, I doubt if Brendan Howlin ever used those appendages for their intended purpose, but as a journalist you can say things like that when you’re a woman.  You can call a man a safe pair of balls because you’re a woman, and therefore it’s allowed.

I can think of even more gross things to say than a safe pair of tits, but I won’t go there, because I don’t intend to lower myself to to the level of self-pity Susan McKay has decided to occupy.

If she had said that Joan Burton was displaced by a self-serving, egregious worm, I’d agree with her.

If Susan McKay had said Joan Burton was elbowed out by a manipulating, scheming egomaniac, we’d be at one.

If the assertion was that Joan Burton, the martyred accountant, had been stabbed in the back by a two-faced, unprincipled liar, I wouldn’t disagree.

But what’s this talk of balls?

Have you ever, in your entire life, heard a female politician defined in terms of genitalia?

Ever?

What kind of shit is this?  Since when do the girls get to cry foul just because they wear their balls on the inside?

 

61 thoughts on “Joan Burton — A Safe Pair of Tits

  1. Having a pair of balls has nothing to do with having testicles as such. It’s a (linguistic) saying which means to have courage, assertiveness and an opinion.
    Of course it derives from the male testosteron-driven way to do things without thinking beforehand. That’s how things get done, not necessarily in a good way. But it’s part of the language without any gender issues.
    Women have balls, too. That is, they have courage and do things.
    Has nothing to do with tits, if you mind.

    English is your first language or mother tongue, I assume, so you should know better than nitpicking on lingustic fineries and make up something about inequality in the gender question.
    .
    I always loved the English language because it’s so figurative and vivid. And I’ve learned to take nothing literally.

    I have balls, believe me, though not between my legs. I have tits, too, but that’s biology. Or do you know any linguistic expression re. tits?

  2. Considering centuries of subjugation and domination of women by men.. a little ball comment isn’t much in the scheme of things, Bock. There isn’t any self pity in that.

    Susan might be angry and indeedin she’s entitled to be. It mightn’t the PMT talking or she mightn’t be hysterical either.
    Maybe Susan has been bypassed for opportunities herself. Maybe Susan is on a lower salary compared to her male counterparts as it is for her fellow woman in this country and other countries. I read about it only recently in the Irish Times -women earn on average, for a similar position 20-30% less than a man.

    When we’re tough we’re bitches. When a man is tough, he’s effective.
    When we’re angry, it’s the PMT and we’re being hysterical. When a man is angry.. it’s justified.

    You could be a little more sensitive sometimes about the female struggle Bock. Just saying.

    Joan was shafted. Pushed aside. And Susan is saying it’s because she’s not got a pair of balls.. – anatomical ones. If it were all tits in the Dail you’d be entitled to say: “just because I’ve no tits I didn’t get the job. ” And we’d empathise with that, shed a tear with you and give you a hug.

  3. Hmm…
    “…he’s a man. A safe pair of balls…”
    You are right, you can read it in an anatomical context.

    But it’s still open to interpretation. Reading it in a newspaper I would understand it as “a man is more assertive than a woman” – hence a “safe pair of balls” which is still metaphorical.
    The article context sounds to me rather accusing the powers to be to chose one of their own, that is men. As in “we are men, we like to stay amongst our own and having preferably one of the lads (with anatomical balls).”
    A SAFE pair of balls, not a safe pair of BALLS.

    Never mind, I still think that Joan Burton would have more “balls” (and tits) and certainly more knowledge about financial affairs than anyone else in the elected crowd.
    Not that I have any confidence in politicians as such.

  4. And I’m saying, let’s see the evidence that the shafting was not due to a scheming little fuck, as opposed to an anti-women agenda.

  5. You know perfectly well you can’t produce evidence that would conclusively show something like that. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. McKay is right to be suspicious. The colourful language serves to make the point well. And another thing: I don’t think saying ‘safe pair of tits’ would be at all equivalent.

  6. You’re right. He’d be a scheming little fuck..
    But who’s allowing the shafting? The boys. You hear rhetoric about low numbers of women going into politics.. yet when you happen to have a half decent qualified capable person for the job, who happens to be a woman, what happens? Shafted. Pushed aside. Dismissed. Disregarded. Harangued. I think Susan is saying that’s due to her being a woman – i.e her being all out of some balls.

  7. There’s a logical disconnect there. It’s true that the cabinet are almost entirely men, but it doesn’t therefore follow that Joan Burton was excluded from the second finance brief due to gender. As I said, Howlin is a scheming, manipulative little swine and I think he’d shaft his rival whether that person is a man or a woman.

  8. I always prefered the phrasing “testicular fortitude”! Also I’ve called Mary Harmey a C**t on numerous occasions!

  9. “A logical disconnect”.. aka a dope huh?!! Are you calling me a dope because I’ve no balls huh? huh? I’d like to lodge a complaint please. :)

    Anyways, Howlin was appointed by another man – Inda. He didn’t appoint himself.
    But you’re right. It can’t be proven any decision was gender based and neither can the fact that she was shafted because someone else was more manipulative or conniving in getting the position that she was more qualified for in comparision. So all things being uncapable of being proven.. facts are there is a low number of women in politics, especially senior political level.. so with Joan being the more suitable, she should have gotten the job. It’s all very suspect and sinister either way and unjust.

    They’re all a pack of archaic windbags in any event and it wouldn’t shock me in the least if they were also sexist archaic windbags.

  10. Jesus. I thought they put her in charge of knitting or something. That doesn’t warrant that type of salary.

    None of them deserve the salaries they are on.. Anyways it might be a blessing in disguise for her and for the best for her career in the long run. Who knows how things will pan out for the current crop of gombeens.

  11. They put Joan in charge of the Dept of Social Protection ((formerly Welfare). One of the biggest spending departments. Not exactly knitting.

  12. after the complete fool she made of herself on the v browne show, she was lucky to get anything. She made a right pair of balls of it that night, I bet Howlin(who I agree is creepy) was haranguing himself with laughter watching it!

  13. Howlin was’nt appointed by Inda, he was appointed by Gimmemore, sites for sale, no reasonable offer refused, especially when the taxpayer is picking up the tab, she’s a bean counter, nothing else, one bean coumter is as good as the next, makes no diffrence to Joe Public, we will still have to carry the can.

  14. Little to do with gender but more to do with Labour Party. Both are convenient scapegoats if anything goes wrong.

    Fine Gael can do no wrong with Transport, Tourism, Sport and Defence.

  15. Ms. Burtons gender made it easier to smear against her, but I suspect the reason she was shafted was that she was “unsound” on the banks from a Fine Gael point of view.

  16. “she’s a bean counter, nothing else, one bean coumter is as good as the next, makes no diffrence to Joe Public” says Jookeen

    Would that be an FF beancounter you’d prefer Jokeen? McGreevey maybe, another bean counter, as you put it, only he lost all the beans. Want him back, do we?

  17. As I see it the appointment had nothing to do with gender Burton and Noonan actively dislike one another
    ,to put it mildly, to appoint them to the two Ministries would have had them at one another’s throat . Burton has been given the highest spending position in the Government and will probably have to wield an axe from day one . No better Woman or Man for that matter.

  18. I rather liked the metaphor… thought it was funny.
    A majority of one again !!

  19. @Paul. Met him tears ago during the Spring Reich. Seemed to be an enforcer
    although first impressions aren’t always correct.

  20. Ms McKay would never have got the nice little number she has if she had a pair of balls. Somewhat ironic?

  21. So how come Brendan Howlen got it? Pure old Labour. His dad was Corish’s right hand man in Wexford for 30 years and an ITGWU official. Brendan, believe it or not, was even called after Corish and went on to win his seat.

  22. What did he predict Gary?

    A little risque himself there, is Kevin.. “while she-guests nearby enjoy their warm showers, their buzzing rabbits” Would he deny the “she guests” their toys? Clearly a man with mammy “issues”.

    I would have liked to have seen some facts on his assertions that we have more male, foreign and Islamic doctors due to the amount of female doctors going on maternity leave and working part time after motherhood.

    Sounds like rubbish he made up. The ‘she doctors’ he refers to and ‘she guests’ as female prisoners do little for his credibility. It is fatuous to him that a female applicant to a medical college is not allowed to be asked whether she plans to remain in medicine if she has a baby.

    What kind of a twit is he? Would anyone seriously want their daughter or sister or niece being quizzed about their reproductive plans at an interview. (what if they were barren.. what if their husband/boyfriend was impotent, what if they were gay etc etc) And besides last I heard, it take two to create a child.

  23. Whatever about KM’s terminology, which is no more extreme than Susan McKay’s, he makes some points of substance.

    It’s inconceivable that a man in public life would get away with similar comments about female genitalia without a single word from the politicians. He makes the very same point as I made in this post.

    Myers is correct when he says that a 16-year-old boy, but not a girl, can go to jail for having sex with somebody their own age.

    He’s correct about the different sanitary facilities in the male and female prisons.

    And he’s correct that the family law courts are biased against men.

    Let’s address the substance of what he said and leave aside his tendencies towards drama. Sometimes you have to throw a hissy fit to get people’s attention. Ask Susan McKay.

  24. FME Not quite but close don’t you think?
    “And at this point I am now braced for the many lunatic thought-police quangistas that will come howling for my blood, my freedom and my career, merely for uttering these heretical thoughts, “
    I am of the opinion he makes some valid points.

  25. It’s not even so much the anatomical terminology he uses (e.g. ferocious fannies etc) that I have a problem with.. as he’s clearly using this to make the point that he thinks politicians and feminists would be up in arms if he did use the terms earnestly.

    What I have a problem with is his use of words such as ‘she doctors’.
    “All of these she-doctors have had their education paid for by the State” Maybe he didn’t mean anything by that other than the sex of the doctor.. but it sounds a little sarcastic to me.. “All of these she-doctors”

    He also thinks it’s acceptable to ask female applicants to medical college if they plan on remaining in medicine once they have a child. This is ridiculous.

    He states as fact that there are currently more foreign, male, Islamic doctors due to there being too many female doctors who only work part-time or not work at all, once they’ve had a child. Where’s the evidence for that?

    Nobody would disagree with the inequality toward men, that he points out .. but I think he discredits himself with the cries of hypocrisy at feminists.

    He definitely has points of substance Bock… but why can’t they stand on their own merits without comparison to feminist causes. He seems to think they should be fighting for causes outside the scope of what they are about. You’d hardly accuse an organisation involved in fighting racism of ignoring animal cruelty issues, for instance.

    Susan McKay had a legitimate argument to make, as does Kevin. Any male politician (or female for that matter) is perfectly entitled to voice their concerns in terms of Susan’s language.. I don’t think they “dare not rubuke” her though.. they just don’t care and aren’t silly enough to get involved, as they’d have to address the legitimate point she made.

    He was singing from the same hymn book I remember too in the case of the two teenage girls involved in the murder of the two Polish men last year. It’s not up to feminists to fight for equal punishment of girls/women.. that’s not their cause. Maybe Kevin needs to differentiate between women and feminists and what the feminist cause is. Lots of women are disgusted at various forms of male inequality.

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-myers-it-is-obscene-that-these-two-teenage-shethugs-are-free-2176098.html

  26. Sorry Gary, didn’t know what you meant by.. “not quite but close .. And what he predicts”..
    The part you quoted – “And at this point I am now braced for the many lunatic thought-police quangistas that will come howling for my blood, my freedom and my career, merely for uttering these heretical thoughts” Hardly likely anyone would come howling for his blood after that article… Kevin needs to get over himself.. the drama queen.

  27. “KM also spoke about he-prisoners”. Who’s KM? :) Oh right.. That he did.
    All right.. leaving the ‘she doctors’ bit out of it then.

  28. Seems like KM is correct in his rant and probably makes us the most f***ed up c**try around. Seems like political correctness (or incorrectness) gone completely out of control. Kind of scary (legally) being male and a bearer of balls

  29. I’ve always had high regard for Susan McKay as a journalist. When I hear this from such an authoritative source, I feel quite embarrassed about being a man.

  30. “I’ve always had high regard for Susan McKay as a journalist. When I hear this from such an authoritative source, I feel quite embarrassed about being a man”..
    Sorry to hear that Bock.. some D.I.Y. or some kind of manly things will put your maniless back on track. I know.. watch a rugby match and grunt and scream at the telly while beating your fists off your chest.. that’ll do it! :) Don’t mind Susan McKay. She’s only obsessed with balls, cause she has none.

  31. And Kevin Myers, he has always been an excuse for a man, the term Drama Queen fits to perfection. He writes what he writes to cause controversy not because it is his opinion!

    Gengis Khan was a moderate in comparision!

  32. Carrig – it’s not open to interpretation. It’s clear as say.

    And as for ‘the female struggle’, FME – oh please this is not Afghanistan.

    Men are far more likely to be unemployed in Ireland, men’s health issues aren’t nearly as prominent as women’s which contributes to the shorter life men get, and that’s without factoring in the suicide rate amongst men.

    Women can be whatever they want without judgement, unlike men who face derision for being, sy a nurse. Women get millions of tax payers money for their National Council, men get nothing. Women like Ivana Bacik make grand pronouncements about the unfairness of a place like Portmarnock…….at speeches to the Irish Women’s Lawyers Association. Last year on international women’s day we were treated to our female Tanaiste boasting about how 75% of the budget was controlled by women. What a great job they did too.

    And furthermore, FME, if you don’t like being labelled ‘a bitch’ when you’re just being ‘tough’ then don’t come out with bitchy crap like this “some D.I.Y. or some kind of manly things will put your maniless back on track. I know.. watch a rugby match and grunt and scream at the telly while beating your fists off your chest.. that’ll do it! ”

    The Irish rugby team are tough. Those male Chilean miners were tough. Your comments are the condescending words of a bitch.

  33. One other thing, if Susan McKay’s deemed herself successful in her job, then she’s have to acknowledge that there’s no need for her job to exist – so I don’t see any reason to listen to her.

  34. “It’s not up to feminists to fight for equal punishment of girls/women.. that’s not their cause. ”

    Equality is not their cause? What’s their cause then? Female domination? All the more reason to stop funding these gender-bigots.

  35. “All the more reason to stop funding these gender-bigots.” You sound like a bit of a gender bigot yourself there Mk. Woe is me, pitiful stuff really. I thought my “female struggle” comment was a bit over the top, but you sound like you might be sincere in what you’ve written there.
    You can be whatever you want to be Mk..if you believe that you’re capable.

    “Men are far more likely to be unemployed in Ireland.” I’d like to see figures for that.. but I’d imagine if they were it would be due to the downturn in industries like construction. 75% of the budget controlled by women? Really?

    My words were not meant to be condescending. “I feel quite embarrassed about being a man” Seemed like a joke to me. So ah..get stuffed.

    RE: “It’s not up to feminists to fight for equal punishment of girls/women.. that’s not their cause. ”
    “Equality is not their cause? What’s their cause then? Female domination? All the more reason to stop funding these gender-bigots.”

    Ok to explain it again. Say for instance, a person of a minority commited a crime, you’d hardly expect an anti-racism organisation to be an advocate for punishment. In other words, any organisation is set up to be an advocate for beneficial treatment, not to push for treatment that would be to the detriment of their members’ interests or to get involved in matters that are beyond the scope of their movement.

  36. An anti-racist campaigner exists to stamp out racism. Feminists exist to ensure gender equality. If they are just ‘advocates for beneficial treatment’ for one half of the population, regardless of fairness, then I stand by my assertion that they should receive no public funding. And what exactly is the scope of their movement? I think if women were getting worse treatment in the criminal justice system they’d take an interest. It’d give Susan McKay something to do.

    Not every organisation is set up to relentlessly benefit one group to the detriment of another. Some of us believe in justice, even if that means holding a woman responsible for her actions from time to time.

    Your first paragraph was just pathetic. You’re saying woe is upon you? How does pointing out one person’s prejudice make me prejudiced? If I say the KKK are racist, does that make ME a racist? You’re not making any sense at all.

    Yes, 75% of the budget – according to our then (female) Tanaiste. And are we to take it that we don’t need to concern ourselves with unemployed men? Sound.

    And if a person of a minority committed a crime, yes, i’d expect everyone to advocate for punishment. You think they should be let off?

  37. Look Mk, I think men are great. You’re preaching to the wrong gal here.

    I believe there are issues that face everyone and advocacy groups have their own agendas. Of course a person of a minority who commited a crime should have an advocate for punishment. That’d be a prosecutor. Not an anti-racism group. Surely that makes sense logically, no? I’m saying it’s the same for feminists groups. They are not going to be an advocate for punishment for a woman who commits a crime. That’s within the remit of the justice system.

    My first paragraph was to say you’re sounding like the feminists you’re complaining about.
    “Women can be whatever they want without judgement, unlike men who face derision for being, sy a nurse.”

    Everyone faces judgements of one form or another.

  38. Mk — Congratulations. You win the prize for making the very first comment on this site that I couldn’t make head or tail of. What the fuck are you talking about?

  39. For what it is worth, which may be ‘not much’ AND admitting that the general statistics I will quote are culled from the American population, I will nonetheless use them to illustrate what I hope is a valid point. Not the only point, just a valid one.

    From the US: one in 4 women will be raped. Of those numbers, two in four will be raped by someone they know. One in four will be raped by more than one assailant. A college-educated woman earns 0.70 cents for every 100 cents (one dollar) earned by a high school (secondary) educated man. Women are 52% of the population, but hold 2 to 4% of high level positions. Rapes (of men or women) are understood to be grossly under-reported, so those statistics are based on ‘best guess’ efforts

    Human history, certainly western human history, for the most part demonstrates that women for thousands of years were chattel, spoils of war and property. I know that human society is evolving, and that women in western society have opportunity, support and freedom in the last 70-some years that they never before enjoyed. But it is a fact of human societal evolution that that fact does not translate into immediate and pervasive equality. The statistics prove otherwise. Societal norms in the main change gradually and by fits and starts, despite legislation or strident advocates indulging in ‘over the top’ remonstrations. And in process it is difficult, confusing and even threatening or insulting as it shapes itself.

    It is human nature not to recognise a knee-jerk reaction to discomfitting change for what it is. Our attitudes, beliefs and prejudices are formed from a thousand sources paraded past our developing minds from cradle to grave. It has always seemed to me to be as looking out a window; you see the landscape beyond and rarely if ever see the window itself.

    In my country, for example, the mostly white population mostly believes that racial prejudice is a thing of the past and bridle at the comments of those who maintain, statistically, that it lives with us still. Our president is believed to be, by a signifigant portion of the population, and despite evidence to the contrary, not of american birth. The majority of these are of over-45 years of age. My take is that not everyone here was ready for a black president. They refuse to even consider him to be an american. Societal change comes slowly.

    How much more ‘slowly’ will come the truly equal status of women? So gentlemen, please, forbear our occassional stridency, our ‘bitchiness.’ Please believe me when I say that it is come by honestly, if unpleasantly. The change will be gradual, generational and some amoung us will be impatient to down right hostile. Forbear. Put yourself in our place and imagine bucking millenium of entrenched belief and power only to gain at this late date a small margin of consideration.

    Whether you do or not, we cannot do without you, any more than you can do without us. So be a generous lover tonight, you can afford it, and you sleep in the wet spot this time.

  40. ” I’m saying it’s the same for feminists groups. They are not going to be an advocate for punishment for a woman who commits a crime. That’s within the remit of the justice system.”

    Feminism is supposed to advocate for equality – not for making life better for women at the expense of men. Tell me, do you really taxpayer’s money should fund an industry that advocates for one gender regardless of justice?

    Yes, it’s within the remit of the justice system – so was the decision on Portmarnock, it didn’t stop feminists carping about that though (and the irony of the Irish Women’s Lawyers Association having their say was delicious)

    That ‘everyone faces judgements of one sort or another’ couldn’t be any more weak. It in no way refutes what Im saying about judgements passed on house-husbands, male nurses or male air stewards.

    Bock – well since you didn’t ask me to clarify any comment in particular, I’d say that’s at least two comments that are indecipherable.

    rmari – you’ve got shit taste in men judging from your last comment, and a bad eye for statistics judging from your first one.

  41. Mk — I didn’t see any points that needed clarification. What I saw was an incoherent reaction to things that weren’t said.

  42. whew, MK, you’ve belligerence to burn. Take a breath, a pill, a nap. Or all three.

    Neither my “eye” nor statistics are “bad” because you don’t like them. And if you are not already flying at your keyboard to deliver another verbal swat, get a dictionary and look up the word ‘metaphor.’ While you’re at it, look up ‘conversation.’ It works better for all when you are not simply firing at every hat that appears above the hedge.

  43. “That ‘everyone faces judgements of one sort or another’ couldn’t be any more weak. It in no way refutes what Im saying about judgements passed on house-husbands, male nurses or male air stewards.”

    It’s not possible to refute that statement MK. Because it’s your opinion.
    I cannot prove your opinions to be false.

  44. rmari – when I said “bad” I meant “made up”. It’s not that I don’t like them so much as they are fiction. Obviously your eye for men IS bad if you have to encourage me to sleep in the wet patch. Your last post contributed absolutely nothing. “Take a pill” seriously? Are you 10?

    FME – that’s a cop out. You can certainly prove opinions are false, or at least built on foundations of sand

    Bock – I was responding directly to things FME said. I don’t know how to make it any clearer

  45. Nine months later you reply to a thread. I know it’s a good idea to take a deep breath, but this has to be a record.

  46. 9 months huh. Mk was probably up the duff with a bun in the oven..
    welcome back Mk. Hope all is well and you’re not taking no shit out there.
    You go girl.

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