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Wednesday 14 November 2018

'I don't want young men afraid of being #MeToo baddies' - Miriam

Miriam O’Callaghan
Miriam O’Callaghan

Miriam O'Callaghan has said she is "very lucky" to have never experienced a #MeToo moment during her career as a broadcaster, adding that working alongside men has always had a positive impact on her career.

The Prime Time presenter has said she has never found herself in a situation where she has been made to feel uneasy at work by a male colleague.

She added that young men should not be made to feel like they are "baddies" as a result of the #MeToo movement.

Speaking to RSVP magazine, she said the movement had made necessary corrections but was adamant there was still more work to be done to reach an equal playing field.

"I am obviously aware of other people who have had bad experiences, but I would be making stories up if I said I have had anything similar," said Miriam (58).

"I have had contrary experience: men have promoted me at work and I had a wonderful father. Dad was a feminist even though he came from a farm in Kerry, and he encouraged us all to go to university.

"He was a great role model and I also have a great brother, husband and work colleagues in RTE and BBC." Miriam revealed she was hit with a backlash when she posed a question on Prime Time on whether feminism was going too far nowadays and if men were being punished.

"I got an awful lot of criticism online. A lot of women said, 'I can't believe you asked that question' and obviously I answered them back," she said.

Terrify

"I said that you can ask a question without saying that the movement has gone too far. I think people are much more aware of the movement now, but you also need to not terrify every young man in the country as a result. Maybe some young men might be afraid to go out because of what they might say to young women.

"I think the correction was necessary and I don't believe that it corrected enough.

"I am an unreconstructed feminist and I certainly think that we lived in an unequal world. However, I wouldn't want young men to suffer.

"I still think the correction was necessary and it needs to continue, but we can't live in a world where every man - young, middle-aged or old - is a predator or a potential attacker.

"I believe that the overwhelming majority of men I know are decent, kind and gentle. Overwhelmingly, I don't think that young men should grow up thinking they are baddies from the get-go."

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