When Geldof told Mary that she had lovely legs, she should have used them to run a mile
So Bob Geldof tells Tanaiste Mary Coughlan that she has a lovely pair of legs. Pull to the other one.
No, he really did. And not while sitting around in a pub, everyone having a laugh listing off people's favourite body arts. This was at the Global Irish Economic Forum. In front of an audience made up of politicians and captains of industry.
What did she say? Nothing. She blushed apparently but nothing tripped of her tongue to make him blush.
So what should she, or anyone else, have said?
Discussing the former Boomtown Rat's faux pas on Midday this week, an all female panel agreed that Sir Bob crossed the line but couldn't agree on what the right reaction was.
Rip into the rockstar and you risk coming off as an uptight, PC fanatic. Say nothing and you're allowing inappropriate behaviour to thrive.
When are you better off to just let something slide? Or when should you speak up?
I'm always amazed at how many people believe that 'in private' it is okay to make jokes about say gay people or black people.
What about something like the phrase 'nitty gritty'. It's believed to have originated as a term for the unimportant debris left at the bottom of ships after the slaves had been removed. The meaning was extended to include the slaves themselves.
Most people I know, including myself, have used the term frequently.
Now that you know what it originally meant -- should you stop using it?
What about 'Mick', as in the word used to describe an Irish man, mostly abroad. Derogatory? Well I've heard lots of Irish people use it themselves. Or is who says the word the crucial part of the equation?
If we adhered to political correctness at all costs, we'd have missed out on all the hilarious Monty Python films and Bob would never have said Mary had nice legs.
Almost a week on, I'll bet she has the perfect witty riposte to Sir Bob's remark.
Something like: "Thanks Bob. They are. They work too.
"And I'd use them to run far from you, if you came anywhere near me ... "
What happened to all of our real men? I'm so sick of these wimps
Men who know too much about women. Correction; men who think they know about women. As irritating as someone doling out advice on child rearing who hasn't even had a baby. You know the cry -- "You girls are ... " "Women always do ... " "We all know women love..."
Broad sweeping statements; one part hubris meets two parts ignorance. And it is the metrosexual; 21st century, in-touch-with-his-feelings man, that epitomises the man who thinks he knows about women.
Exhibit A: "All women love flowers". In fact, not all of us do. Some of us think producing 12 red roses on Valentine's Day is, at best, unoriginal, if not completely demented, given the cost.
A qualification though -- even those that love bouquets, take a dim view of blooms sporting a bar code. We're on to this one. It spells out "just picked up from a garage, in a last-minute bid -- in fact a last-second bid -- to dupe you into believing you were top of my priority list".
Exhibit B: "All women love shopping". Most women I know regard a trip to a shopping centre as an exercise in how to feel bad about yourself in one easy trying-on-a-dress step.
The man that goes shopping with his partner is particularly intriguing. Why ladies, the obligation to inflict this torture? The men, especially those that aren't metrosexuals, walk a few steps behind their alpha female partners, shoulders slumped, carrying bags, the life blood sucked from them.
The Mack Daddy of all metrosexuals is the man who throws in his tuppence worth on pregnancy. Meet the man, who has taken up gynaecology as a hobby. This man bleats on through his partner's entire pregnancy about things like 'nesting'. "We're pregnant," he declares. We?
Where are all the men who use a bit of moisturiser but don't hog the mirror, have a dash of 'bromance' (close but not gay relationships with other men) in their lives but who have the cop on not to blather on about what women want?
There is a book you know, on what men know about women. 128 pages of it are blank ... .