Plenty of unintentional humour sprang from last Monday’s Women’s Mini-Marathon in Dublin – although, technically, we’re not really supposed to find it funny. As an event being held in the country’s capital, a city with a female mayor, it’s quite extraordinary that the organisers’ theme, from the compere through to the musical accompaniment, seemed to be one of ‘let’s patronise the girls’. A letter in this morning’s Irish Times describes the unfolding embarrassment rather neatly.
Under the headline: ‘Father Ted’ tone at mini-marathon
I took part in the mini-marathon on Monday for the third year running and was struck yet again by the Father Ted nature of the compere who talked to the crowd at the beginning of the race. I felt like I was in a lovely girls competition, when he said things like “well done girls” and “aren’t they great”. Surely it would make more sense for the person talking to a crowd of 40,000 women to be a woman? In addition, the bands located at 1km intervals along the way were 99 per cent men – mostly jaded three-piece wedding bands, singing patronising ditties like Joe Dolan’s You’re Such a Good Looking Woman. I am, but I wasn’t looking so good on Monday with that heat! I reckon it is time for some positive discrimination.
A friend who ran the marathon told me that she felt similarly patronised, especially when the PA was blasting out “appropriate” tunes such as Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl, and Ernie K. Doe’s Here Come The Girls from the bloody Boots ad. Worst of all, though, was Molly Malone – which was introduced by the compere in typically mortifying fashion: “This one’s for you, ladies, let me hear you sing it”.