“[Women] need to be held accountable for their actions, just like any man. “

Let’s just remember we’ve not seen the terms of an inquiry (remember, it’s not a line I’m in favour of) never mind the detail of what Ms Foster may be culpable for, but for now, I’m just putting this here:

…you know what isn’t sexism? Facing valid criticism after overseeing a calamitous failure.

It all reminds me of the Emily Thornberry debacle in September. The shadow foreign secretary was asked a relatively obscure but still relevant question in a Sky News interview. Rather than just admit that she didn’t know the answer and moving on (do you know who the French Foreign Minister is?), Thornberry went into attack mode and accused the interviewer of sexism. Because asking a female shadow minister about the people she might be involved with if her party ever got into government would apparently never happen to a man in her position… Oh wait.

The good news is that nobody fell for Thornberry’s diversion tactic, and in both her case and Foster’s the claims of sexism were so farfetched it’s impossible to take them seriously. God forbid we ever find ourselves a world where we feel we can’t criticise a woman who does a poor job. Hopefully one day women will fill at least half the posts in governments. They need to be held accountable for their actions, just like any man. Otherwise it’s just another double standard.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty