Laundry apologists live among us

It’s easy to blame Church and State for all the ills that have blighted Irish society. Warehousing the poor in workhouses; separating children from their parents in industrial schools for the crime of poverty; enslaving women in Magdalene laundries for the crime of pregnancy. But those whose ancestors incarcerated women with the temerity to bear children [...]

In the prime of life

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth yesterday to a beautiful baby girl. Mother, baby, and soon to be stay-at-home Dad are reportedly all doing well. She will take six weeks’ maternity leave, and her husband will take over childcare duties after that. The overwhelming reaction online was ‘Woman gives birth. So what?’. But it’s [...]

Trysexuals to Love Island in 20 years

It’s been twenty years since viewers around the world gasped at the audacity of four New York women who weren’t afraid to talk about sex, vibrators and orgasms. They said aloud all the things that magazines like Cosmopolitan had been writing for years. And it made them a worldwide hit, for a market starved of television [...]

Was it for this?

When Constance Markievicz made history as the first woman in the British Isles to be elected a Member of Parliament, it must have been an epic moment. 100 years ago next year, (some) women across the United Kingdom, then including Ireland, got the vote, and the first to be elected was an Anglo-Irish republican socialist from [...]

2018-12-01T09:52:42+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Girls can't be what they can't see

The Irish women’s rugby team - the multiple Six Nations winning side that also managed to take home a Grand Slam in 2013 - is competing this week in the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Forget booking flights and expensive trips Down Under, this one is taking place right under our noses, at a time and in [...]

Return from maternity leave: The new normal

Me on my first day back at work after maternity leave. There was a LOT of concealer involved.  Thousands of us do it every year and thousands more  have been here before us. We trudge, skip or sail back  into the office after between six and ten months at  home, learning how to cope [...]

Tuam, the haves, and the have nots

In Rwanda in 2013, I walked among display cases full of skeletons, trying hard not to cry because it was not my tragedy. An atrocity like the Rwandan genocide diminishes each of us individually and as a part of humanity. But it was not my grief to own or display and I did not want to be [...]

Celebrating Nollaig na mBan

We've always celebrated Nollaig na mBan in my family. Whether it was the influence of my Limerick-born granny or my Clare-raised mother, we spent every 6th of January of my childhood in Ennis, having lunch with my Granny, her lovely neighbours who were such good friends to her and like grandaunts to me, and my aunt and [...]

Abortion: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dSICoqnFGA When news broke last week that the number of Irish women having abortions in the UK had dropped considerably, responses were predictable. The anti-abortion groups were out quickly to welcome the news. The pro-choice campaign suggested austerity budgets were to blame, with fewer women financially able to travel abroad. Nobody would for a moment [...]

Boning up on pop feminism

I spent almost three years of my life researching gender quotas, and there were times I thought I'd never want to see the word feminism again. But over the past few months I've been rehabilitated, and I'm back to reading again with a bang. As part of my (over-enthusiastic) purchasing for International Women's Day, I bought [...]