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Are you coming to the March for Choice?

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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Shamrokon: what I did last weekend….

I had been feeling the guilts that I was not at the marches on Saturday http://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/  or Sunday, http://www.marriagequality.ie/ as I was involved with running a large scifi convention.
But as problematic as Scifi/fantasy fandom can be, nothing at the convention needed smashing, which given that it was the european scifi convention it had 1,300 people from 33 countries and we had 130 program items and 113 participants, is mind boggling.

Often at these events cis white men can dominate the panels, that wasn’t the case, in fact we did have a gender disparity as we had too many women on panels. Also we had more women moderating then men, I was delighted that Cheryl Morgan who is a trans right activist as well as  is an Hugo award-winning British science fiction critic and publisher. took part on panels over the weekend and as I was moderating the Boycott panel and we talked about TERFS.

We had equal numbers of men and women displaying in the Art Show , non of the cos players were harassed, we had panels on women in 2000AD, women writers, Gender boxes in Game of thrones and real life, why women have had to use pseudonym to get published, the Hawkeye initiative, Missing Medieval Women, discussions on why fiction women write had been seen as lesser.

I let it be known that I was queer and a feminist and made sure our code of conduct included making the convention a respectful place including respecting pro nouns and the photograph policy. I had people tell me they felt safe. Our youngest and oldest panel participants were women and the youngest at 14 is the youngest ever for a Eurocon. We had 4 workshops and all of them were run by women. including Lora O’Brien. It was refreshing and awesome and all off the convention was accessible.

There were even scholar ship tickets for fans of colour and those who may not be in the financial position to afford to go http://con-or-bust.livejournal.com/. 2/5 of the guests of honor were women, Seanan McGuire andYlva Spångberg.  Seanan McGuire was wonderful to interview and referenced the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and was able to cite figures from the studies, and one of the others was Jim Fitzpatrick who  was one of the public signatories on the Anti Amendment statement opposing the pro life amendment in 1983, he is also a human rights activist.

 Shamrokon got it as right as a scifi convention can be and I am proud of what we accomplished and the people on the committee and the staff who all had social justice awareness before we started.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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What about the Menz!

This post has be simmering for a while, but before I start let me just don this fendora.

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Right lets do this. I have written a lot over the years about how I came to be a feminist, being a feminist and how that is important to me. Having grown up to be a woman in this society I am aware of the double standards, mixed messages, unreachable standards and limitations in how girls are socialized and women are expected to behave. I knew when I had my daughter some of the battles and struggles she would have to face.

I did have my son first and did think life would be easier for him, but I found out he has his own set of battles and struggles with the double standards, mixed messages, unreachable standards and limitations in how boys are socialized and men are expected to behave.

One of the people who helped open my eyes to this was Tom “Devore” Murphy.  in our many back and forth debating and discussing the topic of feminism over the years, one of his salient points was I don’t know what it is to grow up with the societal messages that boys don’t cry, boys are smelly, boys aren’t emotionally intelligent, men aren’t caring, and that other then aggression or pride few emotional expression are considered ok for men.

Yes both my brats have ASD, which means we have had to do a lot of work around emotions, figuring them out, what they are feeling, best ways to express those emotions, how other’s are feeling and being compassionate and considerate of others. This type of work is not done with most boys, girls learn it’s ok to talk about their feelings, boys don’t, boys get lessons in how to appear emotionally tough for when they have to go out and interact in male company.

These lessons can from family often unknowingly, from media, from peers from school, society and even media aimed at children. This youtube clip is 7 years old.

So what, do I as a feminist think is meant by the saying Patriarchy hurts men too.

Patriarchy is to me the promotion and enforcement of gender roles and stereotypes for the good of society. Thing is I didn’t grow up in a gender stereotypical family, My parents took turns being the stay at home parent, my Dad was reared in a household were hands had no gender, he had no issues 39 years ago changing my terry cloth nappies or making apple tarts. So much of what patriarchy promotes I have always known to be bullshit.

I see how such gendered enforcement holds back girls and boys, girls I would have always said more, I had believe that as gendered stereotypes were broken down, mostly by women and girls it would effect positively for boys and men.

For Every Woman
By Nancy R. Smith, copyright 1973

For every woman who is tired of acting weak when she knows she is strong, there is a man who is tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.

For every woman who is tired of acting dumb, there is a man who is burdened with the constant expectation of “knowing everything.”

For every woman who is tired of being called “an emotional female,” there is a man who is denied the right to weep and to be gentle.

For every woman who is called unfeminine when she competes, there is a man for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity.

For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.

For every woman who feels “tied down” by her children, there is a man who is denied the full pleasures of shared parenthood.

For every woman who is denied meaningful employment or equal pay, there is a man who must bear full financial responsibility for another human being.

For every woman who was not taught the intricacies of an automobile, there is a man who was not taught the satisfactions of cooking.

For every woman who takes a step toward her own liberation, there is a man who finds the way to freedom has been made a little easier.

But I have now come to see there has to be a complimentary body of work to be done, by men and boys for men and boys and supported by women and girls. Feminism is for me not just about smashing patriarchy, it is not just about equal rights and opportunities, it is about encouraging women and girls to speak out and speak up about what needs to chance and empowering them to make changes. I think boys and men need something the same along those line. I don’t think it’s feminism job to do it for them, I don’t think it would be right for me as a feminist to tell men what needs doing in how they related to each other and what should get priority in their movement.

I have tried before to get an action group up and going to agitate and petition for paternity leave (there is no legal entitlement to paternity leave in Ireland), there was a lot of talk about creating the group, but none of the men showed up. There are many issues which I am more then happy to support, lack or support services and awareness of male victims of sexual assault, rape and domestic violence, male suicide rates and mental health issues, the rise in male eating disorders as boys now have those impossible abs held up as what it means to be good looking, there is a list to be sure.

To date there is only one group/org which I feel I can show solidarity and support to and that is the men’s shed movement. Most of the other groups/orgs seem to waste so much time and energy condemning feminism and blaming it for all the ills that beset men. The men’s shed movement says that men are more inclined to talk shoulder to shoulder, working together then talk face to face, they do good work globally.

There are serious conversations needed, about what it means to be a man in society, the struggles men face. I do want these conversations to happen, I just wish they would happen to be parallel  to the ones women are having. I would love to see a hastag on twitter with men sharing the issues they have faced and deal with.

Just as I think there needs to be women’s only spaces to talk about what needs smashing and changing, I think there needs to be men only spaces to do the same and then we should be able to get together while respecting each other and offer support and solidarity.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Which every way you decide to vote please go vote.

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Voting is important, the more people in your housing estate which are registered and bother to go and collect a ballot, not matter who they vote for or even if they spoilt the vote, it’s noted. The level of participation does make a difference when it comes to allocating resources. It will take 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to to go trade your polling card for your ballot and then what you do with it, it is up to you.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Updated @ 11am:Voting Prochoice in the EU elections.

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Even with all the candidates which are running in the 3 regions very few of them are openingly prochoice.

* how ever it seems that the person whom Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has nominated to take his seat if he can not fill the one in the EU parliament is pro life.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/merciful-absence-of-rancour-in-ming-s-eu-canvass-1.1783650

But the garda whistleblower, John Wilson, is happy to chat. Wilson, who underwent bowel cancer surgery in March, had intended to run as a Mingist independent candidate here (there is an actual inky Ming stamp of approval, bestowed on 15 approved local election candidates) but has just withdrawn for health reasons. He remains Ming’s “deeply proud and honoured” first sub for Europe.

“I’m pro-life and anti-drugs – I’d ban tobacco if I could”, says Wilson, “but he still chose me. He’s just a really genuine, decent individual . . .”

If you have any more info about candidates, leave a comment or catch me on twitter.

11am 23/05/2014 Updates

South independant Jillian Godsil

Midlands north west Independant Cordelia Níc Fhearraigh

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Voting Prochoice in the Dublin West By Election.

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So only Roderic O’Gorman and Ruth Copperinger are pro choice that I could find out.

If you have any more info about candidates, leave a comment or catch me on twitter.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Voting ProChoice in local election

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So Roderic O’Gorman, Memet Uludag and TJ Clare are known to be Prochoice.

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So Ruth Copperinger and Louise Bayliss are known to be Prochoice.

If you have any more info about candidates, leave a comment or catch me on twitter.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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