Tag Archives: feminism
Given the title of this blog, there maybe ancestors spinning in graves down in Kerry, but credit where it’s due.
Late last night during a 5 hour session, in which topics as varied as the lack of librarians to new cycle lanes were tackled after the summer recess, Cork City Council passed a motion to support a referendum to Repeal the 8th amendment to the Constitution.
So 5 hours in to meeting, cllrs have voted to support a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment – the constitutional ban on abortion #corkcc
— Eoin English (@EoinBearla) September 8, 2014
Cork City Council narrowly votes to support a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment on abortion. (12 – 11) #corkcc
— Alan Healy (@AlanHealy) September 8, 2014
The motion was narrowly passed, making Cork City Council the first brave set of counselors to make such a call. Over the last 12 months County Councils all over the country, have passed motions in support of a referendum on Marriage Equality, setting precedent for this type of motion.
The 8th Amendment Article 40.3.3 which is 31 years old restricts doctors from offering health care that women need and has seen over 160,000 women have to travel to the UK and increasingly women risking the 14 years possible jail sentence as laid down in the Protection of Life in Maternity law last year.
The 8th amendment is also responsible for the high court being able to make drastic care orders like those which were imposed on Miss Y. “This amendment is incapable of adaptation to human needs. It’s broken. It’s dead. It needs to come out.” stated Mairead Enright of Lawyers for Choice at a meeting to build a coalition to Repeal the 8th amendment last Saturday, it seem Cork City Council is in agreement with this.
We want to thank those brave, compassionate 12 Councillors who passed this motion and those who voted them into office in the last local election. It is going to take more brave and compassionate people taking action to make this referendum happen, you can take part by signing The Abortion Rights Campaign’s petition to repeal the 8th amendment, by taking the National Women’s Council of Ireland action to contact your TDs telling them you want the 8th amendment repealed and by joining us on the March for Choice on the 27th of September.
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.
This post has be simmering for a while, but before I start let me just don this fendora.
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.
Being on twitter and watching women I know and women I follow and other women who I have no connection with sharing stories of the same type of abuse was Powerful.
Women took over a section of twitter, made it their own safe space, shared stories and supported each other. Complete strangers read echos of what happened to them in the words of another woman, and saw other women struggling with the same feelings of frustration, anger hurt and disappointment.
It was the best solidarity and awareness raising excise I have ever seen and over 10,000 women took part over 36 hours. I saw men shocked and learning, I saw women connecting and finding each other and finding others who lived near them.
While being on twitter denotes a level of education to be literate enough and to have access via phone or pc, it is a very democratic space.
#Yesallwomen I see as a tipping point, yes it is by no means a goal in it’s self, but a start to more women not putting up with such treatment and knowing they are not alone and will be believed. They know that they have other women they can share with if they are in that situation again and are looking to gather up their courage to speak up and speak out.
Never underestimate the power of having 20 other kickass and supportive women (and men) in your pocket, whom you can talk to via twitter.
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.
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