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Voting and why I do it.

I have mentioned before that I read this book around the same time I became a teenager.
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It is the story of the fight for women’s suffrage in the USA. It made me aware of the countless hours women of many generations worked so hard for to get the right to vote some suffered horribly in vile prisons and some even died.

Women in Ireland did not have the Vote until 1928.
Yep 1928 which means we have not had the right to Vote yet for a 100 years.

Suffragettes including our most famous ones Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington seemed to think once women had the Vote the world would be radically changed as we would be then equal with men and able to change laws and make the world and the country a fairer place.

While I think if those brave ladies were to travel forward in time there are many things they would be pleased with but I do not think that the level social change and ‘equality’ would be something they would be happy with.

Women having the Vote did give us a certain amount of power but as we all know well now it was not the Pancea for all ills the suffragette had hoped it would be. But that does not mean it won’t be as we move forward and with the internet making it easier for us to communicate and collate information, making an informed choice and being informed on whom to vote for has gotten easier.

Every time I get a polling card with my name on it I think of the women who dedicated themselves in the fight to get women the right to Vote and didn’t live to get to Vote themselves. 86 years of having the Vote, I don’t think women have done enough with it. The old boy’s club is still very much the way things are in our houses of parliament. We deserve better.

I am refusing personally to vote for any candidate who is not pro choice to some extent. I will never give a preference to any candidate who considered women like me to have committed murder. I will never give a preference to a any candidate who does not see the need for a separation of church and state esp in our schools and health care system. I will never give a preference to any candidate who does not see the need for a comprehensive universal sex and sexuality education program in our schools.

I have had people ask me why bother, well that just means things stay the way they are. Often less then 55% of the people who are on the electoral roll turn out to vote and we have people who are eligible to vote who are not even registered to do so. If there is a low turn out in an area, which politicians can tell, due to the numbers being low then they don’t feel the need to work so hard on the issues being raised in those areas. You want to make a difference, get active, get informed and vote.
It is a lot easier to do so now, then it was when women first got the vote in 1928, it’s easier now then it was 50 years go even 20 years ago.

I Vote because I believe I have an honour and a duty to do so. I have never failed to do so in the last 21 years and I hope I never do.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Ladies who lunch? Part 1

So over the last 10 weeks my daughter has been in a Mindfullness program aimed at teens, to help them figure out their emotions, triggers and find ways to deal with a range of things, from negative thought patterns, panic attack, temper outburts. While the teens have been attending the 90min sessions some of us parents would go for coffee or lunch and chat.

The parents I did this with all turned out to be mothers, rather then fathers as it’s still expected or easier for them to get time off work to do bring their children or else they are a stay at home parent due to the extra care their child needs.

It was nice to spend some time with them and to exchange war stories, to know my kids ‘weridness’ is actually pretty normal for kids on the autism spectrum. Over the 10 weeks we laughed, cried, shared and reached a certain comfort level. Our last ladies who lunch session was this week. The topic of teenage sex and sex education and the pressures on teens to become sexually active was trashed out over lattes, tea and sparking waters.

The point was made that it’s not really that different from when we were teenagers and they started disclosing how old they were when they lost their virginity. This was the end of my feeling included and the same as them. I don’t even define virginity in the same way, or even sex it seems. I had to decide would I be the only one who didn’t share, should I share but only speak to part of my sexual history which was similar to them perpetuating bisexual erasure or would I flat out say my first sexual partner was a teenage girl like I was.

 

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So I took a deep breath, while no one said anything mean or biphobic, some were startled, and there were a moment or two of silence. No one asked questions, but then the topic was swiftly changed to if anyone was going anyway over the summer holidays and how difficult doing that is with children who don’t cope well with a change in routine.

It was a few moments discord in what had been 10 weeks of all just getting along, but it still happened. It’s been said that we never stop coming out, but I can see why people stop, as it can make life easier. Maybe I just need to go to lunch with a different type of Ladies.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Blowing off the cobwebs…

It’s been 6 weeks from my last entry here, it’s been busy trying to enjoy what was left of the summer holidays with my brats and getting them back to school. I’ve gotten to the stage where I miss writing. Often I had ideas and even started to parse them in my head but I just didn’t seem to have the will to sit still and write. Time to change that and get back on the horse.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Bigger on the inside.

This, this is art and sharing and why I <3 her work so much and respect her as a person as well as an artist. This had me sobbing quietly and willing myself to stay to the end and listen, rather then fleeing to cry where no one could see me. As I did, those people around me who I am blessed to call my friends, gently touched me to let me know they were there, but not in a way which would make me falter.

When she was done I fled to the ladies and sobbed my guts out for 5 mins and then went back to sing and laugh and dance. The last two weeks for me have been wonderful, I have been happy, I have been content in my own skin, no panic attacks, I have been feeling in charge of me and my life. Twice I have felt awful, that flash which reminds me that I had not been that way for a long, long time.

I was enjoying myself on Thursday with abandon, no cloud to struggle against, no dampers on me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and then this was played.

I am bigger on the inside, other people see it, I haven't been able to.
But I know so many wonderful people, I got and gave amazing hugs to 50 people on Thursday alone.
The last two weeks have been so healing for me.
I am blessed and I know that I am bigger on the inside.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Blog for Choice day: I had an abortion.

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Today is Blog for Choice day, and people all over the world will be writing blogs to as the site puts it “gets more people reading and talking about reproductive rights” I know that is what this entire wordpress site of late has been about.

So really it’s not surprising that I got involved last year with the new level of activism about abortion in Ireland. It’s been online engagement, writing, meetings, plans, demos and marches. I was at the meeting which saw the naming of the new Abortion Rights Campaign. I have been a small part of the process of making that happen and will be involved.

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I was there with about 150 other people all of whom are pro choice and listened to the speakers and contributors. We heard about how the Aviva stadium holds 50,000 people and 3 times that number of women have traveled to the UK for abortions. We heard about that for everyone of us who have stood outside the Dáil protesting there are 1,000s of silent women and some thing inside me snapped.

Before abortion was legalised in France and Germany 100s of women came out together and said “I had an abortion.”

I think we need Irish women to do that, but I would never ask someone to do something that I would not myself.
So I addressed the meeting and asked to speak as a woman who has had an abortion. Stated that I was happy the campaign was to use the word abortion and that we need to break the taboo, end the stigma and we need women to be able to say I had an abortion, and so I addressed them all and said “My name is [Sharrow] and I had an abortion and I only regret that I had to travel”. The response was nearly over whelming, but I kept it together and didn’t start sobbing. I quietly tweeted what I had done as I had been live tweeting that part of the day.

I had so many people say to me that day in person that I was very brave to do that.
Why should standing and saying I had an abortion in a room full of people who are pro choice, who are there to fight for abortion rights be brave?

It shouldn’t be.

I had people respond to me on twitter and by text message saying the same, all being supportive but time and again saying I was brave but I don’t think it was about being brave, it was and is about being fed up of being talked about as a statistic.

I am 1 of the 150,000 women who traveled to have an abortion.Each of us is a person with hopes, dreams and rights. I hope that more Irish women will be able to step forward and say ‘I had an abortion’.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Mortals Dream

Mortal’s dream or so we are told.
Their night flights to their desires are mold.
Here they are what they wish, and do what they will;
Knights in armour with dragons to kill.
Worlds beyond counting, dangers concealed.
And dark sweet secrets strangely revealed.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Tori time.

Some days need a little bit of Tori time in them to lift the spirits and make you think.

Her music has always drawn me in but it is the lyrics and layered meanings which keep me coming back, it’s musical poetry, it’s a story, it’s conveying complex emotions. I never got ‘pop’ music which didn’t do that growing up, I wasn’t a brosette or or a boy band fan.
Music which has meaning and makes you think was and still is what I like and many of the
bands I listened to while my peers were drooling over the twins and the other one,
like the sugar cubes, the cure, the smiths, the stunning I still dip in and out of.

Tori came a bit later and it was not under the pink which really hooked me but boys for pélé with it’s richness of sounds and range of instruments.

Some of the tracks were recorded here in a church in Delgany.

I do believe that certain types of music will change the way I am thinking and can be good for focusing the brain, the same way Mozart is said to have that effect on kids
certain types of music can move you through your day and help your brain switch track,
and some days need to have some Tori time in them.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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