Category: Opinion

Notes on rape culture

Notes on rape culture
Created by Ranger Cervix & Kate Seewald of ActionAid / Safe Cities for Women

Recently an Irish politician said he had never heard a rape joke. The premise of his tweet was that rape culture doesn’t exist; the only evidence he produced was that he made it to his 50s without ever experiencing it.

Many questioned whether he had, in fact, never heard a rape joke. Some pointed out that he probably had, in the form of “backs against the wall” or “dropping the soap in prison” jokes, but he didn’t see them as rape jokes. Guess what? They are.

Continue reading

Notes on being pro-choice

Notes on being pro-choice

I haven’t always been pro-choice. For years I didn’t really consider the issue of abortion at all, but if asked I would say I was more pro-life than pro-choice. Yet, I struggled to explain what I meant when pressed further. I could understand where both sides were coming from, which in many ways can be a good thing. When it comes to the issue of abortion though, it can leave you feeling adrift.

Continue reading

Being bi+ in rural Ireland

I wrote this piece about being bi+ and living in rural Ireland for the Cork Pride guide. I submitted it before the Orlando shooting where 49 people were killed and 53 others injured. The aftermath of this homophobic act of terrorism makes safe spaces for LGBTQ* people all the more important. On a personal level, I missed not having an LGBTQ* bar/space close by so I could visit in the days following the massacre. 

Being-bi-in-rural-Ireland

Continue reading

#RepealThe8th – what you can do to help

I’ve written about abortion before, some of those blog posts were me trying to work out where I stood on the issue. To an extent I could understand where both sides were coming from, but the more I learned about the consequences of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution the more actively pro-choice I became. I’m a card carrying member of the Abortion Rights Campaign and founding member and chair of Kerry for Choice.

If you care about repealing the Eighth Amendment here are some ways you can get more involved with the campaign. There is still work to do before we see a referendum, but that work has already started. Be part of it.

#RepealThe8th - what you can do to help
Mural by Maser on the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar, Dublin

Continue reading

The Orlando shooting and listening to LGBTQ* people

The-Orlando-shooting-and-listening-to-LGBTQ-people

I’ve been trying to find the right words since I heard about the shooting in Pulse, a gay bar in Orlando, but all I have are tears, anger and the ability to retweet people who are far more articulate than me.

That this happened in a gay bar, a safe haven for so many LGBTQ* people is heartbreaking beyond belief. That it happened on Latin night means LGBTQ* people of colour were affected even more, you only have to look at the names of those murdered to realise this.

Continue reading

Marriage equality: the LGBTQ* community, canvassing and voting yes

On Friday May 22nd Irish people will vote on whether to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. I hadn’t planned on writing a blog post this close to the referendum because, frankly, since the campaign officially began I’ve been too angry and wound up to write anything sensible. But having written two longer than usual Facebook updates recently, I decided to combine them and elaborate here.

Designed by Fiona Hanley
Designed by Fiona Hanley (@GreenClouds4)

I have written about marriage equality on this blog, and others, before. Since then I have questioned my sexuality, realised I was bisexual and fallen in love.

Two months ago I was lucky enough to get married. I say lucky not just because I am happily married to the man I love, but because the option of marriage has never been open to me before as my previous long term relationships were with women.

Paul and I had a small civil ceremony in Dublin. We invited family and close friends, chose two songs and a reading (you’ll find it here), said our vows and signed our marriage certificate. The entire ceremony took less than 30 minutes. But they were a wonderfully moving 30 minutes. Making that commitment to each other and having it recognised was important.

Continue reading

Denied an abortion: The questions that need answering

On Friday news broke that a suicidal woman delivered a baby by Caesarean section in her second trimester. She had been refused an abortion. It was reported that the panel of experts “determined the life of the mother and the child was not at risk from suicide”, but given the advanced nature of the pregnancy a decision was made to deliver the baby.

This case, which is believed to be one of the first under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013, immediately led to questions being asked. If the panel had deemed the woman’s life to be at risk from suicide and given the advanced stage of the pregnancy it is likely a Caesarean section would have been the only possible outcome given the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. But if the panel decided there was no risk from suicide why was the Caesarean section carried out?

Continue reading

Savita Halappanavar: Miscarriage, abortion and the questions that still remain

When the news of Savita Halappanavar’s death broke on 14th November 2012, I immediately had questions. I wanted to know how and why this young woman died. We all did.

The answers, according to the findings from the on-going inquest, paint a picture of failure after failure. Letting the Halappanavar’s down and Savita ultimately paying for it with her life. These failures were both human and systemic. There was an unnecessary delay in reviewing all the information and test results, which meant they couldn’t possibly treat Savita correctly. Unfortunately, she never stood a chance.

Continue reading

My submission to the Constitutional Convention about marriage equality

There’s no denying that the introduction of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 was a big moment in the fight for equality for members of Ireland’s LGBT community.

For the first time same-sex couples were able to have their relationships legally recognised by the State. However, it doesn’t go far enough. There are still over 160 differences between civil partnerships and civil marriage.

Continue reading