So, here we are again. Today is the 108th International Women’s Day and while we have made huge strides in some areas, we have a very long way to go.
Much has been written in the lead up to today. And much of it grim. I won’t even go into the Tuam babies horror here. To mark the day I thought I’d post a compilation of important pieces about how women are (still) being treated in the 21st century. It’s not terrifically cheery reading so you might want to stop now. I understand, I really do.
And here is the follow-up piece with some suggestions on how to introduce the conversation to your child. And even though it says ‘teen’ in the title – I wrote this with younger children in mind too.
Sexting figures – I don’t like the word ‘admitted’ but you see where I’m going..
Because as you may or may not know, children as young as ten are accessing porn and are being pressured into sexting. So it’s a very real concern that has a lot pf parents worried and feeling powerless. Hopefully, this will help. And if you have any other tips from your own experience and wisdom please do share them below.
I was catching up on my Facebook messages earlier and this post sent to me by a friend really caught my eye. It’s a meme from one of those humour pages on Facebook. Judging by the comments it resonates with most people and they think it’s really funny! (It is too – I mean who hasn’t waited years for a plumber?!!)
You’ve probably already heard about the new Calvin Klein advertising campaign. It’s worked, that’s for sure, in that Twitter and Facebook can’t get enough of complaining about it. And of course the pro-sexism and creepy factions can’t get enough of defending it and lashing out at people who recognise it for what it is – blatant sexist glamourisation of and dismissal of sexual harassment.
Some people are saying that the allegations about UCD male students posting “revenge porn” in a Facebook group with over 200 members is ‘unbelievable’. And as it turns out, the allegations went unsupported, there is no first hand evidence to support the claims.
For so many though, the story was totally believable. Some people still believe it, thinking – well can’t the evidence be deleted? Isn’t there sufficient shame around sexuality and sex crime to prevent victims from coming forward when invited, encouraged even?
One major piece that this has highlighted for me is this question: what made this story so believable? And I feel it’s because this happens now, we all know it. For any of us to say otherwise at this point is somewhat naive.
Do you suck your tummy in when you think other people are looking at you?
Every day, women (and men) are bombarded by messages on the TV, radio, print media including the internet telling us (and selling us) on how to change how we look. Unless you actually live under an actual rock you are bombarded by change-your-body messages maybe twenty, thirty times a day (?!!). All designed to sell you something. All disguised as “help”.
Sexting is the sending of a sexually revealing image of oneself or an explicit text using a phone, or other device that is connected to the internet. You will have heard about the celebrity photo leaks, most notably the recent Jennifer Lawrence leaks .
And last week we heard about SnapChat pictures being leaked.
Sharon Ní Conchuir, a freelance journalist, contacted me with some interesting questions about the impact of technology on our relationships. It was interesting for me to revisit this subject with a different interviewer and offer some more tips on how we can better manage our online lives.
Q: What exactly is the lure of the internet and the various ways of communicating online? What is it that proves so seductive to people?
This is my response to figures published today by the Rape Crisis Network. I refer in particular to the disturbing statistic that nearly 40% of sexual assaults of minors in Ireland are committed by under-18s. The Rape Crisis Network’s website is here if you want to view this and other reports.
I am in fact a huge fan of the website, and as a sex educator with teens myself feel an alliance with people who are willing to offer fact based sex education in a country where we are still utterly lacking in good quality sex education for second level students.