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.
This was my response several years ago in the Irish Examiner who, not for the first time in my experience, appear to be confused as to which cause they are championing: The promotion and protection of women’s rights, or the war on womens’ self esteem via media driven unrealistic body image and portrayal. As a psychotherapist I witness daily the results of poor body image and low self esteem: self loathing, disordered eating, depressed feelings, social withdrawal.. I could go on.
These ‘symptoms’ are also presented by the sex industry workers with whom I have had contact.
This was published in the Irish Times and Irish Examiner and is my response to a discussion I heard on Today FM about a ‘glamour model’. This interview coincided with newly published figures on sexual assault in Ireland and I address the probable link between the glamour culture and objectification of women. Continue reading →
I wrote this during a time where there was much debate on the Age of Consent in Ireland. In this letter published in the Irish Times I was hoping to encourage people to really think about the pressure our young people experience, and to give them a voice. Continue reading →