Happy International Womens’ Day!


Yay us – what a year! A lot has happened this year. A lot of it really, really terrible. We’ve talked about Weinstein, #MeToo, Rape Culture, Porn, Women and the church, our own entertainment industry and its grim history of sexual misconduct.  Our next challenges are to respectfully debate Repeal the 8th, to continue to #changetheconversation, to keep up the momentum of reform for ourselves, our partners, our children. It’s clear that terrible things have happened.

But on the other hand:

At least they’re being spoken about. This is new, and it’s exciting. Our giant big collective head is coming out of the giant big pile of sand. I think it’s marvelous!

Are things changing though? I think I’ll go with “yes”. There are so many good people doing so much good work – it’s really very heartening. Truly.

And we still have a lot to do. I’m conscious that a lot of us in Ireland are feeling uneasy (nauseated is perhaps a better word) about the sordid details of the rape (victim) trial that’s happening in Belfast as we speak. Where the alleged rapist’s sporting achievements are discussed in court while his alleged victim has her underwear discussed…

Yes, we have more work to do. #TimeIsNow. Indeed it is. (If you click that you’ll find lots of heartening stuff on Twitter). Last year I did a very uncheery piece for Womens Day looking at how vulnerable women still are. You may not feel like reading that now – I understand. Really. As Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood said –

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” #IWD18 #enoughisenough #timesup #changetheconversation Share on X

But I am more optimistic this year, which is nice awareness to have. We can change. We can look at how we raise our sons, and our daughters.

For what we allow will continue. But we don’t have to allow it.  #TimesUp (Also worth a click)

Imagine if we had no International Women’s Day – if it were laughable, antiquated, because why would you need a ‘day’ to acknowledge half of the world’s population? Imagine if we thought it bizarre that women were treated differently to men. Paid less, educated less, listened to less, respected less. Imagine if a woman was attacked and the attacker was questioned for days on end and not her. Imagine if a woman was raped and her rapist’s sex life, underwear and social life were scrutinised in court. Not hers.

Imagine if women weren’t attacked.

Imagine if magazines were full of articles on achievements and ideas – and articles discussing cellulite or botox or post pregnancy bodies would be considered odd and not ‘newsworthy’. Imagine if women weren’t questioned on their reproductive choices or asked about their children when considering career options. Imagine if women didn’t feel guilty, ugly, fat, thin, slutty or frigid.

Imagine if there was no market for girls and women (or anyone) in the “sex trade”?

We’re inching closer. Let’s keep going. It’s getting easier to imagine 🙂


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