What I Have Learned About...

Apr. 7, 2017

Are you constantly addled with anxiety, finding new ways to self deprecate yourself everyday? Feeling inferior because you don't have a third leg dangling between your femurs? (The rubber one you hide in the bedside drawer for lonelier times doesn't count)

Do you haemorrhage mass amounts of haemoglobin and emotion every month?

Constantly find yourself poor and in need of clothing? Yet you have a respectable wage and two full wardrobes (having now monopolised prime real estate in the spare room)

Is the (perceived) way to your heart through your Fallopian tubes?

Guess what? You're a woman. And there is no cure. Well I mean there's gender reassignment but that's a tad dramatic, and as females we are anything but dramatic.

Admittedly I'm more dumpling than woman at this juncture of my life but that just means there's more of me for you to love.

Donald Trump boasted on his campaign trail that under his rule, women will make the same as men if we “do as good a job,” because clearly up until this point we've just been making tea for the men and batting our eyelids in the direction of their crotch.

And in case you've been living in a bubble, he won. Forgive me but, how messed up are you, like how damaged is your thought process that as an adult, as a male, no, as a human, that this is totes normal, and electable Presidential material.

Stereotypes of us ladies seem to fly fast and loose from the guys so just going to switch it up here for this next bit.

Having become adjusted to the corporate work environment, don't you find there are two types of men? The ones who will blatantly sexually harass you and try to Yeezy all your Taylor Swift shine, and even worse, the ones who tiptoe around you in case you cry because you're pregnant, pregnant with permanent emotions.

And this is the other thing that I don't entirely grasp in this new age world where by women aren’t just supposed to be protected from actions, we're now supposed to be protected from language. Deaf to the misogyny and double standards. Like, women are so strong. My womb has lost more babies than it's produced, and I was as chill as one could be about it. So don't worry Dick, I can take your cuntish rape joke.

And anyway, as women we know the best way to deal with conflict such as this is sugar coated hostility and passive-aggressiveness. We watched our mothers goad our fathers with it, and now we are going to rock the same swagger.

Because we have va-j-j's, our assertiveness will inevitably be boiled down to menstruation. Oh, she shared an aggressive yet wise opinion, it must be that time.

As a man, if you're being assertive, then it's just being assertive.

As a male if you bang your secretary on the table, that's anecdotal material to share with your boss over Bourbons and talks of a promotion.

Any loving at all for the female, it's advisable to drop to your knees, and repent, or to suck your boss off. You know there's that double standard to live up to. But that's because society, and Hollywood movies, have conditioned us to see female sexuality as currency.

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with someone mounting their way to the middle, it's just not a fair presumption to make that any woman with power, got there by doing so.

Personally, I make them wait. Seriously, I do, all through dinner and most of the taxi ride home. Ok so there was no dinner, it was drinks, but there was a bowl of peanuts and that's basically the same thing.

Considering all this, I don't even get why we insist on talking so much shit on ourselves anyway, like, there are already enough people judging us so why even bother. As fat as you think you are, some bitch thinks you're fit to be on Season 20 of The Biggest Loser.
And if you're having an off day, with your face, at least yours hasn't been forcibly removed by a not so domesticated Chimpanzee.

Look, the day will honestly be so much better, if every morning you just give yourself a mini Baz Luhrmann in the mirror. I have made myself a new promise that everyday I will like look in the mirror and I will say, right, whattup, okay, I can work with this bitch. Join me, won't you?

And also do something charitable, something for the babies so you don't feel the hateful guilt of having just maxed your credit card for the sake of two nude Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks, which lets face it, you cannot tell the fucking difference between.

Oh look how we've grown. Humans, what a race, where perception is nine tenths of reality.

Aug. 1, 2016

So you may read this and think that I’m a naïve, left wing liberal. That’s ok. I’m not trying to coerce you into living within  the limits of my thought process. By the same token, the anti-pro choice campaigners tauting that we need to uphold the eighth amendment, are not affording the opposing side the same courtesy. You are forcing your version of morality upon them (me), and their (my) lives (life). henceforth, encroaching on the basic human right to exercise control over ones body.

You see, here’s the thing, repealing the eighth will have absoloutely no impact on your existence. No one is ever going to make you to have an abortion. But there are vulnerable girls and women out there that find themselves in precarious and unfortunate circumstances due to a number of factors, rape, incest, lack of fetal viability.

Look, it’s an impossible situation. But we have to entrust that these women are making a decision which is best for them, their bodies, their lives, at that time. Otherwise, whats the alternative? 16 year old’s hiding a pregnancy and leaving the baby abandoned on a church step? A single woman on social welfare unable to afford the costs a trip across the water would incur? Maybe she is already a mother of two and struggling to pay for their school fees. An expectant mother, handed down the devastating news that her baby will not survive outside the womb? She now has to travel out of the country with child only to return 2 days later without, going through security checks and airport ques whilst bleeding relentlessly. It’s cruel to inflict this upon someone who is already commiting to the hardest decision they will ever live through. What about the girl who is suicidal? She can’t carry on with this pregnancy, and has no way to terminate it? She feels she has no choice but to take her own life, and by proxy, the life of the unborn child. Now you’ve lost both of them.

Of course there are those who would take this lightly, but that’s on them and their conscience. I’m in no way condoning an abortion being used as a source of contraception. I accept its inevitable that it would loiter at the back of ones mind and perhaps make people a little more lax. Oh well, the condom evidently broke, I’ll book myself into my g.p’s clinic for 1pm on Wednesday. I’ll be back at my desk before lunch hour is up. Physically, yes, you may, depending on traffic and taxi availability make it back before your next conference call but mentally, once you are powered off and alone, you will start to imagine that baby’s eye colour, her, or his, or their winning personalities. My smile? Or his nose? As an estute lady, you will have worked out a due date, and on this day, you will remember. It won’t be a fond memory.

Babies are amazing gifts, to those who are capable of caring for them. To someone who is barely keeping their head above water as it is, it could be what submerges them altogether. As ridiculous as it may seem in 2016, it is still revolutionary for a female to share her story and refuse to be jeered by the anti-choice brigade,who would rather punish these women, who, trust me, are already punishing themselves. They call themselves pro-life, which would make the opposition what? Pro-death? No. It’s about permitting a woman make her own decisions. If men were like seahorses, able to carry, and birth offspring, you can be sure Ireland (and the world) would dish out the abortion pills like candy. God forbid you were going to tie down this red-blooded male in his prime. But we are women ,so we have a (double) standard to live up to. We made our bed, now we must lie down and produce the life that was procreated in it. Assuming the conception was in as ideal a space as a bed, and not a disabled bathroom, boyfriend’s mom’s car, or your besties half deflated lilo during Spring Break.

 

Whichever way you look at abortion, as either morally incriminating, or as civil disobedience, it’s impossible to understand or know how you will feel until you are in the moment. We can only hope we will, or have made a decision that we can live with. Because as the great Bey says, If I Lose Myself, I Lose It All.

Jun. 15, 2016

White people eh? A fine upstanding race. 

 
Did you know that black men's prison sentences are on average 20% longer than white men's sentences?
Did you know that there was no security present at Plaza Live, when a white guy shot and killed singer Christina Grimmie? The Orlando police chief defended the lack of protection by saying, 'This isn't a crowd that you would suspect would be carrying guns into an event like this.' What John? A white people event? Oh yes because white people don't carry guns. Ahem.
 
James Eagan Holmes. White. 12 dead, 70 injured. 
John Russell Houser. White. 2 dead. 9 injured. 
Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. White and White. 13 dead. 24 injured. 
 
When a white person commits an atrocity we are greeted with their sad tale and accomplished resume. The tough upbringing they had. Daddy hit mommy and so he wet the bed a lot. Their high powered job that caused them to snap and take their 3 kids/office of colleagues with them. It is always such a shock to the affluent community as he was an avid golfer and loved to BBQ on his decking.
Black guy does it and we are treated to a recitation of every misdeed from the womb forward. Oh it was always going to happen. These guys aren't sons, fathers, human. Just criminals. No hope for redemption. 
 
Well I call bullshit. White people are just as violent, crazy and homicidal as the next race, yet there are blatant disparities along racial lines for all issues related to sentencing, including but not limited to who gets life without parole for violent and non violent crimes and who is sentenced to death. 
 
Look at Trayvon Martin. Look at Tamir Rice. The white guard that shot him had been deemed emotionally unstable and unfit for duty, yet there he was, protecting and serving. None of the white men involved in these crimes were charged. 
 
So this is how whiteness works. If you rape someone, but you're a swimmer with strong potential, you can astonishing lower a 14 year prison sentence to 6 months (serving only 3 if daddy ponies up enough white-collared dough). And not even in an actual prison where he may meet the same fate he forcefully projected on to an unconscious female, but a local county jail. Lucky for Brock, Judge Persky clearly empathised with him as a fellow standout athlete in a predominantly white sport, in his Stanford Allumni. 
 
Meanwhile, Corey Batey, is serving 15-25 years for the same crime. Are you fucking kidding me? Now I'm not saying Batey shouldn't be serving such a sentence. Of course he should. What he did was reprehensible. But hello? Brock will be out in time to catch a tan before Autumn comes back around. 
 
Turner was caught inside, physically inside a woman. He lifted her dress. He stripped her of underwear and proceeded to penetrate without permission. His crime was deliberate and deplorable. My favourite quote from this whole trial has got to be from dear old Aaron the judge who stated shamelessly, that 'A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him....he will not be a danger to others.' Thankfully the incident isn't likely to have had a severe impact on the actual victim. *major sarcasm*. 
 
Brock went on to say with genuine remorse (for himself) that he wishes 'I was never good at swimming or had the opportunity to attend Stanford, so maybe the newspapers wouldn't want to write stories about me'. You poor little white boy. How cruel the world can be. His privileged whiteness provides him a haven from reality and consequence. 
 
No rape case would be complete without some victim shaming though and the following wilful ignorance comes to us courtesy of his beloved grandparents. 'Brock is the only person being held accountable for the actions of other irresponsible adults.' How dare that girl get too drunk. I know what will teach her a lesson. 2 fingers, right up there while I dry hump her. His mother lamented that his dreams had been shattered as the Olympics chooses not to welcome sex offenders. Daddy is devastated that Brock's life has been ruined for quote unquote 20 minutes of action. 
 
It's this flagrant arrogance which causes 76% of victims to feel abandoned and devastated after reporting a sexual assault to the authorities. 11% of victims don't report their sexual assault because they are afraid of the legal process. 40% choose to keep it to themselves due to shame. 29% blame themselves. 9% because they knew their attacker and didn't want to destroy their lives. How obliging. 
 
Sexism: when a judge priorities the safety of a rapist over the safety of any and all women that rapist comes in contact with for the rest of his life.
Racism: when a prison is full of black males charged with non-violent crimes, but is considered 'too severe' for Brock, a white rapist convicted of three felonies.
Privilege: if you roll your eyes at the previous two, denying their existence. 
 
 I grew up in a similar community to this little fucker and know all too well about these environments that turn a blind eye to the 'good kids', the wholesome, from a 'good family' kids. The ones that drink in excess, dabble in Class A's and cause trouble that can be swept under the carpet with the simple nod from a father who knows someone. It's deeply embedded and the whole system is innately flawed.
 
*sigh* So, we all know what we teach girls. Cover your drinks. Cover your body. Be careful of who's around you and make sure you don't lead them on. Don't take naked selfies unless you want everyone to see them. (jeez, you do a guy a favour and the asshole posts it to the modern day gentlemans club, his WhatsApp group). 
 
What may I ask are we teaching boys? *hears crickets* 
 
So maybe instead of preaching never leave your drink unattended, we teach not to drug someone. How is it ok to say, well, if you didn't want to be raped, you shouldn't have had so much to drink, should have kept a better eye on your glass? No one says, look just on the off chance you have one too many and rape someone, guys shouldn't drink. It's always, women who have to act differently, dress differently, police themselves. Why are we not holding men accountable for this behaviour? 
 
Women don't get raped because they drank too much. They get raped because someone raped them. 
 
No doesnt mean convince me.
 
 
 
 
 
 
May. 12, 2016

He said  your address says a lot about you, but I was letting all the wrong things speak for me. The amount of money I would drop on a night out, and on people who didn't care who or what I was. The bi-annual holidays he took us on. The luxury cars he gifted to himself every second year. Things that now mean sweet f.a in the position I find myself in.
For 23 years I had a death grip on a belief system that was faulty and innately flawed. It's how others see you that matters. Whatever they believe you to be is who you are. False on both counts. Now I have written about this before, how we feel so much more comfortable around others when we have them 'figured out', when we have placed them firmly in a box which we deem appropriate.
Growing up in Rochestown as a teenager validated my obnoxious behaviour. I found it genius that a private-school male from my friend circle found it acceptable to shout 'I'll squash you with my wallet', to his Northside opponent in a match. Growing up here provided a false sense of security. It wasn't sufficient preparation for the real world. For the world I currently inhabit. It made me lazy and unambitious. Because things came so easy to me, I wasn't aware how much work had to be done to secure these items for myself.
Today I consider myself a pretty capable and independent person. And pretty as in fairly or quite, not stunningly attractive or hauntingly beautiful. ;) But I can see how my sisters are still victims of that unrealistic mindset. When you are led to believe that all you need is nepotism and an affluent postcode to secure yourself a six figure annual salary and a home in a gated community, you will find it a bitter pill to swallow when you wake up to the cacophony of mooing outside your window and realise you live in Midleton. I joke. It's a lovely town.
Definitely my view of success has changed significantly. At this point in my life number 1, it's raising a little lady to be a strong person who doesn't accept that having a vagina makes her a lesser human.
Number 2, being in a position to pursue the creative process full time (aka. not having to subsidise by working part time to build other people's dreams) and Number 3, avoiding Hepatitis A-Z, in fact all venereal diseases.
So I think the message I want to leave with you dear reader of my mind is that, just because someone thinks of you in a negative way doesn't make you a bad person. In the same way that people seeing you in a positive light doesn't make you a good person. Hello, look at all the Americans voting for Trump. A belief is an intangible asset. I believe that when no one sees me eat a box of chocolates that the calories don't count. But the jeans don't lie, nor do the scales. They count. Every time.
Again, in summation, don't worry so much or at all about being someone else's definition of enough. You are perfect.

Feb. 21, 2016

Rape? No way! She couldn't have been raped! She's bisexual, she wears next to nothing, didn't you see her in that 'I Kissed a Girl Video'?
And drugged? She looks like she takes them freely and often, in copious measures. Please.

With such provocative lyrics as 'I'm gonna get laid', 'it's a dirty free for all', prancing around in skimpy attire promoting drinking til the A.M , one could expect and understand such a close minded conclusion as the one above.

Kesha, the songstress with the dolla sign in the middle of her title has been told, no sorry you're mistaken. You were not raped. It's not a 'commercially reasonable' judgement. You were an 18 year old girl trying to break into the music industry, you must have dropped trou and laid it bear on the casting couch to be pile-drived by some confused producer who allows himself to answer to the name Dr.Luke. It remains unconfirmed whether or not he realises he's completely, well, white.

Fuck that shit.

We're not far passed the days of the Magdalene Laundries, an archaic home for the 'fallen woman'. Margaret, having told her family that she had been raped by her cousin was rewarded with an extended stay at the facility. Spoiler alert, sending a lamb to the slaughter, Father Fitzroy is in there forcing the intellectually disabled to suck him off.

There is a stigma attached to girls, women, ladies, that voice their experiences with sexual assault and penetrative rape. (And yes, the tip always counts.) People automatically go straight into the male defence. She must have been very drunk, she shouldn't have put herself in a vulnerable position, sure you know what men are like. BULLSHIT.
Yes but her dress was very short. She was warranting the attention. Sure you know men are a visual species. BULLSHIT.
She's racked up a hefty number in her time. He was clearly lead to expect it. BULLSHIT.

It's the hypocrisy of it all. We are portrayed to have no say in our sexual endeavours. Lads in there whatsapp groups bragging that they got a girl to graciously welcome them between her bedsheets and loins. Does it ever occur to anyone that maybe it was her that wanted to get the D. That she didn't need the swooning and the lubricating jagerbomb. That you didn't win. She won. She was perfectly capable of being an independent woman giving her bullet the night off. She didn't even hit you up the next day with a receipt for emergency contraception, or a trip to the U.K. (even though it was you who peeked too soon).

The stereotypes seem impervious to new ways of thinking. The pursuit of transgression can mostly seem futile, especially when filtered through the kaleidoscope of cases like Kesha's one, but I remain cautiously optimistic that one day we will all be equal in the quest to enjoy safe, pleasurable and most importantly, consensual sex.