Last week’s series of ‘Failure to Launch’ showcased Karen and her mother Geraldine, who shared their experiences living together in South Dublin while Karen worked in a law firm. Since then Karen has been living in India for a year and a half, completing a fellowship at Ashoka University and training as a meditation coach while living in an Ashram. With the passing of distance and time, this week’s follow-up interview is one of reflection and recognition between mother and daughter, and a rumination of the quality of life for younger generations in Ireland.
The Irish referendum to repeal the 8th amendment and remove the legal barrier against abortion takes an issue of immense complexity and reduces it to a yes or no answer. It has taken place within the public forum, pitting one grass-roots movement against the other. Battle lines were drawn. Adversaries were marked.
The voting decisions of the Irish public were the spoils of war. Persuading others to also pick your side is a always a tricky business, one that requires certainty and conviction to keep the facts afloat. But matters of public morality elicit the resolute stubbornness of a crusade, a vertiginous unassailability that elevates its ideological underpinnings to biblical heights.
An object cannot feel pleasure, an object cannot give consent. In the aftermath the Belfast rape trial, where do we go from here?
As an Irish man it is easy to sail through life interacting with women in just three planes of relationship: familial, professional, and sexual. In this first category you have your mother, whom you love dearly and send your washing home to each week. In the second category you have work colleagues, whom you treat with professional distance and are likely to surpass in superiority once they hit the glass ceiling (we have heard plenty about how men in positions of power treat the women below them). And finally the third category, which can range from one-time sexual partners (or ‘sluts’ to quote the defendants), girlfriends or wives, or what I like to refer to as Mummy Number 2 but who you get to fuck.
The fourth category, friendship, the relationship which allows for the most equality, is reserved for the venerated ‘lad group’. No girls allowed.
Like millions of women around the world, it is impossible for me to follow the story of Harvey’s Weinstein with the same distance that is afforded to most -but not all-men. It brings up memories of sexual violence and sexual misconduct in the real world and the workplace that is all too commonplace for women. As a young girl growing up the burden of femininity is slowly impressed upon you. It begins with restrictions being placed upon your freedom and stories told by way of caution. Movies, books and newspapers lay bare the oppression and subjugation committed against women, but…
With New Years having just passed under our nose, it is once again that time of year where we place ourselves under the microscope for a rigorous self-inspection. With a season of gluttonous self-indulgence brought to a close, the sequential leap from depravity to punishment fits in nicely with the spirit of the religious festivities. For every drink or pie too many there is a sin to atone for, and the tallying up of our annually- accumulated vices sweeps us into the new year on a fresh wave of disgust and loathing. This year however I found the idea of waiting till New Years to change my life positively comical. With self-improvement and wellness very much in vogue, tearing yourself to shreds only to build yourself back up again is an year round, if not daily, activity.
Campaigners gathered today outside the Dáil in efforts to suede the government to approve cystic fibrosis treating drug ‘Orkambi’. The NCPE (National Centre for Pharmeconomics) has recommended the government not to approve the drug as it does not represent value for money. Vertex, the pharmaceuticals company manufacturing the drug are currently charging €160,000 per patient annually, while the National Pharmaceutical Agency has valued the drug at €30,000 per annum. The final decision rests with Minister for Health Simon Harris who will receive a recommendation from the HSE, but a report in the Sunday Business Post indicated that the HSE would…
While making an appearance at the launch of a new helpline for the victims of crime, Taoiseach Enda Kenny called for there to be a discussion about the ‘corruption’ of young people of Ireland due to their exposure to porn. In a country where open discussions of sex are limited to sex-ed classes and tend to follow the strain of thinking that abstinence is the best, his move is a bold one.