Sororial Solidarity to all (or is it both?) my readers. Drape yourself in purple and green and hang out your brightest colours. Today, as I'm sure you know, is International Women's Day and I would like to make my small contribution to this global fest of feminism and femininity with some hopeful and hopefully helpful suggestions to members of the local sorority on the Emerald Isle. So here we go:
1. Do not begin sentences with 'I'm not a feminist but.....' . Either you are or you aren't and there's definitely nothing wrong with feminism that you should have to apologise for it. I'm a feminist. All men should be, if only for survival reasons. And before the purists out there start to whine that 'a man can't be a feminist' I would point you in the direction of my Uncle Mary.
2. Pay no attention to John Waters and his mates in the Amen Corner (who haven't been the same since Andy Fairweather-Low bought the farm). The man is a fool who never got over being dumped by a looper. It's the price one pays for starfucking. Anyway, anyone who thinks Sinead O'Connor is representative of women in general lost touch with reality somewhere along the boreens of pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland
3. Do not confuse feminism with lad-ism, lesbianism or me-ism. Women's rights and status are not advanced by you behaving like Weslian prop forward in Annabel's on a Saturday night.
4. Whatever you might think, drunken joyless sex with a stranger you're likely never to see again, or even want to, is not a sign of sexual emancipation. Quite the contrary. Liquor may be quicker but if the only way you can enjoy sex is bordering on the edge of alcoholic oblivion, then you may have my sympathies and the name of a good therapist.
5. Stop dancing with an agenda. My favourite feminist Emma Goldman once dismissed the bearded denizens of the Comintern by saying 'If I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution.' Dancing is good thing in itself and not necessarily an invitation to sex , marriage and mortgage on a two bed semi above in Naas. The ballroom of romance days are long gone but if you keep resurrecting them every time you make shapes on the dancefloor it truly will be murder, of the soul if nothing else.
6. Give up the 2 men good 1 man bad approach to inter-gender social encounters. You know the one I mean. You start talking to one guy you’re interested in a bar. Once you’ve got his attention you then immediately behave as if you’re more interested in his friend or some other bloke in the vicinity, often a completely innocent bystander. It doesn’t make you more enigmatic, desirable or interesting, not when the competition is a fine pint of creamy porter or two. It’s the kind of childish coquettishness that wouldn’t be out of place in a 5th form disco. Time to move on.
7. Complaining about the elevation of the toilet seat does not enhance your claims to equal rights and treatment. Learn to work the fucking thing. You're a big girl now and you've come a long way, baby. If it's up, put it down or whatever you fancy yourself. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
Irish womanhood might have gone from the BVM to the Spice Girls overnight (without I might add the benefit of Madonna in between) but that doesn’t mean that Sex in the City rules and values could or should be imported wholesale. Those girls just ain't happy campers. Mullingar isn’t
Parts of this blog were previously published in Your Destiny I am grateful to the publishers for permission to re-write them here