This is not a post about wanting designer shoes (mind you these are nice)
Or a post about wanting Tom Hardy in your bed every night (mind you this is also nice)
Or a post about wanting fat-free chocolate, mind you this would also be nice
Or a post about wanting a bottom like this (no, this isn’t me holidaying at Curracloe beach last summer, it’s my mate Jessie Alba, she’s the spits of me)
But this IS a post about the deep, dark and dirty things the women of Ireland want in 2016. If this isn’t something you can relate to then linger on the Tom Hardy picture a moment longer.
So 100 years on from the Easter Rising what do women want… lots has changed, lots hasn’t.
1. WE WANT CHOICES – It is EVERY woman’s right to choose what they want to do with THEIR bodies, not our Government’s right and certainly not a balding middle-aged consultant’s right, the sad fact of the matter is that between January 1980 and December 2014 over 163,000 Irish women travelled abroad for an abortion and research by the HSE’s Crisis Pregnancy Programme shows that 87% of these women said it was “the right outcome” for them.
Therefore, people who say that having an abortion causes mental health problems are misinformed, two recent global studies show women are actually more likely to suffer if they aren’t given the choice, having a baby is a pretty life-altering decision after all.
Repealing the 8th amendment is something we shouldn’t only discuss on our National airwaves and in our National papers but we should be talking about it in our schools and homes too. Our ‘Provisional Government’, when they eventually become a ‘grown-up Government’, need to call a referendum on the issue as a matter of urgency. Right now in Ireland The Eighth Amendment equates the right to life of a pregnant woman with that of an embryo or foetus. In doing so it criminalises abortion in all cases except where to continue a pregnancy would result in death. Everytime I think of a woman who HAD to travel for an abortion, a woman who has had NO CHOICE, a woman whose fertility was destroyed by a botched job, a woman who became ill from a dodgy pill bought online, a woman who went through with a pregnancy she didn’t want to go through with or the beautiful Savita I feel very angry and very sad.
Sadder still, in an interview with MSNBC yesterday the US Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, said that women who end pregnancies should face some sort of punishment if the United States bans abortion!!!!! He later reversed his stance saying that the Doctors involved should be punished.
PS Drumpf you dinosaur – regulation of abortion is not a new concept – abortions in the Roman Empire were frequent and under Roman Law a baby in a mother’s belly was not yet considered a life so you should get back to the tanning booth and zip it (all of it).
2. GENDER EQUALITY, WE DON’T LIKE BURNING OUR BRAS (COSTS A HOLY FORTUNE) Sadly this is the same thing that the women of 1916 were fighting for all those years ago. What was it a Journalist friend said to me once when I said we shouldn’t have gender quotas just for the sake of having them, that it is patronising and unnecessary, but she said ‘sure we’ve had enough mediocre men in these roles for long enough’ too right 🙂
When it comes to equal pay the Nevin Economic Research Institute has found that some 29.3 percent of the female workforce are on low pay – 207,000 women, meaning that essentially three out of every 10 women earn less than €11.45 per hour. The majority are working in wholesale and retail (24%), accommodation and food (19.7%) and health and social work (18.4%), while almost one-quarter of low-paid female workers are based in Dublin.
So why is Tom in accounts or Dan in HR worth more than us? was his diploma, degree or Masters printed on gold paper? are his skills more spectacular? If so then don’t fucking hire us, also people who work over 40 hours per week shouldn’t be on the poverty line.
Some global stats show that men still earn more than women on average; men in the U.S. earn 24.1 percent more than women; In the UK, the rate is 22.9 percent; in Ireland it is 14 percent in Australia it is 17.3 percent; in Germany it is 22.5 percent; while in France 14.3 percent, but if you add controls for education, age, years of experience, industry, job location, and job titles, the pay gap in the U.S. shrinks to just 5.4 percent. check out more on this HERE.
Separately, it is OK for women to work and to want to have a family – it is completely normal and has being going on for some time, don’t be afraid, in fact men play a pretty large part in the conception of said family.
3. DECENT HEALTHCARE (STILL WAITING) – According to the WHO 1,000 women die every day as a result of the consequences of pregnancy and child-birth, also a female can expect to live 24 years longer on average in a high-income country than in a low-income country. Here in Ireland we don’t need long-running festivals (ahem) tribunals and inquiries, get people off trolleys in our EDs and create a system that functions effectively. This should be a top priority for the next Government. Nothing else matters without our health.
As a nation, we’re also getting fatter to the point of a crisis, this is putting additional pressure on the system, a quarter of us are obese and the annual cost of obesity is estimated at €1.13 billion, 35% of this – around €398 million – is in direct healthcare costs. The remaining €728 million are indirect costs in reduced productivity and absenteeism.
4. OPPORTUNITIES, WORKPLACE HARMONY & ARETHA STYLE RESPECT Zero hour contracts, jobs for mates, poor working conditions, these are all rife and yet we sit back and let it happen. What happened to you work hard, you go home and you get paid in turn for that service. In many cases a strong work ethic stands for nothing. The well-connected are continuing to fly high. We need to change this toxic culture now – we spend most of our time at work so why can’t it be a happy, civillised place to be.
5. PROPER PATERNITY LEAVE – We shouldn’t be expected to take care of a baby on our own unless we choose to or the option isn’t there – at least 79 countries’ national laws include paternity leave entitlements but the duration of the paid leaves is far shorter than maternity leave, ranging from 1 day of full pay in Tunisia to 90 days of 80% pay in Iceland. Here in Ireland in Budget 2016 it was announced that statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks is to be introduced, together with a new paternity Benefit, in respect of births from September 2016. Come on Ireland 2 weeks???? why oh why should women still be expected to do the lions share.
6. HAPPY BANTS WITH OUR BODIES – Make love not war with your body – make-up with it, it is here and it is doing its best, but are you? be kind to your body and don’t misuse it. Make sure your body is your friend and not your enemy, when you look at it naked find the good not the bad things. It is disturbing but women have thousands of negative thoughts about their bodies EACH DAY – Christ think about where those thoughts could be better spent. Move more, eat less and never compare. You never know when your body will fail you and then it may be too late.
7. A VENT BOX – We should all be given a Confession box so women avoid bitching behind other women’s backs. All our toxic thoughts could be released to a robot and then forgotten about instantly, instead of being shared with some random colleague in work.
8. MORE SLEEP – more than 4 hours a night please and thank you, all thoughts of financial worries, loneliness and your children should be taken at the witching hour and returned at a later stage when you have the strength and a plate of cheesecake in front of you. Experts say lack of sleep is an important factor in the global burden of disease with collateral effects on cardiovascular and mental health as well as injury and violent death through human error. THAT’S how bad it can get. We all need some zzzzzzzzzs. Think about how pleasant and pretty we would all be.
9. A BAN ON CERTAIN PHRASES – i.e women drivers, feminazi, my bird, good girl, on her rags, gee-bag, wifey, plump, plus-size, asking for it, slut, housewife etc need to be banned. Feel free to add your own.
10. TO HAVE GOOD SEX Yes women like to have sex and as the title of Louise O’Neill’s famous book would say we also aren’t ‘asking for it’ just because we enjoy it, dress provocatively or flirt like Marilyn. We should be allowed to have GOOD sex when we would like to and without judgement.
11. TO NOT FEEL UNSAFE – I feel unsafe most of the time when I walk home at night or during the day in quieter areas. We as women should never feel unsafe.
12. TO STOP THE SHAMING – God forbid you are fat, thin, hairy, intelligent, ditzy, in a wheelchair, lesbian, bi-sexual, have had an abortion, have pierced every orifice, like sex, get 8,000 likes for a crap fb pic, get 5 likes for a great fb pic, are on tv, aren’t on tv, eat clean on social media all day everyday, hate fit-fams, have been to Argentina – WHO CARES! We need to stop comparing and judging others.
Also someone else’s success isn’t your failure. It is OK if we aren’t ALL losing ten stone, winning awards, running marathons, dating the hot guy in Marketing, investing in property, climbing Everest, getting a promotion, buying Gucci tampons and having babies, some of us are just busy keeping our heads firmly above water. Drowning isn’t an option.
13. OUR MOTHERS TO LIVE FOREVER – No I don’t want to learn about loss and no I don’t want to remember the good times we shared – I just want her to live forever. I need to look into how this would work – I haven’t thought it out properly yet but I’ll update you on this one.
14. NOT TO BE ABUSED – This is a Unisex statement – much like the new UNISEX collection from Zara, none of us should be subjected to verbal or physical abuse. NOT EVER. The most recent UN report shows that 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner, not including psychological and verbal abuse. Last year alone 150 rapes were reported per day in South Africa but most clinics say far more go unreported as many women are married to their perpetrator or live in fear of the consequences.
15. PEOPLE TO ACCEPT THAT IT’S OK NOT TO MARRY OR BREED – Gather round, hear ye hear ye – it is OK not to want to ride off into the sunset with a man or indeed a woman and it is OK not to feel broody and to choose to live a child-free life. More people than you know don’t enjoy living with another person, are scared of having a relationship, have privately miscarried, struggle with their fertility or simply cannot afford to have a family. Or just like their life the way it is. Have a little compassion.
16. TO DODGE THE NEEDLE – Every woman should be given a tube of Retain A cream for their 25th birthday (a godsend), receive 3 months free gym membership after each baby they push out, be told our bodies will unexpectedly change one Sunday evening at 8:14pm in our 20s and that weight will suddenly appear in the skinniest of armpits. Nobody wants to start a relationship with a bloody needle so let’s be armed instead.
17. TO REMAIN INDEPENDENT– The myth that women need a man is just that, a myth, wanting to be in a relationship is entirely different. I think we take our independence for granted. In many countries including South Africa, where for many women safety is a huge issue, independence isn’t so easy. Then there are Saudi women who need to be accompanied by a male guardian known as a ‘mahram’ whenever they leave the house, they also cannot drive a car, wear clothes or make-up that “show off their beauty”, swim, compete freely in sports, try on clothes when shopping, enter a cemetery, read an uncensored fashion magazine and buy a Barbie. STONING a woman because of adultery is a practice still found in the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Northern Nigeria, Aceh in Indonesia, Brunei, and parts of Pakistan.
Makes you think eh.
Also if I make no sense then these women do – read Lenny Letter.