ireland women

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Ireland is the only country in Europe without legal accessible abortion. Now a woman has been sentenced to jail for self-induced abortion

Two years ago a 21-year-old woman used drugs she bought on the internet to self-induce an abortion when she couldn’t get one legally. Her roommates turned her in. Here’s what happened (are you listening, Donald Trump fans?)

Gifs: VICE News

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Bernadette Devlin was an Irish feminist, socialist, and republican, and at age 21, she became the youngest female Member of Parliament. She spoke passionately, eloquently, intelligently, and unforgivingly in support of Catholics during the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. In 1969, after the keys to New York City were presented to her, Devlin gave them to the Black Panther Party, because she better identified with them and their plight than with the conservative Irish-Americans she had met on her visit to the U.S. In 1972, the British Home Secretary made a defense for the British soldiers who shot 26 unarmed Irish civilians during the Bogside Massacre. In the middle of his speech, Devlin stood up and punched him. She stated that it was “coldly, and calmly done” and that she did it to deliver “a simple, proletarian protest.” When asked if she was going to apologize, she responded, “I’m just sorry I didn’t get him by the throat.” 

I’m disappointed to not find a scrap of information here about the Strike4Repeal event happening tomorrow in Dublin and beyond. As part of the women’s strike, there’s a massive wave of us demanding abortion rights (again) because in Ireland it is considered a crime worth 14 years in jail (still) - no exceptions. Seven women a day travel from Ireland to the UK to access abortions, and all of them are at risk of arrest if they’re “caught”. The estimated monetary cost is about €600, and takes about 14 hours from start to finish if travelling direct from Dublin to London or Liverpool. It’s a twenty minute procedure.

Unfortunately this is still a Catholic State, even though there’s horrifying evidence of every type of abuse, neglect, and murder inflicted on vulnerable women and babies by the Irish Catholic Church coming to surface now. (Google Tuam babies/ the Magdeline Inquiries if you’ve a strong stomach. It is literally the stuff of nightmares, and only one small part of it all.)

So, I don’t know, there’s a LOT happening here right now. We need support. I get that Tumblr is basically a hub for Americans, but I thought there might be a little more talk going. So I figured I’d bring some information to you, instead.

There are Strike4Repeal marches happening all over the country and in several others, too. Use the tag #strikeforrepeal or #repealtheeighth to find info about local marches, or to show your support.

Women have died over this. It’s time for change.

Gráinne Ní Mháille (c.1530 - c.1603), commonly known as Grace O'Malley, was a legendary Irish pirate and Chieftan of the Ó Mháille clan during the 16th century.

Born around 1530, Ní Mháille was the child of a wealthy sea trader who she accompanied on his voyages from a young age. As a teenager she was married to Donal Ó Flaithbheartaigh, heir to a powerful clan, as a political move. The marriage lasted for 19 years, during which they had three children and Ní Mháille gained considerable experience commanding ships in her husband’s fleet.

Following the death of her husband and her father, Ní Mháille inherited a considerable amount of money and took over her father’s fleet of 20 ships and hundreds of sailors. She built on her father’s success to become one the dominant forces on the Irish west coast, launching raids on rival clans, forcing merchant ships to pay for safe passage, and imposing taxes on fishermen as far away as England. She also transported Gallowglass mercenaries between Scotland and Ireland, often raiding Scottish islands at the same time.  Her position was strengthened by the control of several coastal castles, most prominent of which was Rockfleet Castle, which she gained through her second marriage to Risdeárd Bourke. After a year of marriage she is said to have taken control of the castle, barring Bourke from entering and yelling from a window, “I dismiss you!”.

Ní Mháille had a tumultuous relationship with the English. From the early 1560’s onward she was accused of piracy multiple times, but she won some favour with the English by assisting in coastal attacks on southern Ireland and won the respect of Sir Henry Sidney, the Lord Deputy of Ireland. However n 1579 she was besieged in her castle by English forces, who she defeated by pouring hot oil on the attackers and according to some accounts by making homemade bullets from melted down armour.

Ní Mháille made a lasting enemy in the form of Richard Bingham, the English ruler of Connacht, after she fought alongside the Bourkes in open rebellion against him from 1585 to 1589. Bingham sought revenge for the rebellion by targeting Ní Mháille, destroying her lands and property. Bingham killed Ní Mháille’s eldest son, Eoghan, and captured his castle, while making a deal with one of her other sons, Murchadh, to switch sides. Ní Mháille swore never to speak to Murchadh again after his betrayal and burned his lands.

Financially ruined, the final blow to Ní Mháille came in 1593 when Bingham captured her other son, Tiobóid, as well as her brother and threatened them with charges of treason. Ní Mháille petitioned Queen Elizabeth of England directly to ask for their release. Elizabeth sent Ní Mháille a list of questions which she answered, and later that year the two women met at Greenwich Palace near London. Despite Ní Mháille’s rough manners and refusal to bow, the two women, both in their sixties, seemed to develop a healthy respect for each other. As neither spoke the other’s language they conversed in Latin, striking an agreement that Ní Mháille’s family would be released, reparations would be made for her stolen property, and that Bingham would be removed from power.

The agreement did not last. Reparations were not fully made, and while initially stripped of his position, Bingham was eventually allowed to return to power in Ireland. Angered, Ní Mháille returned to helping Irish rebels during the Nine Years’ War. She died of old age in Rockfleet Castle at the end of the war in 1603. After her death Ní Mháille’s fighting prowess led to many Irish folk tales being told about her and she is still remembered as a legendary pirate.

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The revolution here in Rojava is a women’s revolution. From the front lines of the fight against ISIS, to running the cantons to trade unions that ensure all working women have their voices heard.

International women’s day has special significance here, with events and demonstrations taking place all over the region. We stand with women worldwide in the struggle against patriarchy, and today we stand with the women of Ireland. We call on the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment and allow women rights over their own bodies! Today news reporters, trade unionists, HPC (civilian self-defence units) heard about the strike and stood in solidarity.

Today women across Qamishlo support.

Strike 4 Repeal

Chloe, 20, Cork, Ireland. Transgender woman. 

1. I think I was about 6 or 7 when I first understood that my gender mattered. I remember going shopping with my mom and my sister in our local toy store for babies and trying to make it as obvious as possible that we weren’t buying the dolls for ourselves, we would say loudly ‘I wonder if Chloe would like this one.’ We were afraid we would meet a child in one of our classes or meet a family friend and have to explain that we played with a toy that was by default gendered a “girls” toy. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I fully felt uncomfortable with my gender and it took me until I was 19 to fully realize that something had to change for me to feel comfortable in myself.

2-After coming out I had huge diaspora and struggled hugely leaving the house and speaking when I was out in public. There were moments where I would feel like I was doing the right thing and moments I thought I was going crazy. Gradually, over time, I started to feel the benefits of being true to myself. Everything felt natural to me, the clothes fitted my body better, my hair getting longer suited me more. I have started growing more as a person.  

5. My mother is my biggest support, she has been there through the good and the bad days. Some family members have struggled, but most are trying which is all I ask. My friends were the least phased when I came out and quickly adjusted to the new name and pronouns.

6. The biggest challenge I have faced has probably been the public scrutiny, hateful comments, misgendering, hateful videos being made of myself and my sister (she has a transgender older sister).  Living in a body that you feel doesn’t fully belong to you yet, is extremely painful, but dealing with people who think you are disgusting and sick is mentally draining.

7. I am perfectly imperfect and proud.

8. I hope someday I can have a family and be an unconditionally loving mother, just like mine has been to me.

9. We are equal members of society and deserve the same respect as anyone else.

11. What has been the hardest?

Losing family. The depression. Daily anxiety. misgendering in the workplace. The abuse.

12. I understand that my gender does not define me or who I am. I refuse to let gender roles and female/male privilege control me. We have used gender for centuries to overpower each other and use our gender as an excuse to get out of doing things that we would prefer not to do. Your gender should not be affected in the workplace, in society, in bathrooms, in relationships. Your gender is your own personal identity.

theguardian.com
This anti-abortion hijacking of Black Lives Matter is cynical and offensive
Both Lives Matter has got away with a misleading ad. But using the language of human rights can’t hide its true agenda: subjugating Northern Ireland’s women, writes Elizabeth Nelson, an activist with the Belfast Feminist Network
By Elizabeth Nelson

Describing itself as “pro-women and pro-life”, Both Lives Matter is a recent addition to the Northern Ireland anti-choice landscape, where abortion is permitted only if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a very serious risk to her mental or physical health. Fatal foetal abnormalities and pregnancies resulting from sexual crime such as rape or incest are not included.

And yet, somehow, in all its talk of “both” lives mattering during a crisis pregnancy, the campaign fails ever to mention the pregnant woman. What is happening to that person’s life – their body, their dreams, their finances, their mental health – is, for a campaign seemingly more intent on oppressing women than liberating them, nothing more than a word association game meant to draw a provocative parallel with a real struggle for civil rights.

Playing on Black Lives Matter is not just cynical, it’s offensive. A campaign started by three black women – Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi – to highlight the gross injustice and racial dimensions of police brutality in the US, it owes much of its strength not only to the mothers of the men and women killed by police, but to women of colour writ large, who bear the brunt of America’s institutionalised racism and sexism. The concept of reproductive rights and reproductive justice, which goes far beyond the simple right to choose whether or not to continue with a pregnancy, is integral to Black Lives Matter, because it also means the right to parent your child in a safe environment without fear – something consistently denied to black families by police and institutional injustice.

Lucy Everest Boole (1862-1904) was an Irish chemist and the first female professor at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and the first female Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry. 

Although receiving no formal university education she studied chemistry as part of her training as a pharmacist. She later became a researcher and lecturer in Chemistry and published several important papers, among which was her procedure of analysis of tartar emetic, which was the official method of testing metals until 1963. Lucy’s promising career ended abruptly when she died at only 43.