Tag Archives: family

Arcadecon 2015

Arcadecon is on this weekend 3rd to the 5th of August in the Crown Plaza Hotel, beside the Blanchardstown shopping center.

 

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It’s one of the few conventions I’ve not yet attended and I am looking forward it for a range of reasons. Most conventions I attend are usually focused on one aspect of fandom or geek pursuits, but this looks like a real all rounder.  I am looking forward to hearing Paul Bolger talk about , hopefully meeting Professor Elemental, attending the Kapow Burlesque, meeting members of the USS Cuchulain.

So much to see and do, I have images of the current time table below so people can have a look at what to expect over the weekend. As ever a time table is only every finalised after an event has finished.

Friday

ARCADECONFRIDAY

Saturday

ARCADECONSAT2ARCADECONSAT1

 

Sunday

 

ARCADECONSUN1ARCADECONSUN2

 

If anyone wants to talk to me about Octocon please do come find me, I may also have some Dublin2019 flyers with me.

The Myth about Teenagers and Abortion

The Minister for Justice on a recent interview on Newstalk, was asked about the UN’s Economic & Social Council’s recommendation to have a referendum on abortion.

 

http://www.newstalk.com/Justice-Minister-says-her-priority-is-not-on-holding-an-abortion-referendum

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights report states that Ireland must reform it’s abortion laws, including having a referendum however the Minster stated that she thinks the focus should be on crisis pregnancies and lowering the number of teenage crises pregnancies.

The Minster said that doing so would take education on the matter, however it is Minster Frances Fitzgerald who needs to be educated, on how teenagers from Ireland who access abortion in the UK are the minority of the women who travel. These statistics are easily available, the Irish Family Planning Association has them up on their website. https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Statistics

UK Department of Health Stastics 2014UK Department of Health Stastics 2014 Teenagers - 20 and over

Graphics by @jamesfbrophy

 

Teenagers made up less than 8% of women that travelled last year, and the numbers for the last 12 years show that teenagers have not been the majority.

 

2014

This is a myth which we must bust, that it is irresponsible young women who have abortions. When the facts are that no contraceptive method is 100% effective and the most recent statics from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service show that more than half of women (54%) who use their services (including women travelling from Ireland) have already given birth.

Even if we did have contraception which was 100% effective there would still be unintended pregnancies, as those who perpetuate sexual abuse do not check to make sure their victims are using contraception and no woman should have to be on contraception just encase they become a victim of sexual abuse.

Even if we could wave a magic wand and every pregnancy would be an intended pregnancy, there are still reasons why abortion maybe needed, due to the risks to a woman’s health not just her life and in cases of Fatal Fetal Abnormalities when a woman does not wish to continue the pregnancy.

We do need a referendum to Repeal the 8th amendment before we can bring in any Abortion Rights, so that women no longer have to travel to the UK, often being separated from family when they need support.

We do need education about all of the many reason’s why abortion is part of health care.

We do need education about how early access to abortion is best for women and the majority of abortions carried out in the UK are before 10 weeks, with the abortion pills which women should be able to access here via their GP.

We do need education to stop the spread of the absurd myth that it is mostly teenagers who access abortion services, esp by our Ministers.

 

 

The Myth about Teenagers and Abortion

The Minister for Justice on a recent interview on Newstalk, was asked about the UN’s Economic & Social Council’s recommendation to have a referendum on abortion.

 

http://www.newstalk.com/Justice-Minister-says-her-priority-is-not-on-holding-an-abortion-referendum

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights report states that Ireland must reform it’s abortion laws, including having a referendum however the Minster stated that she thinks the focus should be on crisis pregnancies and lowering the number of teenage crises pregnancies.

The Minster said that doing so would take education on the matter, however it is Minster Frances Fitzgerald who needs to be educated, on how teenagers from Ireland who access abortion in the UK are the minority of the women who travel. These statistics are easily available, the Irish Family Planning Association has them up on their website. https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Statistics

UK Department of Health Stastics 2014UK Department of Health Stastics 2014 Teenagers - 20 and over

Graphics by @jamesfbrophy

 

Teenagers made up less than 8% of women that travelled last year, and the numbers for the last 12 years show that teenagers have not been the majority.

 

2014

This is a myth which we must bust, that it is irresponsible young women who have abortions. When the facts are that no contraceptive method is 100% effective and the most recent statics from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service show that more than half of women (54%) who use their services (including women travelling from Ireland) have already given birth.

Even if we did have contraception which was 100% effective there would still be unintended pregnancies, as those who perpetuate sexual abuse do not check to make sure their victims are using contraception and no woman should have to be on contraception just encase they become a victim of sexual abuse.

Even if we could wave a magic wand and every pregnancy would be an intended pregnancy, there are still reasons why abortion maybe needed, due to the risks to a woman’s health not just her life and in cases of Fatal Fetal Abnormalities when a woman does not wish to continue the pregnancy.

We do need a referendum to Repeal the 8th amendment before we can bring in any Abortion Rights, so that women no longer have to travel to the UK, often being separated from family when they need support.

We do need education about all of the many reason’s why abortion is part of health care.

We do need education about how early access to abortion is best for women and the majority of abortions carried out in the UK are before 10 weeks, with the abortion pills which women should be able to access here via their GP.

We do need education to stop the spread of the absurd myth that it is mostly teenagers who access abortion services, esp by our Ministers.

 

 

A mile in our shoes, Canvassing for Yes Equality.

I meet a couple while canvassing this evening, they opened the door exclaiming they were voting yes, and how glad they were to be at home and to be canvassed. They came out, one of them holding their dog, telling me the whole road was voting yes and that they had told friends and family if they wanted to come to their wedding that they had to vote yes.

They were both very emotional to see a group of strangers they didn’t know out asking for a Yes vote for their right to marry. They asked what the response on the doors had been like and how they their nerves would be shot until the result on Saturday. They held hands saying thanking us for caring and canvassing.

There are real people, like this up and down this country of ours who are feeling supported and hopeful, I just hope the result doesn’t dash our hopes and dreams.

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Why I wish my kids school had policies like Colaiste Eoin

Colaiste Eoin hit national press when they postponed at very short notice a workshop which Shoutout.ie were due to give to it’s Transition Year students.

http://www.thejournal.ie/homophobic-bullying-school-row-1906866-Jan2015/

 

The term postponed is important, the school does intend to run the workshop but has had to delay it due to letters which were sent to the school by parents of children due to take the workshop.

These letters would have automatically triggered a procedure were the letters and their contents would have to be discussed and be responded to by the Board of Management. Once the school opened the letters there was no other option but to postpone the workshop. We have no idea when the school got or opened the letter but them arriving that morning would explain why Shoutout’s team weren’t contacted sooner.

Why do I want my children’s school to have the same policies re external groups?

Because I have had the experience of only finding out that Accord the catholic marriage counselling agency were invited in to give a workshop on relationships (which only dealt with hetrosexual relationships) with one of my children when a text message was sent saying they class would be home early for lunch due to the workshop when the workshop had already started. http://www.accord.ie/services/schools-programmes

I rang the school very not impressed and had to arrange to have my child come home so we could talk about that situation and see if they wanted to opt out or return to take part in the work shop. They were not pleased at the situation and said the person giving the workshop never disclosed they were from a catholic organisation.

My children’s school does not have a policy of letting parents know an external group is coming in, The Gideons have been invited in and  handed out their teen abridged bibles to my children in their class, with out prior notice or option to opt out my children who are not Christian.

Yes the timing of the postponement of Shoutout’s workshop was really horrid, but I still wish that I would be informed of external groups and be given the chance to object and/or opt out my children. I have been working to get my children’s school to adopt the same polices Colaiste Eoin operates under.

Yes in this instance those policies have been used by what seems to be conservative parents in relation to an LGBT workshop, but that does not mean that the polices and procedures are wrong.

I hope that Colaiste Eoin can have a Board of Management meeting soon to address the concerns of the parents and arrangements can be made to opt out those children if necessary, as it the right of parents to ask for as under out constitution parents are the primary educators of their children.

As for the comments about “both sides”, given that the Shoutout’s workshops ran for the last two years in Colaiste Eoin, the school may have been taken aback by the letters and whom ever made that comment was right in the context that the letters and both sides have to be heard by the board of management. It could be that the parent’s don’t want to opt their children out but just had misgivings and needed more information before agreeing to their children taking part, we don’t know as the content of the letters is unknown.

My compassion is with the administration of the school as they have been unexpectedly thrust into the national spotlight and have enough to be doing with running the school,  dealing with the day today and the situation with out having to deal with press inquiries.

I know it may seems strange that a parent like myself who is an LGBT and Reproductive Rights Activist is standing up for those parents to excise their right to input in this situation but as I have said I think it’s a right all parents should have and all schools should be informing parents about which external groups are getting access to their children.

 

 

 

Facts about the Abortion Pills, Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

So during the week Prime Time on RTE covered the abortion pills, they ordered them online from Womenonweb.org and went up north to collect them.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1023/654484-prime-time/

New figures released to RTÉ Prime Time show the number of seizures of pills that can be used for abortions more than doubled during the first 10 months of this year.

The figures from the Health Products Regulatory Authority show there have been 60 seizures of over 1,000 tablets during 2014, up from 24 seizures last year.

The Master of the Rotunda Hospital in Ireland expressed concern about a website that is offering abortion pills online to Irish Women.

 

For a piece on our national broadcaster it was very scaremongering and did not furnish any facts about the pills. There is a big knowledge gap about them here in Ireland, they have been legal in France from 1988 and in the USA from 2000. They are prescribed only up to the first 9 weeks of a pregnancy.

So what are they?

The Abortion Pills are a set of pills, of two different types, Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

Mifepristone blocks the pregnancy hormones, they are only prescribed and dispensed in maternity hospitals and units around the country and are taken under direct supervision, a nurse will watch you take them.

Misoprostol are prescribed for a range of medical conditions and are known under several names Cytotec being one of the most common. Most Pharmacys stock them but they can not legally be prescribed to end a pregnancy. They cause the womb to contract and to eventually expell it’s contents. Misoprostol can be used on it’s own to end a pregnancy but the doses are greater and it’s not as efficient as using them with Mifepristone.

The way Misoprostol ends a pregnancy is an off book use or a side effect of the tablets as they were not created for that purpose and it was women in Brazil who discovered the side effect and started using them to end pregnancies back in the early 80s.

By 1988 the abortion pills were made legal in France. Any one wishing to end a pregnancy in the early stages is given the pills after seeing a nurse, midwife or Dr. The abortion pills became legal in Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland not long after and they became legal to use in the USA in 2000.

If Miss X back in 1992 had of lived in France she could have be given the pills.

If Miss Y had of been in the USA, France, Germany, Italy or Spain and discovered she was pregnant and did not want to be at 8 weeks she could have after counselling been administered the abortion pills.

The package of pills which Women on Web send to women are the same dose and make as those used by BPAS in the UK for abortion and Miscarriage management.

It has one Mifepristone  and 6 Misoprostol with directions on how and when to take them.

They are also used later in a pregnancy, when miscarriage is unavoidable to hasten the end of the pregnancy instead of forcing women to wait for untold hours until there is not fetal heartbeat or there is an immediate risk to the woman’s life. But due to the 8th amendment they can’t be administered for such purposes by drs here, this is untenable.

Suppression of information about the abortion pills is rife here due to people not wanting to fall foul of the 1995 abortion information law, but well I have broken that more times then I can possibly count on my blogs over the last 10 years.

Using the oral contraceptive pill correctly has a 1% rate of you becoming pregnant.

Using the abortion pills correctly has a 1% rate of you having complications.

Yes both the oral contraception pill and the abortion pills are not suitable for all women, but the overwhelming majority of women can use them.

There is an FAQ here if you have more questions: https://www.womenonweb.org/en/page/6904/medical-abortion

So what if you happen to be one of the 1% of women that has a complication?

Then you have to go to a hospital and women on web will say do not take the pills if you can not be with in 2 hours of an A&E. If you go to hospital after self administrating the abortion pills, there is no medical test which will show that you have taken them.

Your condition presents as complications during a miscarriage and is treated the exact same way, there is no different in treatment needed. No medical professional will be able to tell by examination or blood work that you have taken the pills.

If you disclose to any medical professional that you have taken them, the treatment will still be the same. Medical professionals are not required by law to inform the garda that you have admitted to a self administered abortion. If they do tell the garda the garda would have no evidence and your statement alone would not be enough to convict you.

If you need to have a scan to confirm that the pregnancy is ended then there are clinics like Femplus who have both crises pregnancy services and abortion after care check ups.

http://femplus.ie/services/crisis-pregnancy/

http://www.abortionaftercare.ie/urgent-medical-care also has a list of services but some are pro life so be careful.

My family is complete, I do not want any more children, if my contraception was to fail and I discovered I was pregnant I would use the abortion pills either via  Womenonweb.org or www.womenhelp.org and I would not hesitate to refer a loved one to them either.

http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20070815/ru486-no-extra-risk-to-next-pregnancy

The bottom line: Women who used RU-486 had no increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, preterm birth, or low-birth-weight babies when they eventually decided to have a baby.

“By now, probably more than 5 million women worldwide have had RU-486 abortions,” Zhang tells WebMD. “More than half of women seeking early abortion use this method. So this is a very significant finding about the safety of this treatment.”

Currently the Abortion Pills cost 90 euro plus the cost of a trip to to Belfast to collect them. This is significantly less then the 1,500 euro which is the average cos of having to travel to the UK for a surgical abortion.

People shouldn’t have to travel or risk the possibility of 14 years in jail, they should be able to see their dr and if it is suitable get the abortion pills to take here under medical supervision.

Still ordering from Women on web or Women Help and taking the pills with out supervision is still a hell of a lot more safe to do then trying to use a wire hanger or knitting needle to induce an abortion.

The abortion pills need to be Free and Legal and available here in Ireland for those who need them.

Féile Draíochta 2014

Féile Draíochta 2014 was awesome and even more so that my brats were there and helping out as minions and raffle ticket sellers. It was awesome to have them hanging out with other kids of pagan parents and for them to see that there is a community of people who are pagan, that while they are personally agnostic I think its important they seem community other then that of the local parish as their only model of community. They saw people all all ages, and several babes. Everyone who they encountered had time for them and didn’t speak down to them.

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I would very much recommend coming along to this, if you get the chance it’s always the first weekend in October.

I got my face painted, which is one of my own traditions and  the Dice Lady was lovely to deal with.

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Dhara Kivlehan

Dhara Kivlehan married Michael Kivlehan and was starting a family she attended the maternity unit in Sligo and after her mistreatment was airlifted to Belfast hospital were she died.

They meet in Londonin 2002, fell in love, moved back to Ireland and were married in 2005. Dhara died in 2010 it has taken 4 years for the inquest and investigation to happen.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU

 

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

DC131 or I am going to be a first year!

22 to years ago when the CAO results came out I was in town with the girls from my year with the new edition of tomorrow’s newspaper, trying to look up the sting of numbers which hopefully was printed with against the course code I wanted. I didn’t see the code and I went home on the last bus to double check again on the kitchen table, I didn’t get what I wanted that year but I did two years later.

But they say 3 times the charm and this morning so much has changed in those 22 years, including how I got my offer. It arrived by text message, saying I had an offer for course code DC 131 and to log in to the CAO site to accept it. DC131 is the Degree in Communication Studies in Dublin City University.

Today I am giddy with excitement, the details and concerns as to how I make it all happen, the grant applications, the child cared ect can all wait for 24 hours while I revel in the idea that I am going to college this Autumn and all going well in a few short years I will graduate.

Most people go to university as a teen, I am going as a mature student. I am really looking forward to it. Just hope I don’t give in the urge to straighten the collars and pull down the shirts of my fellow first years.

 

 

What about the Menz!

This post has be simmering for a while, but before I start let me just don this fendora.

fendora

Right lets do this. I have written a lot over the years about how I came to be a feminist, being a feminist and how that is important to me. Having grown up to be a woman in this society I am aware of the double standards, mixed messages, unreachable standards and limitations in how girls are socialized and women are expected to behave. I knew when I had my daughter some of the battles and struggles she would have to face.

I did have my son first and did think life would be easier for him, but I found out he has his own set of battles and struggles with the double standards, mixed messages, unreachable standards and limitations in how boys are socialized and men are expected to behave.

One of the people who helped open my eyes to this was Tom “Devore” Murphy.  in our many back and forth debating and discussing the topic of feminism over the years, one of his salient points was I don’t know what it is to grow up with the societal messages that boys don’t cry, boys are smelly, boys aren’t emotionally intelligent, men aren’t caring, and that other then aggression or pride few emotional expression are considered ok for men.

Yes both my brats have ASD, which means we have had to do a lot of work around emotions, figuring them out, what they are feeling, best ways to express those emotions, how other’s are feeling and being compassionate and considerate of others. This type of work is not done with most boys, girls learn it’s ok to talk about their feelings, boys don’t, boys get lessons in how to appear emotionally tough for when they have to go out and interact in male company.

These lessons can from family often unknowingly, from media, from peers from school, society and even media aimed at children. This youtube clip is 7 years old.

So what, do I as a feminist think is meant by the saying Patriarchy hurts men too.

Patriarchy is to me the promotion and enforcement of gender roles and stereotypes for the good of society. Thing is I didn’t grow up in a gender stereotypical family, My parents took turns being the stay at home parent, my Dad was reared in a household were hands had no gender, he had no issues 39 years ago changing my terry cloth nappies or making apple tarts. So much of what patriarchy promotes I have always known to be bullshit.

I see how such gendered enforcement holds back girls and boys, girls I would have always said more, I had believe that as gendered stereotypes were broken down, mostly by women and girls it would effect positively for boys and men.

For Every Woman
By Nancy R. Smith, copyright 1973

For every woman who is tired of acting weak when she knows she is strong, there is a man who is tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.

For every woman who is tired of acting dumb, there is a man who is burdened with the constant expectation of “knowing everything.”

For every woman who is tired of being called “an emotional female,” there is a man who is denied the right to weep and to be gentle.

For every woman who is called unfeminine when she competes, there is a man for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity.

For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.

For every woman who feels “tied down” by her children, there is a man who is denied the full pleasures of shared parenthood.

For every woman who is denied meaningful employment or equal pay, there is a man who must bear full financial responsibility for another human being.

For every woman who was not taught the intricacies of an automobile, there is a man who was not taught the satisfactions of cooking.

For every woman who takes a step toward her own liberation, there is a man who finds the way to freedom has been made a little easier.

But I have now come to see there has to be a complimentary body of work to be done, by men and boys for men and boys and supported by women and girls. Feminism is for me not just about smashing patriarchy, it is not just about equal rights and opportunities, it is about encouraging women and girls to speak out and speak up about what needs to chance and empowering them to make changes. I think boys and men need something the same along those line. I don’t think it’s feminism job to do it for them, I don’t think it would be right for me as a feminist to tell men what needs doing in how they related to each other and what should get priority in their movement.

I have tried before to get an action group up and going to agitate and petition for paternity leave (there is no legal entitlement to paternity leave in Ireland), there was a lot of talk about creating the group, but none of the men showed up. There are many issues which I am more then happy to support, lack or support services and awareness of male victims of sexual assault, rape and domestic violence, male suicide rates and mental health issues, the rise in male eating disorders as boys now have those impossible abs held up as what it means to be good looking, there is a list to be sure.

To date there is only one group/org which I feel I can show solidarity and support to and that is the men’s shed movement. Most of the other groups/orgs seem to waste so much time and energy condemning feminism and blaming it for all the ills that beset men. The men’s shed movement says that men are more inclined to talk shoulder to shoulder, working together then talk face to face, they do good work globally.

There are serious conversations needed, about what it means to be a man in society, the struggles men face. I do want these conversations to happen, I just wish they would happen to be parallel  to the ones women are having. I would love to see a hastag on twitter with men sharing the issues they have faced and deal with.

Just as I think there needs to be women’s only spaces to talk about what needs smashing and changing, I think there needs to be men only spaces to do the same and then we should be able to get together while respecting each other and offer support and solidarity.