Category Archives: Activism and Agitation

If I can’t have My Reproductive Rights, then it’s not My Revolution.

Gender Recognition Act and those who are 16.

This is a really good read on the issues with the Gender Recognition Act as it stands in relation to those aged 16 to 18.

https://www.irishlegal.com/article/stephen-kirwan-pitfalls-and-uncertainties-in-ireland-s-gender-recognition-laws

The current #GRA does allow for those who are 16+ to apply, but there are considerable hurdles.

What if the person who is 16+ is estranged from their parents?

What if they have the support of their parents, but can not afford to pay privately for the consultation and paperwork?

It means we have in place laws which say a person aged 16+ can consent to medical procedures and see medical professionals with out parent/guardian permission, but can’t apply for the #GRA

Why is #GRA important for a person who is 16+? I’ve had people say sure they can just wait until they are 18. Well firstly 16 is when we sit our first state exams, it is when our legal and public Id which we will use for our professional life starts.

It is just not possible to have your leaving cert results issued under a different name at a later date. Also for people are in non gender mixed schools, it’s frankly hellish and if the only other local option is also non mixed, school policy often won’t allow a transfer.

If 16+ were allowed to self ID the same way as 18+ are, then it removed the barriers which can take over 2 years anyway. It means they can sort out all the paper work to live authentically as themselves, and not have to always explain.

A person does not have to undergo surgery or hormones to apply for their gender to be acknowledges by the State under the #GRA
16+ plus can already legally consent to any surgery or treatment currently in our healthcare system, if they meet the criteria for it. Extending the #GRA to allow them to self ID will not change that.

What it will do is frankly save lives and save the quality of someones life. Given the high rate of young trans people ending their lives and the impact tranphobia can have on a person’s mental health, extending the #GRA fully to 16+ can only be a good thing.

What it will allow is for those who are 16+ to wear the school uniform which aligns with thier gender, where a school has gendered uniform policies. #GRA

Another failing of the #GRA is that it is very Binary. It does not take into account people who are #NonBinary, #Agender or #GenderFuild. Trans people are expected to fit into a very binary system of gender conformity and gender expression.

This mean that these trans people are left with out legal recognition under #GRA and often access to services. The trans healthcare we have also is stuck in this binary mode and those who discover they are non binary are considered to have dropped out or failed to transition.

Which means they don’t have access to the medication which adjusts their body to what is optimal for them. They face hurdles when it comes to work and don’t have the support they need. #GRA should include #NonBinary people and those who are 16+

I do my best to be an Ally, I am cis and I have trans people in my life. If you are a cis person who has genuine question, I am happy to answer them the best I can.

Age of Consent in Ireland

Ireland’s Age of Consent does need to be reviewed along with the standardization of sexual health and sexuality education in our secondary schools.

Ireland’s #AgeOfConsent is out of step with other EU countries. ageofconsent.net .We do have somethings right, that there is no difference in the #AgeOfConsent for homosexual and hetrosexual sex.
17 is too old as an #AgeOfConsent, in my opinion, it should be 16. We how ever should have age bands, as some countries do, a close in age exemption, which are often refereed to as a Romeo and Juliet clause. Ireland does not have one.
Maturity is many faceted, and young people mature physically, mentally and emotionally at different rates. Which is why it is an impossible bench mark to set, but in setting #AgeOfConsent too high we ostracise teenagers. We put in place barriers, which prevent them from getting the information and services they need to keep themselves safe and make better choices.

Ireland is still dealing with the hangover of the Roman Catholic Church being the moral authority. We have shaken it off in many ways but it still remains in our education and healthcare.

In lowering the #AgeOfConsent we are facing the reality that many teens are sexually active at that age and we remove the stigma. However I am in favour of having an age band, so that it would be still illegal for those over 20 to have sex with a 16 year old.
Lowering the #AgeOfConsent would not be about giving free reign to pederasts.

I know many people are not comfortable with the idea of their 16 to 20 year old who still lives at home having sex. But they will, and if you ignore it, you make it harder for them to get help when they need it.

Ireland does not have an #AgeOfConsent close age exemption. ageofconsent.net/world/ireland
To have a law on our books which means two 16year old can both be done for statutory rape if they have sex is absurd. Which is why our #AgeOfConsent needs to be revised and looking at revising the #AgeOfConsent is something a Minister for Children should be looking at as well as a proper national age appropriate sexual health education for all children.

 

When something is criminalised it causes all sorts of stigma and other issues, so young people hide it and so don’t access services or get the help they may need.

Resource links:
https://b4udecide.ie/
https://spunout.ie/

https://www.healthpromotion.ie/publication/fullListing?category=Sexual+Health&searchHSE=

https://www.scarleteen.com/

On Not having a Degree

Plenty of people never finish the degree they enroll in for a whole range of reasons. That does NOT mean they are lesser or not capable or qualified in other ways.

Undergrad degrees are about learning certain concepts and theories, how to think using them and cite in a certain way and research. All of which can be done outside of 3rd level or as part of attending 3rd level, but not finishing.

Not having a degree is not a moral, ethical or personal failing.

A Degree has become a filter, same as the leaving cert used to be. Most of what you do in level entry jobs, you don’t use your degree at all, or need a degree to do. I often see many excellent people who are older, who don’t have a degree who are experts in what they do, who are blocked from working in orgs who’d be lucky to have them due to the requirement to have a degree.

The whole ‘drop out’ ‘doesn’t even have a degree’ is elitist, gate keeping, and snide when a person moved on and done the learning curve in their chose career. When it is done to people in the media, and repeated by people it effects people who are in the same situation. It makes people feel lesser even with then being awesome people and being good at the work they do.

A degree can be a social class barrier as many from working class backgrounds can simply not afford the ‘registration’ fees or the cost of living while in full time education. Either their parents can’t afford to help them or their parents are not in their life. That a person has to be 23 to be considered financially independent of their parents for grant purposes is absurd.

3rd level learning often does not suit people who are nonneurotypical (ADHD, ASD ect). With some undergrad courses having filler modules, or forced team projects, or just being not structured enough.

There are so many ways a passionate person can self educate themselves outside of a degree and they will continue to do so, which is honestly what is the ideal. It is what professional development plans are.

The best coder/hackers I know, never finished or enrolled in a degree. Same with some of the best communication and social media managers, who were early adopters.

If a hr/recruiter filters out based on having a degree, with out actually looking at the whole of an application or C.V. then they are doing it wrong imho.

Yes, I still have to finish my Degree, a Family issue and mental health issue means I have exam and essay outstanding. That is part of my plan for 2021.

But I also have a huge amount of experience with website management, social media management, press experience, training, running campaigns, team building and event management at local, national and international level, which no degree can give.

The idea that a person can have 5 years experience which so many jobs look for, but are then ruled out for not having a degree, any degree, is ludicrous.

No Going Back

Updated!

NO Going Back!

Our post #Repeal legislation will be up for review and possibly changing, we can not have agents of the State who will restrict and refuse our human rights.

Dear @greenparty_ie WTAF

This legislation needs to be improved as couples dealing with TFMR Ireland are still denied healthcare here.

The 72hour waiting time is not legally or medically needed, it is a restriction which needs to go.

With it looking like a FF/FG+ ind coalition I was already concerned about the review of this legislation.

We will have to keep reminding TDs and political party that ProChoice Ireland has not gone back to sleep.

There are Meetings if you Need one.

These are trying times.

This post is not about the AA and if it’s effective, it is a gentle reminder to those who use that system, that they are putting in place measures and to contact them.

gso@alcoholicsanonymous.ie

Mobile Number for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing only: 087-1460387

The AlAnon helpline is still open also.

Helpline (01) 8732699 (10 am – 10 pm every day)
email info@alanon.ie

Narcotics Anon is moving to online meetings:
https://www.na-ireland.org/covid-19/

Gamblers Anon has also moved to online meetings.
https://www.gamblersanonymous.ie/meetings

www.lifering.ie are peer support with a different those to AA and they also have online meetings.

Aware also have a range of supports.
https://www.aware.ie/

Support Line if you are concerned about your mood or the mood of a loved one (1800 80 48 48, 7 days a week, 10am-10pm)
Support Mail if you are concerned about your mood or the mood of a loved one (supportmail@aware.ie contact anytime and expect a response within 24 hours)

The Horrors of Direct Provision

I had someone try and defend direct provision to me, saying it is a far cry from the Horrors of the Magdalene laundries or industrial schools.

The horror comes when people have been in such emergency accommodation for 9 + years, it is the only life some children have known.

When parents can not cook meals for children, get food when needed for sick children.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/mother-in-direct-provision-denied-food-at-night-for-sick-child-1.3684032?mode=amp

 

When there is no privacy, as adults are forced to sleep 4+ to a cramped room.

 

When the accommodation is not clean or kept up to proper standards.

When children are raping other children.

When women who happen to be trans are forced to be in men only accommodation.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/woman-buried-without-friends-present-after-death-in-direct-provision-centre-1.3917038

When women are having to consider sex work due to the lack of provision for school books and uniforms.

When curfews are imposed and unwell people are locked out after going to A&E.

When people detained there are moved, with out reason or notice to other centers.

When people raped can not access the medical care they need.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/woman-buried-without-friends-present-after-death-in-direct-provision-centre-1.3917038

When those detained there have no idea if or when they will get to be released to have a normal life, or be sent back to a country where they will be killed; which results in them ending their own life.

The Laundries, Mother and Baby homes, the industrial schools, were all considered care carried out by those who were contracted, ie paid by the State to do so. They lacked care, compassion and were inhumane, and still people are deined thier Human Rights.

Direct provision is no different.

Want to help?

Find out what Support MASI need. https://www.masi.ie/support-us/

And get on to your TD https://www.whoismytd.com/

 

Apology Not Accepted.

This arrived yesterday.

I had a smear test which I was told I needed to, in the wake of the cervicalcheck scandal. I had been told to get one in the run up to the Repeal referendum last May, but delayed it for practical reasons, and the because I was scared.

It was December before I screwed up my courage and got it done. I needed it done as the all clear I had gotten after an abnormal smear may have been a false result and I could have had cells become cancerous and spread over the intervening 3 years from the first abnormal test.

Which meant the more time passed I was possible moving passed the window were non surgical treatments were an option. There is a history of several cancers in my family including this one.

The date on the letter shows when I had the test done, the 21st of December 2018 and the date I rang my GP and the Practice nurse told me the results was the 9th of August 2019, over 7 months. I was given the all clear, but I still have my concerns, my trust has been eroded.

I had my first smear at 19, I advocated and educated about them for years, in person and online. I welcomed the Cervical Check service when it was rolled out, but it left me in frankly mental and emotional anguish for over 7 months.

Over 7 months of trying not to think about it, over 7 months of worry and heartache and what if. Over 7 months of Schrodinger cancer inside me.  Over 7 months of desperately trying not to disassociate when I thought about it or when it was mentioned in the news.

Over 7 months of fretting I would have to have surgery and what impact it would have on me in my life. Over 7 months of worrying, my name may be added to the list of women who have and who are dying due to the lack of oversight in running what is a much needed service for anyone with a womb.

I am still working through all of this, I am relived but so damn fucking angry. So no, Apology Not Accepted.

 

 

Abortion services to be provided in Ireland from today

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2019/0101/1019777-abortion-services-ireland/

It’s really real.

We still have to be vigilant and make sure the services are good enough and person centered, and no one makes anyone feel ashamed for accessing this type of health care.

We need to make sure it’s properly accessible to the most vulnerable and that those who this law does not cover know that they can contact Abortion Support Network