Archive for March, 2013

Int Wom Day

Are these kind of days really about the intended target? If so, why not have ‘International Humanity Day’? I can’t help but feel that neither Countess Markiewicz nor Emily Pankhurst would have much to do with them. Why? Because they’d be too busy effecting change. Men and women are equal and we are very different. Women cannot do what men can do and men cannot do what women do. It’s nature. Inexplicably though, through history, men sought to exploit their strength and women’s weakness thereby giving rise to the ‘women’s movement’. However, at this stage women should surely have moved to the next stage and away from sexist demonstrations. I was at an event this Tuesday evening where Columbian women came to Dublin to learn from the Irish/British peace process to apply certain lessons to theirs. Why for the life of me this concerns women as a group and not all humanity I don’t know. The women’s forum participated in the Irish/British peace process and they claim credit for having achieved consideration for victims of the Northern Ireland war. Why this couldn’t have been achieved through other means is beyond me. I was involved in party politics in Ireland and I witnessed no barriers to women’s participation.

And look at the nonsense that sometimes prevails, when we remove perceived barriers to women, such as entry to An Garda Síochána. The height restriction had to be removed as it indirectly discriminated against women. Now we have a force filled with ‘inch high private eye’ (that quip will make sense to all kids of 80’s cartoons) where I believe physical presence is important.

It has also been said to me also that sexism still exists in sport. I’m not so sure it is sexism as much as it is corporatism. Meaning, corporates care about profit and not gender, so if women’s sport was so popular the sponsors would be right in there – fact is, its not that popular. Take football. Of the millions of female football fans around the world, how many would (given the choice) watch the women’s world cup over the men’s? Corporates don’t care about gender, they care about profit. Why aren’t more women attending women’s sport? It’s not like Gerrymandering where they are officially excluded by the law from sport and life (assuming we exclude the sexist Fitzwilliam Tennis Club and several old British style golf courses around Ireland where women seem to be more than happy to be treated as second class members!) Gerrymandering and any of that type of apartheid, racist nonsense needs to be fought and buried. Once that goes, you need to go to the next stage and stop playing the victim. Or are there other reasons for these kind of days/actions?

I get the a similar type thing in the media. People say community media should be supported (as they say about women’s rights), and I agree, in fact this Saturday we have a kind of a community media day type thing with Near FM. It’s about policy more than anything. Let’s see how many show and then act on it, when the networking opportunities have gone. And just try getting these people to listen to community radio – there’s no sign of them (again same with women’s issues). Folk complaining that mainstream media are not covering the considerable opposition to Government/EU austerity. Community and ‘independent’ media are covering it, but will any of these folk tune in or get their mates to tune in?! Will they flip! Again, same principle with women’s issues. Of course, I am not opposed to a women’s day in reality. I think it’s a good thing, especially in places the above image represents, but its existence needs to be questioned and time has long come, for the sake of women and humanity,  to move it to the next stage.

In a conversation with one of my students from Panama, she told me she didn’t even know about International Women’s Day AND she wants to be CEO of her company, the Panama Canal. Great attitude and that’s where the energy needs to go.