A friend pointed this out on my university’s Feminist Society facebook page. Read it and weep. I find it incredible that this man has actually managed to have any kind of relationship with a woman – his views are quite frankly disgusting.
“The first thing I feel I should emphasise is the sheer numbers of people who turned out.”
Guest post by Orlagh Ni Léid, Alliance for Choice, Belfast
This is an article from Women’s Views on News, detailing the pro choice march which took place in Dublin at the end of last week. As it describes, the protest was not only an outcry against Ireland’s abortion laws, but also a commemoration of the death of a woman whose life ended during a miscarriage, after she allegedly begged for an abortion and was denied one on the grounds that Ireland ‘was a Catholic country’. A full investigation will be carried out, the details of which can be found here.
While the details of Savita Halappanavar’s unfortunate passing remain unconfirmed, if the story is proven to be true, it seems hard to believe that it will not result in at least modification of the Irish abortion laws. This case is both high profile and horrific; surely this demonstration of the tragic consequences of anti-abortion laws will prove to the Irish government that there is no strong argument against change. It is vital. A situation where women are dying, potentially due to the fact that government is withholding the power they should have over their own body, cannot feasibly be allowed to remain as it is. It puts women at risk, it robs children of their mothers, spouses of their beloved wives, parents of their daughters. The affect can be so widespread, and it could be prevented.
While as previously stated, it has yet to be confirmed whether Ms Halappanavar did request an abortion, and if so, if the lack of termination resulted in her death, even if it was not the cause, it is obvious that a lack of choice for women causes problems. In any other medical crisis, the patient is allowed some kind of input into their treatment plan and more often than not, patients are the ones granting permission to surgeons, anxious to try a new method, because this one might just reduce the risk, might be the one that saves their patient’s life. The patient has control over what happens to their body. Yet women are denied an abortion based on moral grounds, and forced to beg for surgery which could help save their lives; in this case, because doctors refused to sacrifice an already confirmed miscarriage? There is no just cause for a woman to have any less control over her body and over the child she is carrying than another patient, in another situation, who is equally as threatened as the powerless mother but who has the opportunity to save themselves. Savita did not have the comfort of a last hope. No matter what the outcome of the investigation the fact remains that for her, the doctors were not willing to try every method possible. In her case, she was left to die.
A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
– Gloria Steinem
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t wear make up. Don’t ever let anyone condemn you for doing so, don’t ever feel that you need to hide what you put on your face. Plaster yourself in it if you really want (but perhaps stop before you reach clown stage). Because it is your choice. What you put on your face is your choice. I detest people who criticize others for wearing make up; it’s hypocritical, irritating and judgmental. No one has the right to decide how another person should present themselves to the world, no one has the right to dictate what’s right and what’s wrong. No one. So don’t ever let anyone pretend that they do. Just ignore them with a smile, and don’t allow their judgmental ways to affect you, and the choices you make. And the same goes for the opposite. Never criticize anyone for choosing not to wear make up. Neither is right or wrong – everyone is entitled to feel good about how they look, however they go about it.
I would be willing to bet that if you were to ask the vast majority of the women in this country whether they supported women’s rights, whether they would consider themselves feminists, whether they believe in freedom for women, they would answer in the affirmative to all three. And yet so many women seem to criticize their friends or loved ones for putting on make up, rather than respecting their choice to wear it if they want. The whole idea of feminism, at least in my view, is to give women the opportunity to make their own life choices, whether that’s choosing to work, choosing to stay at home and be a mum, choosing to go to university, or choosing to dress/look a certain way. If we really support women’s freedom, surely we could start by supporting the choices made by those surrounding us?
This brings me to another point, and one I am most definitely guilty of myself, so please believe that by ranting about it, I’m ranting towards myself just as much as anyone else. We judge other women for wearing shorts skirts, for dressing in a supposedly ‘slutty way’, for really anything that we perceive as inappropriate or different. And really, we need to lay off and keep our opinions to ourselves. Because everyone should have the right to feel beautiful, and to feel that they look beautiful and if that means dressing in a plastic bag, covering yourself head to toe, or by walking around with only the important parts covered, then so be it. We’re all so busy bashing magazines and the media in general for promoting a certain body image, and pressurizing women into looking a certain way. Well aren’t we all doing the same thing? All of us are pushing each other to look a certain way, to dress a certain way, to act a certain way. And it’s insane. We need to stop. If we want freedom, equality, a better life for women, we have to start treating each other with respect. We have to start looking out for each other, because only by treating each other as equals will we convince men to start treating us as equals.
Like I said, everyone should have the right to feel beautiful, in whichever way they choose. And I’m going to try and work harder to make sure that everyone around me does.
My friend posted this on her blog – fascinating and funny talk about the factors preventing more women from securing the top jobs within society, from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg. Really worth a watch.