How to be a feminist in Ireland: It’s a tough road
- by admin
The last time I was here was two years ago.
I came as a child with the idea that Ireland could be a place of equality, but in a very short space of time I realised it’s a place that has been very divisive.
As a result, I felt that the people who came here to support me were the most hateful, abusive, sexist and racist people in the country.
I have always felt very much in my heart that Ireland has a very real problem with homophobia and transphobia and with racism.
What I’ve discovered over the years is that the vast majority of the people here don’t believe that homophobia is an Irish problem, and it’s not an Irish issue at all.
In fact, I’ve found that most people who have an issue with homophobia are the same people who are the most vociferous in their support of it, whether it’s for their own religious beliefs, their own personal religious beliefs or their political views.
I don’t think I could have been as lucky as the young Irishwoman who wrote a letter to the editor of the Irish Times in 2015, calling for the “counselling and advocacy” of the “anti-gay lobby”.
I’ve also met many women who have been forced to live as women or have had to live in male-only households.
When I was at university, there was a young man who was expelled from the university for being a lesbian.
He was expelled because he was seen as an outsider, an outsider who didn’t fit in.
When he was at college, he was expelled for his gender identity.
And so it goes.
I think that when you talk to people who haven’t had to face this kind of discrimination, they are very much aware of what it is that they are going through.
They are aware that they can come here and speak their mind, and they can be supported by people who actually care about them.
There is a real fear that these young women, and young men, and trans people, who have experienced discrimination in Ireland are going to be afraid to speak out against it.
In my view, the problem here is that there is a fear of being heard, of being challenged, of having a voice.
So what do you do?
If you’re a young woman who is trans, or a trans person of colour, or you are an immigrant, you’re not going to have a voice if you are told that you are wrong.
You’re not being listened to.
You might be told that your ideas are wrong, that you don’t understand it, that the Irish people don’t accept you.
You are being told that there are problems with your gender, your sexuality and your gender identity, and that you can’t be accepted here.
If you are a young person of faith who is gay, then you are not going in to a place where you’re told that that you’re wrong and you are in danger.
The reality is that this is a problem that doesn’t just affect young people of faith, it’s also an issue for all people of colour.
This is not just an Irish phenomenon, it is a global problem.
We live in a country where the most recent census has found that there were 1.2 million trans people in Ireland.
That’s over one in five people in this country.
The fact is that we have a large and growing trans population in Ireland, which is growing at a rate of almost three per cent every year.
We are a country that has the largest Muslim population in the world.
We have a significant number of people of Indigenous ancestry.
We do have a small but growing black population.
And yet, Ireland has one of the highest rates of transphobic hate crimes in Europe, and yet, we still see a huge amount of homophobia in our society.
I understand that there will always be people who say, “Well, there are some good things that Ireland can do.”
And they’ll point to the progress we’ve made, the progress that we’ve achieved in terms of equality.
And I would ask them to look at what they’re doing.
They’re not doing anything that’s going to change the fact that Ireland is still a country with a very large, deep-rooted problem with discrimination.
And the fact is, that if you’re in a position of power in Ireland or a position in the government, and you say to people, “You know what, we’re going to do something about this, we are going, I want you to see how this affects you, how it affects your family and your friends, how this impacts you in your relationships,” then they will listen.
They will listen and they will change.
They’ll listen and when they do, you will see the changes that you will be able to see and they’ll start to see that this discrimination isn’t just a problem of Ireland.
The last time I was here was two years ago.I came as a child with the idea that Ireland could…