If you can have your friend sit in your kitchen
with troubles piled, not knowing what to do
and ease her cares and help her just by listening
and know that she would do the same for you
If you can lend your voice to joy and laughter
and sing and dance to some old blissful song
but keep your wits when facing a disaster
and know when something's right and something's wrong.
Careful now, as the residents of Craggy Island might say: the Irish State is sponsoring threesomes for teenagers. Was it for this? cried whistle-blowing politicians. Was it for this? cried afternoon radio callers. Was it for this? cried the bones of Éamon de Valera as they creaked and shuffled into an entirely new position.
The alarm was rung by Michelle Mulherin, the Fine Gael TD whose previous claims to fame include the perceptive observation that “fornication” is “probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies”. Mulherin stumbled – who knows how – upon an article on the website SpunOut.ie which explained what a threesome involved, listed some possible pros and cons, and suggested precautions. (“You’ll need to change condoms if you are switching partners during the threesome”; “only do it if you want to do it”).
On Wednesday, March 20th, UCD Women’s Studies hosts renowned sociologist, Prof. Hill Collins for a public lecture entitled ‘Where do we go from here? Intersectionality and Social Justice’. Prof. Hill Collins specialises in critical race theory and feminist theory, and is perhaps best known for her work on intersectionality, that is, the notion that people are often subject to multiple and mutually reinforcing disadvantages based on gender, race, or class, for instance. Below, Prof. Hill Collins discusses some of the key themes of her work.
CF: You have spent many years as an educator, scholar and activist exploring issues of social justice and inequality. How would you describe the relationship between grass-roots activism outside of the academy and change-making within academia?
Due to the recent issue that took place on the IFN facebook page this week (where an article about the sexism in the Oscars was posted, resulting in people making many women feel very unsafe through the sort of comments they made) we are welcoming constructive feedback on the way moderation, policy, etc. are handled in general within the IFN. It might be 'only' the internet, but it's extremely important women feel they can contribute in an inclusive and comfortable online space just as much as offline.
if there's anything you wish to express, feel free to leave comments in this blogpost.
Here is the IFN comments policy:
"Feminist Ethos: We wish to undertake all our work from an explicitly feminist perspective. While mindful of the complexity and multiplicity of feminisms, we purposefully embrace the term ‘feminism’ and invite others to follow us in doing so.
Equality: We wish to advance equality in all spheres of Irish society. As different types of inequality overlap and reinforce each other, we recognise the importance of working toward the elimination of inequalities that are not just based on gender, but also on class, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, and other markers of difference.
Inclusiveness: We wish to protect and promote the interests of all of our members, and we respect the diversity of women and men who join us in opposing gender inequality.
Solidarity: We wish to work toward increased gender equality in Ireland by forging alliances with other social justice groups, community groups, NGOs and movements with whom we share similar values and priorities. Such alliance-building will also extend across national boundaries and will encompass the whole island of Ireland.
Progressiveness: We wish to form a focal point for feminist women and men who seek the introduction of positive and progressive measures for the achievement of gender equality both in Ireland and abroad.
Core Principle: Respect for people's lived experiences of oppression. As a feminist organisation, we are particularly concerned that people respect women's lived experience of gendered oppression, although we welcome comments from everybody on the page, as long as they are respectful.
Commenters are asked to acknowledge the above values and core principle, and to leave comments in accordance with them. The IFN reserves the right to determine whether or not comments are in accordance with our values and core principle."
We welcome submissions to the blog, subject to editorial review, please contact us if you're interested. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the IFN.