What Not To Write About Irish Women, Royal Weddings, and Facebook Faces

I had major plans for today’s blog post, but I’m about to embark on a major family day out, for which I will be wearing a dress, and hugging little children a lot (or possibly a lot of children a little. This will depend on the moods of the hugees). This required a lot of preparation, both mental and physical, so my planned post never materialised.

Also, there are certain weeks when you want to lie down for about a year, and we’ve just come to the end of one of them.

What Not To Write About Irish Women, Royal Weddings, and Facebook Faces

I’m not going to get up on a soapbox here. Readers do not come here for discourse on Irish issues, nor do they come here for serious debate, unless it’s about books, in which case we know it’s seriously funny. But I’m sure you also know that Ireland is facing a referendum next Friday, and people are getting very inflamed about it.

You know too that Ireland has a very dubious history regarding its approach to women’s healthcare, and the treatment of pregnant women in particular.

The upshot is that I and a lot of other people with ovaries have been feeling fairly crappy about being a woman in Ireland at the moment. We are not in a good place. I will be voting Yes next Saturday to try and get us to a better place. I hope and beg that an Irish majority will too, at which point, things might seem funny again.

In the meantime, here are the blog posts I didn’t write this week, for all the reasons.

1. Guess What? You’ve Been Reading The Same Book For 200 Years

This is the post I should have finished last night, but I was too busy feeling relieved to get anything done. The reason I was relieved is because I am not a British or American journalist. There are many reasons to be relieved that you are not a British or American journalist, but yesterday’s Royal Wedding is a good place to start. I have never heard so many formerly intelligent journalists sound so brainless in my life. It was almost charming, in the way that an excitable small child who is about 2 minutes away from a tantrum is almost charming. Still, it fed my occasional need to feel smug and superior, so job done, as they say.

2. I Saw Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Being Interviewed And Might Finally Have Figured Out How To Be A Woman

The author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun was in Dublin as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin (please see previous post for an overview of Dublin’s ridiculous addiction to Lit Fests) and I and approximately 3,000 other X chromosomes went to see her. She says what she means and means what she says, and doesn’t temper it with empty flattery, or tolerance for silliness. She is magnificent and should be Queen of Everything. The only royal moment I needed this week.

3. The Books I Would Never Tell You About

This is a tease, I admit it. It wasn’t just this week. I fail to write this post, every week. The reason I generally don’t tell you about books I truly love is because I’m afraid of losing some of the wafer-thin credibility I have when I’m giving out about other books. Perhaps one day, if I’m trying to flog something, I’ll bite the bullet. Or perhaps not. Who knows?

4. Who Knew? Facebook Is PROTECTING ME With Its Face Recognition Software

Unlike most other things this week, this was hilarious. With the new GDPR law rushing down the track at 10,000 miles an hour, all the social media companies have been scrambling to nail down their data privacy issues by using their best wiles to try to get us poor suckers to officially sign over our data to them, as opposed just taking it from us without asking.

Facebook informed me on Thursday in some completely bonkers version of Stranger Danger that I should consent to their face recognition software – get this – because it would PROTECT me from STRANGERS (Block caps mine. Idiocy Facebook’s.)

What Not To Write About Irish Women, Royal Weddings and Facebook Faces

I filed it under ‘Things Complete Strangers Say Are For My Own Good But Are Actually Very Bad And Possibly Even Dangerous’, and said No.

The only No this week which will be for the good of my health.

5. 2,018 Reasons to Vote Yes to Repealing The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland

You think I couldn’t have come up with 2,018? Oh, ye of little faith.


Back to normal service next week, folks, I promise. Well. Let’s just see how things go, shall we?

  11 comments for “What Not To Write About Irish Women, Royal Weddings, and Facebook Faces

  1. May 20, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Still staying off Facebook…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ali Isaac
    May 20, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    I wish I could vote, but even though I have lived in Ireland nearly 20 years, am married to an Irishman, and have contributed three Irish children, I am still considered a nasty ‘foreign national’, and am forbidden from voting on constitutional matters. Strange, but I thought a woman’s body was a personal matter, yet still in this country women have no rights to their own bodies but are controlled by the state and the Church. One might think, in my situation, I would be very anti but I’m not… I understand only too well at least one side of the story which might lead a woman (and partner) to choose an abortion. Its easy to judge from behind a perfect easy life. No woman takes such a decision lightly, and anyone who believes they do has no grasp on the hardship of real life. When Ireland voted in favour of gay marriage, I was so proud. I hope I will be feeling the same way on Friday, and that peoole will vote with love and tolerance and understanding in their hearts, and not judgement and ignorance. 💕 to you, Tara. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 20, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      Huge, huge love right back at you, Ali. I can’t help but feel with what I’ve been hearing from the No camp this week that your voice of real experience is exactly the sort of voice they have no interest in hearing, whether have a vote or not. It must be so frustrating to be here for so long and have so much to contribute to this debate, and be left out in the cold – but I can tell you, many of us with a vote are feeling mighty cold too. When I realise the way these people view women in general, my heart just breaks into so many shards. They think we don’t care. They think we don’t think. They think everyone should be like them, no matter the circumstances. It is indeed easy to judge from behind a hard-baked veneer of tradition.

      The only good thing to come out of this referendum is the sort of solidarity which has united strangers and sometimes even moved this cynical old strop to good tears. I hope to be crying buckets of them next Saturday. Big hugs. xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ali Isaac
        May 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm

        Yes, tears of joy hopefully. You are a big softy. Hugs back at ya, lovely Tara. 😘

        Liked by 1 person

        • May 21, 2018 at 8:16 pm

          Don’t tell anyone, Ali. My reputation as a bulletproof dictator will be RUINED. 😉


  3. solsdottir
    May 21, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    I’m Canadian, so I can only hope that the Irish once again vote for common sense. I’ll be keeping everything crossed for you.
    As for the wedding, it was pretty funny watching one of our “hard-hitting investigative journalist” covering it on CBC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 21, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Can’t believe I didn’t know until now that you were Canadian! This feels like something I should have known. Is it because you’ve been hiding it well… or I’m both unobservant and a bad online neighbour?! I’ll never admit to the former, anyway 😀

      I hope we make the right decision too. The mood is lighter in Ireland this week, at least. May it stay like that all the way to a happy ending, I say.


  4. May 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    I will be wishing so hard for a ‘YES’ vote you should be able to see me in the night sky roughly 1700 kms South-South East of Dublin. FB can go stuff itself, and so can the royal family and all those who sail in her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 23, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      With vibes like that it can only help! Thank you, Jane, from the bottom of my heart. The mood has lightened a little this week, helped in a big way by people like you, but we’re still nervous. Fingers crossed tight.


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