Saturday, 21 May 2011

Emails that might get me fired

"Whenever I talk about feminism, people start yawning. What's your secret?"

The most amazing thing about that guest post for Feministe was that really surprising people read it and liked it and were touched by it. People in my family, people I went to school with, people I had never mentioned this blog to because it hadn't occurred to me that they were into politics at all, and I'd just assumed that they'd take one look and go 'feminism, BORING', and that would be that. But! Turns out that even if you're not already a paid-up member of The Social Justice Blogosphere, you have opinions about abortion access, and maybe thinking about the position of women in NI makes you extra-grateful for the lack of obstacles between you and that one abortion you had that you've never told anyone about. Maybe you start reading because 'oh wow someone I know got published in a real place!', then maybe you're laughing at my silly turn of phrase, and you're learning before you know it. It feels awesome, not just preaching to the choir. Don't get me wrong - I love the choir, I am the choir, The Social Justice Blogosphere is one of my favourite things - but getting the outside world to listen and change is sort of the point of our whole Making Stuff Better project. So, yay for that.

My answer to that email, if you were wondering, was:

"Dick jokes."


  1. About the idea of all Irish women who come to the UK to have abortions getting them on the NHS, I've been trying to think where to start, because mostly where my ideas begin with is a website or a survey or something to get other people on board.

    The thing is, I think it's the kind of idea that begins as a "that's never going to happen" until enough people are talking about it. Maybe a website allowing people to indicate their support for (a) women from Northern Ireland getting to come to the mainland to have their abortions on the NHS; (b) because of the long-standing relationship between Ireland and the UK, Anglo-Irish goodwill, etc etc, Irish women who come to mainland UK to have abortions should have them on the NHS and with due regard for patient confidentiality, the Irish government should be billed for their citizens abortions at the close of each financial year. Abortions should continue to be provided on the NHS regardless of the Irish government paying their abortion bill.

    Something like that.

    Ask people to provide a UK postcode or other indication that they're British citizens.

  2. Sounds like a good start - how about a petition on on of the free sites?

    I've followed you on twitter - send me a direct message and I'll drop you my email so we can Discuss Further...