June 2024

Aisling thinks I’m over-reacting about this morning. It’s the first day of teen camp a bunch of us parents started up last year. A hybrid of the CLP (child led play group) concept that become popular in recent years, and the political camp model traditional in Scandinavia. You can follow our blog on http://www.genderisasocialfuckingconstructok?.com (We’d appreciate a nomination in this year’s blog awards by the way – under the feminist section. You know the drill). Aisling’s real name is Kate but we all go by our daughters’ names.

We had to do something. There was nothing. I mean fuck all. Unless you count the Be the Bigger Person camps run by the GAA. But they tackle obesity primarily and my wee one would NEVER meet the BMI threshold for that. Or that Cut From the Same Cloisters mob. A camp that combines faith and fashion for those boys and girls pre-teen young people with an interest in going onto the priesthood. Credit to Mary McAleese for that one. The infamous Bonkersgate affair started with Cardinal McAleese slagging off the men of Rome for having the audacity to meddle in family affairs when none of them had (officially, anyway) changed a nappy in their puff.  Fearful that the Ordinary Decent People in the church would eventually realise it’s all bonkers, Francis upped the trendification a gear and declared weemen could join the ‘hood. Which was a relief to Leitrim that hadn’t had a priest in five years, and to the thousands of parents who can’t afford third level fees. The riots in Knock were less than becoming. The nuns took it particularly bad. That Reeling in the Years boxset is worth getting for 2019 alone.

I was just email harrassing saying to Caitlin Moran the other day that she should take some credit since she was the first to revolutionise contemporary feminism with a very simple theory. Her insistance on good manners helped usher in the Third Wave. Thanks to Caitlin, blokes have reigned in their randy mitts and are more likely to be heard politely complimenting women on their tits than imploring them to get ’em out for the lads. We’ve come a long way, sisters fellow adult women.

As our patron, Caitlin was due to come along today and read from her new book. Unfortunately we couldn’t cover her appearance fee and the offer of a teenage led massage, and a take-home pair of docs from the do-up your own docs workshop, failed to compensate. Pity. How to build a Reconstructed Social Construct is a seminal work that further advances the Third Wave agenda. I should know because I stampeded into the breach and read the opening chapter to the group earlier. For instance, having a deep love for the complete works of Abba is not incompatible with being a heterosexual male, while women can adopt their husband’s surname and STILL be a feminist and champion of equal rights. Who knew, girls young women? I asked authoritatively, my right hand in a perfect prize-winning Mary Robinson Claw™.

mary robinson

Sometimes it’s a challenge to look out at a sea of adolescent indifference. We had a few minutes to spare before the initiation ceremony when they colour a grey streak in each others hairs in pairs, so I thought I’d notch it up a gear. I explained that when I was born, my mother was legally prevented from returning to work due to the marriage bar in force at the time. Sure enough, this got them going. Mentally claw-punching the air, I could see the exchange of horrified looks, hear the sharp intakes of breath. And then, almost in unison, they shrieked.. “You’re that old?” My one erupted into tears before fleeing the scene.

Aisling said I should’ve taken it as a compliment before adding “but seriously, are you, like?”

Image: United Nations

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