Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding Week. Without doubt, breastfeeding has been the hardest part of becoming a parent for me. I’m not going to detail all the issues, because frankly I can’t be bothered, but in brief – tongue tie, nipple shields, expressing, top ups, hospital trips. But as I look down at my little one, snoozing on the boob and sleep smiling to herself, I don’t regret my decision. But it’s not always an easy decision to make.
Two months ago, my life changed immeasurably. A new person joined our family, and we became parents to a tiny Spud. It’s been quite the emotional whirlwind, and I’m not really sure I’m ready to process it yet. But she’s asleep on my chest, and I’ve my laptop balanced precariously on my knees, so here goes.
This time last year, I was stuck in Belfast, at the mercy of Sneachtageddon, writing about daffodils – and, like many others who campaigned for Repeal, I was looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. Today, it’s unseasonably warm out – although it did just start raining – and I’m once again looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. But this year, it’s because I’ve to finish building a new person in the next two months – and in May will be faced with the terrifying task of naming them (as well as the whole pushing a rugby ball sized thing from my vagina, but let’s not think about that too much right now). But I also have bodily autonomy, and that’s pretty amazing too.
So it’s the first day of 2019, which tends to be a time for reflection and introspection – looking back at the achievements of the old year and looking forward to the new. But frankly, I am *done* with thinking about 2018 and talking about abortion. SO DONE.
(If you really want to read some of my thoughts on the campaign/abortion, they’re here; but I’d recommend reading this wonderful piece written by Mary Coogan instead. It says what I would better than I ever could. You’re welcome.)
Instead you’re getting part 2 of why Dumbledore is a shitty teacher and doesn’t do anything meaningful to help oppressed and marginalised people. Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a wild ride.
I have other things to be writing today. I have more thoughts about Dumbledore – even after the shitshow that was the new Fantastic Beasts film. There’s an essay I need to write to get another scholarship cheque, and I’ve programs to write up for work, and y’know a masters dissertation to write at some point. But today, I am too angry to write any of that. Because the Dáil is debating Ireland’s post-referendum abortion legislation. So, brace yourself folks, it’s time for another abortion rant. Specially, about how very DONE I am with politicians. Particularly, Simon Harris.
I have complex feelings today.
In truth, I have complex feelings most days. But today, and all this week, I have had complex feelings about being British. Monday was November 5th – Bonfire Night – and today is November 11th – Armistice Day, and the centenary of the end of World War One. So, for a Brit living in Ireland, with 139 days until Brexit apparently becomes a reality, it’s a day for complex feelings.
[NB: writing this, I’ve ended up scribbling a LOT more than I thought I would, so this is probably going to be written in several parts.]
This week I’m in Seattle – partly to catch up with old friends, and partly to attend my favourite con: GeekGirlCon. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a con focused on celebrating women and girls in geek culture and building an inclusive, welcoming, intersectional space for geeks of every gender, size, colour, shape and creed. It’s my happy place. We went to a bunch of amazing panels – Afrofuturism 101, Sappho on the Silver Screen, Breaking Stereotypes with Star Wars – and there were many more we missed. Last night, myself and himself sat around with old friends and dissected the good/bad/ugly of Star Wars (midichlorians featured heavily), with a Mon Mothma mini trapped in a gelatinous cube.
All of this reminded me how much I *love* critically engaging in geek culture. It’s something I did a lot of here in Seattle that I haven’t really continued in Dublin. I miss sitting around and talking shite about Star Wars or Doctor Who (a short skirt is not a personality trait, Moffat) – without anyone gatekeeping or getting bent out of shape.
While getting coffee yesterday, I had a minor revelation about JK Rowling and Harry Potter – and so rather than spend my morning researching the Master’s thesis I’m supposed to be writing, I’m wearing my Time-Turner and ‘Feminist Killjoy’ badge and ready to ramble about Dumbledore, bravery, wokeness and White Feminism™.
My current status: emotional whirlwind. A week after the polls have closed, I almost still can’t quite believe that we won the referendum to repeal the 8th. A landslide no less. I think it’s going to take a while for that to sink in. There has been many media/internet opinions on how the campaign was won – many, sadly not emphasising the grassroots feminist aspect, and ignoring the importance of donuts, or correctly folding t-shirts. But today, I am not going to give you another hot-take – instead, in another attempt at using writing as personal therapy, I’m going to talk about genies, ants and growing up.
I am tired. I am very tired.
I’m tired because I don’t remember the last time I had an evening off or a good night’s sleep. I’m tired because I’m not eating properly, or exercising, or taking care of myself, and my body is feeling that. I’m tired because I work a physically and emotionally demanding job. But mostly, I’m tired of asking people to give women the right to make their own decisions. I’m tired of asking people to vote Yes on Friday.
But I’m still doing it. So, for one last time, please vote YES in the referendum this Friday.