Sunday 4 December 2016

Medb Ruane: When Irish women took control of their destiny -- and their bodies

Medb Ruane

Published 01/05/2010 | 05:00

Let's talk about sex. Fifty years ago this month, the Pill became available to western women. Rock and roll! You could copulate without conceiving, if you wanted to.

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The Pill became THE symbol of the sexual revolution. Free love, flowers in your hair, long-locked lovers crooning Maharishi tunes while everyone who was anyone got stoned. But was it all so simple? Like love, the course of sexuality rarely runs smooth. Free love (is there such a thing?) didn't save the world.

The Pill spared people the age-old conjunction of sex and pregnancy that hit particularly hard in Ireland, where you couldn't even buy a condom unless you travelled up North pretending to be a budgie breeder off to a show. All you wanted was to buy a few rubbers.

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