Lorraine Courtney: 'If we want women to be taken seriously, we should dump 'Love Island' and Ladies' Day'
From beach bodies to Ladies' Day and defuzzing our armpits every morning, summer has always been...
From beach bodies to Ladies' Day and defuzzing our armpits every morning, summer has always been...
The patriarchy is making us sick, from discrimination in the workplace to those disgusting wolf whistles on the streets. Those common...
There is something about domestic rows that makes people freeze. Disturbance within the home,...
One of the worst career moves a woman can make is to have a baby. So much so that some female...
Study after study paints a grim picture of life for Irish women. On average, women are paid 14pc less than men, and it's even worse for women...
One year on from the cervical cancer controversy, we know that we can eliminate the cancer if we go about it the right way. But our Government's mismanagement of last summer's crisis means we've spent far too much money and have an overwhelmed screening system instead.
Training doctors is expensive. We rightly invest massively in those who will care for us. But more and more of these medical graduates are upping sticks and taking the qualifications they have gained at the Irish taxpayers' expense abroad.
The message being pushed at the moment appears to be: Give up your dreams of owning your own home. Accept your fate of paying half your salary on rent. Live in the moment. Yes, the Government has some shiny plans but don't expect anything to change any time soon.
Our world would be a much happier place if marriage was harder and divorce easier. Marriage isn't just a chance to get all dolled up and collect money from your distant relatives, you know. It's supposed to be a commitment for the rest of your life.
How and when did sexual assault become so prevalent on our third-level campuses? And how can the Government and institutions of higher education address sexual assault, support victims and not unfairly punish innocent students?
The recent nurses strike was supposed to be all about retaining healthcare graduates and we shouldn't just forget about that now. It's clear...
Will I ever feel like myself again? A combination of seasonal flu, colds and general lethargy peaks at this time of the year and after a debilitating bout of illness we can often find ourselves struggling...
Twenty years ago, Jacqueline Gold, the chief executive of Ann Summers, was sent a bullet in the post. The accompanying message said: "If you...
The last public hanging in Ireland was in 1868, so it's more than a century since the ghoulishness associated with death was in any way...
We have had the debate about whether women have the right to end their pregnancies should they choose to, and now we must ensure that money...
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a fascinating leader. She's a woman. She's young, different and unapologetically liberal. She didn't come from money or a political family. She consistently shows herself to be effective and thoughtful - but when it comes to our leaders, why should we settle for anything less?
'The morning after my father's funeral, I came home and found my husband in bed with the next-door neighbour," Roxy tells us in the devastating opening sentence of Sheila O'Flanagan's new book.
Ignoring the existing quality of its councils, 20-something per cent of us went out on Friday and voted for Fine Gael. This was probably to be expected, but it's still disappointing. Realising that local elections are about our localities and their schools, potholes and bus corridors, we didn't treat these elections like they were a mini-referendum on the Government and how it's performing.
BUSILY competing for "nimby" votes in this week's local elections, every canvasser at my door has been promising me more affordable and social home-building.
More than two-thirds of women who work in the home and have a third-level education don't want to go back to work, according to a recent Solas survey. It has been called a "punch in the gut" for feminism but it really isn't. Since when did working a dead-end job that you resent just to pay the bills become a badge of honour?
The day after the Brexit vote, the Irish embassy in London ran out of citizenship application forms. Ever since, people have been scrambling around, shaking family trees, trying to find an Irish granny to ensure they will still be able to freely travel and work in the EU. But should we be a soft touch for so-called 'passport tourists' in search of a nationality post-Brexit?
Children across the country will skip school later this week and go on strike for climate change, their liberal parents bursting with pride. But I'm not sure parents should be taking their children out of school for a protest that our Taoiseach is "inspired" by.
I'm a feminist but I don't think tampons should be free. It's a policy that looks generous. But, it's a tokenistic gesture designed to make it look like the Government is doing something for women, without them tackling any real issues.
This Government's housing policy has been a disaster so far. Not enough homes are being built. Rents have shot past boom levels. The number of homeless people hovers around 10,000.
Bertie Ahern was announced as a panellist at this year's Women in Media event. He is to speak at a session on Brexit. But his inclusion immediately drew the attention of "manel watchers" - the Twitterati who take a very uncompromising line on men on panels.
I'd gone into Dublin to buy presents and soak up the Christmas cheer. I went home exhausted. Whatever happened to the soothing balm of retail therapy? Shopping online, that's what happened.
Traditions can have extraordinary power, making us think we can almost reach out and touch our great-great-grandmother. It can be reassuring to feel we are a link in the family necklace, with no beginning and no end. It's also no bad thing to let go of some forced traditions that don't fit our lives anymore.
It never usually goes further than a touch on my bottom or the small of my back, but these are not OK places to be touched by a stranger. Would you do that to your boss? Or another man? Then don't do it to me.
Women in Ireland have never had it so good. I'm not saying we can't have it better, but in the whole of Irish history there's never been a better time than now to be a woman.
At a time when rent prices are making headlines almost every day, you either have to lower your expectations, accept you'll have to settle for the fringes of Dublin or consider leaving Ireland altogether. It now costs an average of 30pc more to rent in Ireland than it did at the peak of the Celtic Tiger and it's clear that the Government's rental cap regime isn't working out.
Millennials fell hard for Airbnb. It meant that we could stay in other people's homes when we travelled. It was cheaper and felt far more authentic than staying in some soulless hotel chain.
LOOKING at the Budget 2019 teasers, it's clear that rural Ireland has little political clout and we've got a capital convinced that everything revolves around it.
I’M NOW paying 3pc more tax than in 2008 but I haven’t seen a 3pc increase in public services in that time. Taxes seem to be poured into some Revenue black hole.
'Drinks after work?' is probably one of the most used phrases for the average Irish woman in her 30s.
Every sunbed needs a good tear-jerker of a read (or is that just me?) and this haunting book about what goes on behind closed doors is as beautiful as it is painful.
In the modern world of work, it's not just millennials who have multi-faceted careers.
In the modern world of work, it's not just millennials who have multi-faceted careers. We may be most familiar with the celebrities who have fingers in different career pies, such as the model-slash-food writer Roz Purcell or the model-slash-actor-slash-novelist Cara Delevingne, but it's becoming a popular career move for midlifers too. Irish professionals are increasingly diversifying their...
When a book opens with the murder of the parish priest you can't let it go, you have to read on, don't you? I read all 393 pages of Rachael English's new novel greedily, unable to put it down.
IT’S looking like our entire country has become a kind of college snowflake who has barricaded herself inside her safe space.
Irish women are used to being treated badly. We make up more than half the population, but we still have to fight our corner, even when very sick.
Lots of us remember long summers of blistered hands and broken backs. The rest of us have internalised sepia postcards of small donkeys hauling home baskets of dark sods to small cottages.
Roisin Meaney's bestselling books tell stories in which small towns are gigantic characters. Her latest takes on another small-town micro-community, the local choir, as it gears up for its end-of-summer concert.
Telling a woman that her PMS is just some excuse to avoid work and behave badly will always land you in trouble. But that's exactly what psychologist Robyn Stein DeLuca has done.
Could tech be the champion of minority languages like Irish? Now you can be friends with someone who lives hundreds of miles away based on a shared interest in the language in a way that just wasn't possible a few years ago.
As a teenager, I was not a fan of Irish. It was easy to moan about and if I had to do a language couldn't I do Italian - it seemed sexier and more useful. Fast forward to 2017, and whether it is age or absence, my feelings towards Irish have mellowed. I like the different perspective a rural Kerry upbringing has given me, and wish I was able to say a bit more 'as Gaeilge'.
All eyes were on Paschal Donohoe yesterday to see if he'd take his opportunity to be bold with economic policy - and if young people would get a Budget that recognised and addressed our needs too. He certainly looked cocky, making a show of his folder for the waiting press, but inside the Dáil it became clear the contents were fairly light.
There's no doubting the emotiveness of the subject bestselling author Melissa Hill has now chosen to write her latest book about: the MMR vaccine. Although vaccination has saved millions of lives, it remains controversial, subject to scares, driven by political imperatives, testing our belief in science and our own judgment.
'I feel like I am being watched. Sitting alone people-watching only reminds me that people are probably looking back at me in pity". Courtney Downey doesn't know who she is any more. She had the perfect life, perfect until her ex David took up with a younger woman called Mar-nee and skipped out on his marriage.
When I see a stereotypical chick-lit book cover, it usually makes me want to run for the hills. And so it was with Family Business, but something about it kept calling me back. I'm glad I stuck with this Jilly Cooper in Dublin 4 caper.
You have them, your mam has them, that woman sitting beside you on the Dart has them. But the world of women's magazines constantly tells us we aren't supposed to have stretch marks. Flick through any magazine and you'll be bombarded by images of size-8, digitally retouched perfection, without a stretch mark to be seen.
The Dáil prayer is safe, for now. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have voted to keep the prayer as well as a new 30-second period for silent reflection. The "liberals" aren't happy. The prayer, just like the sounding of the Angelus bell, so the argument goes, is slap in the face to the new multicultural, multi-faith Ireland, causing those of other faiths and none to feel marginalised and shut out.
RTÉ’s new ‘Body Shopping’ show looks at how common cosmetic procedures are becoming here. It’s no secret that plastic surgery rates are on the rise, a trend that’s been blamed on social media, selfies and porn.
There was a segment on the RTÉ 'Six One News' last Sunday that people are still talking about. If you missed it, basically a Kerry farmer is offering €2,000 to anyone with information about his 45 missing sheep. What shocked everyone was the farmer's accent.
Everyone knows where they stand on Christmas. Most of us love it. A few contrarians hate it, but until now we didn't really care much about Easter. Unlike Christmas, it just happened. No fuss, no bother. There was no pressure to stock up on food like you were expecting a siege, spend time with family members you don't get on with or bankrupt yourself buying needless gifts. You don't often...
DCU's SeshSafe project is now providing students with drug-testing kits and information on drug safety, to check illegal drugs in an experiment seeking to reduce risks from adulterated substances.
Once a year, March 8 marks International Women's Day. On this day every year our news feeds are awash with inspirational quotes from famous feminists and think pieces by high-profile women. But, really, every day should be International Women's Day.
It's been a bad week for women on the internet. Singer Lily Allen got floods of cruel tweets about her child's stillbirth. The singer tweeted that she had lived with PTSD ever since the event but Twitter users could only blame her for her own son's death.
RTÉ promised us "the most debauched and depraved night" of Irish television and last Friday's 'The Late Late Show' brought in 568,400 viewers. It featured a studio audience of 200 singles who turned up dressed to the nines (or not in some unfortunate cases) ready to meet their new potential partner.
'Fifty Shades', the book that brought kinky sex mainstream, is back in film form. The official trailer for 'Fifty Shades Darker' has been viewed more than 17 million times on YouTube, and whether you love or hate the franchise, the new film is probably going to either get you off or outraged all over again.
We learned this week that dress codes that discriminate against women are still widespread in UK workplaces, even after a petition calling for the "outdated and sexist" practice to be changed so women have the option to wear flat shoes in the office.
Imagine living in a country where one in every three women experiences some form of sexual violence. Of those women, just one in 10 reports it. From there, there's a 1pc to 2pc conviction rate. Scarily, we already live there.
It's that time again - 'dry January' - and if you drink regularly, it might be daunting. The problem is that, what with alcohol being such a huge part of our culture and social life, it has become a routine habit for many people. Most of us find it very hard to give drink up for a whole month, all the while arguing that we aren't dependent on it.
The January diet means going without. It means getting through the darkest, coldest month of the year without so much as a sniff of a Terry's Chocolate Orange. But long forgotten are the days when we thought the Atkins fad of the early noughties was peak weird. The last few years have seen an increasingly baffling and bizarre array of diet trends, from the disconcertingly moralistic clean...
We've secured ourselves seats in the Dáil, at the highest courts in the land and in outer space; but take a gawk around your average boardroom table and you'll see few women pulling up a chair. Could gender quotas now be the only way to get more females in the top positions?
The number of Christmas cards seems to fall every year, letterbox by letterbox, jolly snowman by red-nose reindeer. There's something quite sad about it. What will it mean if no one sends Christmas cards or letters in the future?
Medicinal cannabis has become a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar global industry. A new survey shows that 92pc of us here in Ireland support the use of the drug for medical purposes, but should we legalise it now?
It's late November and if you work in an office-type environment, you've probably already got an email about the forced cheer you are about to live through with your colleagues. Inevitably, this will be on some upcoming Friday evening that should rightly have been your own.
China celebrated Singles Day recently and it's a holiday we need to introduce here. Stat.
When a nun from his childhood orphanage dies, 26-year-old Mahony is given an envelope. Inside is a photograph of a young girl, and on the back, someone has written: "Your mammy was Orla Sweeney. You are from Mulderrig, Co Mayo. This is a picture of yourself and her. For your information, she was the curse of the town, so they took her from you. They all lie, so watch yourself, and know that your mammy loved you."
The 'Late Late Show' was severely criticised for featuring an exclusively male line-up. Maura Derrane was the only female guest on Friday, and she just spoke as part of a panel discussion. There was a tweet; "Seeing as women don't seem to be on the #LateLateShow's radar why don't we tweet them amazing suggestions?" The women of Twitter did.
'When they are drunk, think twice about it." That isn't the advice footballer Ched Evans followed himself. He didn't think twice as he was blagging his way past a hotel receptionist into a bedroom where his friend was having sex with a girl he didn't know, and took his turn.
Most societies consider young people "the future", a generation that should be encouraged and nourished, but yesterday's Budget couldn't have tried harder to ignore us.
Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint this week. French media reports said the robbers, who were dressed up as police officers, found her in the bathroom of the luxury residence at which she was staying. They're reported to have tied her up before fleeing with an estimated €10m worth of jewellery. The online world buzzed with reactions to the gunpoint attack.
On Monday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met on stage at Hofstra University to debate the important issues of the US election: Clinton's deleted emails and whether it's ever okay to call a woman a "fat pig." Into that heady mix we got a crash course in 'mansplaining' too.
What was your sex education like? Maybe it was good; most likely it was bad, uncomfortable or non-existent. Researchers at the University of Bristol looked at how young people in 10 countries felt about their school-based SRE (sex and relationship education) and found that it's so "out of touch" with students' experiences that they find it irrelevant and switch off.
Do you think what you wear on the beach is your own business? You're wrong. But if the burkini is the sign of a repressive society, then what is the body-shaming reaction of Western society to the body of a woman in a bikini, deciding if she's 'beach ready' or not? At the heart of both stories is the same unhealthy obsession with women's bodies and how they should or shouldn't be displayed.
Courteney Cox is annoyed. In her recent appearance on 'Running Wild With Bear Grylls', she spoke out against sexist double standards around ageing. "Being a woman in this industry is difficult, and getting older is not the easiest thing," she said. "But I have learned lessons. I was trying to keep up with getting older and trying to chase that. I have done things that I regret" - referring to her...
The gatecrashing of the Rose of Tralee by a Fathers4Justice protester was a misguided way to go about making a point. That is not to say there are not real issues around fathers' rights.
Hopefully you received an offer you can't refuse yesterday but you don't need to go to college straight away.
A campaign has begun in north Kerry to raise €80,000 to fight plans for a wind farm that would house 10 of the country's biggest turbines. An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the 511ft industrial wind turbines in the Finuge area. The community is trying to understand why planning was granted after 369 objections were filed against the plans and An Bord Pleanála's own inspector advised against it.
A new study has found that one in three Leaving Cert students targeting 550 CAO points when they returned to school last September didn't know what college course they wanted to study.
Every generation reserves the right to say that young people have gone to the dogs when a new wave of hedonistic youths take over at the coal face of culture.
'I am a mess. I am a woman who's in danger of losing her husband, but more importantly, of breaking up a family. I can't seem to control it. It's spiralling," Ali Devlin, the spiky narrator of Caroline Grace-Cassidy's fifth novel, tells us.
By now you'll have sat through weeks of 'Ghostbuster' fanboys in a full-blown outrage and feminists clamouring to shout about how seminal it is because this summer's blockbuster is about a team of ghostbusting women instead of men. There's a delicious bit of role reversal in the supporting cast: Chris Hemsworth as a receptionist. The lad who plays Thor in those testosterone-heavy Marvel...
Nipples, that most ordinary, everywoman piece of anatomy, have been causing all sorts of drama this week. A young woman has claimed that she was escorted out of Knockanstockan music festival in Wicklow by six gardaí for doing what most of the men surrounding her were doing - enjoying the concert topless.
Hands up if you've ever been followed down the street? If a stranger has ever commented on your appearance? If you've ever been groped in a club by somebody you didn't want to touch you? Told to "cheer up, love" by a random man? Every one of us has our own story to tell because street harassment has been around since women first dared to walk outside of the cave.
Even for a generation used to bad news, the revelation this week that the Government could increase third- level fees and create a student loan system in the next few years is a blow. It increasingly seems like successive governments are locked in ideological warfare against young people.
A new biography of the British painter JMW Turner doesn't shy away from his imperfections.
W icklow County Council has voted in favour of adopting a new county development plan that would ban fast food outlets from opening within 400m of schools. Now, there are many reasons why children are growing fatter, including lack of activity, lack of cooking skills and time, and the ubiquity of sugary treats. Nevertheless, the takeaway is a massive threat to our children's health.
English is the go-to language for EU institutions - but no state other than the UK has registered it as its primary language. This means that its legal status could be removed when the country finally Brexits, even though English is in everyday use here and in Malta. It will only cease to be used if every member state of the EU votes to abandon it, which is certainly highly improbable.
We've come a long way since the days when a rape victim might be called a liar until she backed down. But it all may still mean precious little to many if some victims still prefer to drop the charges, fearing they only have the flimsiest chance of being believed in court. Now the Director of Public Prosecutions wants the Supreme Court to clarify the law when men accused of rape claim the woman consented to sex. Until now, rape has meant having sexual intercourse without consent, regardless of whether or not force was used. Because there is no explanation of consent in law...
As bikini season rolls on, we got some heartening news from Britain this week. Advertisements that create body confidence issues are to be banned from the London Underground. Starting next month, Transport for London (TfL) won't permit adverts that promote an unrealistic or unhealthy body image, particularly among young people.
In January 2015, a Stanford University student called Brock Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a bin. They were both at a party on campus. Turner could have faced up to 14 years in prison but instead he will serve a six-month jail sentence.
It's that time of year again, with barbecues fired up in every back garden and people drinking beer by the bucketload. But what happens when we think we are perfectly capable of driving ourselves home or driving to work the next morning? All too often, accidents.
Is Portugal's capital too hip for its own good? Not if you mix old and new, says Lorraine Courtney.
A new Glassdoor survey, which compared equality measures in European countries and the US, found the gender pay gap is wider in Ireland than anywhere else in the study. No surprise there, given our troublesome combination of paltry paternal leave, lack of flexi-jobs and steep childcare costs.
Ciara Geraghty has never shied away from the opportunity to unsettle her readers. In Saving Grace, the eponymous Grace is trying to cope with her brother's tragic death. Becoming Scarlett tackles a pregnancy where the dad isn't certain. Now That I've Found You centred on the struggles of a single dad after his wife abandons her young family. Her sixth novel, This is Now, continues the trend.
More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition after a British woman said she was sent home without pay from a temping job at PricewaterhouseCoopers because she wasn't wearing a pair of high heels, or more specifically shoes with a heel of between two and four inches.
A Wicklow walker was recently awarded €40,000. Teresa Wall had injured her knee after taking a tumble on a rotting boardwalk. In a judgment that will have very worrying repercussions for all of our national parks, Judge Jacqueline Linnane said that Wall had been directed by signs to use the boardwalk and so the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), and not Wall, were to blame.
According to the latest figures, one in 10 infants here have not received all the necessary vaccines to guard against childhood diseases. Understanding why this is happening isn't hard.
A few days ago the president of America's Emory University met with student demonstrators who said they were concerned and frightened after someone wrote "Trump 2016" in chalk on campus buildings. Sounds scary. "Trump 2016" written in chalk, imagine.
Things were clearly different back in 1916. We weren't free but we had leaders with big ideas. Listening to the Proclamation being read aloud on Sunday, I came out in goosebumps: "The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally."
The housing and rental crisis featured large during the General Election campaign, with lots of name calling for past failures to build new homes and vague promises that more would be built.
Sometimes the news can seem like a litany of hatred towards women, with stories of revenge porn and rape, of child brides and survival sex, of female genital mutilation and the gender pay gap. Corners of the internet insist on denying women's experiences. We live in a world of measurable, glaring inequalities and unquestionably need International Women's Day.
From delicious cafés to domes under the stars, Lorraine Courtney says Fermanagh makes a super short break.
According to the latest CSO data, 327,500 of us are self-employed. That's 16.9pc of total employment and lots of us trying to make a living, navigating the financial ebbs and flows. From rent-a-chair hairdressers to the owners of tech start-ups, the self-employed are everywhere.
The majority of our political parties are still failing to engage the youth vote, and when you look at the obstacles that people my age and younger are facing, it's difficult not to blame it all on generational injustice. It's the young who are most apathetic about politics right now and yet they have the most to lose.
Anyone who has sat by the bedside of a loved one and seen them slowly slip away will appreciate the importance of good end-of-life care. But trying to ensure patients have a good death is becoming increasingly difficult and it's what motivated one of Dr Liam Glynn's patients to get involved in the No Doctor, No Village campaign. The elderly gentleman spoke up at one of the organisation's recent meetings.
The CAO applications closed this week, but despite all the anxiety and last-minute nerves I don't believe university is for everybody.
Recently, Ennis locals turned out in their hundreds for the funeral of a man who died alone in the town on Christmas Day. It was a bittersweet ending to Marek Skiba's tale, a tale that epitomises the loneliness that is tearing our society apart.
We want to buy our first home. We want to get married. We want to have a career. The problem is, many of us can't right now and our choices are slipping away because we can't afford to make them. Career, property, wedding, babies - my mum had them all by time she was my age. I still live like a student - so what happened? It's the economy, stupid.
One in four children is overweight or obese. More startlingly, we will be the fattest country in Europe by 2030. Responses to these statistics have included a letter sent by Health Minister Leo Varadkar to Finance Minister Michael Noonan, asking him to impose a 20pc "sugar tax" on fizzy drinks. In the letter Varadkar outlined the consequences of Ireland's sugar rush, saying: "Obesity presents a major public health problem for Ireland with one in four children now overweight or obese at age three."
Move over mindfulness, living gratefully is where it's at. It has a high priestess - Janice Kaplan, a magazine editor, writer and TV producer whose book on the subject has been a festive bestseller.
Worrying about vaccine side-effects is, ironically, a side-effect of vaccines' effectiveness. You see we've completely forgotten what it was like to see, for example, a childhood epidemic sweep across the country.
Already the wall-to-wall advice on how to cure the Christmas hangover is becoming grating. Articles and tips ranged from blending asparagus smoothies to swallowing the ibuprofen. None of the tips included self-restraint. Now, having one too many at Christmas is nothing new, but what's shocking is how normal and acceptable it now is.