- Lifestyle & Sports
- 10 Dec 19
In 2019, huge strides were made on the island of Ireland in relation to women's right to bodily autonomy. But the remarkable progress that has been made notwithstanding, there are new battles to be fought in 2020. To read the full column, pick up a Hot Press Annual.
And as for Ireland? While I have had the privilege of speaking to many people who are working towards making Ireland a more sex-positive place, I’ve also been made aware of just how much hatred and hostility they have to face. I’m thinking, for example, of Dr. Caroline West, who dedicates her life to improving sex education and removing the stigma around porn – and who is harassed and trolled to an appalling extent for her troubles.
Bad enough to have gutter-level keyboard warriors call you a paedophile for no reason at all, but Caroline has actually received death threats, for promoting the safety and well-being of teenagers, through more comprehensive sex education. This is the kind of world we now live in apparently.
I have also met a number of adoption rights campaigners, who have their own story of abuse to tell. Speaking to them, I learned about the hold that the Roman Catholic Church still exerts over their fundamental human rights. The use of so-called mother and baby homes to effectively incarcerate women and in many cases steal their children is an unforgivable part of Ireland’s sexual history.
However, even now, the possibility of healing this trauma is being blocked by vested interests. Children that were born in the mother and baby homes, and are now grown-up adults, still don’t have the right to know where they came from or their biological families’ medical history. This not only creates a huge amount of emotional trauma, but also puts these people at greater medical risk, because of an inability to identify potential markers of vulnerability to future illnesses.
And what’s the government doing about it? Right now, absolutely nothing.
You can read the complete 'Whole Hog On 2019’ in one brilliant sweep in the Hot Press Annual – in which we distill the highlights and low-points of the year, across 132 vital, beautifully designed pages. Starring heroes of the year Fontaines D.C. on the front we cover Music, Culture, Sport, Film, Politics, the Environment and much, much more. Buy this superb publication direct from Hot Press here.