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Ireland is a society riddled with inequalities. Article by Abbie Gahan TY student

Ireland is a society riddled with inequalities

The motion ‘Ireland is a society riddled with inequalities’ is sadly very true. This ranges from disabilities, race, gender, sexuality and many more. For example, in August of this year, The Irish Times published an article titled ‘Irish team wins international competition with dementia app.’ There was nothing wrong with this article. In fact, it was completely positive and encouraging to young teens who would be interested in a future in science. The young women in this team were black, which should be irrelevant, but the comments were, though unprovoked; extremely racist. The extremity of these comments ranged from ‘they’re not Irish’ to people calling them the n word with a hard r (which is extremely normalized in our society), to even photoshopping their faces on monkeys. We encounter racism in Ireland on a daily basis and do nothing about it.

Another form of casual racism is the phrase “All Lives Matter” (ALM) which is only ever used as an argument against the movement “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) The BLM movement started in protest to the unfair treatment black people face from police. When black people were being killed, white supremacists were throwing a fit because “my life matters too” Of course all lives are equal but when black people are being treated as less than their white counterparts, the least appropriate thing to do is to complain about your own less significant struggles. Take into consideration the following scenario: a child falls and breaks their wrist, they then go to an authority figure and ask for something to be done about it. But the authority figure says “What about the other children's wrists? Their wrists matter just as much as yours” and so nothing is done about the broken wrist and the pain it is causing.

Sexism is another prevalent issue in Ireland, including very hypocritical expressions. People expect less of women and treat women as less important than men, whilst also holding them to a higher standard. An example of this is the stereotype that women are rude and moody on their period. During menstruation, the predominant hormone produced in testosterone, meaning on their period, women are just acting like men. Misogynists say,A woman can’t be in power because women are too emotional’ and will also say “boys will be boys” and “girls mature faster than boys” this is normalizing bad behavior in men. If we were to debunk the phrase “women are too emotional to rule” and look at the brain of men and women, you would find that although a woman's brain is smaller than a man's, it functions better in regard to handling emotions, therefor making them more logical leaders.

If we look at countries with some of the lowest percentages of COVID19 cases, many are led by women, even though men lead in most countries. (As of June 2019, 11 women are serving as Head of State and 12 are serving as Head of Government in the world.)

This though, does not mean men don’t experience inequalities, but they cannot experience sexism, because men's problems are created by other men. Feminism helps deconstruct this way of thinking.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland as well as the rest of the world, are more at risk to mental illness. This is most likely because of the extreme bullying, homophobia, and transphobia they experience from family and peers. These harmful behaviors and slurs are extremely normalized in Ireland. According to statistics, gay, lesbian, and bi people are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts.

In conclusion, while Ireland is highly advanced, we still have a long way to go. Ireland is indeed riddled with inequalities.

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