Is there nothing sacred?
Well, there you have it, we have it all now. We’ve got divorce, we’ve got equality between heterosexual and homosexual marriage, we’ve got the Health Service Executive providing gender changes and now we have abortion.
Ireland is truly a liberal country. We now have national approval and the supporting legislation to shape and mould ourselves and our lifestyles. We have fought hard for all this, and won, but somehow the winning doesn’t taste as sweet as we thought. Or does it?
Suddenly it feels like we’re free wheeling a bit. Like Mam and Dad have gone to Portugal for a week and left us with no warning but instead saying, ‘do what you like’. Reverse psychology. Oldest trick in the book. Usually works, but what if it doesn’t. Without rules on whether we ought to be male or female, married or un-married, gay or straight, destined to have a child or not… how are we to know what to do?
Just this morning I had my breakfast in the car, facing the wall of an underground car park, because it’s Ramadan and I can’t be seen to eat or drink from dawn to dusk. 46˚c out and wearing jeans out of enforced forced respect for the Muslim culture, I went upstairs to the supermarket and did the grocery shopping, where no products, from all the neighbouring countries that accused us of supporting terrorism, are stocked. Not entirely a big deal as we’re landlocked anyway and if it ain’t in Qatar now, it’s unlikely to be anytime soon. I then went to bathroom to down a bottle of water. I left the trolley of shopping, purse, handbag, phone and laptop outside the door because there’s a greater chance of someone slipping 20 quid into your purse in Mahon Point than there is of someone taking it out of it in Qatar. I went back to the car, left the trolley in the middle of the empty space next to me, because in Qatar it’s acceptable to exploit a worker to gather trolleys, wash your car (without water), pack your shopping in torturous heat.
See life is easy in Qatar, all rules and regulations, one slip and you’re out, so it’s sinch to follow.
Ireland, though, is another matter entirely and with the menu gone from being beef or salmon to a full A la Carte I’m beginning to wonder, feel afraid even, to meet the person I or my kids might become if we moved back. Would I suddenly turn around and my daughter would be my son, or my husband would be my wife?!
It’s a scary thought, the thought of moving back to such a liberal and fluid society, and I’m not sure its one that I’d fit into. Or maybe I’d fit it too well and change altogether!, given the choice. When I left in 2010, I was unbranded or normal now I’m cisgender and I wonder what other labels I have been assigned in my absence?
Safe to say that in a relatively short period, Ireland has changed, big changes, changes that affect life and lives. It’s a bit Irish to expect things to stay the same in your absence but I would like to be able to relate to something! Will it suddenly become legal to walk down the street naked? Will it become an offense to look at someone? (not the naked person, just anyone). Frightened into thinking that Ireland will it be changed beyond recognition by the time I get home, I googled it. ‘What’s next for Ireland?’ to see what referendums are coming down the line. Lo and behold, I was right, there was going to be more, there’s going to be a referendum to relax or remove or reform the blasphemy law. A great way to spend cash.
We’re deciding to change the common law offence of blasphemy that was only ever applicable to Christianity and was never enforced anyway and basically make it socially acceptable to take the lords and whoever else’s name in vain. Well that’s it for me, there marks the line in the sand past the line that marked reason. Is there nothing sacred?