Sunday, June 2, 2013

This Is What An Irish Woman Looks Like

As a relatively young, straight, white, cis male I'm somewhat immune to street harassment, and from this position I found myself blithely unaware of its occurrence in Ireland.

I thought we were doing fairly well. I recall a conversation with a substitute teacher who'd broken up a fight between a Cork born child of Nigerian parents and some classmates from his new Dublin school. It seems it had kicked off when they referred to him as 'a bogger'. I don't encourage playground fights, of course, but we both thought it a positive that it hadn't occurred to them to insult him based on the colour of his skin - they just hadn't seen it as a distinction.

I lost my naiveté when I read Úna-Minh Caomhánach's account of being spat on and racially abused. Thankfully the online response was overwhelmingly supportive, but sadly it did include those who said she should go back to her own country, or write about something important.

To those I say this is her own country, and the only acceptable number of people being publicly spat on is zero.

Perhaps the image below will help clarify. It's a picture of Úna, made up of the profile pictures of her thousands of followers who recognise her nationality. First, here's a zoomed in shot of her eye:

And this is the full picture:

Click it for a larger, zoomable version. If you're having trouble zooming try this link. Naturally, Úna is welcome to republish the image. Image prepared using, and some scripts I used to download Twitter profile pics. Great app!

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