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feminism

Ballerina, Baker, Etsy Shop Maker?

First published in Cinders Issue Five

Thinking about school and examinations, editor Méabh McDonnell looks back on her own years of exams, prospective careers and the ever present intimidation of internet geniuses. She has one piece of advice: don’t panic.

Let me tell you a story. When I was six years old, I thought that a ballerina would be a nice career to have when I grew up. I’m not sure if it was the pretty costumes or the interesting shoes – it definitely wasn’t any burgeoning dance ability – because I had none. But whatever it was, I remember looking into ‘ballerina’ as a prospective career i.e. looking it up in my Childcraft encyclopedia.

That was when I discovered that most professional ballerinas begin their training at three years old. That’s when I had the thought: ‘Three?! But I’m already six! I’ve missed my window!’ And thus my ‘promising’ ballet career came to an end.

Continue reading “Ballerina, Baker, Etsy Shop Maker?”

Queen takes Crown – Interview with Diana Mirza

First published in Cinders issue four

Sixteen year old Diana Mirza recently won the World Schools Under-17 Chess Championship.She is Ireland’s first ever world chess champion and has filled Cinders in on openings, tactics, non stop practice, and how it’s never too late to get into chess.

When did you start playing chess? 

I started playing when I was five years old, my Dad runs chess classes after school so I used to be around it all of the time. I began playing in competitions when I was nine when I started to improve. As I got better, the more I liked doing it. I suppose it’s like anything, when you discover you’re good at it then you’ll want to stay doing it.

Continue reading “Queen takes Crown – Interview with Diana Mirza”

Feminism Forwards – An interview with Rosita Sweetman

First published in Cinders issue three

We had the pleasure of speaking with author, writer and feminist Rosita Sweetman. Author of Father’s Come First – which we reviewed in issue two of Cinders – Rosita gave us her impression of feminism today, how it has changed since Ireland of the 70s.

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What with the strides that the feminist movement has taken in recent years for privileged women of the developed world, it can be easy to forget how much more change is needed – but also how recently in Ireland that women’s power was os much less and so reliant on the men in their lives. But that is the world that Rosita Sweetman’s Father’s Come First is set in. Rosita wrote the small but powerful novel when she was living in East Africa and thinking of home.

Continue reading “Feminism Forwards – An interview with Rosita Sweetman”

16 things I wish to tell my 16 year old self

First published in issue one of Cinders magazine

I wrote this piece on my 26th birthday, thinking about all of the things I would tell my 16 year old self if I could.

I then performed the piece at the Cinders magazine official launch on December 16, 2016.

You can view my performance here, kindly filmed by McDonnellHouse Productions.

Continue reading “16 things I wish to tell my 16 year old self”

Favourite fictional feminists: part two

Jane Villeneuva

Jane is the protagonist of the CW’s fantastic Jane the Virgin, a single mother, who is incredibly devoted to her family. The series kicks off with her being ‘accidentally, artificially inseminated’ leading to her unexpected pregnancy. Jane is a wonderful character to watch, optimistic and brave but grounded – she never becomes annoying. Jane is of course supported by a host of strong, brilliant women from her headstrong mother Xiomara, to her level=headed, forthright grandmother Alba. Jane’s decision to remain a virgin at the beginning of the series is unconventional, but she consistently uses her agency to make the decision for herself. She never judges other characters for their sex lives and makes her own decisions about her own. Jane faces multiple obstacles in her life but remains the strong, kind, forthright character we all love.

Continue reading “Favourite fictional feminists: part two”

Favourite fictional feminists: part one

Leslie Knope

Leslie Knope is the world’s most optimistic government employee. She is also a staunch feminist, wants to be Gloria Allred when she grows up and is one of the most competent and hard working characters to ever grace our TV screens. Portrayed by the wonderful Amy Poehler in NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Leslie is a woman in a competitive field for women but she manages to never be competitive with the other women in her life. She excels at building them up and celebrating them, and is the creator of the wonderful, Galentine’s Day, which we take as inspiration for this issue! Leslie is  kind, hard working and extraordinarily passionate about where she lives and works. Leslie works tirelessly — and often thanklessly — to make Pawnee a better place and almost always does it with a smile on her face. Leslie is the opposite of what we are so often shown in a female character on television today. She is sincere and uncynical and does her best in every situation. I want to be her when I grow up.

Continue reading “Favourite fictional feminists: part one”

Book Review Corner: Fathers Come First By Rosita Sweetman

 

First published in Cinders Volume One: Issue Two

It’s been a long time since I read a book that felt so much like the memoir of a very old friend. But that’s how Rosita Sweetman’s voice come across on the pag

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es of Fathers Come First. First printed in 1974, Lilliput Press have re-released the classic Dublin coming of age novel and its easy to see why. The novel follows Liz, a young woman in 1970s Dublin, who is so brilliantly drawn by Sweetman that she leaps up off of the page. After just reading a few pages of the book, I felt like I knew Liz.

The novel tells the story of a young girl trying to figure out her place in the world, living in an Ireland that is on the cusp of change but apparently hadn’t changed enough for women.

Liz is constantly trying to figure out the kind of person she should be and the people she should surround herself with, something I think most girls can identify with.  Continue reading “Book Review Corner: Fathers Come First By Rosita Sweetman”

Fire up those friendships

First published as ‘Happy Galentines Day Ladies’ in issue two of Cinders Magazine.

Cinders editor, Méabh McDonnell, explains her take on ‘Galentine’s day’ and the importance of celebrating female friendships and being seen as a woman in today’s society. 

“February 14th, Valentines day is about romance, but February 13th, Galentine’s Day, is about celebrating lady friends.” Those were the words of the great Leslie Knope, America’s most optimistic government worker and protagonist of the late, great, Parks and Recreation. I think that Galentine’s Day is a day to take note of the positive female relationships in your life and let those women know just how much they mean to you.

I truly believe that Galentine’s Day is something that we need.

We need a day to celebrate the other women in our lives, whether they are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our best friends, our cousins or our nieces; because we all have some positive female relationships in our lives and it feels so good to celebrate those.

How many of us have said, or thought, the words ‘I don’t really get along with other girls.’ or ‘I’m not really a girls-girl’ or the queen-bee of them all: ‘I’m not like other girls’. I’m willing to bet most of us have. I know I have. And it begs only one response: ‘What’s wrong with “other girls”?’

Continue reading “Fire up those friendships”

Finding my Way to Feminism

First published in issue one of Cinders Magazine

Feminism is still a tricky word for some people – that’s a fact that we at Cinders would love to change. Here, editor Méabh McDonnell talks about her journey to becoming a feminist.

The more people who realise that Feminism merely means believing that women deserve equal treatment, respect and rights to men, the better. We need to de-mystify the word. We also need to acknowledge the importance of intersectionality, the idea that some women have more to deal with than others. While you may feel that feminism has done its job for you, it may not for your LGBTQIA+ friend, your POC colleague, or your non-cisgendered idol. Continue reading “Finding my Way to Feminism”

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