“Believe in yourself” – Ailbhe Smyth
I first heard Ailbhe Smyth (@ailbhes) speak at a conference in Dublin called Show & Tell. It was one of those moments where I have realised how ignorant I am (and I’ve had plenty of those moments!). No only did I get a kick in the head and a glimpse into reality, I was overcome by a sense of admiration for Ailbhe and for anyone, anywhere who is campaigning to improve the lives of others. It’s their courage that amazes the most. How many of us are afraid to simply be on our own for a short period of time? We’ve all done it… You’re out for a drink or a coffee or an ice-cream with a friend, they head to the bathroom, and we pull out our phones and check Facebook so that we have a bit of company while we wait.
Yet campaigners like Ailbhe are not afraid to stand out from the pack, to be different, to challenge the status quo and fight for a better world. There should be more people in the world like Ailbhe.
Ailbhe Smyth is a feminist campaigner and former academic. She was the founding director of the Women’s Education, Research and Resource Centre and was head of Women’s Studies at UCD (University College Dublin) from 1990 until 2006. She has published widely on feminism, equality, politics and contemporary Irish culture
I hope this conversation influences you as much as it has influenced me.
Question of the day: What scares you?
(Let me know in the comments below)
Selected Links from The Episode
- Ailbhe on Twitter
- Coalition to Repeal The 8th Amendment
- The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir
- The F-Word.org.uk
- Women’s Studies Centre at UCD
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- The Irish Feminist Network
- Aideen Quilty
- People Before Profit