Is This Thing On?

I first started blogging way back in 2010. Faffing about wondering what on earth to do with all the white space in front of me, I came up with this:

“Tabularasaphobia: Fear of the blank slate. Fear of committing something, taking one path at the expense of others. The belief that the perfect nothing is better than the imperfect something. That sort of thing.”

And now here I am, four-and-a-bit years later with a whole new blank space and a new bunch of people to say hello to. Only this time? There’s probably one or two of you reading who aren’t my immediate friends or family, and I’m in the fairly impressive company of a couple of handfuls of writers I’m a massive fan of. And somehow I get to do it all in my PJs. Whew. Oh myyy.

Just do what it says on the helmet. credit:
Just do what it says on the helmet.

Game face on.

I’m Aoife (think Eva with an F, but only if you’re pronouncing Eva to rhyme with TREE-vah). If you’re looking for descriptors, I’m a queer Irish feminist with a social science background and a bucketload of opinions. This year I founded the Bi+ Ireland Network, and I ain’t kidding when I say it’s the thing that I’m proudest of. I’ll write about all of those things, but- being honest, since we’re friends here- I’ll mostly be thinking about roller derby. Sometimes you’ve just gotta strap on a pair of skates and hit some people, y’know?

You probably want to know about the writing though, don’t you?

You ain’t here for me to talk about myself, though. You’re here for the goods, right? Here’s a few things I’ve written over the past few years to get you started and give you a taste of what I’m about: Should “potential fathers” have any say in abortion? (spoilers: no)

It’s not tough, really, to put yourself in the shoes of someone in this situation, even if it’s something you haven’t experienced. You want to be a parent- you long to be a parent. Hearing that your partner is pregnant, you’re overjoyed… And then? Your partner says that it’s not going to happen. And you? You’re expected to hold their goddamn hand through it all, and it hurts.

Yeah. I can imagine that hurting. I can imagine that tearing me apart. I can imagine it being genuinely, honest-to-goodness traumatic.

But a thing hurting our feelings- even in a way that tears us apart and leaves us traumatised and scarred- doesn’t mean that we have the right to infringe on someone else’s bodily autonomy.

Why Don’t The Bi People Just Come Out Already? An Open Letter To Dan Savage.

And there, you see, is the problem. It’s one thing to tell people that they should, if it’s at all feasible, come out. It’s another thing entirely to do that when research shows clearly that the very communities that give lesbian and gay people a place to come out to and the support they need? Not only don’t do that for bi people- but can actively marginalise them. Speaking as someone who has been openly bi for half my life, and who has been facilitating bi safer spaces for several years now? The story I hear time and again- one of the many stories that breaks my heart every time I hear it, over and over again- is from people who, despite being part of queer communities, never had a space where they felt safe being themselves.

My Country Kills Women

I’m writing this from a cafe in Glasgow. Tomorrow morning I’ll fly home to Ireland. The flight over here took about 40 minutes. Forty short minutes that are the difference between life and death. If Savita had walked into a hospital here she would still be alive. Because she was a few hundred kilometers southwest, she died. I don’t want to say that we must all be Savita. We’re not. We’re alive and she’s dead. But it’s about time that every single one of us became her friend. Became her family. Stood in solidarity and grief beside those who loved her. Beside her husband and her family and everyone who loved her and now has to wake every day knowing that, in the name of life, we took hers away. It’s high time we make sure that every one of our voices is heard and that what is heard is NO. We will not stand idly by while this happens. We will notallow our politicians to hide and put off legislation for decades while women die. We need to take back the moral high ground.

And finally, have a thing I drew. I think it’s pretty cool.

It’s fantastic to be here!

Is This Thing On?

27 thoughts on “Is This Thing On?

  1. 4

    It is good to see you here. You write well, about fascinating stuff.

    I liked the bit about potential fathers having no say. I worked some of that out before, but you make it clear.

    Thanks for the pronunciation help with your name. I like it, BTW. Ireland is amazing.

    I liked the drawing!

    1. 4.1

      Thank you!

      Ireland’s pretty cool, although we do have our issues. But you’ll hear allll about them soon enough if I’ve anything to do with it. πŸ˜‰

  2. 5

    Welcome to FtB, fellow derbyite! I’ve announced for the Denver Roller Dolls since 2006 — if you tune in to the feed from Sacramento, or with luck Nashville, this year, there’s a good chance you’ll hear me. I’ll also be announcing at the World Cup in Dallas in December!

    1. 5.1

      You know that means you’ve been derbying for three whole years longer than my entire country, right? Which means that I want to pick ALL YOUR BRAINS forever.
      And what’s this about “if” I tune into the feed? There is no ‘if’. There is only “I’m already on the sofa and what’s up with the feed why isn’t it loading.. oh wait I need to click on it first, fine then”.

      Thanks for the welcome! πŸ™‚

  3. 7

    *pops head in* Yay! One of my favourite bloggers and peoples. *looks around* Nice new place you got for yourself here *hands you a bottle of wine and a pot plant* Hope it works out well for you here.

  4. 17

    When I saw PZ mention a derby person had joined FTB, I thought “I wonder if she knows my girlfriend’s ex’s next ex.” Then I thought “I wonder if she is my GFXetc.”

    You are not she, though you probably knew that. I doubt you know her either, since derby is a very big place and you’re on the other side of the world, and I doubt you know my former neighbor who now skates in Texas, who is on the other side of the world in a different direction. I try not to assume that people who share one identity must assuredly now each other.

    1. 17.1

      ACTUALLY… Chances are that me and your girlfriend’s ex’s next ex and your former neighbour from Texas aren’t too many degrees of separation away from me.

      Like: A few weeks ago my derbywife was in Leeds for the Gotham Girls vs London game, and they met a bunch of the Gotham people the day beforehand while they were wandering about the place. And another skater from my league has been to Texas (and trained with TXRG) at least twice. Two weeks ago I went to a weekend-long bootcamp run by Carmen Getsome from Rat City Roller Girls, so that’s Seattle covered. And another skater in my league started off skating in Australia.. and that’s not counting the people I’ve skated with from Germany, London, NSOs from Sweden..

      I’m just sayin’. Even if I don’t know your girlfriend’s ex’s next ex, I’m pretty sure I know someone who does πŸ˜‰

  5. 18

    […] Is This Thing On?–”You ain’t here for me to talk about myself, though. You’re here for the goods, right? Here’s a few things I’ve written over the past few years to get you started and give you a taste of what I’m about” […]

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