UCD Students’ Union and the UCDLGBTQ+ society launched #VoteForME, their Marriage Equality campaign this week.
The #VoteForMe campaign aims to show people how the upcoming referendum is not solely about the LGBTQ+ community but about everyone in the country. During the launch, all students in the university were encouraged to tweet #VoteforME and give their own personal reason as to why they were in favour of Marriage Equality.
You can take a look at some of the reasons why UCD students are asking people to vote yes below:
Reasons varied from ‘There shouldn’t be 169 differences between my parents’ marriage and my best friends’ relationship’ to ‘No-one has ever asked them to ‘civil union’ them’.
Feargal Hynes, the president of UCD Students’ Union stated: "This campaign is of personal importance to students. It is simply something that they see as normal and are determined to make a reality on May 22nd. Students want to create the world they want to live in and the Marriage Equality campaign is a perfect way to help shape and develop that world."
Have you ever wanted to find a way to support SpunOut.ie’s work? Well, there are loads of different ways for you to help us to reach as many young people in Ireland as possible.
SpunOut.ie always needs the support of our amazing readers. To continue our work of providing non-judgemental, sound information to the young people of Ireland, we need your support. It would mean a lot to us if you were to consider raising funds and awareness for us in a fun and engaging way that suits you.
If you’ve ever wanted to run a marathon, there’s the perfect opportunity coming up to tick something off your bucket list, have fun, and raise some money for SpunOut in the process. The Vhi Women’s Mini-Marathon is happening on Monday June 1st and registration is open for it now. To register for it, just visit their website.
Running the Mini-Marathon is a brilliant way to get fit, challenge yourself, meet new people, and raise money for a great cause. You'll get an amazing sense of achievement afterwards, plus the fitness benefits will be great!
As Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people, we provide information to 100,000 readers each month around mental health, physical health, employment and much more!
Every €4 raised keeps our servers running for a day, while a gift of €14 to SpunOut.ie can keep our service going for 40 Irish young people for a whole year.
Your fundraising efforts will allow SpunOut.ie reach more young people through it’s online content and we would be extremely grateful if you raised both funds and awareness for us by running the mini-marathon. If you would like support or advice, please feel free to contact email@example.com.
Ireland, in recent months, seems to have been transformed into a loving, liberal and open country in the lead up to the Same Sex Marriage referendum in May. Irish society, its public and private institutions and its media have taken huge strides in being open and taking a stand against homophobia. When it comes to anything around the issue of gender, transgender and gender expression, etc. we are still lacking, however.
The first time I became aware of Ivan Fahy was when an article about the “stir” he had caused by graduating from NUIG in high heel’s appeared in my Facebook newsfeed. My initial reaction was one of anger, though not for the reasons you might expect. I was angry because someone dressing however they felt comfortable and confident was newsworthy in Ireland. I was angry because I instantly thought of the negative feedback this kind of story could generate and direct at Ivan. I was becoming more and more exhausted by older generations assertions of what it was to be a “normal” man and a “normal” woman.
Before opening the article I knew that I fully supported Ivan and his outlook. I knew I shared a similar outlook on gender fluidity. I had always wished society could be more open-minded when it came to stepping outside of the gender norms and being fluid with our gender identities. As I scrolled though the article, my brain agreed with the words I was reading about Ivan, his graduation and the positive attention he received. I was upset with myself when my eyes did a double take on seeing my first picture of Ivan, however.
Even though my brain had registered a deep support for Ivan and his viewpoint, my eyes did not reconcile this with the image I saw. I began questioning myself as to whether or not I really was as liberal and open-minded as I believed I was. The images of Ivan dressed in high heels, make-up and looking more stunning than I ever could, did not disgust me. They did not fill me with hate, fear or any other negative feeling. I was not offended by them so why had I such a strong reaction when I first laid eyes on him?
I realised it was because I, like many others, had been somewhat conditioned to view a male, dressed in what is considered a female way, as abnormal. It’s true, in the past 15-20 years the portrayals of women in Irish media, publications, industries has seemed to develop past stereotypically “feminine” but it can be said that men and their gender portrayals seem to be as rigid as ever.
Images of females dressed masculinely are splashed across publications, television screens and the Internet. Female “masculinity” has inspired fashion trends around the world, redefined “female” hair styling and so why isn’t a similar exploration of different male identities being undertaken? Why are the so few images of males dressed and portrayed femininely? Or even androgynously?
Being a woman, I can dress and express myself in a masculine manner publicly and have done so. So why do I get the feeling my male counterparts are not afforded the same opportunity?
When it comes to men, Ireland has long upheld old traditional representations of masculinity and notions of “manhood”. Examples can be seen everywhere: men are not entitled to paid paternity leave on the birth of their child, unmarried men are not legal guardians of their children and gay men cannot donate blood. You might be saying what do these injustices have to do with how men are represented in Ireland’s society. Well each injustice exists because of the conservative notion of “real” men being peripheral parents, providers of income and lovers of women only.
This image is enshrined in the laws that govern our “friendly” country so it’s hardly surprising that it has become enshrined in the psyche of the people of this country. This image is also a staple in advertising, social media, national television programming and every communication outlet you can think of. Irish companies continue to use stereotypical portrayals of men in their advertising, Irish broadcasters continue to create and support stereotypical male characters on television and anything that deviates from these portrayals causes a sensational furore.
Ivan’s outlook and androgynous modelling career may be new in the public sphere of the Irish psyche but are vital if we are to relax our views on what male gender norms are. Many men, just like women, struggle with the rigid gender constructions placed on them. In the past few years, steps have been taken to confront problems faced by males in Ireland, such as campaigns to end stigma around male depression and mental health problems. It’s important that while we loosen the restraints on mental health expectations of men, we should also begin loosening the restraints on how men choose to express their identity physically.
It took the simple image of a confident young man in heels to strike up this conversation in my own mind. It made me realise that women are the not the only victims of rigid gender roles. Men too are restricted from expressing themselves as anything other than “strong, macho and silent”. This prescription of gender norms in our society leads to hatred and inequality and it needs to stop now.
I will no longer double take on seeing a man who wears heels, wears pink or wears make-up. It’s about time more diverse representations of men appeared on Irish screens and across Irish publications. It’s about time men can define their own masculinity and dress in a way they want to, without fear of disgust and hatred. In order for this to happen we need to remember; people are more than their gender.
Friday afternoon, and I’m racing out the door to get home. Hop onto the bus and then a DART. It’s only when I’m on the bus, I realise I have forgotten my DART fare, left safe in the drawer at work. I pray that my Leap Card might let me through, but no joy. A call to my Dad and he can’t pick me up, car is out of petrol, and my Mum’s out but forgot her phone. I message friends to see if they’re around, no joy. Time to get my walking shoes on and head in the direction of home.
Tired and frustrated after the week, it isn’t long until emotion takes over and I have a little cry walking down the road, trying to be inconspicuous but not really caring too much at the same time. The radio is my companion as I walk along my bus route, passing the affluent pubs and taverns of South Dublin’s Ballsbridge, which are filled with the after-work crowd, slugging pints and various drinks. They’ll probably get chips on the way home, maybe a fancy brunch at the weekend.
My walkway lit up by traffic and street lamps. The odd jogger and dog walker. I try to remain positive, and remember that it’s Friday. That I have control over my weekend and if I want to spend the next 48 hours or so job-hunting, I will. I have no money, not a cent. I’m walking because I have no money and no other option. The situation really hits home. I’m grateful that I have phone battery and realise things could be much worse. I’m embarrassed, and feel silly. A friend reassures me that “these things happen” but internally it’s knocked me for six.
I’ve been unemployed for nearly a year now, since I left a steady job at a café in town and went climbing the career ladder. Jumping at a job too quickly. I completely regret leaving, but regrets are no good to you. I’ve done odd jobs and internships, and I’m now on my second unpaid internship. To say it is tough would be an understatement, but then again, it’s given me more strength than I ever thought humanly possible. I was never high-maintenance, and wasn’t into extravagant purchases. I just wanted enough to live and have some semblance of a life. Now, I’m 25 and still living at home. My younger brother has basically flown the nest, so it’s just me. This is never how I envisioned my mid-twenties - unemployed and living my parents. I am blessed though that I have one of the most wonderful relationships with them. They understand that the job market is tough and have provided me with unending support and a lot of hugs.
The thing I miss most about having money is the independence. Relying on others for things and not having the freedom to decide what I want. I miss seeing my friends as much as I used to and look forward to a time when things go back to normal. There is a tiny little part of me that’s terrified this won’t end and it’s a permanent state. It’s a tiny voice, and I silence it. I refuse to let it get the better of me and who I am.
I am trawling through job websites day in, day out, applying as fast as I can, applying to anything remotely in my field. After two unpaid internships I simply cannot afford to take another one, even if expenses were provided. I see friends moving out and growing up, it’s hard not to be envious. I can’t plan or look ahead because until I get a permanent job, I have no income, therefore I am extremely limited.
I’ve sat in the dole office, filled out forms and had frustrated conversations down the phone. I couldn’t smile when they took my picture for my social-welfare card, I had no energy. I had promised myself it wouldn’t come to this, but pride had to be pushed aside. A man sat next to me, early fifties perhaps, close enough to my Dad’s age. He was waiting to get his photo too. My heart wrenched as I felt for him. Two people, opposite end of the age-spectrum and yet here we were, sitting side by side waiting.
Unemployment is a real problem facing so many young people. You have these wonderful ideas and notions that you’ll walk straight from college into a job. The harsh reality is completely different. It requires a lot of work, many eyes on your CV, websites, word of mouth, connections, and perseverance. It’s something that has come damn close to breaking me too many times. I have a degree and a Masters and still cannot find anything.
Remaining positive is one of the things I’ve found toughest. I have anxiety and unemployment has certainly heightened it a bit, the added worry of the future and what will happen. Working keeps me sane and on a path, and regular sessions at the gym too. I enjoy exercising in the gym because I feel like after I’ve finished, I’ve done something worthwhile and achieved something. I’m not naïve to think that everything that’s going on hasn’t taken some kind of a toll on me. It has, but I manage it as best I can. I take time off from searching, and watch my favourite things on Youtube. I know my confidence has taken a battering, but I like to think that it’s merely having a rest.
My friends, family and boyfriend deserve the biggest thank you. I wouldn’t be able to function without them, they are so crucial. They take your mind off searching and while, yes, it is always in the back of your mind, it’s great to be able to focus on the conversation to hand as opposed to what’s on Jobs.ie.
My advice to anyone in a similar position to mine is, don’t give up. Attack the job-market, if people offer to have a look at your CV, take them up on it-the more eyes on it the better. Stretch yourself as much as possible, it may not be your dream job but could lead someplace else or provide you with some new skills. Set up job-alerts so you don’t miss anything. Keep busy, routine is wonderful and you’ll thank yourself for it. Never stop looking, jump on any connections you have and don’t be afraid to push things a little bit. Most people have been unemployed at some stage in their lives so the majority do know what you’re going through. Stay positive, it’s hard but celebrate the little milestones like securing an interview. Remember that this situation is on temporary, it will not last and you are destined for greatness. Good Luck!
With the continuing fight to prevent bullying, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) launched a new campaign on March 9th with the objective of making the fight against bullying, a national one. The ISPCC will be working with 200 schools all across Ireland and in conjunction with the staff members of schools, clubs, community groups, and parents will also be involved directly in the pursuit of “eradicating bullying from the playground, classroom, communities, and through social media channels.” Bullying will no longer be seen as a problem that should solely be dealt with by school administrators but instead as an issue that needs an entire community to be solved.
The ISPCC website shows that the aims of the 2015 campaign include:
Bullying, whether it be physical, verbal, non-verbal, or cyber bullying, has a large negative impact on the recipient of the behavior. The effects can include, but are far from limited to, lowered self-esteem, lowered ability to enjoy life, attempted suicide, and poor or deteriorating school work (more information on the effects of bullying is available here). These consequences have the prospect of following the person being bullied way beyond the moments of attack. According to ISPCC, more than 8,000 children had contacted the organisation specifically about bullying during the 2014 year. Due to such distressing effects and numbers, the ISPCC Shield Campaign has been put forward to “protect children from bullying and from its effects” and created an Anti-Bullying Toolkit to be utilised by clubs and community groups throughout the country.
The public can support the work being done by the ISPCC campaign by wearing Shield pins (available for €2 at Penneys and M&S stores nationwide) and the new ISPCC Shield Bangle (only available from 36 Penneys stores for €2.50) to spread the word about the campaign. The public can also donate €2 to the cause by texting “Shield” to 50300.
Alongside donating, a lot more can be done to stop and prevent bullying. Telling someone trustworthy about bullying that is happening directly to you or someone you know is one of the biggest steps towards helping end the behavior. Having someone by your side to support you makes a world of difference compared to dealing with the bullying alone. Although it may be difficult to write about it, keep notes of when the bullying occurs (time, date, what has happened, who has seen) to have with you when are explaining the incidents. If the bullying happens to be occurring through the web, try as much as possible not to engage with the perpetrators. Block them from any social media forums, print or screenshot whatever messages have been sent to you, and ask for help.
Bullying is a terrible problem that causes tremendous pain for the person being bullied, however, as organizations such as the ISPCC continue to tackle on the problem and further members of the community begin to support the cause, those being bullied are getting more of the help they deserve. As Grainia Long said, every child and person has “the right to be safe” and it is vital to remind them of that fact.
For more information about the campaign, visit the ISPCC website.
Are you registered to vote? Some of you may know the answer; others won't. First off, see if you're on the register of electors here. If you're registered, great. If not, don't worry! We'll guide you through it.
This year's referendum on same-sex marraige is on 22nd May. The deadline to register to vote for this is May 6th 2015.
The annual electoral register deadline is in November each year for all new voters and those looking to change their details.
That gives you a while to get your name down on that list before the deadline ahead of what is going to be a very busy year of voting in 2015, with referendums proposed on marriage, reducing the voting age and others.
Once this is done, your details will be added to the Register of Electors and you'll be able to vote in local, national and European elections as well as referendums (once you're eligible- just check out the details below).
If you are already on the voting register but you have moved address or need to change some details, just fill in this form and send it off as above.
If you're over 18 and an Irish citizen, you're sorted. You can vote for any person in any election for as long as you live in Ireland! If you don't meet those criteria, things can be a tad more difficult. Fear not, though, you still might be eligible to vote!
Yes! You can still register for the supplement to the register at least 15 days before polling day, even if you're not 18 on the date you register, but will be 18 before polling day. To do this, follow the instructions above to register as noral, but make sure you also submit a copy of your birth certificate with your form.
Generally, you need to vote in person at an official voting centre, but there's a couple of circumstances in which you might be eligible for postal votes. This is especially relevant to students, so listen up! You can register for a postal vote if you are:
Applications for inclusion on the Postal Voters List must be received by 25 November at the latest. However, if you're eligible for the postal voter list but are not included, you can apply for the supplement to the list.
The latest date for receipt of applications is 22 days before the referendum or election. For this year's referedum on same-sex marriage the deadline to apply for the supplement to the postal register by May 1st. To apply, you can get the forms from your local authority.
If you're a non-Irish citizen and want to vote in the elections here, you'll need to be an Irish resident since at least September of last year and, of course, be over 18. You'll still need to register, though, so make sure you fit at least one of these criteria and get yourself the right form and get your name down on that list!
Firstly, let’s be clear, there is only so much you can do to protect yourself from a naked picture or video of you getting into the wrong hands. Other than not sending one at all, there is no guarantee you can prevent it from being shared with a wider audience than you initially intended.
For lots of people, sexting will be relatively incident-free and your messages will generally remain confined to the person you initially planned would see them.
But there are also many cases where something that may seem like a bit of harmless fun at the time ends with massive regret at having sent a photo or video in the first place.
Remember; you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to, and should never feel pressured into it. No matter how much you fancy the other person or how much pressure they put on you. If they respect you, they will completely understand, and if they don’t understand then they’re probably not worth your while.
If you’re in a situation that makes you uncomfortable and the other person keeps sending you sext requests, and you’re not interested, don’t be afraid to block them.
Read our article on peer pressure here.
Pretty much what it says on the tin - the sending of sexy texts and/or images to another person for a textual turn on. Obviously it’s not restricted to the dinosaur medium of SMS, and spans WhatsApp, iMessage, FB Messenger, KIK, BBM, Snapchat and dating apps such as Tinder, Blendr & Grindr.
Intimate pix are one thing, but sexting can include videos, made easier by Instagram direct and SnapChat - either way - you don’t want photos or videos getting out there and going further than you intended.
Sexting can be with a partner you’re mad about, a pal for whom nothing is TMI or an acquaintance/stranger on a dating app.
It can make total sense in the heat of the moment.
Maybe you are mad about a guy or gal and think sending a sexy pic is a great idea and will cement your love for eternity(JK!).
Maybe you are both horny and far away from each other and therefore decide it’s the only option available to you at that moment in time.
Or maybe you’re using a dating app like Tinder, Grindr or Blendr and the person you’re sending a nude to is someone you’ve never met or chatted to before.
Not everyone is sexting, but if you do decide to do it , here are some things to consider and some ways to limit your exposure (literally!) if things go wrong…
Sure, it’s meant to be a bit of fun, but what if an image or video were used in a way in which you didn’t want them to be? Having something as intimate as a nude shared without your permission can have a big impact on you psychologically. Be sure to think about the emotional stress of having pictures of yourself distributed to everyone you know by an ex or former friend.
Keeping in mind nothing is totally secure, here are some ways to avoid the trauma of having a picture or video of you leaked;
TheSite - Safe Sexting // WebCam Sex Video:
Exams are an inevitable factor in student life. The weeks before the exam can be very stressful, take some time to do exam prep and get ready, print notes, talk to the lecturer, anything that will help.
Study is the five letter word we dislike but it comes hand in hand with exams. One of the best ways of getting through exam time is to have a good plan for how to study well, look after yourself and manage your time.
Try downloading an app on your internet browser that can block various websites for a certain length of time.
What if I’m late for the exam?
Go to the exam room/hall and see if you will be admitted. Contact your department, the exams office and/or your Students’ Union if you run into difficulty.
What if I miss an exam or I’m too sick to sit the exam?
Every school/college has a procedure for instances where a student misses an exam. Contact your head teacher, department and your Students’ Union. Make sure to keep doctors’ notes, as you may need to submit a copy.
What if I sat the exam but I’m not happy with it?
If there was an issue with the paper, contact the teacher/lecturer responsible as soon as the exam is over. If you are unhappy with how the exam went for you, wait for the results before taking action. You can then talk to your teacher/Students’ Union about appeals and/or viewing the script. Remember, the Students’ Union and the exams office are there to talk and support you with exam results. And there is always the option to repeat the exams.
Who to talk to:
Your CV (Curriculum Vitae) and cover letter are usually the first impression that a company or organisation gets of you, so they have got to be perfect. That means knowing how to make your achievements shine.
CVs give basic information about you, your education, work experience, skills and achievements. Cover letters explain why you want the job and what makes you the right person for it.
Condoms are the ONLY contraceptive that protects against sexual transmitted infections.
What are they?
A female condom is a sheath, made of a soft, fine material, which you insert into the vagina (like a tampon) to create a barrier against sperm. Unlike the male condom, the female condom can be used with oil and water based lubricants.
When taking the condom out of its packet, be sure not to tear it, as sharp fingernails and jewellery can easily tear a condom. It is also very important that you check the expiry date. Never use a male and female condom at the same time.
Advantages of the female condom:
Where can I get one?
Female condoms are available from pharmacies, and from GOSHH.
Remember: The age of sexual consent in Ireland is 17. If you're over 16, you can consent to medical treatment including any treatment or tests needed.
The pace of life nowadays can be overwhelming. Sometimes, we need to take a break from all the holla baloo and just chillax.