Guy Day and I have a shrine post for you today. But it is also another momentous day, today, and I cannot but add a short reflection on that, too. Today, Ireland is going to the polls. The issue at stake is women’s choice, women’s equality and literally women’s lives. The country is deciding on the difficult matter of an amendment to the constitution that will finally legalise abortion in Ireland. Yes, you have read correctly. Until now, abortion has been illegal in Ireland, as decided by the population in a referendum 35 years ago. Back then, Ireland was still in the clutches of the clergy. But much has changed since then. What hasn’t changed in 35 years, is the fact that to this day, 12 Irish women are having illegal abortions every day, and 9 of those 12 women have to leave Ireland in order to exercise their choice. (The other 3 are taking illegal abortion pills at home, without medical advice or assistance.) They travel to England, often alone, and return to a country that will not give them the appropriate after-care, not to mention the psychological support that a woman in difficult circumstances needs. Because the life of the unborn child is valued higher than the life of the woman who carries the child. This rule even extends to exceptional circumstances, such as pregnancy caused by rape or incest, or babies with fatal foetal abnormalities. Women in such circumstances are forced to carry their baby to term – or to seek a termination abroad, covered in secrecy and shame. The penalty for having an abortion is 14 years imprisonment, btw.
Leaving the cruelty and misogyny of such man-made laws aside for a moment, it is also shameful that women in Ireland do not have the most basic human right – to make a choice over their own bodies. Equality means having the right to live one’s life independently and making your own decisions. I want my daughter and my son to have equal rights and to be able to make the choices that are right for them, just like I was allowed to *choose* to have my son at a time when my circumstances were not ideal for raising a baby. I have never regretted my decision, but I have always been grateful that I had options available to me. It has made motherhood even more precious for me, because it was my *choice*. So, no more shaming and criminalising of women, no more discrimination and inequality. Ireland has to step up and look after their women better. I hope for all the women in Ireland today – Irish or not – that the country is taking the right decision and repeals the 8th amendment. For choice. For equality. For a 21st century Ireland.
Ok, now off the soap box and on to light entertainment. I received a shipment of bling this week. My shrine fairy, the inimitable Kathy Jones, is one of my shrining enablers, and this latest package hit me with sparkles and hearties.
This is just a small selection of bling. It immediately got my fingers itching. I have recently been commissioned to make a shrine, so here was the perfect opportunity to do some creative testing. (If you are reading this, J___, this is not *your* RAPS but a little project to ease myself into the mood.) So with some of Kathy’s bling, I tackled…
Front and back of this mint tin. Super strong, and some fierce animal that *could* be interpreted as a wolf, I decided to leave the tin’s lid intact. And I went a slightly different route with the insides, too.
Sorry, the picture suffers from camera shake.
No wonder, eh, faced with *that*… You’ll also notice that I decided to keep the tin the right way up, against my usual practice. Here’s why:
Slowly revealing that there is something “under his belt”.
*coughs* Wouldn’t we all like to know what that is…
Difficult to see, but the mint tin lid came with a decoration that says “Yum Yum” – and I did not want to cover that but use it in the RAPS. Thus, the diorama part in the deeper “bottom” of the shrine (which usually is turned upside down for my shrining purposes) is housed in the bottom.
There he is. Yum yum indeed, best dish. I’m practically drooling already. Dinner is ready, ladies!
Anyone hungry? Leave me a comment and I’ll try to feed your appetite!
And keep your fingers crossed for a better Ireland.