Trinity College Students' Union posted an album today on their Facebook page today which included this powerful message.
Using snapshots of moments in her life, Aifric Ní Chríodáin perfectly explained why feminism is important to her and necessary for society as a whole.
Her message was one of many composing the Feminists Of Trinity series, a campaign aimed at de-stigmatising feminism and reclaiming the term to advance gender equality.
Read it below.
When I was 13, buying lunch in a shop, the shopkeeper sneered at me and asked if I was a boy or a girl.
Not long after that, lads from school chased me and my friends to the DART station throwing stones, asking the same question.
When I was 14, my friend chose to wear lipstick to school and 4 boys grabbed him and threw him to the ground and punched and kicked him. No one said anything.
When I was 17, and a friend wore shorts with tights in school, our vice principal cornered her and told her that if she wore outfits like that “she deserved what she got”.
No one said anything.
When we were 19, and our friend grabbed our asses and our breasts when he was drunk, it was “fine - sure he’s gay”. We didn’t say anything.
When I was 20 and walking home from work at night, I often ran instead. I ran from the men on Dame St who’d follow me, calling out names and calling me a “fucking queer” when I didn’t answer. I ran, because the taxi drivers and barstaff who saw never said anything.
When I was 21, canvassing for my equal rights, a voter told me he didn't mind the gays getting married, but that he was tired of women like Hilary Clinton trying to create a war between the sexes and stick their nose where they don't belong.
I didn't say anything.
When I was 22, and tried to dance in between my friends and a stranger at the club, he grabbed me by the hair and yanked my head back. We left.
We didn’t say anything.
We live in a world where men and women expected to dress, behave, speak in a certain way. We live in a world where, if we don't accept that this is how it is, we're met with violence.
Right now, I’m really tired. I stay up late, often, reading the vitriol directed at feminists on this page - because it’s my job - and on other pages - because I can’t help myself. I scan through pro-life pages, terrified for what might happen when we get a referendum on the 8th. I stay up late and when I finish I still can’t sleep, because I’m just so scared and so angry and I don’t know what to do with it. I wake up exhausted.
I’m a feminist because I need to do something with this anger and this fear. I’m a feminist because so many people shout us down when we try to tell them something’s not right. I’m a feminist because we all have to say something.
Aifric Ní Chríodáin
To see more from Feminists Of Trinity, click here.