Aoife Barry is a print and broadcast freelance journalist who writes for TheJournal.ie, The Irish Independent, the Irish Times (The Ticket), State.ie, the Kildare Nationalist and others. She contributes reviews and features to RTE Radio 1’s arts show Arena and presents and produces the music show Sweet Oblivion for the digital station RTE 2XM.
In her spare time she DJs, collects records, goes to gigs and tweets at http://twitter.com/sweetoblivion26, as well as occasionally blogging at www.aoifebarry.com. From Cork, she has lived in Dublin for the past three years.
Because I am a Girl I ask…what can I do in my own way to support, help and encourage other women – whether it’s in my work, by featuring their music, or in my personal life by making sure I’m there for friends and family.
Because I am a Girl I believe…that every little thing does make a difference; that small efforts matter and that no matter how little power you think you have, you have more than you realise. I believe that if we all harness that power big things can happen from seemingly small actions. I believe the pen is mightier than the sword.
Because I am a Girl I hope…that one day women worldwide won’t have to struggle for equality; and that those who feel equal appreciate the hard work it took from other women to get them to that place. I hope that soon there won’t be a need for ‘women who rock’ magazine issues or for female musicians to fit into a stereotype.
Because I am a Girl I wonder…sometimes why it’s so hard for some to understand that inequality does exist; and why people are criticised for flagging inequality or sexism. It’s not ‘just’ an ad, or ‘just’ a music video… every example of blatant sexism is something that needs to be discussed – how else can we bring about change?
Because I am a Girl I dream…of an equal future for all, one where difference is celebrated and where you are not judged on your gender, race, sexuality or anything else that would once have labeled you as an ‘other’.
Because I am a Girl I remember…the work that other women undertook to bring me the privileges I have today. From Pankhurst to Robinson, from my mother to her mother, all of these women made me who I am and I am thankful for that.
Because I am a Girl I like…that being a girl means different things to different people, and that we all have different experiences and beliefs, needs and wants. I like that I have two sisters and we are each very unique in how we feel about ‘being a girl’ – and every one of our experiences is as valid as the other. Also, I like being a feminist.
Because I am a Girl I dislike…that confidence doesn’t always come easy to me and other girls – and that it’s easier to feel that you’re terrible at something than that you’re good. I dislike how ingrained into our culture it is to judge women on their looks, how much pressure we put ourselves under to fit in or to live up to an unattainable standard. I dislike looking at ‘best of’ albums/singles/etc lists and seeing a handful – or no – women on them, just as I dislike that women are often absent from musical histories. I dislike that people don’t always look for the women that were making music in decades past, and don’t question why they are hard to find.
Because I am a Girl I feel…inspired by trailblazers like Kathleen Hanna; empowered by the support of my female peers in the media; saddened when I see feminism looked down upon; but overall, hopeful that every little action to bring about equality (be it for women, people of different races or ethnic groups, members of the LGBT community etc) is making a difference.
Because I am a Girl I…know that I must never lose sight of what women in other parts of the world are experiencing. It’s important that we don’t think of the ‘first’ world as the only world that matters – that we listen to the voices of those in other continents and countries and realise that there are so many other issues out there affecting women.
– Aoife Barry