Lisa McInerney is an Irish writer, editor and columnist. She is co-owner of Irish magazine site Ramp.ie, writes regularly for The Journal.ie, and has appeared at literary festivals both at home and in the US discussing new media and its literary possibilities.
She studied English in UCC and as such has a terrible habit of littering her prose with Cork slang, like. She lives in Galway with her husband, their daughter, and an assortment of pets of the hairy persuasion.
Because I am a Girl I ask…questions of everything. Why things are the way they are, why I act the way I do, why certain achievements or compliances or even failures are expected of me. Being born outside of privilege because you’re a girl means seeing the world for its challenges as well as for its opportunities.
Because I am a Girl I believe…in the strength of other girls. I know that my outlook and experiences are not unique and I know that makes me part of a collective of strong, brave and intelligent women. We have compassion, wisdom and ingenuity and we will continue to shape the world for the better.
Because I am a Girl I hope…for conditions for girls all over the world to improve. I can’t say whether luck or fate had any hand in my being born in a country where I had access to education and healthcare and State support, but I know that there is no difference between me and a girl born into a more challenging society, except in terms of external circumstances.
Because I am a Girl I wonder…why everyone doesn’t understand the importance of individual worth, regardless of a person’s gender. I wonder how certain communities can disregard the potential in their female population. I wonder why ancient traditions damage the here and now and I wonder why it’s so difficult to change.
Because I am a Girl I dream…in colour. I see a vibrant future full of possibilities and I know it’s not a million miles away.
Because I am a Girl I remember…moments where I might have been made feel inadequate or insignificant because of my gender, and understanding why that might have happened or what I can do to prevent it happening again motivates me.
Because I am a Girl I like…kick-ass female role models in pop culture, of whom there are more and more every day, and the freedom to adopt different styles, looks and even characters(!) depending on what I feel like on any given day.
Because I am a Girl I dislike…advertising that makes girls feel inadequate, society assuming that if something is exclusively geared towards girls it mustn’t have any cultural value, and the notion that 51% of the world’s population is a minority group with specialist issues!
Because I am a Girl I feel…like I can take on the world. I already know that I am strong, brave and loved; with that knowledge any girl can take on the world.
Because I am a Girl I celebrate…every single day. We girls have such an amazing legacy gifted to us by the hard work and determination of the women who came before us, and we have in turn the responsibility to give our daughters an even better future. Pay it forward, as the saying goes.
– Lisa McInerney