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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Radio Rage.

In the morning my Radio tells me that  the fat beaming infant is to be removed from Infant Formula follow on Milk packaging.  Huh???  To promote mother's milk fresh from the breast, stoopid.. " Just tell it like it is why don't you"  I hiss at the radio, on the hunt for shoes, knocking back a cup of tea. "So. They take the smiling baby from Infant Formula tins,  breast feeding spreads like wildfire, and like, maybe we tattoo the displaced smiler on the proselytized woman's breast"? My husband blinks.  What  does (follow on) Infant Formula milk and displaced babies  have to do with him? Other than to comment on how they are doing it also to cigarette packets ! The Nanny State. Yeah.  True.  But its not that,  baby, it's this.

I know breastfeeding. Done it.  Multiple doses of mastitis,  nipples chewed raw, niagaraous leakings et all.  Been the mother of monster babies.   Glugging their way from right boob  to left boob,  now give me that bottle of formula for afters, babies.  Growing exponentially, fed them till reduced to two tortured boobs, and then combined breast and bottle till weaning.  I know babies who were fed purely  and devotedly on breast milk, ethereal creatures in the main, and NOT less prone to infection, colic, obesity later on.  Just don't buy it.  Breast feed as best you can I say, but don't be fooled by the fervent  hard sell. It's tricky, unpredictable and not for faint hearts. A degree of heroism is required, but then you will have done childbirth.  Just  remember that babies starved to death before infant formula, and women sat from dawn till dusk under sucking maws till weaning
And so to work. On the car radio I zone into a story about the Australian government's boast of reform of its' parole system,  as it emerges that the rapist and murderer of  Irish woman Jill Meagher had been convicted of raping more than twenty women, usually while  on parole,  prior to her murder. That's why he murdered her you see.  Parole is now instantly revoked if you are in the frame again. Well done the Australian Government.  I mean why?  Why was he let loose in the world to do it again and again and again? Is it because he was sorry? served his time? and rape is a sort of personal blip? and real men don't,  more than once, twice, three times, four times, five, six,......uhh  twenty,  twenty times? Except for  a tiny minority, maybe?

 I think of the another  Irish woman, Lynn Meagher,  who, on  returning to Ireland from India where she went as a volunteer,  wrote an article in last Saturday's Independant newspaper  to say she would not be returning any time soon, such was the level of in your face  sexual harrassement she suffered from Indian men.  Beautiful country and all that. Spiritual. Lovely people, women, the ocassional man.  Not  a minority thing  in India then. It seems to come to this,  that many many  man will rape if they can. Get away with it. And in India you absolutely can. In Australia a little more difficult maybe, but basically, if you are prepared to do the time you can. Get away with it.

You do it once, I think, as I snap my radio off,  you do it once you will do it again. You do it once you tear apart the very fabric of one woman's being.  So, one strike and you are out. You do it once , you are locked up for life, unless you are sorry enough to be chemically castrated. If men were vulnerable to rape in the same way, this is how it would be.  So,  OK,  we are not going to do that, Fine.  Just tell it like it is.

In the evening I leave three well fed and watered teenagers to the Cinema. On the way the beautiful girl tells me how she would like love a part time  job, but they are like soo hard to come by.  She stings me for €60 for tickets and eats.  Driving home in the grey and rainy evening I listen to a worthy on the radio argue with  apparent sincerity  that the middle aged in Ireland are living high on the hog, the young forced to emigrate, having been quite dispossessed.  Hmm. Yeah. Well.  I think of being a young woman in Dublin,  the damp sparse flats,  the constant  frozen queueing for occasional buses, the black market jobs.  Washing glasses, cleaning houses, scrubbing floors to live, to get by, to get to college, to stay in college.  At least three computer programmes running in your head, most of the time.   All such a crock, I whisper,  switch to Lyric.

I used  to bundle up the eldest,  take him with me to the cleaning jobs,  stairs and landings in a fine and fading Georgian house. A good gig.   I sat him below me two stairs down a time  as I scrubbed  three flights from top to bottom,  gave him the next episode in a never-ending story as we went. Down,  down,   passing  the stringy faded women,  the  whiskey drinking country men,  raggedy solitary folk,  prone to sticking small change in the eldest's infant paw. I kept the story coming,  least he wander off to the shadowy yellowing landings,  the silent closed doors out of my range of vision. We were together, he and I.  I knew where I was going. He knew that too.  Today,  I posted his birthday cards across the planet to Australia.