Rabble caught up with Andrea, co-host of the podcast Don’t Stop Repealin’ and one of the founders of HunReal Issues for a quick chat on the podcast and how it’s setting the record straight for a new generation on the eight, its history and how it affects them.
Hey Andrea, firstly could you tell us what Don’t Stop Repealin’ is about and why you got it going?
We were frustrated at the polarised, un-analytical, stop watch style of broadcasting around the Repeal referendum. The interpretation of the broadcasting rules means that two sides are being pitted against each other in debates that don’t lend themselves to thoughtful, meaningful conversations. We want to create a platform that is respectful, honest, and curious that addresses the thoughts, concerns and questions the people who will be voting want to hear in an entertaining and informative way.
What has the reaction been like to the podcast so far?
The reaction has been fab! We think we’re really getting our message across to a full cross section of people (mostly repealers let’s be honest!) from various parts of the world and different ends of the spectrum. We hope it’s making a difference and FINGERS CROSSED changing some minds.
One thing that has marked the repeal movement has been the massive influx of younger campaigners/ voices into the campaign. In most ways that is absolutely magnificent but in other ways the extremism that they are facing can be bewildering. What I found with the podcast is one, it’s quite like a practical guide for staying relatively sane when confronted with these lies and two, an introduction to the larger family tree of weirdos that have constantly campaigned against any social progress for nigh on half a century. Can you talk to me a little about this?
We absolutely agree with that statement. Not only is it bewildering, it’s also scary! Some of the messages that the anti-choicers put out into the world are not only untrue, but terrifying. We want the podcast to banish these messages/reveal actual truths & also have some fun doing it! We want to make people feel positive and inject listeners with enthusiasm for the road ahead. Youths are an extremely important part of winning this campaign. Providing them with facts and the confidence to keep going is a huge part of what we want to achieve with this podcast.
From doing the podcast so far, have you encountered anything that took you by surprise. For me, in your last show it was learning of the resistance from some quarters of the Catholic Church to the use of tampons. It never ceases to amaze me the depths the Church will go to in interfering in a woman’s reproductive cycle.
For sure. Unfortunately, there’s something new every day! The majority of the information that various anti-choice/pro-life contingents release are always shocking. We recently heard of a story from someone canvassing for choice at Croke Park. They witnessed anti-choice canvassers using children aged 7-10 to hand out leaflets. Although, it’s something we’ve grown to expect, it’s still extremely unsettling!
You’ve also been involved in founding HunReal Issues. Can you tell our readers what that’s all about?
Back in 2016, I realised that the media’s coverage of issues like Repeal the 8th were not reaching wide enough. A huge proportion of the Irish population were being left in the dark. The HunReal Issues is all about taking some of those issues that all us huns should be knowing and caring about and making it a bit less boring and whompy. We know you’re thinking, ‘why should I give a shite?’ Well… these are things that affect your life— who you can marry, where you can live, where your kids go to school, how much you earn, who controls your body, how and who you ride… those tiny, little important things! If you don’t know what people are deciding about your bits, how can you tell them whether you do be agreein’ or not? We’ve been throwing glitter on these issues for the past two years and will continue to do so until we’ve won!!!
The feminist movement in Ireland is growing from strength to strength. What’s next, do you think, after repeal?
WORLD DOMINATION! haha. Hopefully, the momentum will continue and women will no longer be treated like second class citizens. Issues surrounding the gender pay gap are still hugely prevalent. Sexual harassment/mistreatment in the workplace needs to be tackled head on and more funding needs to be provided for organisations such as the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre & Women’s Aid. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we’re getting there.