Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, who has co-sponsored recent bills on reproductive leave and period products which omit the words ‘woman’ and ‘mother’
Further to removal of the word “mother” from seven Acts of Irish legislation and the omission of the words “women” and “mother” from proposed pieces of legislation affecting women: the Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) and the Free Provision of Period Products Bills….
Via Irish Times Letters:
Euphemisms for menstruation were common when women’s reproductive business was considered unmentionable and slightly shameful. It’s good that we’ve matured to the point of recognising the significance and importance of openly and correctly naming things for what they are.
However, something else is happening which is quite sinister. The euphemisms have moved from the word “period” to the word “woman”.
The word “woman” does not appear once in either of the Bills. It is replaced by “anyone”, “everyone” and “people”. None of the female Fianna Fáil or Labour Senators contacted seem to know why or where the word went, although it must have been deliberately excluded.
Labour’s Ivana Bacik had no difficulty referring to women and girls in 2019 when she raised the issue of period poverty in the Seanad as she used both throughout her speech.
When contacted, neither she nor any of her female Seanad colleagues answered my question – why are you deliberately excluding the word “woman”?
Women need the word women. We are a distinct biological and political class who are oppressed on the basis of our sex. Language matters. Labour and Fianna Fáil must do better.