AM I A FEMINIST? ARE YOU?
New Island Kenny’s latest is a collection of A to Z musings on topics as diverse as agency, manspreading, rape and the Ursuline Order of nuns. With some, such as the attitudes of Irish feminists to the divorce referendum, she paints an interesting picture of an Ireland long gone. With others – like advising trans women to use the men’s toilets to avoid the queue – she is flippant to the point of insensitivity.
Kenny’s attitudes are firmly second-wave. She’s not keen on “actor” for female performers, is fine with catcalling, and hints that drunk rape victims are partly to blame for being irresponsible. This won’t endear her to younger readers. As a founding member of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s, Kenny is in a unique position to tell the history of Irish feminism. I really wish she had done that instead.