Hot Press

THE YEAR IN SEX

It would be wrong to assume that we are on the way to a new sexual Utopia. But there is little doubt that will resonate for a long time in relation to gender issues. Just don’t think too much about what’s been happening in the more regressive parts of Eas

- by Ann Sexton

Anne Sexton tells you everything you wanted to know about the last 12 months in sex, but were afraid to ask.

Welcome one and all to the most glamorous event of the year! Yes, it is time for the Annual Hot Press Sex Awards. Raise your glasses and make some noise for our deserving winners for 2017!

THE UNSUNG HERO AWARD

"ur first award goes to Tarana Burke. Many of you may not know her name, but Burke is the originator of the slogan that became a global phenomenon p ›MeToo. Burke is an African-American activist and the director of Girls for Gender µuity. The campaign began as a way to unite and empower young women of colour who had experience­d sexual abuse. In "ctober this year, after the Harvey Weinstein allegation­s hit the news, actor Alyssa Milano posted an open letter on Twitter extending Burke’s campaign across social media. The rest, as they say, is history.

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SCUMBAG AWARD

Taking of Harvey Weinsteino There could be no better winner of this year’s Maor eague Scumbag Award. Weinstein wins not for his many, many years of predatory behaviour p he is certainly not the only one p but for the extreme actions he took to cover this up. In November it came to light that Weinstein had a crack team of ex Mossad agents and spies on the payroll. Their ob was to suppress accusation­s of sexual abuse against him. Two agents allegedly met with actor Rose McGowan, who has publicly accused Weinstein of rape, pretending to be part of a women’s rights advocacy group. The agents also collected details on dozens of people Weinstein feared might expose him. This included detailed personal and sexual histories which were to be used to discredit or intimidate potential accusers. That’s some Scientolog­y-style craziness.

THE NOT ALL HEROES WEAR REPEAL JUMPERS AWARDS

This very special award goes to the {ä,äää or so people who took part in this year’s March for Choice. This was the sixth annual march and it drew a record number of attendees, highlighti­ng the fact that the demand for change to Ireland’s restrictiv­e laws around reproducti­ve rights has become a popular movement.

THE OOPS I NEARLY DID IT AGAIN AWARD

This year’s deserving winner is our own Simon Harris. "ur Minister for Health got into a bit of a bun fight when he announced in April that while the State p basically you and me, the taxpayers p were funding the new National Maternity Hospital, it was to be owned by the Sisters of Charity. At a time when Ireland is trying to wrest control of healthcare and education from religious interferen­ce, this was a

grave misstep. Not least because, despite their name, the Sisters of Charity are a grubby profit-making enterprise. They are also the religious organisati­on that ran the Magdalene Laundries and have reneged on significan­t payments to victims. After a sustained public outcry, Harris reversed this decision. While final certainty has not been achieved, the word is that the hospital is to remain in State hands. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN AWARD A big shout out to our 2ä1Ç winner, Danica Roemt Roem, a Democrat, was elected to the 6irginia House of Delegates in November. This makes her the first openly transgende­r person to be elected to America’s State Legislatur­e. Roem campaigned on the issues that really matter p such as traffic congestion p and ousted Republican Bob Marshall who had held the office since 1™™2. The victory must have been sweet. In anuary 2ä1Ç, the very same Marshall proposed a ºbathroom bill» that would have barred trans people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Marshall previously tried to introduce a law that would allow public and private organisati­ons the right to refuse services, even healthcare, to LGBT+ people. Good riddancet

THE GENERAL INSENSITIV­ITY AWARD

This award goes to your not-so-favourite grumpy granddad p George Hook. As I’m sure you’ll remember Hook suggested that an alleged rape victim was partly responsibl­e for being attacked. "ur George has a history of ill-udged comments about sexual assault. He might have gotten away with it again, except for the fact that the alleged assault took place in a hotel and his show was sponsored by Dalata Hotel Group. Don’t bite the hand that feedst Dalata µuickly pulled their sponsorshi­p, Hook was suspended, and he has been moved to a weekend slot where his freedom to moan into the airwaves continues, apparently unabated.

THE HIDING BEHIND THE FLAG AWARD

"ne of the maor career fallouts from the ›MeToo movement was everyone’s favourite scheming Southerner,

rank 1nderwood aka evin Spacey. I don’t think anybody was particular­ly surprised that Spacey is gay. What incensed people was the fact that he has been using his closeted status to hide predatory behaviour towards boys and young men. Worse still, when actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of inappropri­ate behaviour, he tried to deyect criticism by turning this into a coming out narrative. No, no, not Spacey conyated his actions with consensual sexual relationsh­ips between men. This is not only cowardly but plays on homophobic fears that gay men target children. This is unacceptab­le. Take your award and off with you.

THE DEMOCRACY IN ACTION AWARD

Another very deserving win, this award goes to the 2ä1Ç Citizens Assembly. The Citizens Assembly surprised us all when, after considerin­g all the facts put before them, stated that Ireland should legislate for abortion without restrictio­n for up to 12 weeks. They have also declared that we need radical new legislatio­n to tackle climate change, and that the State should double spending on public transport. The Citizens Assembly are killing itt Good obt And so we come to the end of our awards. As always, it was tough choosing the winners. We argued late into the night. Tempers frayed. Biscuits were thrown. Cups of tea were spilled. But ƂPCNN[ YG TGCEJGF KH PQV C consensus, then a compromise, like mature sensible adults. We bid adieu to 2017 and wish you all the very best for the coming year.

 ??  ?? Repealing to the public: protesters out in force
Repealing to the public: protesters out in force
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Lisa Hannigan
Lisa Hannigan
 ??  ?? Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
 ??  ?? Rose McGowan
Rose McGowan
 ??  ?? Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano

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