What men know about women

Red Dress

Growing up we had a book on our bookshelf “Everything men know about women”.  Written by Dr.  Alan Francis.  But a doctor of what I do not know.  It was about the size of a small paperback novel.  Around 100 pages.  All blank.  That was a very insightful book.  You can still buy it today:  Book Link


What Do Women Want?;  Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.

I want it flimsy and cheap,

I want it too tight, I want to wear it

until someone tears it off me.

I want it sleeveless and backless,

this dress, so no one has to guess

what’s underneath. I want to walk down

the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store

with all those keys glittering in the window,

past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old

donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers

slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,

hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.

I want to walk like I’m the only

woman on earth and I can have my pick.

I want that red dress bad.

I want it to confirm

your worst fears about me,

to show you how little I care about you

or anything except what

I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment

from its hanger like I’m choosing a body

to carry me into this world, through

the birth-cries and the love-cries too,

and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,

it’ll be the goddamned

dress they bury me in.


Pioneer Irish Women

The Great Telescope at Birr Castle

The Great Telescope at Birr Castle

Birr in County Offaly is famous the world over for having at one stage the largest telescope in the world.  The 3rd Earl of Rosse was a science pioneer and set an example that has been carried on by his family to this day.

In August 1869, in a sad accident, one of the cousins in the family, Mary Ward, became the first confirmed person in the world to die in an automobile accident.  The Earl’s sons built a steam car and Mary was racing around County Offaly with them when she was thrown from the car on a bend and fell beneath the wheels.

Then, in August 1896, another Irish woman became the first pedestrian to die in a car accident.  Bridget Driscoll was run down by a petrol engined car in the grounds of Crystal Palace.  She also became the first person in the UK to die in an automobile accident.

At the inquest into her death the coroner said that he hoped “such a thing would never happen again”.

I ran over a guy in my car once.  He was on a bike, in the rain.  I pulled out from a side road in front of him.  He crashed into my bonnet and went over the top.  I got out and asked if he was all right.  He got up and said he was fine.  Then he apologized for crashing into my car.  I got off lightly with that one!

Joyride 2; by Aram Stefanian

As she wrapped her car around a tree
A weird thought ran through her mind:
‘If I’m feeling no pain, then my soul is free
I’ll have to part with the daily grind”

She tried desperately to get out of the car
But the door was smashed and didn’t obey
Seeing on her arm an ugly bloody scar
She fainted, wishing she was melted away

When the cops were towing her car out
They were amazed to find no driver inside
Though one of them had a gnawing doubt
That he heard a woman crying over a joyride

Glass my ass!


The most feeble lament for “Why not?” is “because THEY won’t let me”.  That’s why it enrages me when competent, intelligent business women gather to discuss “The Glass Ceiling”.  Beware if you attend a “Women in Business” conference, and the topic of the Glass Ceiling comes up.  Bring a hammer in your briefcase, and wave it around if anyone so much as mentions the topic.

There is no glass ceiling but the one you make for yourself.  Man or woman, rich or poor, educated or self-taught the only limitation on your ambition is that imposed by you.  Yes, there are barriers to success, but they are only there to keep out those who don’t have genuine ambition.

Where would Ireland be without Mna na h’Éireann, the women of Ireland?   Eamonn de Valera had no fear of the British, because he had to devote all his fear to Cumann na mBan.  William Butler Yeats was forged by the Gore-Booth sisters and tempered by Maud Gonne mcBride.  Constance Gore-Booth went on to become Countess Markievicz.

Who was Cuchulainn without Dechtire or Fionn McCumhaill without Liath Luachra?  Behind every great Celtic hero is a fiercely impressive woman.  Celtic women have a long and proud tradition as leaders and warriors.  Queen Maeve of Connacht, Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, who almost threw the Romans out of Britain, Gráinne Mhaol (Grace O’Malley) the pirate queen of Mayo, Betsy Gray who died in the 1798 rebellion, Anne Devlin who refused to incriminate Robert Emmet.

When Cumann na mBan formed in Wynns Hotel in 1913 do you think Kathleen Shannahan was speaking about a glass ceiling preventing women from rising?  When Winifred Carney marched into the GPO with a Typewriter in one hand and a Webley Revolver in the other was she concerned that her male colleagues might impede her progress?

The business women of today need to do a bit of growing up.  Follow the advice of Big Jim Larkin:  The great appear great because you are on your knees – Arise!

Don’t stand back and wait for a gentleman to open the door for you.  Step forward and open it yourself.  Then, if you like, invite him in!

No Second Troy; by William Butler Yeats

Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?