A Bray group for women interested in equality and community hosted a Suffragette themed celebration for #internationalWomensDay in a local hotel on Sunday. They were joined by members of related groups and partied into the night.
Six female comics struggled with the unenviable task of kicking the night off. I sat with the comics during the night and each one came back from their 10-15 minute set early, having given up trying to crack a tough crowd. The crowd weren't hecklng, they were just caught up with the business of catching up with friends and chatting at their tables. I really felt for them, it's such a hard thing to do and takes such balls to do - for want of a better word.
The audience probably had an average age in the mid 50's and probably tended towards the conservative end of the spectrum, so jokes about bum sex and dogs shitting on carpets were always going to be a hard sell. But, as I said, the audience weren't hostile and never behaved ungracefully. They were intent on two things only: chewing the fat and dancing their soft shoes off. ;¬)
Nothing, and I mean nothing was going to get in the way of that, and as soon as there was music there wasn't an empty space to be had on the dancefloor. The fact was it was a room full of Suffragettes that represented an immoveable force and in it's essence it was a beautiful thing to behold. Those women were old enough, many of them, to remember a very different Ireland, where even with the right to vote a woman's options were much more limited than they are today. Going back a step further to their mother's time, and definitely in their grandmother's time, the cause of suffrage was yet to be resolved. They understood exactly what was being celebrated that night. And celebrate they did.
It was a beautiful thing to witness, I have to say. The solidarity they felt with the global cause of the Suffragettes was visceral. This is Ireland, though, and celebration was the name of the game, not commemoration. I hope you like this wee celebration of that sisterly solidarity.