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08 Feb

Being a woman

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I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same - Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch (2008/1965) “The Red and the Green”, Random House, p. 36.

“The Red and the Green” is set against the backdrop of the 1916 Rising. Damien Kiberd in his introduction to the 2008 edition relates this quote to a later conversion in which Frances, the speaker in the quote above, wonders “why the poor people put up with us?…Why don’t they all say, no, no, no?” (p. 119). In the Ireland of 1916 portrayed in the novel, says Kiberd, “beneath the surface traditionalism…the modern world struggles to be born.”

I think being a woman is like being Irish… Everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the same.

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