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01st Jul 2019

Jordanne Jones reveals how she called out sexism at her own Confirmation

Alan Loughnane

Jordanne Jones confirmation

This is excellent.

Jordanne Jones has never been one to stick to the status quo.

Last year she was out knocking on doors, asking people to vote in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment and legalising abortion in Ireland.

Alongside her mother Lynn Ruane, she spoke at rallies in favour of changing the Irish constitution. She was just 17 years of age so she couldn’t lend her vote, but she could lend her voice and be at the forefront of those seeking change for women in Ireland.

But even from a young age, she’d established herself as a voice who wouldn’t let inequality and sexism go unchecked, even if it meant causing a scene during her Confirmation.

Speaking to Dion Fanning on Ireland Unfiltered, Jones outlined how, on her Confirmation day, the priest gave a speech about how the boys would all grow up to be footballers and the girls would marry them.

“I just remember when he said it and I was like ‘Did… did no one… did no one catch that?'” Jones said.

Her look of disbelief was greeted by a look of warning from her teachers, who, knowing her propensity to speak her mind, had recognised the warning signs from the strong-willed young woman.

“I don’t particularly know if I knew [what the priest said] was sexist, I probably didn’t even know the word,” Jones said.

“But something didn’t sit right with me because I also had another aspiration and that was to be an archaeologist.  And my mam bought me archaeology books all the time, for Christmas, for my birthdays. I had, you know, the little tools like the brush and I was obsessed with dinosaurs, bones, and history.

“No, I didn’t stand up and say this. I was just thinking to myself ‘You’re telling me that the highlight of my life, like what I aspire to be, is a wife? Like, to marry a footballer? I want to be an archaeologist. I’ve read these books. I’ve put work into it. You know, no.’

“So I stood up and I said, ‘I want to be an archaeologist’, and I remember my teacher took me out into the porch and she was like ‘You can’t be doing this’ and there was a gay, flamboyant boy in my class called Aiden, he’s great, and he was like ‘Yeah and I want to be a singer’.

“I was like, ‘Yes! Revolution!'”

Ireland Unfiltered, brought to you in partnership with Carlsberg Unfiltered, will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.

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