Celebrating Women's Freedom By Silencing Women
Tonight The Pensive Quill carries an open letter from guest writer Sinead O'Connor to Amnesty Ireland, in response to their qualified invitation
June 18th 2012
On June 3 I received a phone call from Colm O'Gorman of Amnesty Ireland.
He asked would I perform nothing compares to you at tonight's concert which celebrates the freedom of women by celebrating the lovely lady from Burma.
He stated that Amnesty, while wishing me to perform, had concerns about my mental health.
He stated he had been asked to tell me that "she is the star of the show". Meaning the lovely lady from Burma.
What he meant was that they would like me to come and sing but not to open my mouth about anything or say or do or wear anything controversial.
Or act like a crazy person.
I found the terms in which the invitation were put to be extremely insulting and disrespectful.
I therefore turned down the invitation.
It seems a little odd to me that an event which is supposed to celebrate women's freedom should be used as an opportunity to prophylactically silence a female artist, while at the same time exploiting her international fame and her talent.
I also find offensive the implication that my various 'stances' as an artist were mentally unsound.
In particular I found this offensive coming from Colm O'Gorman as my main stances as an artist (the ones which I am called 'crazy' for.. namely church..) have been in his very cause!!!!!
I object to having prejudice thrown at me by anyone (especially Amnesty Ireland, and in particular Colm O'Gorman, for whose cause I have risked my absolute everything, and endured 20 years of being treated like shit) because of the fact that I suffer from bipolar disorder.
Knowing someone has a mental illness does not give the right to dismiss everything that person thinks, does, says, or feels, or stands for as an artist or human being.
Nor does it give the right to insult the sufferer (yet try to exploit her at same time).
Just as homophobia is disgraceful, so is prejudice toward those of us who suffer from mental illnesses.
Had I attended the event I would have done or said nothing other than kiss the nice lady's face.
I hope to receive a detailed and formal apology from Amnesty Ireland.
So far this has not happened.
They say they are 'saddened' by my attitude.
Sounds like church-speak to me, Colm.