Hello! My name is Rebecca, and I have lived on the emerald isle of Ireland my entire life. I grew up in a rural village surrounded by some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery, before eventually moving to the bigger city of Galway, and subsequently Belfast, for my education. Growing up I had always been a bookworm. When I wasn’t reading, I was writing my own short stories and letting my imagination flow free. As I’ve grown older, my imagination isn’t quite as inspired; rather I have turned towards history and now prefer writing using facts and critical analysis. 

Photo courtesy of Rebecca McGettigan.

My spare time consists of me listening to a variety of podcasts; I’m always trying to better my knowledge on social and political issues, and I’ve found listening to podcasts is the most enjoyable way to do so. I’m also a fully trained cocktail mixologist, and so when I’m not trying to better myself intellectually, I can be found making espresso martinis or mojitos. 

I moved to Galway city in 2016, before graduating from NUI Galway three years later with a Bachelor of Arts in History and English. My time as an undergrad allowed me to study many different forms of history, and it was here that I realized how truly interested I was in women’s history, the history and childhood and adolescence, and evidently, the history of girlhood. I am currently studying my master’s in history at Queen’s University in Belfast, where my studies focus most particularly on Ireland’s dark and conservative past regarding children in institutions, unmarried motherhood and youth culture. 

My dream job is to write about the issues that matter most to me. I would love to one day be able to write a book on these detrimental issues in Irish society, with oral history accounts and archival sources. Eventually, I would like to become a lecturer and enlighten people on these unfavorable aspects of Ireland’s past, in the hope that such social catastrophes will not be repeated. I have also been taught by many incredible female historians, of which all of whom have inspired me to become a lecturer. 

One of my favorite museums is EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, which is situated in Dublin. It’s an extremely interactive museum that focuses on Ireland’s strong history of emigration to countries such as the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. This museum exhibits the many different forms to which a museum can take when a virtual experience is endorsed, and it is innovative in its approach. This museum provides a large history of Ireland’s past struggles and the reasons why people may have chosen to move away; it very excellently demonstrates some of the previous oppressive attitudes towards women and members of the LGBT community that made living in Ireland intolerable. 

The women of this era face many issues. Whilst social media is an incredible innovation, it has many negative impacts and must be used carefully. Many women and young girls are constantly exposed to models and figures to which they cannot help but compare themselves to. In a world where social media is growing and more and more people are on apps such as Instagram, it’s important for women to understand the lack of reality in many of these photographs. It’s important for women to build one another up and support each other, rather than look at these photos with jealousy and resentment. The block button and the unfollow button are incredible features that need to be exercised more frequently, as the mental health of women is undeniably being affected by these unrealistic expectations.

-Rebecca McGettigan
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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