Feminist* Advice from Snow Patrol

Because I was feeling all creative today, but mainly because – as my best friend, who is occasionally wise, recently said to me – “not everything has to make sense”, I decided to pick some of my favourite top tips from the last Women in Business conference and pair them up with some of my favourite Snow Patrol songs (click on the titles for YouTube links or, better yet, buy the albums!). Given my legal background, allow me a disclaimer:Snow Patrol have not endorsed or confirmed my interpretation in any way, and the link between the songs and the tips may be tenuous at times. Ok, most of the time.

Do what fires you up, even if that’s something truly weird such as Chasing Cars: “Forget what we’re told / Before we get too old / Show me a garden that’s bursting into life” and go do what you love. Apparently, that works even, like many of us, you “don’t know where / Confused about how as well”.

If you can, choose a supportive partner: i.e., one who would say something fabulous like “More than anything I want to see you, girl / Take a glorious bite out of the whole world”, as per You could be happy. Yes, that’s a break-up song, but I told you not everything has to make sense, plus you have to agree that those are such great lyrics it almost doesn’t matter what the rest of the song is about. And of course, who am I kidding, you’re far more likely to go for the guy who tells you “The perfect words never crossed my mind / ‘Cause there was nothing in there but you” a la Signal Fire or “I could sit for hours / Finding new ways to be awed each minute” as in Crack the Shutters, regardless of his feminist* credentials.

Be resilient: or, in the words of Snow Patrol’s This isn’t everything you are: “Don’t keel over now / Don’t keel over / Don’t keel over now / Don’t keel over […] This isn’t everything you are […] Just take the hand that’s offered / And hold on tight/ This isn’t everything you are / There’s joy not far from here, right / I know there is / This isn’t everything you are”. Yes, this one’s originally a break-up song too, but forget that for a second and it’s also perfect to remind you that you are a multi-faceted human being during those blurry days and nights with a newborn (very helpfully, there’s also a line which goes “you’ve been up all night, and the night before”), or during any other times when one part of your life just explodes on you.

Know what you want and ask for it, as they do in Life-ning. For example, “to share what I’ve been given”, “some simple kindness” or, er… “Ireland in the World Cup”?

Take risks: yup, that’s a complete no-brainer – Just say yes.


* for those who have an issue with the f-word: (i) what a nice surprise to see you here! Welcome! and (ii) I subscribe to the view that anyone who subscribes to “the radical notion that women are people” is a feminist; no man hating required. More about this either here, via Huffington Post and the McGill Feminist Collective, or here, via Caitlin Moran and the Harvard University Institute of Politics.

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