CF: My name is Carmel Foley and at the moment Im working as director of Consumer Affairs, which is the official consumer watchdog position in the Irish government system. Before this I had five and a half years as chief executive of the Employment Equality Agency, which is the body which promotes equality at work. During my time it was equality based on marital status and gender. Thats now changing.
Before that five and a half years, I was in the Council for the Status of Women, which is the national representative body for womens organisations in Ireland, now called the National Womens Council of Ireland. I worked there for three and a half years, and prior to that most of my working life was in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, which is the equivalent of the State Department in the U.S., and that included some overseas postings. Therefore I suppose most of my career has been in the public service, apart from that period working in the voluntary non-governmental sector for womens organisations.
MT: Did you ever see yourself doing this kind of work or has it just evolved that way?
CF: I dont think any child when asked, What do you want to be when you grow up? says a civil servant or a public official. My mother when I was young didnt work outside the home. My father was in the Irish police force. So I suppose there was a public service background there as distinct from a business or any other kind of background. It evolved because, as would be the case for a lot of youngsters in school in Ireland in the 60s and 70s, my school had simply signed me up for the Civil Service exams -- while at the same time I had enrolled in college, too, and had taken up, very briefly, a degree course in psychology and English.
Because I did well in the exam, I decided Id go to Dublin to take up the Civil Service work for a short while and then Id return to study. Of course I never returned. The independence of being in Dublin, the financial independence, the money in my pocket, the bright lights of Dublin, followed very quickly by a posting to Washington D.C., to the Irish Embassy there, meant that study couldnt offer equivalent blandishment. So it evolved really after that from one post to another. I always had an interest in equality and anti-discrimination work, because I got involved in the Civil Service trade union very quickly after starting work. And one thing led to another without any grand plan.
I suppose... women dont plan their careers as men do, who are usually two or three steps ahead. There is research that shows women, and indeed organisations, expect women to occupy a nice little job rather than having a career path. On the other hand, some people would say that you could be madly climbing the career ladder, only to find the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. So anyway, thats how it has evolved for me to date.
MT: People talk about the last twenty years as being a time of dramatic change for women in Ireland. I was thinking as I was reading over some of the articles about your work at the Employment Equality Agency and the Council for the Status of Women that youve really been witness to some of these dramatic changes.
CF: Working backwards I suppose I would cite the introduction of divorce, which is still very recent, as being a major milestone. I think its probably hard for an audience which would have been used to divorce as a normal part of the legal structure and a normal part of peoples rights to know that its only in the past few years in Ireland that divorce has been introduced. Of course before that marriages broke down and people formed second unions. But the fact that it was not legally possible to divorce and remarry did make a huge difference for people. So I would see that in recent years as a huge milestone.
Then on the economic side, you talk about the last twenty years as making a huge difference, but even the past five years of our economic growth and of our Celtic tiger, there has been a huge change in the way employers are now courting women to take up jobs and courting women with offers of part-time and flexible working. Purely because the demands of the economy are such that their traditional sources of labour, i.e. men and young single women, school-leavers and graduates, those sources are not enough. And I have found it extraordinary through my work in the Employment Equality Agency to see employers speaking the language of equality. And now, I know, its not that they have been struck by a great revelation on peoples fundamental rights to equal treatment at work. It has been the fact that there is such demand in all kinds of jobs. Everything from the high-tech graduate level IT world to the service jobs, waitressing, jobs in shops, right across the spectrum. Private sector and public sector, were seeing flexibility being offered, better wage rates being offered, childcare facilities. Not enough of them but a recognition that people have parental responsibilities.
And I suppose parallel all along to this has been changes in legislation about part-time working, about parental leave for both fathers and mothers on the birth of a child. That sort of impetus has come from Europe, through our membership of the European union. So, underpinning the social changes and changes that have come about through political change and political will, there has been this push from Europe as well, European-wide legislation. It has been marvellous for us to be part of that group of fifteen countries, many of whom have been more socially advanced than we have over the years in terms of equal rights -- both legal rights, as I mentioned in matters like divorce, and work-related rights. It has been great to have been part of Europe, bringing us along if you like, more into their mainstream. Rather than us, as before, having been at the bottom of the league table of numbers of women in the workplace, of the biggest pay gap between average mens wage and average womens wage, lack of childcare facilities, all of those areas.
MT: I was actually just going to ask you about how Ireland compares to the other European countries in terms of women in the workforce up until recently.
CF: Yes indeed. These figures do tell the tale because until a few years ago Ireland had, within Europe, the lowest percentage of women in its workforce, in that the women who were at work tended to be single women or tended to be younger women. And similarly in terms of the pay gap, the average mens wage was a good twenty percent higher than the average female wage. And this is in the context of a legal requirement for equal pay since 1974. It is illegal to pay men and women different rates for the same job, but of course the difference has been made up by women not being promoted, not having access to the better paid jobs and through job segregation where some areas of the workforce were totally dominated by men and other low-paid areas totally dominated by women. I think the question of the birth rate has to come in here too because family size in Ireland was bigger than in other European countries. We still have a high birth rate but were coming closer to the European average where families are more likely now to have two children as against the very common four, five, six children of families twenty years ago.
MT: You started to talk about equal pay legislation. Is it really enforced? Ive been doing interviews with women on the street, talking to them about if women in Ireland have full equality. A lot of young women especially say, Oh yeah, we have equal pay now, everythings fine. And that worries me a bit.
CF: Yes, youre right to be worried because there is a big difference between having a legal requirement and then the reality. The law says you cannot pay men and women different rates and that has been the case since the mid 70s but of course if we look at where are men and women are in the workforce, women are earning much less than men are earning. There are several factors involved. As you say, young women in the street will think this is fine, its equal pay, but when they go into a company, they may still find themselves not getting the same opportunities as young men who may start work at the same time as themselves. There is certainly a problem where many areas of our workforce have been dominated by men. Everything from managerial jobs to technical areas, scientific areas, to craftsmen, trade areas. And these have been the higher paid jobs. Why are men not queuing up to get into nursing? Because nursing is badly paid. Similarly, teaching is becoming feminised. Men are leaving teaching because of the pay rates. So we will end up reinforcing the gap. Of course, a lot of people increase their earnings by overtime but a lot of women cant take up overtime possibilities, because of their family responsibilities and the lack of childcare. These are some of the things that make the gap between the legal state and the actual state. The public service is an area I know best from personal experience where we see the clerical grades dominated by women and the senior grades dominated by men. And everyone will say, Anyone can apply for promotion. But when, traditionally, the bosses and the senior posts have been men, theres maybe a gap, sometimes in peoples minds, or an obstacle in womens minds even, that they wont go for promotion.
Ive been involved in a project to increase womens participation in promotion competition and at the higher level women get discouraged easily. Women dont want to keep putting themselves forward to promotion interviews and be knocked down. They dont want to pick themselves up and go forward again, whereas men see it as par for the course. Men put themselves forward no problem, plenty of self-confidence, whereas women say, Well, if they dont want me Im not going to put myself through that humiliation, taking it more personally. And I think that this is where things like mentoring schemes are needed, where its not enough for an organisation just to say, We have removed the actual barriers, heres a promotion competition that everybody can do. Promotion panels and interviewers sometimes are not well trained. Theyre certainly dominated by men who may, unconsciously even, have the image of the ideal promotee as being in their own likeness and in the traditional male dominated category. So things like mentoring schemes, training schemes, these sort of initiatives are needed. Plus of course the realisation that somebody can be promoted who is working part-time. There is a total dominance of the full-time model. Indeed the more-than-full-time, the person who is available to work all hours, who brings work home. That sort of model Im afraid is still dominant.
And again, talking about the flexibility needed, were still for instance in a very early stage of piloting tele-working schemes in Ireland. We still think work has to be done forty hours a week, sitting in the workplace, rather than saying, Can it be broken up? Can it be done at home? What about using all the modern technological means? These are things that simply make it easier for people to participate, not just women obviously. Maybe people with disabilities, people who live in remote areas, people who have caring responsibilities, perhaps for an elderly parent. All sorts of flexibilities should be used more, and this would certainly enable women to participate at the higher levels and therefore have access to higher earnings and narrow that pay gap, which the research shows does still exist.
I mentioned nursing. There is a problem with undervaluing work traditionally done by women, the caring professions, the catering, the cleaning up after the rest of us, those sort of areas of work which were traditionally done by women on an unpaid basis at home. Are we putting a right pay-scales on them? So, you will now find the Employment Equality Agency not taking cases on equal pay on a direct basis. And similarly with the trade unions. Its more trying to find the hidden, deeply rooted structural elements whereby some womens jobs have been undervalued, whereby different allowances calculated for things like different qualifications, over-time, these kind of ways, whereby pay scales have been built up, looking at those for hidden discrimination. This is of course much more difficult situation than a very straightforward two-people-on-an-assembly-line-one-paid-more-than-another, which was the norm in Ireland for a long time. But that very deeply rooted problem of how pay is made up and why women are very much in the lower echelons still needs to be tackled.
MT: What are some of the main types of cases that you received in the Employment Equality Agency? What kind of situations were women calling up about and complaining about?
CF: I regret to say sexual harassment was a very dominant problem in the years I was in the EEA. It was an increasing problem and we dont know whether it meant that there was a greater incidence of harassment or whether women were less willing to put up with it. But, in any case, it was striking that, right across the board, in big companies, small companies, public service, private sector, urban areas, you know small towns, big towns, there were a lot of very distressed people, mainly women but not exclusively, talking about everything from physical harassment, to verbal, to pornography pin ups on the walls. It was good that it was coming out into the open, but Ive no doubt that as more overt barriers to participation in the workforce were being dismantled and women were going into areas that had been totally dominated by men, those more subtle barriers were being put up.
So, for instance, I remember cases in the printing industry where clearly some men felt that this was previously a boys club, This was our domain being invaded by these alien creatures and we were going to keep them out, or we were going to make it uncomfortable for them, or put them in their place. That that was something that women quoted a lot, that, This was being used to put me in my place. And more laterally, as the debate developed, what was useful was that people began to see it, that the public, and employers, and companies, and generally workers, began to see it as part of the whole spectrum of bullying. Not some kind of strange compliment, that this was really only flattery or this was really only something sexual. Of course its not. Its an abuse of power as all bullying is. But as people were able to see that it was a form of bullying, that made it less acceptable and made it easier for organisations like the EEA and others working in the field to counteract it. And it made companies more willing to adopt policies and to see that it was not in the interests of their business that anybody would be harassed because, apart from anything else, productivity goes down, and absenteeism goes up. So I would characterise the complaints by saying harassment was a big area.
Another one which I suppose again changed over the years was in relation to promotion policies. This used to be pretty much a secret thing really, whereby the interview board sat in, and everybody came before them, and people accepted that in their wisdom they came out with a list of candidates of those who were successful and those who werent. And very often that was not challenged in the past. But now, with the move towards freedom of information legislation and the move towards interview boards having to justify their decisions and explain themselves, this culture of openness and indeed women being less willing to put up with decisions being handed down from on high, meant that there were an increasing number of complaints seeking the real reason or the justification for promotion decisions, and not just promotion but also recruitment. It was interesting to see the previously sacrosanct interview board process, these, you know, wise men, and they were normally men, sitting and deliberating and handing out their decision like Moses coming down from the mountain. To see that being reversed is very interesting because under the legislation, people could demand to see the notes taken about them at interview, and that forced interviewers to be much more rigorous and scientific, although I regret to say there were still some pretty horrific examples of interview boards not having a proper discussion beforehand, not having proper criteria, not having proper marking systems. There are still some companies and employers in Ireland where proper interview procedure is in its infancy and women particularly challenged and exposed all of that through the legislation, which opened the way for other employees to challenge decisions which mightnt have been made on a gender discrimination basis but could have been made on some sort of favouritism basis or just some sort of irrelevant criteria. There might be for instance a lot of emphasis put on formal qualifications whereas ability to do the job perhaps could be proved to be more relevant. So that issue came up a lot.
And then thirdly, the whole question of flexibility. Whereas the law didnt oblige an employer to give you flexible working hours, at the same time women were able to come to us and use the general equality provisions to say, Why is it not possible to promote me if Im working part-time? Prove that the more senior job cant be done on a part-time basis. If I come along to you and say Im very competent at my job, and you have a vacancy for the higher level, as far as I can see it could easily be broken down into two part-time jobs. I know this sounds so totally basic to somebody coming from another background. Ive heard an American talking about how shes now working mothers hours. So in other words, that whole demand for flexibility and childcare facilities was another big one.
MT: That would be great.
CF: I did find it very exciting in the Employment Equality Agency to be involved in the plans for this new legislation. We had our existing gender equality legislation for twenty years but the new government which came in, in the end of 92, for the first time had a minister for Equality and Law Reform, a separate cabinet minister. This was important for us that sitting at the cabinet table was a minister responsible for equality. This was one of the recommendations that came out of the Second Commission on the Status of Women which I had been a member of while in the Womens Council. That was a government appointed commission to look at all sort of areas affecting women. But anyway, the Minister for Equality and Law Reform came in with two main aims. On his Law Reform side it was divorce, mentioned earlier, and on the Equality side it was new equality legislation, building on the existing gender discrimination legislation to widen the concept of equality. And this really was very exciting because a lot of people recognised that disability discrimination was wrong, similarly with discrimination based on age, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, including the Traveller community.
So, the new government, at the end of 92, came in with a manifesto to bring in much wider anti-discrimination legislation and secondly, not just to cover all those categories for people in the workplace but to bring in a second act called the Equal Status Act, to cover discrimination outside the workplace. Access to goods, facilities, services, recreation, all of these areas where, based on totally irrelevant characteristics, people did not have equal access. So whereas the legislation took a long time in coming, unfortunately, various constitutional problems were found. It was difficult to draft legislation that complied with the constitution and at the same time gave something real to all of these categories of people mentioned. At long last, through all sorts of ups and downs, the new legislation, the Employment Equality Act 1998, has been signed but not yet brought into law. Thats just a technicality. Its hoped to come into effect on 1 September this year. The Employment Equality Agency will be enlarged and called the Equality Authority, no longer dealing just with employment, although that second area of equal status has not yet been brought in. They will initially deal with access to employment for all of these categories of people, but I think that to be able to see the development and broadening out of equality legislation from gender and marital status based, to now give rights to people with disabilities, to gay people, to people of minority ethnic, racial or religious background, older people, all of this, I think, is bringing Ireland more into line with what protection is provided in other countries. And its going beyond what some countries have. Its very progressive.
Of course again, equal pay and equality legislation will sit there on the shelves gathering dust if people dont use it. So again, well be depending on the trade unions, and on the Equality Authority, and on individuals and lawyers to bring forward cases to actually test the legislation. I hope well be able to look back and see that people with disabilities and the other categories will be able to really benefit. As with all legislation its a compromise and there are criticisms that it doesnt go far enough, but I think we have to use it and work with it and build on it.
The Minister for Equality and Law Reform, that was a brave experiment but that department has now been amalgamated into the Department of Justice, so its now the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. It was interesting to see and to be there with the independent department. Maybe well see that there is a need for a separate department again. I dont know. I think that the main thing is that people can get some concrete benefit, rather than getting too tied up with what the structures are at government level. People dont really care, maybe, where the Minister is located if they are seeing some tangible benefits and rights for themselves. So just in the overall picture, I think its interesting to trace a small Employment Equality Agency to now, hopefully, an organisation which is up to date. And again, if the impetus for some people is the fact that theres a shortage of workers, thats fine. I dont mind if thats the impetus if it means that people with disabilities and people of minority ethnic status will actually get a foothold into the workplace or get promoted or get better rights and better protections. And you know again, aiding the development of tele-working and part-time working which may suit some of these people and so on. Even if the impetus isnt that, you know, Were doing this because we believe that its the right thing to do, but, Were doing it because we cant get enough workers from our traditional sources, I think all to the good if people can benefit all round. There are gains I think for all involved.
MT: Youve represented a lot of women whove faced obstacles and discrimination in the workplace and Im wondering as youre now moving into a more male career world, if youre dealing with any of that yourself, or if you have at any other stops in your career.
CF: Well, I certainly find the new environment Im in rather different, in that previously I would deal with, for example, the human resource managers in a company and very often they would be tuned into the need for equality policies. At some level they would at least pay lip service to it. Whereas now in the consumer area I find that the decisions that I make, given that they affect the bottom line profits of a company much more or theyre liable to do so, particularly in the banking field which I deal with, and indeed in retail supermarkets, I find that theres a very... theres a more confrontational approach. I suppose this is the world of business. Im not saying it should be different, Im not afraid of it. But it is a different environment. I would say that in the equality area, people realise, no matter what side of the fence theyre on, they realise that its in everyones interest to adopt equality policies. I would say that lesson could be transferred to my new area because it is not in companies and firms interests to ignore consumer rights. They should realise that they share the aims of this office, which is to please and satisfy the consumer. So that we should be on the same side of the fence. I dont want to generalise, because some companies do have very positive policies and others dont, and I think the co-operative approach which is sometimes evident in the equality field could, as I say, be transferred to this area.
I suppose there have been comments by people I deal with, given that the two previous holders of this post over the twenty years of its existence were men. There were comments in the media about my not having the arrogance needed or the ego needed to deal with some of the areas. And I take the point about the stereotypically masculine approach as distinct from the stereotypically feminine approach -- Im using those as traits that both sexes can use. According to the literature on this, what works best is combining both strengths and both skills. I mean both the co-operative listening, typically feminine style, with at the same time the maybe more direct masculine style. Lets say Im, as many women I think do in management jobs, trying to find a path between not losing the skills that I would have maybe instinctively or traditionally, but at the same time having to speak the dominant language of the world Im in, because it doesnt serve any purpose to speak a different language to them either. Id say its something that has to be negotiated. Speaking personally I have to find my way and it can be a bit like walking on eggshells at times. I dont want to go in and bang the table as could be an approach used in this hard-nosed commercial world, and at the same time I dont want to come across as a pushover. So I suppose... some women have written about this move into the board rooms and having to be true to themselves and, at the same time, not be so far away from the dominant culture that you dont get your message across. So Im in the middle of all that, youre right.
MT: Speaking of eggshells, I was reading some of the articles about your dealings with Superquinn and Tesco. I assume that some of these big retailers, the guys that own the companies, might have a bit of a problem taking the word from a woman. Probably a lot of them see you as an antagonistic watchdog organisation thats kind of just waiting to pounce on them.
CF: Exactly, and therefore they would be very defensive and in some of the investigations that have been held here, the inspectors would find it difficult to get the information. Companies would not be forthcoming. But I think, now that there are more and more women, although still a minority, in all kinds of senior posts, both in companies and in professions like the law and in politics in Ireland, all of that makes it easier for companies to have to accept decisions made by women. But I do think youre right. There is still a barrier there in some peoples minds. People would still often expect the woman in a company to be in the junior ranks, rather than in the senior ranks. So those barriers still have to be gotten over.
MT: You said youd gotten involved fairly early on in trade unionism, and I was curious as to how much women are involved in the trade unions, whether theyre there in the numbers, whether theyre there in the senior ranks, or if thats been a problem for women in Ireland as well?
CF: Im afraid that trade unions, being long-standing organisations with their proud history and all the rest of it, by their nature they are dominated by men. Some of them have made strides, have strong equality policies but again, some of the problems facing women in the workforce are mirrored in the trade union movement. For example, trade union meetings will often be held in the evenings. Fair enough, people cant do so during the day, but naturally that will preclude some women from taking part. Theres also the fact that a lot of men like to hold onto their positions. You will hear and see men, for twenty and thirty years they have been elected onto the local committees and the national committees, and they like being involved. They dont want to move over. You might be interested to keep an eye on the media next week. The biennial conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is being held in Killarney, and there will be some presence of women, therell be some women speakers, but still the upper echelons are dominated by men. At the same time the unions have been at the forefront in taking equality cases, and they have been an avenue for a lot of women like myself. For instance, as a young civil servant, speaking at a conference as an ordinary delegate from the floor, proposing a motion or getting involved in debate, this was a first outlet for any kind of public speaking or any kind of involvement in a wider world than the immediate workplace. So I would see them as a very positive force.
The unions of course also have been very involved in our social partnership, which you may know a little of. For the past ten years the trade unions, the employers, the government and the farmers associations have signed up to agreements between them. They started out as simply wage agreements but then broadened out to much wider economic and social development issues. One of the reasons for Irelands economic success in the past years has been attributed to these national agreements between the big economic actors. But the people at that negotiating table, who put the equality issues on the agenda, were the trade unions. In other words, forcing government to look at things like a minimum wage for instance because, given that women are more likely to be in the bottom rung of the employment ladder, more women will benefit from the minimum wage which is being brought in next year. Things like the flexible working I mentioned earlier, and childcare, trade unions have pushed those issues. In areas like teaching that are dominated by women, you will see women involved in the teaching unions. Although having said that, the general secretaries of the three unions are men. But women will be involved in those unions and in the nursing unions, for instance, although again the senior people are men. I see a lot of positive developments through the trade unions for women, and just thinking back personally, now that you mention it, that was a forum for me to see that wider world and wider debate and that kind of thing.
MT: Its a good training ground for getting involved.
CF: And networking. Yes, exactly. Because as a civil servant its not permitted to get involved in politics, which I think is quite right, by the way. Were here to serve all political masters equally. But, if you were someone with an interest in social issues, involvement in the trade union gave you that outlet. So that was my experience.
MT: I just have a couple of personal questions about your own background. Ive been asking all the women Ive interviewed about role models, because I feel like as women, certainly in terms of women involved in high profile careers or politics, theres always been a dearth of role models out there.
CF: Thats right. Thats right.
MT: So Ive been asking women: who are your heroines? Are there any women who have inspired you along the way?
CF: Well, youre right that there has been that absence of role models. Growing up, I went to the traditional girls convent school, where I got a good academic grounding. These schools were good if you were academically oriented. And I suppose I got a certain confidence from that, academically, but in terms of social skills and social confidence, thats one of the things maybe that you miss by being in an all-girls school. If you had had a co-ed situation I think it would have meant more in terms of self-confidence really. However, thats just how it was, for me.
I mentioned earlier not having had a career plan or a career path and if there had been things like mentoring schemes... I didnt have any particular senior figure in any workplace, either male or female, which I think is... Its an advantage to people who do have them, if you can have the more senior figure who protects you a bit or at least shows you the pitfalls or gives you the benefit of his or her experience. My history teacher in school was Mary ORourke who is currently a senior minister. Of course, at the time she wasnt involved in national politics. She was teaching full time. But she was certainly a strong character, and I see her occasionally. There would have been other women ministers too like Máire Gheghoghan Quinn who is no longer involved in politics. Women like that, I suppose I would have seen all the time. It was good that they were there. Eibhlin Owens as chair of the Labour Court, now retired, is somebody I would feel is a very positive influence as well. Mary Robinson obviously gave us all a tremendous boost during her presidency and I really felt that, at the time it was great that she was there. That definitely gave us a confidence in ourselves as women, you know pushing our causes. Theres no doubt it did.
Then, at a more personal level, Ive always just loved the story of Grace OMalley, Granuaile, our warrior queen who confronted Queen Elizabeth I in the 1600s, and sailed up the Thames, meeting a queen of equal rank. She was a fierce Mayo woman, a great role model actually. In those days they did have divorce, and she was able to just dismiss one of her husbands under the Brehon Laws. Now he could have done the same to her but, you know, she just said, Off you go, goodbye now, Ive enough.
At the moment I wish I had more time to immerse myself in womens readings. I mean obviously over the years Ive read the various feminist bibles and all that sort of thing and taken great heart from a lot of great writings. But now that you mention it its time that I got myself another icon, you know, to anchor myself in.
MT: One last thing. Im asking every woman I interviewed about her relationship to her first name because, since our last names are always mens names, I just find that we have a very particular relationship to our first names. Were you were named for anyone in particular? Did you ever asked your parents why you were named Carmel and what it means?
CF: Well. Thats interesting. As with a lot of Irish parents or mothers at the time, we would all have been named for religious reasons. So Our Lady of Mount Carmel was the influence there. I suppose its not a very common name now but at the time it was. I have a sister Anne and a sister Martina, again both religious, a brother Thomas. And then of course you come along and see on all these popular guides about what your name means. And according to these things Carmel is related to, well, of course Mount Carmel being Hebrew and all the rest, that it was a fertile place and its related to being fruitful and fertile, which made me smile when I thought of the superficial meaning of it, because I had decided as a youngster that I didnt want to have children. Nothing against children, I enjoy children, but I suppose I had this sense that I wanted to be out in the world and I didnt see a possibility of combining both very well in the culture that I was growing up in. So in that sense I havent borne that kind of fruit, but I think the idea of fruitfulness and producing something and the garden and all the rest of it is a nice one. I dont think about it too much beyond that. I didnt ever ask my mother anything specific about it beyond that. But thats my story, thats all I know.
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