Sinéad O’Connor has been active in the music industry since the mid-’80s, but a few days ago, it looked like her lengthy career was coming to an end. On June 4, she announced her retirement, writing in a now-deleted tweet, “This is to announce my retirement from touring and from working in the record business. I’ve gotten older and I’m tired. So it’s time for me to hang up my nipple tassels, having truly given my all.” Now, after thinking on that decision for a few days, O’Connor has decided to go ahead and not retire after all.
Yesterday, she tweeted, “Good news. F*ck retiring. I retract. Am not retiring. I was temporarily allowing pigs in lipstick to f*ck my head up.” The tweet was accompanied by a lengthier statement, in which she noted that she wasn’t emotionally prepared to talk about her traumas and experiences with abuse while promoting her new memoir, Rememberings. In particular, she pointed a finger at media members from Ireland, the UK, and Canada for not respecting requests to avoid those touchy subjects.
Good news. Fuck retiring. I retract. Am not retiring. I was temporarily allowing pigs in lipstick to fuck my head up… here's my statement….. in the form of these three photos. It's 'colourful' but that's me : ) #LetOConnorBeOConnor pic.twitter.com/wKoEKFANPk
— Sinead O'Connor (Shuhada Sadaqat) (@MagdaDavitt77) June 7, 2021
She goes on to conclude, “But I love my job. Making music that is. I don’t like the consequences of being a talented (and outspoken woman) being that I have to wade through walls of prejudice every day to make a living. But I am born for live performance and with the astonishing love and support I have received in The last few days and will continue to receive from Rob Prinz and all at [talent agency ICM Partners] as well as my managers and buyers and fans, I feel safe in retracting my expressed wish to retire and I will in fact be doing all shows currently booked for 2022.”
Read O’Connor’s full statement below.
“Ok, good news. And an explanation. When I embarked upon promo for my book, I ought have had a counsellor on board. Because I hadn’t realised how much talking about the past, particularly my experience of abuse not only as as a child, but as a legally vulnerable adult. Abuse which takes the form of in particular some UK media either using their knowledge that I am legally vulnerable to invalidate, disrespect, hurt, deride and or generally treat like a Russian dancing bear, would trigger so much emotional catharsis.
See, at the time UK media began abusing me, and while it continued, I was too busy surviving it to notice how I felt about it. Same with regards to being a survivor of violence in childhood:
I don’t want to be angry here because It isn’t helpful. And because most people are doing their best at all times. So possibly no harm is meant.
but if my three medical conditions were physical rather than emotional/psychological, they would not be used to define me, invalidate me, insult me, laugh at me, or as boots with which to trod on me.
Last Tuesday it was unnecessary and hurtful for women’s hour of all people, to remind me of the awfully abusive statement written about me by an Irish man for a UK paper; some years ago. representing me as the Jayne Eyre-esquires ‘Madwoman in the attic’.
when people wonder what derailed my career? The UK and Irish UK papers constant abuse and invalidation of me on the grounds I may or may not be have been diagnosed by them as ‘mad’. As if mad makes you invalid:
hardly surprising the same BBC who enabled and facilitated and then covered up for Jimmy Saville, has cleverly employed female misogynists to control women’s hour, so very clever,
Of all the sh*te they could have asked about they grill me
on having four kids with four fathers. About being ‘a horn dog’
Then Barnett dares to suggest that ‘oh aren’t we much better now about discussing mental health’. No, B*tch. Because if we were you wouldn’t have dragged up the madwoman in the attic scenario.
Of all the sh*t you could have got off Google that was it? No questions about songs?
I don’t really give a f*ck if the psychopaths running the BBC listen to this or not. Or even if you, Emma, do. What matters more is I say it on behalf of all women who are legally vulnerable as a result of violent trauma. Or emotional and psychological abuse.
If things were in any way improving re stigma, which is a murderer, you wouldn’t be presenting that show. Which should actually be renamed Pigs In Lipstick. Or Fuggin Female Mysoginists.
Days previously a Canadian broadcaster, having been asked to be sensitive enough not to raise the subject of my experience of child abuse, uttered as his first question, a demand that I ‘Picture [my] mother and describe what she looks like’.
I mean, are we in 2021? Because this is some pre-seventies ignorance.
FYI…. NEVER ask an abuse survivor to picture and or describe their abuser unless you’re their therapist, with the exception of Dr Phil who doesn’t get to ask even then ; )
All interviewers were asked to please be sensitive and not ask about child abuse or dig deep into painful sh*t about mental health which would be traumatising for me to have to think about. Every fuggin time I go to sell a record for thirty years it’s ‘aren’t you mental?’ Aren’t you an asshole? Aren’t you invalid?
Barely any interviewers inside ireland or the UK or Canada respected those requests which were several times made. The US media however, with customary dignity, utterly respected them. And after no US interview was I left triggered. On my own. With no protection.
So now the good news, I was already so badly triggered by the time the BBC f*cked me up the ass, with no warning, lube or permission, I lost my sh*t after women’s hour: I felt like I did thirty years ago and for thirty years. That I’d be better off (safer) if I ran away and gave up being in music at all. Because I keep getting used as a coat hanger for people to clothe with whatever they like. My legal vulnerabilities and or past agonies dragged up for salacious entertainment and the paying of the mortgages of mostly men, who, thanks be to God, have never and will never know what it’s like to be a female trauma survivor in this world. A world falsely claiming every day to be less poisoned by stigma or misogyny that it is in reality.
I said I was retiring. As I have said many times before in knee jerk reactions when I was young and made the butt of media abuse on the grounds I’m legally vulnerable. The hugest misconception (I’m always asked this but never answer) of ‘Sinead O’Connor’ is that she is Amazonian. I’m not. I’m a five foot four inch soft hearted female who is actually very fragile. When people ridicule or invalidate or disrespect or abuse or misuse me on the grounds I suffer from severe long term effects of the barbaric physical and sexual abuse I grew up with, every time I go to sell a record, a show or in this case a book, it triggers me. I turn back into that hurt child. Or that appallingly treated young woman. and my job becomes something I’m terrified of.
But I love my job. Making music that is. I don’t like the consequences of being a talented (and outspoken woman) being that I have to wade through walls of prejudice every day to make a living. But I am born for live performance and with the astonishing love and support I have received in The last few days and will continue to receive from Rob Prinz and all at ICM as well as my managers and buyers and fans, I feel safe in retracting my expressed wish to retire and I will in fact be doing all shows currently booked for 2022.
Also, I lied when I said I’m past my peak. Ain’t no such f*ckin thing : )
I’m just past listening to any more sh*te about how crazy people are invalid.
i want to extend my heartfelt apologies to all fans, buyers, promoters, venues, and hot dog sellers for the fright I’ve given you. To be honest I gave myself a fright too.
I was not myself last week by time Pigs In Lipstick was finished with me.
To be either disrespecting someone who suffers from complex post traumatic disorder, or digging at them to recall, describe or recount their abuse having been asked not to do so, is dangerous.
I hope Women’s Hour (and the Canadian freak and the Guardian Freak ) might have a look at themselves and learn from this so that no other survivor of violent trauma will be triggered as I was
Anyway, the dude abides. I am not gonna retire. Im gonna keep on being fabulous : ) And I’m not gonna be made feel any shame associated with my exhibiting the symptoms of trauma.
And I’m gonna have no more truck with Pigs in Lipstick.”