MISOGYNY – Magdalene laundries: Ireland accepts state guilt in scandal

Get ready for some rage.

For decades in Ireland, beginning in 1922, women were detained, sometimes for most of their lives, for having babies out of wedlock or sometimes just for being “morally wayward”. These women were not free to go, worked for no wages in unfit conditions as laundry workers and often were denied any contact with the outside world, including their families. The government was deeply involved in this, at all levels, all along. Now finally that same government is accepting responsibility and trying to help the survivors.

There. Got through that.

This is some pretty extreme hatred of women’s sexuality.

From the article:

“Established in 1922, some of the Magdalene laundries were still in operation as late as 1996. Half of the women incarcerated in these institutions, which washed clothes and linen from major hotel groups and even the Irish armed forces, were under the age of 23.”

And:

The key findings are:
• More than a quarter of the women held in the laundries for whom records survived were sent in directly by the state. This numbers at least 2,500 women.
• The state gave lucrative laundry contracts to these institutions, without complying with fair wage clauses and in the absence of any compliance with social insurance obligations.
• The state inspected the laundries under the Factories Acts and, in doing so, oversaw and furthered a system of forced and unpaid labour, in violation of countless legal obligations.
The report also investigated the role of the Gardaí in pursuing and returning girls and women who escaped from the Magdalene institutions.”

Words do not fail. In fact they are responding so energetically that they have to be kept in check.

This is some pretty extreme hatred of women’s sexuality and you have to ask where this really comes from. It’s not like male sexuality is exactly celebrated either in that culture. This culture and its attitudes are plenty familiar to a lot of Americans. Plenty of shaming and punishment to go around. The standard explanation, because patriarchy, is a just-so story with no real explanatory power.

This is what I think: This is the face of deep-seated self-hatred, the kind that infects an entire community after centuries of defeat and degradation. Vae victis*. Thank God the sun is rising finally.

 

*Vae victis: “It sucks to lose”

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  • fasttraccck

    There is a movie about this topic: The Magdalene Sisters: http://www.imdb.de/title/tt0318411/

    It was absolutely shocking the first time I saw it.

  • EquilibriumShift

    Ginkgo, on a related note, there is an island off the coast of Ireland, which is part of the republic, which dwarfs this in hatred of women’s (and men’s) sexuality. I just can’t remember the name of the island for the life of me.

    Men and women have openly hostile relationships, they typically live on different floors of the same house, they don’t take their clothes off to have sex, they completely segregate the sexes, etc. etc.

  • Ginkgo

    Welcome, fasttraccck!

    Thanks for the warning. I probably couldn’t stand to watch it. I rememebr watching a dramatization of sexual and other abuse at a Christian Brothers’ boys school in some Maritime province in Canada, and being digusted and enraged over it, and that was years ago. By now I don’t have the patience left to make it through those things.

    ES, seriously? Where did you hear about that?

  • dungone

    @EquilibriumShift, it sounds like the radfem version of Galt’s Gulch. Can someone inform Germaine Greer and Amanda Marcotte? Maybe they’ll move there :)

  • Ginkgo

    “Maybe they’ll move there :)”

    I’d prefer it if they moved about 100 west of there.

  • Jared

    Very nasty. From within the family I wonder who the primary instigators of girl’s commitment were. I also wonder about how many of them actually were”slutty” and how many we’re simply inconvenient.

    1996 for fucks sake…

  • Iron Lightning

    @fasttraccck Thanks mate, I saw that movie quite a few years ago too but I had forgotten its name until you reminded me. It’s a powerful film and I would recommend seeing it. At the time I just thought that it was depicting an aberration and I didn’t know that it was such a widespread occurrence.

    As to the reasoning behind the hatred of female sexuality I hazard that it’s because families were afraid of their young women baring bastard children that might become a burden to them. This wouldn’t apply to young men as they were usually forced to marry a girl that they knocked up but there wasn’t always a forceful authority figure that could successfully force this on the men. That’s my rough guess anyway and, to be honest, I find it to be an insufficient explanation.

    Maybe it’s to do with the huge valuing of female virginity especially among the Catholics. It’s hard to say that it’s just because of religious reasons since religion is invented by people. Saying they do it because they’re Catholic is a bit like saying that a man believes himself to be the only person because he is a solipsist. Albeit religions are harder to change than philosophy but I believe that the people form the culture and not vice-versa.

    Also, invoking the idea of a Patriarchy doesn’t work because the Magdalene Laundries were run by nuns.

    @EquilibriumShift: Fascinating, I’ve done a bit of research on this island and haven’t found anything certain. Do you remember now? I’m quite interested.

  • http://paddybrown.co.uk Patrick Brown

    The counterpart to the Magdalene Laundries was the Industrial Schools, which were set up to “care for” abandoned and neglected children (in practice, children of single mothers sent to the laundries) and were also subcontracted by the state to religious orders, and abused their inmates and used them as slave labour and for things like vaccine trials. Thankfully Ireland is changing rapidly and the influence of the church is not what it was, especially after the child abuse scandals.

    Something of a parallel to seeing gender issues from a male point of view, I grew up Ulster protestant, and most of my life had to hear about how my people were stern and austere and moralistic and censorious and oppressive, unlike those lovely, community-spirited catholics. Irish TV presenter Graham Norton did an instalment of the BBC genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are, and discovered he had a protestant grandmother or great grandmother in Ballymena in County Antrim, still regarded as one of the staunchest protestant parts of the country, who had two or three children out of wedlock and was not shunned or ostracised, but was supported by the community. Sometimes popularly-held stereotypes are dead wrong.

  • Adiabat

    “This is some pretty extreme hatred of women’s sexuality and you have to ask where this really comes from.”

    Is it though? Was the detaining of Conscientious Objectors an extreme hatred of men’s morality, or lack of bravery, or was it the simple recognition that members of a society have certain responsibilities to that society combined with a tendency in the times we’re discussing to severely punish those who don’t meet those responsibilities?

    I doubt conscientious objectors would be imprisoned nowadays if there was a draft, especially in the UK, but then we’re much more focussed on individual rights and freedoms than we were back then. Likewise we don’t demonise single mothers as much nowadays, yet they are now, as then, a significant drain on society (cue feminist outrage at stating that single mothers often receive significant benefits paid for from taxes); nowadays we just view the advantages of a high level of individual freedom as outweighing said drain. Perhaps back then there was a social responsibility for women to not be a drain on the resources of society, which pretty much meant ensuring that the father provided for their children, and the only real way of ensuring that was only having children in wedlock.

    A breach of this responsibility could’ve been seen on a par with the breach that a conscientious objector made. What appears to some as a hatred of women’s sexuality was in actuality a social castigation of those who fail to uphold their responsibilities to society.

    I sincerely doubt that men have ever really *hated* women’s sexuality, they have revelled in it in all ages, yet there has been a need to control it, not for some mythical “power” but for the survival of society. It’s just that now we control it through contraception rather than social pressure.

  • Adiabat

    Me: “Perhaps back then there was a social responsibility for women to not be a drain on the resources of society”

    I should clarify this as it’s the kind of thing that’ll get quote mined by feminists. The above social responsibility no doubt applied to men as much as women.

  • alan

    Mary Ellen Synon yesterday wrote a good article about the laundries, here:
    http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2013/02/magdalen-laundries-or-how-british-bred-eugenics-put-a-little-magdalen-all-around-the-world.html

    She brings out their international nature very well, something I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else.

  • EquilibriumShift

    @Ginkgo:

    No, I haven’t remembered the name, but I can tell you exactly where you can find it. Go to the UW bookstore, buy the course materials for Psych 210, taught by McDermott. It should be in there. The island was used as one of 4 examples of different attitudes towards human sexuality. (That being a 0 on a permissiveness scale of 1-4).

    Another example was from India (Northern plateau area? Can’t remember). Basically every so often (Every night? Week? Details hazy). The children of these tribes go off to a special children’s only area, where one of the older children (I believe female), will pair off the kids 2-by-2 so they can fool around with each other. I don’t think anyone is forced to engage in hanky-panky, (as you can lead a horse to water, and so on), but it is certainly ingrained in the culture. All of this is only done as children, and all marriage is done exogamously, with other tribes of the same culture. The bride and groom choose their partner, marriages are not arranged. Needless to say, this group is a 4 on the same scale.

    Divorce rates for both this culture hover around 0-5%.

  • EquilibriumShift

    I should specify that the regular “fool-around” periods are done intra-tribe, so that none of the people you have sex with as a child are possibly marriage partners.

  • EquilibriumShift

    And that when I say child, I mean post-puberty (I think) up to marriage age, and I have no idea what that is in that culture.

  • http://paddybrown.co.uk Patrick Brown

    The Synon blog that alan links to, while putting the Magdalene Laundries in some sort of historical context, is a classic bit of Irish “whataboutery”, and the bit about eugenics being “British-bred” in the headline is an example of the tendency of Irish nationalists to blame everything the Irish do to each other on the Brits, just like feminists blame everything women do to each other on men.

  • Ginkgo

    ““This is some pretty extreme hatred of women’s sexuality and you have to ask where this really comes from.”

    Is it though? Was the detaining of Conscientious Objectors an extreme hatred of men’s morality, or lack of bravery, or was it the simple recognition that members of a society have certain responsibilities to that society combined with a tendency in the times we’re discussing to severely punish those who don’t meet those responsibilities?”

    Yeah, Adiabat, I think it is, and I think you make the case pretty well. That treatment of COs showed a pretty deep-seated hatred of men, especially in its particular historical context, with the White Feather Campaign especially but also the obvious male disposability of the industrial society those people lived in.

    And the fact that these punishments were inflicted for non-fulfillment of repsonsibilities doesn’t change the fact that if the non-fulfillment was sexual in nature, the standard was based on some hatred or other of a sexuality, or if it was about male disposability in war, that it was not based on general misandry.

  • Ginkgo

    “and the bit about eugenics being “British-bred” in the headline is an example of the tendency of Irish nationalists to blame everything the Irish do to each other on the Brits, just like feminists blame everything women do to each other on men.”

    Victim-mentalaity as an escape clause. we have a saying here “If you are tired of getting fucked, it’s up to you to get your feet down out of the air. Sun Zi phrased it more elegantly “不可勝在己,可勝在敵” = “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”

    A feckless aristocracy more interested in inter-tribal sqaubbles that facing the external threat is more to blame than some superhuman power that external threat may have had. I saw some Scottish guy quoted who said that the real humiliation of their subjugation by the English was that it was the English, of all people, who had managed it. That was what was so humiliating.

  • axesunshin

    Don’t make the typically-feminist mistake of reveling in sanctimony and self-righteousness while leaving the practicalities of handling real-world problems unaddressed. Dealing with delinquent teenagers is a very difficult social issue. Teen pregnancy is A Problem. If one is the parent of a delinquent teenager, they are probably already overburdened with life to begin with just taking care of normal day-to-day stuff. Many of parents probably just didn’t want their kid to continue to have unplanned pregnancies, get addicted to drugs, get themselves killed, etc. Handing their delinquent teen off to an institution probably felt like their only choice.

    As for the institution and the laundry business, capitalism dictates that they must run their institution as cheaply as possible, so from their point of view, using slave labor is the wise choice.

  • Copyleft

    Most societies have a strong traditionalist instinct to “punish” anyone who violates the social norms, of course. I wonder how much of a role religion played in these attitudes?

  • Ginkgo

    ” I wonder how much of a role religion played in these attitudes?”

    Religion is just an instrument deformed into the service of this urge. It is shallow and simplistic to blame religion as causing any of this. The fact that people attribute all this religion or revelation is not proof; of course they need to say that to steala religion’s legitimacy for thiier peer totalitarianism. This social aspect of religion is what debases it and makes it anti-spirtual.

  • Wudang

    “This is some pretty extreme hatred of women’s sexuality and you have to ask where this really comes from.”

    I think it is very simple. Society benefits from stable monogamous relationships. In terms of productivity, lack of expenses, social cohesion and good conditions for children to grow up in etc. In order to keep both men and women getting into monogamous marriages and keeping them there there are a bunch of incentives that can be manipulated and it varies over time which needs to be manipulated the most. Male reluctance to take on the burden of providing for a family for life has been manipulated by for example tying the aquiring of an adult manhood to marrying and having children so that a man that did not get married would not be able to feel like a real man. In order for men to be willing to marry the chastity of women have also been key because men has never been willing to spend their lives slaving away to raise what might very well be the children of his hunky charming alpha neighbor. Society shames female sexuality outside of marriage and might go so far as to shame it in general just to be sure.

    I think rarely, if ever, is things much more complicated the mechanisms like that. Just random hatred of women or of men without any functional reasons is just to unproductive for our species to dabble much with I think it is rarely the case. I think it always comes from something that is PERCEIVED to be functional. Weather it is functional is something that varies and weather the goal it is supposed to help attain is worthy is another matter but I doubt the basic impulse is in anyway random. I don`t really believe in judging such things from a time and place neutral moral standpoint either. I think what the social system/tribe, species needs to live on and grow WILL win out every time anyway and that it in fact should. Resisting it just means you will be weeded out of existence and someone who is willing to be more brutal than you lives on instead. What I do believe in is investigating weather it is possible to use as benign mechanisms as possible to make society work and to make as much room for individual freedom to live in accordance to your particular nature and inclinations as possible. But if harsh measures is required to shame and pressure people for a common good that is in fact necessary I`m all in favor of that. What I believe in is moving society in the direction that actually allows for as much humanity as possible as opposed to trying to implement human behavior without looking at the necessities of brutal measures. So, while I think what they did in Ireland is horrible in isolation I don`t necessarily judge it in an absolute manner.

  • Ginkgo

    “I think it is very simple. Society benefits from stable monogamous relationships”

    I get that, Wudang, and the rest of your comment is completely solid. The thing is that Irish society once upon a time took care of women’s kids regardless of paterntiy because they increased the family’s end strength. All the sons of all the woen in the family were fighters and it made no difference who their fathers were, they were fighting strenth. If anything, it was the father’s families’ loss.

    In stories from the pagan period a recurring element, to the point of being a motif, was young women negotiating with men for sex and having to promise to bear a son to get laid. (How’s that for roeel reversal?) These young men in th sotries were the cream of society, very desirable, and according to Roman reports of simialr warriros on the continenet, at least as likely be having relations with each other as with a bunch of needy, demanding women. Giving up a son to the father, outside her family, was a real concession.

    You see something similar in naming conventions in that period. Conchobar, the king of the Ulaidh in Tain Bo Cuailgne, is surnamed after his *mother*. It’s his maternity, not paternity, that establishes his royal status.

    “I think rarely, if ever, is things much more complicated the mechanisms like that. Just random hatred of women or of men without any functional reasons is just to unproductive for our species to dabble much with I think it is rarely the case.”

    True and that’s not what i am getting at here. Iam not talking about random, outright hatred, I am tlaking about a social struture that devalues classes of people for general purposes. Male disposability in war is one example of this – not outright violent malice, just low-level general and constant devaluation as a cultural baseline.

  • Adiabat

    Ginkgo: “That treatment of COs showed a pretty deep-seated hatred of men”

    I think that still needs to be established. The treatment of CO shows a range of views. They were hated by some, others thought they had an obligation they were breaking, still others supported conscientious objectors. Your statement seems to be implying some sort of causative affect by merely pointing out that there was an ‘existence of hatred’. Everything from xenophobia to charity is hated, and encouraged, to one degree or another so it seems rather needless to mention the existence of it in this case. Note that this isn’t a whatabout argument, but rather that stating that an unspecified amount of hatred exists towards something is kinda pointless. What matters is the cause of any perceived injustice (one factor in this case is male disposability, which is not the same as hatred of men).

    And also, I think that there is a big difference between hatred of behaviour which is discouraged because it would seriously damage society, and hatred of behaviour which is discouraged due to prejudice and irrationality. I mention this because you use the term “a sexuality” in your post as though behaviour which leads to children having to be cared for by the state (either directly or through benefits) is akin to, say, homosexuality. While pre-marital sex may be as inherent as homosexuality, the difference is that one had widespread social ramifications which affected everyone, if unchecked, and the other only affects those involved (unless buggery really does cause earthquakes :). I find it rather telling that they had to invent this stuff to utilise the moral difference I’ve highlighted here). There are a lot of inherent behaviours society expects people to suppress, purely based on the harm they do to others and society at large.

    Don’t get me wrong I find what happening in the OP disgusting, based on my morality forged in a relatively well off society and time where the risk of pregnancy is massively reduced by contraception. Yet I can’t help but wonder how I’d have felt if I lived in that society and could only afford bread and water to feed my family, the infrastructure I relied on to survive was falling into disrepair, and my life was made pretty much miserable all because such a high proportion of taxes needed to used to pay for the results of the behaviour of these girls (or worse: I lived in a society that allows children to suffer because it can’t afford to provide for them). Personally I would’ve wanted society to do everything it can do to discourage these women from having children that they can’t provide for themselves. Hell, I would’ve probably slut-shamed them myself to try and stop them causing any further harm. No “hatred of a sexuality” involved, no “fear or usurping of women’s power” or such shite, just one guy in the 20’s recognising something which causes harm and doing what he can to prevent it.

  • Adiabat

    Ginkgo: “The thing is that Irish society once upon a time took care of women’s kids regardless of paterntiy because they increased the family’s end strength.”

    I don’t think wudang would claim that only one type of society can exist or that what works for one society will work for all. Different types of society exist, created from the natural and political environment they exist in. A low-population, war-like society will no doubt be in a situation where children, *any* children, are an asset which outweighs the cost of looking after them. In this society single mothers would be accepted. But the situation in an industrial society pre-birth control was very different.

  • Ginkgo

    ” But the situation in an industrial society pre-birth control was very different.”

    Even that comes with qualifications. Children are an asset in an industrial society before child labor laws come intot effect.

    Adiabat,
    “Ginkgo: “That treatment of COs showed a pretty deep-seated hatred of men”
    I think that still needs to be established. The treatment of CO shows a range of views. They were hated by some, others thought they had an obligation they were breaking, still others supported conscientious objectors. Your statement seems to be implying some sort of causative affect by merely pointing out that there was an ‘existence of hatred’.”

    No, I think the problem here is my broad use of the word “hatred”. I consider devaluing someone ot the point of press-ganging but not everyone into a war to be a display of hatred. Treating someone as especially disposable is what I am calling hatred.

    “Don’t get me wrong I find what happening in the OP disgusting, based on my morality forged in a relatively well off society and time where the risk of pregnancy is massively reduced by contraception.”

    First of all, that can all be true without calling for actual enslavement, as this system was – the government had contracts with hotels for the laundry these women washed, and they supplied the military too. That is formal enslavement.

    I absolutely do get the buisiness about preventing and punishing people foprm enagging in behavior that inflicts thier externalities on other eople. this si whay for instnace, as heinous as the One Child Policy was/is (no one is quite clear if it has been abolished in all areas) it had the one virtue of necessity behind it in times when thee was food rationing, or even now when other public services are in critically short supply. I get that part.

  • Adiabat

    Ginkgo: “No, I think the problem here is my broad use of the word “hatred”… Treating someone as especially disposable is what I am calling hatred.”

    I think you’re right; any disagreement here is largely based on terminology. I wouldn’t call it ‘hatred’, but possibly ‘disapproval’ instead. I think overuse of the ‘h’ word is what leads some to develop that victim mindset: the view that a group was unjustly oppressed rather than that their group, in general, did something which wasn’t approved of by wider society. It also implies a causative element as though the ‘oppression’ was due to the hate rather than what could’ve been rather reasonable views for the circumstances of the time.

    But yeah, when everyone agrees and are left arguing connotations it’s usually a sign that the discussion has run its course.

    “First of all, that can all be true without calling for actual enslavement, as this system was – the government had contracts with hotels for the laundry these women washed, and they supplied the military too. That is formal enslavement.”

    As I understand it, this is the same as the US prison system. Once you’ve reached the point of using detainment as a social deterrent, it’s only a matter of time before you someone justifies making the detained pay for it.

  • Ginkgo

    ES,
    “As I understand it, this is the same as the US prison system. Once you’ve reached the point of using detainment as a social deterrent, it’s only a matter of time before you someone justifies making the detained pay for it.”

    And then some in the US go and get all preachy about goods produced with prison labor in China.

  • mts1

    It sounds more of a problem of corruption (the theft of the women’s labor) than religion or gender hatred; it simply manifested on those lines. Someone saw a chance to make lucre from an ostracized group that was forced to work at sustenance and had no option to leave, let alone unionize. Ireland isn’t the only Catholic country on earth; it’s the only one with the Magdalene Laundries. Catholic countries either get accused of being too sexually libertine (Italy or Brazil) or too uptight (Ireland).

    In Bangladesh it manifests as people locked in the factories (like the one that burned down with its workforce locked inside to die). In the US it manifests as liberals who are supposed to champion the plight of the oppressed and the working man instead supporting illegal immigration, which depresses the wages of American workers and allows millions to illegally work at substandard wages in sweatshops without work safety rules.

    This is why people are wary of using prison labor for more than banal stuff, in spite of prisoners being a money drain on the taxpayer: you create a demand for more cheap prison labor, and it’ll corrupt the system, where judges would be prone to throw people in the hoozgow who wouldn’t have been considered if the need for them was not there. Looks like the Magdalene Laundries began as a reform system for wayward girls that morphed into a big business needing a large workforce, so girls who would not have been incarcerated if there was no laundry contract, or who would’ve long ago been dispensed of their time if it wasn’t valuable to the company, got literally shanghaied same as people pressed into service on ships in the bad old days.

    Terrible, no matter the reasons for why it thrived.

  • Ginkgo

    mts1, welcome!

    “It sounds more of a problem of corruption (the theft of the women’s labor) than religion or gender hatred; it simply manifested on those lines. ”

    This is pretty accurate, and it’s a common pattern. Ther eis some venla motive and the bigotry is the enabling or licensing factor. Someone did a study of lynchings during Jim Crow and found that there very often was a land dispute behind a lynching, with the racist rape accusation use as an excuse to murder someone and get them out of the way. No less racist, just not purely racist.

  • Mary

    I am an Irish woman. I live a country where 14 percent of the government is female. Afghanistan has 25%.
    The women in the magdelaine laundries were kept as slaves. Some were mothers others were not. Their children were sold to America for huge sums to catholic couples or used (again with huge sums of money involved) in drug trials for such companies as welcome pharmaceuticals. These women were beaten and abused in the worst ways. Many bodies were later found in unmarked graves in the many institutions, mental, childrens and the laundries that the church ran.
    The Catholic Church has a similar history everywhere it goes. Human trafficing, slavery and a history of child sexual abuse that goes back to the crusades and continues with Vatican rent boys to this day. All of the bodies of these women (named and unnamed) had broken bones. The level of misogyny some people on this site display is shocking.
    It’s ok to kill and enslave women and sell their children so some tax dollars can be saved?
    ….and I thought Ireland was bad… Neoliberalism does not rock. People matter more than money.
    … My mind is just boggled here

  • Adiabat

    Mary: “The level of misogyny some people on this site display is shocking. It’s ok to kill and enslave women and sell their children so some tax dollars can be saved?… People matter more than money.”

    I don’t think you’ve understood much of the discussion above, nor do you seem to understand economics.

    Firstly let’s get the ridiculous strawman you’ve created in your head out of the way: No, it is not okay to “kill and enslave women and sell their children so some tax dollars can be saved”. That’s why everyone above were talking about the corruption behind the Laundries, and the almost inevitability of this corruption when a society detains people “for their own good”. Nor are people saying that single mothers should get no help. I think you’re under the impression that unless someone gets hysterical when discussing horrible things that happened in the past then they somehow “approve” of them. This impression of yours is wrong.

    Now let’s look at “People matter more than money”: Yes they do, that’s why society spends a lot of it to pay for public services. This improves people’s quality of life and prevents people who have been disadvantaged from suffering too much hardship. Therefore when one demographic is taking a disproportionate amount of money, the knock-on effect is that everyone else’s lives are made harder. And while people are generally good and want to help others who need it, there are limits to this; so society creates mechanisms to reduce the drain of the available money, such as social censure and cheaper ways of offering a basic level of care (The fact that these can become corrupt is another issue).

    The way you have framed this is wrong. It is not whether people matter more than money, but rather whether certain people matter more than other people. A willingness to throw an unlimited amount of money at a demographic (especially when the need of that demographic can be reduced through other methods) means that other demographics may not get healthcare, or crime prevention, or a fire service etc. Obviously today, with the invention of contraception, the effect of single mothers on available resources are kept to a tolerable level and additional social censure to prevent it isn’t required as much; therefore allowing people to have modern attitudes like yours. But part of studying history means not projecting your morality on different times: before contraception, and without social censure to reduce the numbers, unlimited support (or even the level of support we offer today) for single mothers could very well have crippled societies economically and therefore cause untold suffering for everyone. If you were born in those times, with the same pressures and without your current comfortable modern lifestyle, you likely would’ve had the same views which enabled things like the laundries to happen.

    I suppose, if you were so inclined, you could consider your attitude as the result of your ‘21st-Century Privilege’.

  • Ginkgo

    Welcome , Mary
    “I am an Irish woman. I live a country where 14 percent of the government is female”

    Yes. Women have always been good at getting emn to do all the dirty, dangerous, dull work of the world.

    You live in a country where fathers have basically no rights to raise their won children. You come out of a culture that is morbidly gynocentric. Your comment shows that.

    “The Catholic Church has a similar history everywhere it goes. Human trafficing, slavery and a history of child sexual abuse that goes back to the crusades and continues with Vatican rent boys to this day. All of the bodies of these women (named and unnamed) had broken bones. ”

    The Church rapes, enslaves and trafficks in men and boys, burns them at the stake over theological arguments, over centuries, and you somehow distort that around to end up talking about the broken bodies of women.. Men’s problems are really all about how much women suffer, amirite? The level of misandry you display is shocking.

    But those women’s bodies have to be remembered too. That’s why we are talking about them. Does that mean you have to erase men and boys?

    “The level of misogyny some people on this site display is shocking.”

    That will surprise the woman who runs this site. And it is a measure of your gynocentrism and misandry that you consider an accusation of misogyny to be so damning.

    Oh, and one last thing – neoliberalism? None of us here is particularly in favor of neoliberalism. Some of us have a low opinion of it.

    And as for the relative value of money and people – you’re Irish; well, I’m Californian. For me there is no distinction between money and people because people invented money and humans are the most destructive weed species in the history of life on earth, and the money economy is humanity’s engine of destruction of this planet. And that’s what I think of neoliberalism.

  • Mary

    My how you twist things …. With no sense whatsoever in the threads between the he said she saids of it all.
    Having studied sociology and psychology and having undergone the appropriate tests (conducted by a lovely man) I can confidently say that I am an egalitarian.
    Being able to see both sides does require a level of empathy (quite a good smidgin’ actually), and having had a look at this site again, it appears to be -in the small print in the very title-, anti-empathy.
    I’m very sorry for your trouble. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to live ones life without empathy, hence without the capacity to love. I believe I’m having this conversation with a man. The way in which you have answered would lead one to believe you are just a boy. If you are just a boy who knows big words, I would ask you to open your mind and go past what you’ve been taught, because the world is full of lovely men and women. Just a few are bad.
    If the reason you come across as a boy with big words is because you fall into the one to four percent without empathy or conscience, there’s not much point to this conversation really. Sure that would be like petting a shark n I’m not that stupid :).
    Men in Ireland, have also been discriminated against and the presumption does tend to be that a child’s best place is with the mother. Bottom line I think is where there is inequality or abuse (everywhere to some degree really. But mostly where there is no empathy and good people do nothing) everyone suffers in the end. Sure we’re all in it together really. I’d ask you to be a lover not a hater, but your cerebral cortex does not facilitate that function does it?

  • Ginkgo

    Mary,

    “I’m very sorry for your trouble.”

    Prove it.

    “I’m very sorry for your trouble. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to live ones life without empathy, hence without the capacity to love.”

    You just showed you have no understanding of psychology. Also you just proved you are not sorry for anyomne’s trouble except as it gives you a chance to insult them.

    “I believe I’m having this conversation with a man. The way in which you have answered would lead one to believe you are just a boy”

    This is standard sexist anti-male shaming language. As a woman you have no idea what it is to be a man. It is no more a woman’s place to lecture a man on how to be a man than it is a dog’s to lecture a cat.

    “If the reason you come across as a boy with big words is because you fall into the one to four percent without empathy or conscience, there’s not much point to this conversation really.”

    Indeed there is no point in my wasting time who is so smugly dehumanizing in her approach. You have made every effort to come across as the caricature of the smug, bitter, man-hating harridan with exactly the same opinion of others as those satanic nuns who tormented these girls.

    Have a nice life, and get help.

  • Mary

    You replied to the post in 26 mins and the previous entry was early 2013, so I’m presuming you’re running the site.
    So you are a man then.
    What tangled webs we weave.

  • Robert Crayle

    Mary

    I’m sure if you had anything to say, you’d have said it, so you come back here with a puerile and bizarre tangent….

    …so you are a woman then.

    Is the seeking of help going anywhere by the way?

  • Adiabat

    Mary: “and having undergone the appropriate tests (conducted by a lovely man) I can confidently say that I am an egalitarian.”

    You had to get tested… LOL! Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Homer got a certificate to say he was sane.

    Robert Crayle: It should probably be pointed out that people like Mary won’t understand your comment is “tongue-in-cheek”. She’ll think you’re being serious and use it to validate herself and it’ll ultimately reinforce her obvious mental issues.

  • Ginkgo

    Mary,
    “You replied to the post in 26 mins and the previous entry was early 2013, so I’m presuming you’re running the site.”

    No, co-blooger. Typhonblue owns and runs the site. You jumped to a conclusion and hadn’t even bother to get the facts.

    “So you are a man then.”

    You present yourself as a woman, but instead you talk like a man-hating freak. Clear off, no one here is going to put up with your shaming language and obvious man-hatred.

    “What tangled webs we weave.”

    You accuse me of lying when it’s obvious you just guessed wrong. So you have descended to another level of insult. Stick around; we need an example of what a rancid man-hater sounds like and you fill the bill. You will come in very handy.

  • Adiabat

    Ginkgo: “Stick around; we need an example of what a rancid man-hater sounds like and you fill the bill.”

    But she’s not a man-hater! She’s been tested and has a certificate to prove it!

    She framed it and hung it on her wall, but only takes it down to show to her cats: Mr Tiddles and John William Farnsworth III.

  • Adiabat

    Oh, I posted 40 minutes after you did. Does that mean I now own the site?