I don't know if everyone is familiar with Ireland and it's curious gender policies.
The Magdalen laundries were workhouses in which many Irish women and girls were effectively imprisoned because they were perceived to be a threat to the moral fiber of society. Mandated by the Irish state beginning in the eighteenth century, they were operated by various orders of the Catholic Church until the last laundry closed in 1996. A few years earlier, in 1993, an order of nuns in Dublin sold part of their Magdalen convent to a real estate developer. The remains of 155 inmates, buried in unmarked graves on the property, were exhumed, cremated, and buried elsewhere in a mass grave. This triggered a public scandal in Ireland and since then the Magdalen laundries have become an important issue in Irish culture, especially with the 2002 release of the film “The Magdalene Sisters.”Here's
an account of a survivor of the Magdalene Laundries. Here
is some testimony from women who were forced to go to England for an abortion even after receiving word that there were serious issues and that their babies would die. After being told that your child would die, I cannot imagine being told that I had to carry it to term because of other peoples' religious beliefs.
Thanks for posting this. I actually have a friend who wrote a book about the Magdalene laundries (
), and it was one of the first things that came to my mind while reading through this thread. I'm not going to wade in on the race issue, but it is a truth (that should be) universally acknowledged that Catholic government in Ireland has a has a
to answer for in its long and shameful history of mistreating women.