Writing about this on Sunday - there's definitely a dichotomy: an unholy subject on a supposedly holy day.*
"They have no headstones, no coffins. No memory boxes of toys and photographs. There are nearly eight hundred of them -- and counting. They are the 796 babies and young children aged between two days and nine years whose grave, "filled to the brim with tiny bones and skulls," was found last week in an unmarked site that once housed a septic tank near a County Galway home for unwed mothers."
The Real Shame of Ireland: The Treatment of Women
"There have been small changes in Ireland in the last 30 years, but
" there is a place women must know, and it's weird."
Children of unwed mothers fare even worse:
"However, in the year 2012, I visited relatives in rural western Ireland whose teenage daughter got pregnant. She wasn't shipped off, she stayed home, had the baby. I came for tea. We talked of everything, but the baby. The baby sat in the room, and no one remarked about it. It was as if there was some creature making a bothersome noise, like an errant animal, and NO ONE TALKED ABOUT HOW THAT CREATURE GOT THERE."
The discarded "creatures" of scorned women. A memorial** to the
innocents is already in the making. But what about their mothers?
The treatment of women has been a focus of universal concern: from the rape-hanging in India to the kidnapping of 300 school girls in Nigeria, all misogyny seems to be imbued with religion, a patriarchy, and a masculine privilege encouraged by religion around the world. Compromising women has been a millennia-old tradition.
In Clare Booth Luce's "The Women," Mary Haines - a sophisticated woman facing the adultery of her husband - responds to her mother's plea for marital compromise: "Oh, that was alright in your day, mother, when women were chattels, but Steven and I took each other for life as equals, and I won't compromise that equality. It's wrong, shockingly wrong." But later in the play, the street-wise chorus girl, Miriam Aarons, tells Mary that "a woman's compromised the day's she's born."
Miriam's pov is still right today.
What America Has Yet To Learn
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