Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Ireland and its children: The septic tank of history

In 1975 a group of local boys in Tuam discovered a slab in the former ground of what was locally known as The Home – one of eight ‘mother-and-baby homes’ throughout Ireland, housing unwed pregnant women and run by nuns – and underneath it they found little skeletons. This discovery was not reported until the recent publication of a report by a local historian, Catherine Corless of 796 deaths of babies in the St Mary’s home between 1925 and 1961. There were some media exaggerations, particularly reports of ‘800 babies found dumped in a septic tank’ and used for medical experiments.

The reality is not as scandalous but not less horrific. Corless confirms that at least 200 babies were put in a working sewer tank, leading William River Pitt in an article titled ‘Men’s rights and the septic tank of history’ (Truthout, 8 June 2014) to call these deaths and the targeting of sexually active Irish women ‘the septic tank of history’.

Despite recent reports on child abuse, the mother-and-baby homes still await a public investigation. These homes – denoting a deep hatred of female sexuality and the visiting of the mothers’ ‘sins’ upon their hapless children – were aimed to hide these unwed mothers’ ‘shame’;  the fathers, be they the women’s lovers, abusers or rapists, were never targeted. Many of the babies born in these ‘homes’ were sold for adoption to wealthy American Catholic childless couples. Many of the women laboured for the nuns in these homes or in Magdalene Laundries, whose horrible story has finally been told in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »

Dead babies and zones of exception

IDF fashion

Just a day after the revelations about what Israeli soldiers really did in Gaza came the story about the Jaffa T shirt factory, where 500 T shirts per month with dead babies, mothers weeping on their children’s graves, a gun aimed at a child and a bombed-out mosque accompanies with slogans such as ‘better use Durex’ (next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby with his weeping mpther and a teddy bear beside him), ‘1 shot, 2 kills’, (beside a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s eye superimposed on her belly), and ‘no matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it’ (Uri Blau, Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009 - Haaretz - Israel News). Haaretz reports plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages, such as a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, ‘Bet you got raped!’

A few of the images describe actions whose existence the army officially denies - such as ‘confirming the kill’ (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim’s head from close range, to ensure he is dead), or harming religious sites, or female or child non-combatants.

Read the rest of this entry »

10/23/2017 Migrant Activism and Integration from Below in Ireland

Edited by Ronit Lentin and Elena Moreo Palgrave MacMillan, 2012...read more
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