The IRA, Patriarchy & Rape Culture

Guest writer Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird with her take on what she sees as a rape culture within the Provisional IRA. The author is an anarcha-feminist from Belfast.

Growing up in West Belfast, as Maíria Cahill did, you are immediately introduced and submerged into a culture of republicanism and of the armed struggle. Murals, flags and gardens of remembrance make it impossible to escape. What is lurking in the shadows of these symbols and the shadows of local heroes is the clandestine sexual abuse that went on during those turbulent years – clandestine to the public but an open secret within the republican family.

Living in a community where Sinn Féin have an absolute political monopoly, it was incredibly brave of Maíria to waive her right to anonymity and challenge the conventional wisdom that surrounded her case – the conventional wisdom that the IRA was responsible for. What we have seen as a result, is an attempt by Sinn Féin, as they quite often do, to make Maíria’s rape something it is not. They are trying to write this off as an attack on Gerry Adams and are actively adding to rape culture by implying that Maíria has made it all up for these ends.

Rape and sexual violence are both extremely common and we have to stop ignoring this as a political problem. As a recent article in the Irish Times about three sisters indicates, Maíria’s case is not alone and the IRA and Sinn Féin are the new champions of rape culture. Given how they have reacted to Maíria’s rape, it is no surprise that other victims have been repressed and have remained silent.

We live in a patriarchal society and have done so for centuries. This means that men are in charge in all institutions and levels – cultural, social, economic and political.

After an occupying force has invaded and taken control of society, a foreign man is in charge instead of the indigenous man who previously held the post. The ousting of the indigenous man from power is an insult to his manhood and of all indigenous manhood. The resistance to this occupation is therefore an attempt to get the indigenous man back in the ruling chair, thus occupation and the resistance movement to the occupation are both inherently male-dominated.

Just as capitalism is gendered, the IRA was too. Up until the restructuring of the IRA in the 1970s, women could only join Cumann na mBan. The gendered makeup of the IRA made it clear that men had their fight and that women would play a supportive role in that fight. They supported the men while they attempted, ever so romantically, to single-handedly overthrow the British Empire.

Male British soldiers were not allowed to search women and as it was hard to come by a female British soldier, women were considered to be perfect for the task of transporting weaponry by hiding it in their clothes.

Female volunteers were also used by the male leadership as honey traps; they were used to lure British soldiers back to houses on the promise of sex only to be shot by the IRA on arrival. More commonly they were used to gather intelligence via pillow talk.

The woman’s role in the republican movement was very much in keeping with the patriarchal structuring of society and it was never on the IRA’s agenda to smash the patriarchy. The women who participated in these honey traps were so absorbed with “the cause” that they didn’t see that they were adding to their dehumanization that already existed due to colonialism and the social order of society.

The masculinity of the movement made its way into their psyche which meant that the sisterhood came second to a united Ireland. The leadership did not allow them to realise that a strong and relentless sisterhood is a direct and severe threat against the basic social and psychological structure of oppression. A structure the establishment holds so dear as it is paramount to its very existence – as is the case in all other structures of oppression.

The IRA leadership had no problem with exploiting female sexuality “for the cause” because women’s liberation had no place in the movement. Women were seen as sex objects that could be used to further the republican agenda. Owing to its male privilege, the IRA provided the perfect environment for rape culture to thrive and to go unchallenged without them even realising it.

The investigation into Maíria Cahill’s rape is perfectly in tune with the IRA’s attitude towards rape culture and its victims. The IRA imposed itself on Maíria and forced her to talk about it without her consent. IRA volunteers protected Maíria’s rapist through staying true to rape culture by refusing to believe her and by insisting that she was lying. They made attempts to silence Maíria by imposing a code of silence on her and by emotionally torturing her through months on end of questioning, oftentimes several nights a week, forcing her to relive the experience in the presence of a hostile male IRA leader in the hope that if they exhaust her enough she would drop it. The onus was on Maíria to prove that she had been raped, instead of her rapist proving that he did not rape her. Her rapist’s male privilege was reinforced by his status in the community with Maíria being told “he has rights you know.”

How women were treated and the place that they were given in the movement is indicative of the narrow-mindedness of the republican movement. The republican movement alongside its aim of a united Ireland was not inclusive and it neglected other forms of oppression prevalent throughout Irish society. It was centred around the idea of identity politics which puts that particular form of oppression above all others – negating how they work together to support one another – and often have equal representation within the same brutal system that was responsible for their oppression in the first instance as their main aim.

The IRA wasn’t fighting to abolish the state; they wanted a green state instead of an orange one. Whether it is a “democratically” elected official or a monarch, rulers imply that we’re too stupid to govern our own lives. The concept of rulership requires a level of privilege and therefore a hierarchy. Therefore, while we have rulers we can never have true equality or liberty. While we live in a sexist, racist, heteronormative, capitalistic society, I think the question of English rulers vs. Irish rulers is obsolete.

The means shape the ends; an authoritarian strategy based on patriarchy, centralisation and militarisation leads to an authoritarian, patriarchal, centralised and militarised society. What we need instead is a genuine alternative; not to emulate the oppressors. We need to shake off everything in our society that enslaves us and denies us true liberty.

The greatest trick that British Imperialism ever played on us was convincing us that Catholics and Protestants were natural born enemies. The state has to create certain social artificial antagonisms in order to justify its existence and so they created the artificial antagonism of Catholics vs Protestants which resulted in the Green-Orange divide. The results of this state construct served only the state and its interests. Catholics couldn’t see past their own oppressions and Protestants were kept as happy slaves.

An oppressive structure wouldn’t last very long if it was standing alone. They need the support of other oppressive and exploitative structures and institutions; they complement each other and add to the misery of those that they affect. British Imperialism could never have oppressed Catholics to the extent that it did if it wasn’t for their exploitation of the working class; their robust repression of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, non-whites etc.

The republican movement neglected this analysis and thought that a united Ireland was enough. There were some who thought that other social problems could be solved “after the revolution”. For a truly liberating revolution, this notion and the romantic image of male IRA volunteers overthrowing the British Empire is obsolete and irrelevant to the idea of a liberating revolution.

The republican leadership was corrupt; it stunted creativity and didn’t allow for critical thinking or growth of political concepts. There is no doubt in my mind that the ordinary people who made up the IRA thought that a united Ireland was some sort of panacea. But the male-dominated and hierarchical republican movement was nowhere close to a panacea; any suggestion of direction, superiority or leadership of the masses is an implication that the masses must accept and submit to direction, it gives the leaders a sense of privilege and they become dictators separated from the masses.

A united Ireland is nothing if all that it means is painting the post boxes green. We need a bottom-up revolution; we need to shake this capitalistic, patriarchal, racist and heteronormative world to the very core. Whatever the IRA wanted, it wasn’t my revolution; it was a straight-white-man’s revolution.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

47 comments to ''The IRA, Patriarchy & Rape Culture"

  1. Thanks for writing this piece, as always nothing can be viewed from one lense and we have to understand all the intersections.
    In this particular case gendered power cannot be ignored and neither can the perpetuation of ' rape culture'. Growing up in west Belfast I fully comprehend the myriad of issues that are at play.

  2. These discussions are welcome with new themes and we are glad F Nic R wrote this for us. However, I don't think the IRA was characterised by a rape culture. Moreover, it is the inversion of basic justice to require that people prove their innocence rather than the accuser in any situation to prove the guilt of those they accuse. That would apply in every case. It would totally empower the accuser and disempower the accused. As a weapon in the hands of the police, state or secret society it would be catastrophic.

  3. Good article in whole.
    Mackers you wrote " I don't think the IRA was characterised by a rape culture. Moreover, it is the inversion of basic justice to require that people prove their innocence rather than the accuser in any situation to prove the guilt of those they accuse." I guess the brother of M.M failed that test when he was accused of similar offences by a Ballymurphy woman, as he had his kneecaps ventilated and expelled from Ireland in mid-late 90,s.

  4. I've noticed that the SF Councilor for Cookstown (for the time being) Michael Henry McIvor, has now started verbally abusing the two girls involved in the Máiría Cahill case.

    This is what the cretin has to say....

    "Michael-Henry Mcivor
    It was on the news that the other two women who made rape claims against the IRA have withdrawn their evidence today- seems to be a growing trend- make allegations but don't give evidence in Court- maybe the media will be over the new two for a few weeks now believing every word -"

    "Michael-Henry Mcivor
    It was on the news today Dixie - doodle over to the BBC ( NI ) and read it for yourself-( it's the second headline down in case you get lost )- the two women also Question the independence of this new review - ( another two who don't like others asking Questions about them )-"

    These comments were in reference to this news....

  5. Anthony I agree that the IRA cannot be defined by this one issue. However on a societal basis we very much have a prevalent ' rape culture' so it is only natural that any group would be a microcosm of it's wider society.

    We have come a long way in some respects in how sexual and domestic abuses are dealt with - but when any organization has to examine it's own inadequate role in such an event(s) it should be done so forensically and with a degree of transparency to ensure it will never be repeated.
    That however does nothing to aid the justice or recovery of those who were harmed.

    I do not necessarily adhere to the compulsory "tell the police " - as the default resolution.
    I can understand why certain things appeared to have happened (in the most recent and other cases in the recent past ) in regard to 'community accountabity' or an attempt at such, but those obviously without the adequate knowledge and skills base seriously fucked up.

    Finally I feel that in my own experience growing up and also my work as a youth and community worker I saw a lot of abuses of power (not referring to the state) by those who in my eyes should have known better ( I may have unfairly attached a moralistic base that didn't exist ).

  6. Agree with aine, although the article is littered with broad generalisation, I think the rape culture thing is a societal problem which the IRA may have been a product of.

    If there is anything i take from the article is this:

    'The means shape the ends; an authoritarian strategy based on patriarchy, centralisation and militarisation leads to an authoritarian, patriarchal, centralised and militarised society. What we need instead is a genuine alternative; not to emulate the oppressors. We need to shake off everything in our society that enslaves us and denies us true liberty. '

  7. Aine,

    I don't think the society we live in is one of rape culture: I don't see it as pervasive or regarded as the accepted thing to do, which I imagine are ever present aspects of a rape culture. And blaming the victim is something the perpetrator does to evade sanction rather than society. That is not to say society handles these things well. A patriarchy and a rape culture are not one and the same. I think there may be rape sub cultures that exists just as they do in many armies. Some countries seem more emblematic of a rape culture than others. India springs to mind from a distance.

  8. I think the writer of this post needs to remember that in Maria,s case esp that women were involved in the investigation and that they to failed abysmally in procuring any form of justice for this woman,it was a collective fuckup by all. women were banned by Brehon laws from fighting in wars around 695 I think was that a wrong or wise decision? wars as Mich Hall says dont solve anything and we all loose,the Falls womens center is a joke ask my wife of her friends what they really think of it and you will get your ears burned,, we need to work together as equals in all respect and above all we need to respect each other,a matriarchal society would be every bit as bad as any patriarchal one.remember THATCHER!

  9. 'The greatest trick that British Imperialism ever played on us was convincing us that Catholics and Protestants were natural born enemies'.

    Afraid that paragraph is hogwash. Loyalist planters are the willing crow-bar/wedge of Britain in Ireland. They invested everything for their 'vested-interests' which they now lament being withered away and forcing them to deal equally with the 'mere' Irish.

    As for the feminism. HAPPY DAYS. Sit back lads, the AMAZONS are going to win the war.

  10. Preaches unity, demarcates to the n-th degree. (Wouldnt just anarchist or feminist suffice?)

  11. Very interesting piece. As a not so young white straight male I have to agree that the patriarchy has a lot to answer for. I would not lose a minutes sleep were it to be 'smashed'. I am old enough, however, not to be too hopeful on that score.

  12. Anthony, we'll have to agree to disagree on the prevalence of " rape culture" - it is very much present in Irish society were we have seen many recently trivialize and engage in victim blaming - these are characteristics of said culture. I disagree that it is not pervasive.
    Rape may not be 'accepted' but sexualizing female bodies is intrinsically woven into our society and therefore abuse is often normalized. We can look to how the criminal justice system has handled and does handle cases of rape and abuse ( dismally IMO).
    The onus on the female to dress appropriately - act appropriately, fight back strong enough - scream loud enough ....... But not on The perpetrators ( mostly male) not to rape!

    Marty In regard to patriarchy and how it is negated because women were involved is silly and a misunderstanding of what patriarchy is - fuck Brehon laws they were also made by men. Using thatcher as an example of matriarchy is again silly and wrong as that person was a product if a patriarchal system - a token female is not matriarchal !!! Just like saying because Obama was elected racism doesn't exist in the USA - it's not that simple.
    Women live and are socialized in a patriarchal system so many will perpetuate that system, but many believe in equality - and therefore feminism - and will continue to reject and highlight the damage a patriarchal system has on all genders.

  13. Only last week Mary Nelis was forced to deny being the Mary Nelis who continued to spread the same smear spread by Seamy Fincuane, the day after Mary Lou was forced to condemn it.

    This was in relation to a comment made by a Mary Nelis on Jude Collins' Blog about which the Irish News challenged her....

    Given what is now emerging in regards to the two other girls abused by Morris, who were forced to withdraw because of impossible obstacles put before them before they could proceed with the rape/abuse charges against him, it is disgraceful that leading members of SF can smear victims like these then deny they actually said anything when challenged.

    And what does this all say about the system of policing and justice which McGuinness loudly claimed as being in 'their hands' now after it was devolved to Stormont.

    Quite clearly it is in their hands....

  14. I read this a few days ago. Ten years ago I would have laughed at it, and called it feminist misandry. However it does have a hint of penis-envy about it. Though not fragranced.

    I did think back some years to when I was a young fool-hearted republican. I admit there was a sense of mocking about female activists, even to a point of 'possibly' being exploited sexually. I'm trying to be very cautious, because I'm certainly not talking about rape, or at least how rape would be defined within most men's heads.

    I do believe that women have a much stronger sense of emotion, and they might commit their heart to a guy involved in activism, a guy who without realising it would 'use' the woman to do favours, and maybe even invade her privacy with drunken comrades on occasion. Such occasions can be murky, and I hope I'm not making any accusations. However, I do believe women had sex with more than just the guy they loved. Is this rape culture? Does this not exist within all society, and amongst many friends, not just comrades?

    I believe young men who are at war, facing their death on a day to day basis take comfort in certain communal activities, and they might very well include sex or overly exploiting a certain female to more risks.

    Sex, love and the IRA is definitely a huge part of that war. its part of all wars, and I doubt women were used any more or less than anywhere else. But I do believe they were occasionally 'used' and for more purposes than carrying gear or other operational skills.

    I would also say that the very bravest Irish Republicans I have ever met were women. Without a doubt. And they had so much more to compete with.

  15. Aine a cara I understand the difference in Patriarchal and Matriarchal societies I flagged up Thatcher as an example of someone who I dont believe was perpetuating or a token of a Patriarchal society but an example that women can be just as big a bastard as men in all respects be it taking milk away for kids or sending young men to their watery deaths in the Atlantic, I have met remarkable and brave people in my life both sexes and none of them were /are hung up on the male /female role in any form of duty,the Brehon laws recoginised divorce and equal rights among the genders and therefore probably well ahead of its time, feminism is just the opposite of masculism and offers no better than what we endure today, until we accept each other as equals and work towards that then we will always be from different planets .

  16. Of course women can be bastards and in an ideal world we wouldn't have to concern ourselves with gendered power but that isn't our reality.
    In some circumstances gender doesn't matter but in most it is always present whether it's analysed and accepted as being so is another issue entirely.
    Feminism is not the opposite of masculism - feminism seeks equality not superiority.
    That's all I seek to be treated equal and have equal power and autonomy.

  17. @amonrosier
    There Is a huge difference between consensual relationships and non consensual abuse.
    A woman most certainly can have sex with as many partners as she wishes in whatever consensual way they please - promiscuity is not the problem.
    Consent is paramount, I have no concern for what consenting adults do in the bedroom or wherever they do it.

    In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, that it's inevitable rather than to view it as a problem to be solved and understand that it occurs because of how we present sex and violence. It is also characterised by blaming the victims, normalizing and trivializing negative behaviors that over sexualise our bodies, from verbal abuse to actual physical abuse.

    We teach people how to avoid being raped instead of being taught not to rape - IMO that alone illustrates we live with a prevalent rape culture.

  18. Aine,
    rape culture" - it is very much present in Irish society were we have seen many recently trivialize and engage in victim blaming - these are characteristics of said culture.

    I read that as a trend within society but not a societal trend. And trend within society is not enough to infer a rape culture.

    Men in Irish society are discouraged from rape. They are subject to a continuous discourse (rightly so) of how wrong rape is. Nothing positive is ever said about rape and that is because society does not endorse rape. I am sure more can be done but there is an educative function in the anti-rape discourse which prevents me from agreeing with you that men are not taught not to rape. Any society that did not teach women about what measures to take in order to avoid rape would be derelict in its obligation, just as it would be were it to not to tell children about the dangers of roads. It should never tell women not to dress different or cover up so that men might not be tempted.

  19. Amonrosier WTF....

    I'm certainly not talking about rape, or at least how rape would be defined within most men's heads.

    I don't know what planet you live on but on mine (3rd from the sun) and you, me or who ever is having sex with a woman and she say's STOP.. and you don't and continue having sex.. It's RAPE..

    You can dress it up in your head all you want.. RAPE is RAPE..

  20. I'm not dressing it up. I believe on occasion that some women were in fact used beyond what they wanted. But it's difficult to find the words for it, without the kind of response you gave, which I do understand. But it was a part of life, and unfortunately society will never allow a broader discussion on the psyche of men at war.

    I am certainly not talking about anything like the Mairia Cahill ordeal. That was wrong, rape, and child abuse.

    I'm suggesting the article is much too strong, and without consideration for the different time. Everyone judges sex in the black or the white. I do believe there are grey areas. I also believe things happen when drunken young men and women get together, and morals become lesser,

    Yes, rape is rape, except when it's not rape. When there was consent given, but when the mind of the person consenting could be questioned as being not fully campus mentos at the time of sex.

    We live in extremely alarmist times. I feel this discussion will never be fully allowed to happen, because people scream out in judgement much too fast.

    Context is everything, and all matters that surround these things need to be seen in their proper context. I tried to give the context in my above comment, but found myself struggling, because I am very aware how it could be judged.

    If I did happen to see war, and yesterday's times as much different than today's circumstances, I feel like I would be entering the arena of excuse making.

    I was actually trying to give the author credit, because I do believe she has a broad point to make, and there is an element of truth in her remarks. I also believe that her point is just a bit too forceful. It has men condemned from the get-go.

    My entire point was really just saying that things happened with an outward and full consent from all involved, but perhaps it was something the woman did not actually want. She allowed it because of those involved, because of their status, or maybe because she felt very much in love with at least one of the men there. Again, I was trying to give some credit to the author without actually accusing people of anything.

    I'm arguing a case both for and against all involved, because the terrain of the debate is very dangerous. And people have zero tolerance when sex is concerned. But unfortunately, I believe there were times women had consensual sex just to be accepted. I know that is not a point anyone will be prepared to hear, but during wars young men and young women can find themselves in the wrong circumstance.

    I promise I was not condoning rape, I was attempting to give credibility to the article, but it's much too difficult to do, unless I agreed that women were being most definitely subjected to rape. I don't agree that, but I do agree there were grey and questionable areas.

  21. Anthony rape and sexual violence may not be seen to be acceptable by a huge majority of males - there isn't a male I know who would endorse such behavior yet one in five women will be raped regardless of how she's been taught to protect herself.

  22. Anie a cara 1 in 10 rape victims are men,rape is not a womans issue its a human one ...

  23. Feminists need to talk to other women before lecturing men. If women don't want men gawking at them in general then keep sexy attire for their partners. Also, stand on their own two feet. Stop the majority of women conveniently using sex to rope a dope into a 25 yr mortgage and then sit like an xmas turkey watching corrie omnibus all day. Also, why is it only women who run to court looking money when relationships break down? Be a 'man' stand on your own two feet, get a job, raise the kids, whoever's they are.

    If women want equality let them have it. Stand on their own two feet. Or perhaps that's why feminism isn't all that popular....among women?

  24. Aine,

    which makes me wonder how we identify a rape culture rather than a rape sub culture. If the vast majority of men oppose rape how can it be insisted that they need educated not to rape? I don't understand the argument being made.

  25. Marty the statistic I'm familiar with is 1 in 75 men will be raped/sexually assaulted.
    It is not a female issue alone I accept that - the majority if rapists however are white men and their victims women. ( always there will be exceptions).

    Larry honestly I don't know how to respond to your sexist tirade there ...... Except to say I have always stood on my own two feet and have never used nor would ever intend to use my sexuality for anything other than my own/ partner's pleasure.

    Anthony - I wish that it was a creepy sub culture - but it is mainstreamed in movies/ tv/ music/ - it's present in school's, universities and workplaces etc etc
    Maybe it's a good issue to write more on .....:

  26. Best line I heard in a long time was in two and a half men...Charlie talking about his mother said
    ' she's an amazing woman, no-matter what this life throws at her she always lands firmly on her back'.

    Feminists should sort women out before attacking men. If they have bugger-all else to be doing.

  27. Aine,

    I agree that women are more likely to suffer sexual abuse and violence than men. It is a societal failure. It goes to the heart of every strand of society.

    However your 1 in 75 statistic is inaccurate at the least. Could I ask where you found it?

    It seems to be more than twice the rate you mention for adult males a fugure backed up by figures for England and Wales.

    Figures for males who experienced sexual abuse as children seems to be about 1 in 20. As an adult 1 in 35.

    Only 1% of men report abuse.

  28. Aine

    nothing personal, merely social 'observations'. I don't care much for feminism or the pc brigade. I like to keep it 'real'.

    I had a 'taming of the shrew' encounter with the formidable Ms Perry on here a few years ago. Still trying to get over it and also still trying to have one of her blue doc martins extracted from my arse!

  29. Sorry, I should have explained that those figures for England and Wales show 1 in 35 males (2.7%) between 16 and 59 have been victims of sex crime since the age of 16.

    Over an entire adult life and disregarding child abuse that figure for males would be more. (Since some of those in the study would be only 16 years old at the time of the study). Including child abuse cases the figures would be even higher.

    Your point is correct though that women are disproportionately victims of sexual violence. Male victims shouldn't be underemphasised.

  30. England former goalkeeper David James has had to declare himself bankrupt after an expensive divorce .he had earned approx £20 mill in his football career..seems divorce is a womans gift for love..

  31. Simon the statistic was concerned with "rape" as opposed to male sexual abuse / childhood occurance of sexual abuse. However I see uk figures do state 1 in 33 (IMO 1 in 1000000 is too many).

    It also should be noted that it was US based stats I made reference to- I am not at all attempting to discount or overlook the experiences of male victims.
    I have spent significant time in my career working with and advocating for young males so I completely understand the issues involved for young men - which are often heightened because of gendered roles and services.

    Larry I agree many women are also problematic as they support and adhere to the patriarchal society in which we live. This IMO is detrimental to all genders.

    The reality is that sexual violence should have no place in our society - what consequence should exist for such an offense ? It had to be more than minuscule prison sentences .....

  32. Aine, I queried it as you wrote "raped/sexually assaulted". The stats for 1 in 35 do not include child abuse and only include those raped/sexually assaulted as adult males. Although throughout adulthood as a whole a man's chances of being such a victim is higher than 1 in 35.

    This is nothing like the abuse women on a whole suffer (according to the police stats for England & Wales women are twenty times as likely as a man to be a victim of rape) and as you say one individual victim is one too many.

    The criminal justice system and society as a whole is lacking in the way it approaches this subject.

  33. Simon - that was unintentional. Typing quick responses on my phone hasn't always been my strong point !! But you are right in calling me out on it - the point obviously we agree on is female (or those who identify as such) are more likely to be victims - obviously this is not to negate male suffering.

    I hark back to my earlier insistence that this problem is endemic and in order to resolve such an issue we have to analyze it's origins - which I don't believe are all genetic or inevitable.

    The ' injustice ' system is structured to protect property, corporate and political interests. If one is seeking justice I would imagine it wouldn't necessarily be found within the corridors of the court or prison system.

  34. which I don't believe are all genetic or inevitable
    Aine dunno...........

    I think it's a genetic fcuk up some where... In the same way some people have autism, some people are born with heart defects or some people get cancer from smoking for example while others don't...

    Doesn't make it right, I'm not excusing sexual abuse... Look at the animal kingdom, incest and rape is rife. We are meant to be very closely linked to bonobo apes and they have sex with who ever is closest at the time..

  35. Frankie I feel like we're way off topic on this one - but I definitely have to disagree with the idea that people are born genetically with a predisposition to be a rapist/abuser.

    Like the research in the ' warrior gene ' could not specify that genetics alone accounted for ones suggested predisposition to violence - but rather those with the genes and a combination of childhood traumas (neglect/ violence) were no more likely than a peer without the warrior gene though similar life experiences to lead to a correlation with aggressive behaviors in adult life.

  36. Aine- "If one is seeking justice I would imagine it wouldn't necessarily be found within the corridors of the court or prison system". That is true but where else would you look?

    That is why we should try to improve the justice systems we have been given and persevere to make them work with greater efficacy when dealing with sex crime.

    The accused should have a fair trial and the punishment should fit the crime. Sometimes the judiciary are restrained by categorisation and maximum tariffs and that is one area crying out for further change.

    For example, and someone could correct me if I am wrong, but a man couldn't legally be charged with the crime of raping his wife until fairly recently. I think the law changed in the early nineties.

    There are ongoing needs for change in this area and there always will be as society changes. For example technological changes in society or in the case of rape within marriage if old laws are an obvious blight on the system.

    Frankie- other apes do many things we humans don't do. I think it is more nurture than nature. I remember a case of Papua New Guinea by psychologist Margaret Mead where the males were the less dominant gender and women used to sexually assualt men from opposing tribes.

  37. Marty

    'England former goalkeeper David James has had to declare himself bankrupt after an expensive divorce .he had earned approx £20 mill in his football career..seems divorce is a womans gift for love..'

    Saw that this morning. It beggars the question if women want equality so much why are they not protesting for a change to the Victorian, antiquated divorce laws formulated in an age when a woman's place was in the home as a 'dependant' like me today?

    The only thing wrong with your sentence was the omission of " " on either side of the word LOVE.

  38. Legally speaking if a female has accrued wealth her husband is entitled to the same share if that wealth in divorce !!

  39. What about guy Richie as his 92 million payout from Madonna ?? Bit bad eh ?

    It how about tom Arnold's 50 million payout when he and Roseanne got divorced decades ago.

    It's not a female thing it's a legal thing ya ole sexists !!

  40. Larry,

    your dependency is self-inflicted, your choice to consider yourself a house-wife, why not liberate yourself and get a job.

    Why would it bother you that some rich bloke agreed to fork-over his money (would like to say hard earned money but the bigger joke is sports player are over-paid) and then the whiner files for bankruptcy what a yarn I am sure next week he will be holed up in a bedsit and on the tap for a fish n chips.

    It is a two way street and all I can say about high-profile-wealthy divorce battles is hell slap it into them and the greedy solicitors cry out for more.
    If wealthy people want to hold on to as much of their assets then they should think with their heads and get one of those binding pre-nuptial-contracts. Money can buy you love but it might not be as cheap to get out of once the flame is dead.

  41. Maria Cahill has won. Even though it might seem like they are crushing her she has won. It is stock standard MO of any cult to attempt to re-traumatise a rape victim who demands justice. SF is a cult and Gerry Adams is as sick as one can get… He may not have perpetrated rape literally but he is attempting to exact it psychologically… The RC church uses this tactic also on survivors. It’s old shit – deflective shit… They hope you will suicide…

    Irish nationalism used gender imagery Mother Ireland etc… reworked pagan beliefs into a potent imagery of the land and her children. The Brits used gender imagery – rebellious little Ireland – wife of Big Britain The mural on chamberlain street - dunno if it’s still there… Mise Eire…
    Hypermasculinity…. War brings it to the fore.
    RE: ‘it wasn’t my revolution; it was a straight-white-man’s revolution’
    Nothing wrong with being a straight white man Context… different era’s. I don’t think too many would have been in a hurry to come out as gay in 60’s 70’and 80’s in Ireland. Mind you the cocks in frocks were at it were they not and then they conducted Mass…. Ah the charm of Ireland.

    Rape is pandemic and males are raped as well.
    An authentic example of a rape culture is Islamic State which continues to use rape to terrorise and subjugate. They rape babies, children, adults and the old of both genders. They even rape new members of Islamic State as an initiation rite. That is a rape culture.
    To think gender roles/constructs are not challenged through the ages is incorrect… Irish literature displays heightened consciousness of patriarchal structures and their devastating impact. In Fingal Ronain – the young wife forced into a marriage to an old git challenges societal mores and patriarchal constructs. “I will spout a jet of blood in your face” she says after physical and mental abuse for seeking her autonomy. What she states is loaded with meanings and quite brilliant imo. Women’s blood historically deemed unclean Women deemed untrustworthy etc…

    To assert the ira was a rape culture smears thousands of individuals (males) who abhor rape of minors - abhor rape altogether. Generalizations are as dangerous as stereotyping.
    Decades ago in Ireland a very old man confided in me that he is still shattered from his Catholic childhood/upbringing to the extent he cannot even bear to see his own body. He for much of his life has bathed in his underclothes Some might find that funny I don’t and didn’t … it made me want to weep.

    Widen the insight into the constructs that underpin rape… Ball breaking statements don’t cut it. I don’t know what an anarchofeminist is but it sounds fullon. The article was well written overall and timely.

    Some last thought – the oppressor often shapes the behaviour of the oppressed – on a subliminal level… so the acting out mimics the oppressor. The oppressed act out on their kin on their own people in a kind of inversed self hating mode. Rape however is a conscious act of choice and never about the orgasm It is always about power.
    You never get over rape It scars you for life with ptsd, hyper-vigilance, nightmares and so forth But you know you have overcome when you get your voice and don't back down Salute to Maria Cahill

  42. Aine

    'whataboutery' is it?

    What about Liz Hurley who was shacked-up with Hugh Grant for 14 years and never got up the duff the entire time. She stalked a Texas oil tycoon via mutual friends until he finally agreed to a 'date' and magically up the duff she was....after one 'date'...presto, set for life. Or the aptly named 'scary Spice' who did the same number on Eddie Murphy. Also, set for life after one night....hardly lady like behaviour either would you not agree?.

    Yep, men are far too often fools. And indeed slap it up the gob-shites for being so 'stupid-rich'. That doesn't detract from the intent and the deed on the females part, nor does it alter what they effectively are; high earning and unofficial examples I concede.

    Also I think if you check statistics there are very few if indeed any males from ordinary backgrounds dragging ex wives through courts for money. The legal system doesn't work like that. Surely you are not contending the legal system regarding divorce is based on gender equality here? Women like to say men are out for what they can get....The reality is the other way round from what I can see.

    Tain Bo

    Had no idea you were familiar with my personal circumstances. Or why I'm technically a 'dependant' in our household. But then sure, you're as 'sharp' as they come aren't you and you know everything. Except how to be brave enough not to need a 'cover' ID.

  43. Mary Marscal

    I think girls should take some sterling advice from Tain Bo and rather than looking for the ideal catch, the 'solvent' male or a prince charming...

    To quote the Tain 'phantom'

    "your dependency is self-inflicted, your choice to consider yourself a house-wife, why not liberate yourself and get a job".

  44. Larry,

    You have a short memory you penned a recent article that describes you as a house husband.

    Victorian, antiquated divorce laws formulated in an age when a woman's place was in the home as a 'dependant' like me today?

    That is where I gathered my assumption I have no interest in you or your personal circumstances though on that issue I would hope your head is above water as I don’t like to see anyone struggling even those I may disagree with.

    In truth Larry, I know little but know enough to understand the poverty trap and unemployment lines these social diseases are curable but when trapped in them the symptoms of individuals and families alike are devastating more so than some sob story about wealthy people having to give up a few quid in a divorce. Though isn’t that the point of media to blanket us with sad stories from the rich or what they are up to.

    I will stick with the class I know and mock or ignore the heart-breaking lives of the socially pampered elite.

    By the way I was not mocking you the job of taking care of a home is no easy task it is an unpaid thankless one.

    Depends on the definition of bravery I would say the same face to face with anyone but that doesn’t equal bravery much the same at home I prefer to do the housework which my girl-friend has no complaints about but that does not make me a house-wife, my choice.

    She has a job and has her own bank account how she spends it or saves it is really not of my concern, She is old enough to dress in whatever fashion she wants even if that causes a few gawks which in a visual society is natural as women like to have a wee look at what they find attractive no crime there.
    Her and I can cohabitate peacefully to a certain extent and maintain a certain independence as in we don’t view one another as property to be owned. It certainly cuts back on the domestic squabbling and either is free to leave at anytime with nothing more than a bruised ego.

    In other words she is independent and doesn’t need me to survive and that gets my respect.

    And that is bravery in a male dominated society!

  45. Mary,

    thanks for the laugh the Tain “phantom” has a good ring to it.

    I never did like the term house-wife we may as well say domestic slave as it is a hard job for no money and little thanks.

    I think both genders should rethink the ideal partner but agree with you that women should not subscribe to the nonsense of fairytales and prince charming’ in that reality most of us return to being a frog and will jump at the next thing that catches our attention.

    We are all bound to make poor decisions but the trick is learning not to repeat them. Today’s mass media bombards women with the notion they need to find Mr. Right and in that realm there usually is only a pot of fools’ gold at the end of that rainbow.

  46. Larry - my point was to illustrate that it is a legal issue not a female issue.
    I am not suggesting divorce courts are an illustration of equality - Are you suggesting that females purposely marry or maintain relationships for a payday ?
    ( i am sure there are some indeed that do so from all gender groups). To insinuate that it is a female characteristic is extremely incorrect.

  47. Tain Bo

    nothing wrong with doing housework. I make my mrs breakfast every a.m. while she gets ready for her Montessori course. I drive her to and from the course and her dinner is always ready for her when she walks through the door. I do the dishes and make a cuppo-tae too.

    Apparently, so my wife jokes, there is now a very long waiting list in Manila for leprechaun husbands!! It makes me smile at the thought of her friends and family being amazed that a husband here chips-in like that.


    'Are you suggesting that females purposely marry or maintain relationships for a payday' ?

    'To insinuate that it is a female characteristic is extremely incorrect'.

    And black is white. Are you Mary Lou Fatdonald in disguise?


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