Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:50 PM
niyad (24,208 posts)
magdalene asylums (or laundries)-- pedophilia is not the only horror in the church (woman-hating)
Last edited Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:40 PM USA/ET - Edit history (2)
(I had heard about the movie, but had no idea of the full extent of the horror, which continued well into the late 20th century)
Magdalene asylums were institutions from the 18th to the late-20th centuries ostensibly to house "fallen women", a term used to imply female sexual promiscuity. Asylums for such girls and women and others believed to be of poor moral character, such as prostitutes, operated throughout Europe and North America for much of the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century. London's Magdalen Asylum was active from 1758 to 1966. The first such asylum in Ireland opened on Leeson Street in Dublin in 1765, founded by Lady Arabella Denny.
Initially the mission of the asylums was to rehabilitate women back into society, but by the early twentieth century the homes had become increasingly punitive and prison-like. In most asylums, the inmates were required to undertake hard physical labour, including laundry and needle work. They endured a daily regimen that included long periods of prayer and enforced silence.
In Ireland, such asylums were known as Magdalene laundries where it is estimated that, since their inception, up to 30,000 women had been incarcerated. The last such institution in Ireland closed in 1996.
. . .
As the Magdalene movement became increasingly distant from the original idea of the rescue movement—finding alternative work for prostitutes who could not find regular employment because of their background—the asylums became increasingly prison-like. Supervising nuns were instructed to encourage the women into penance, rather than merely berating them and blocking their escape attempts.
. . . .
(from the cbs sunday morning report)
February 11, 2009 8:33 PM
The Magdalene Laundry
Someone once said the only thing really new in the world is the history we don't know. The Irish people are learning that right now and it's a painful experience.
It began five years ago when an order of nuns in Dublin sold off part of its convent to real estate developers. On that property were the remains of 133 women buried in unmarked graves, and buried with them was a scandal.
As it turns out, the women had been virtual prisoners, confined by the Catholic Church behind convent walls for perceived sins of the flesh, and sentenced to a life of servitude in something called the Magdalene laundries.
It sounds medieval, something that happened hundreds of years ago, but, in fact, the last Magdalene laundry closed just over two years ago. And as the story was firstly reported in 1999, revelations have shocked the Irish people, embarrassed the Catholic Church and tarnished the country's image.
. . . .
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