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The Magdalene Laundry System History Essay

The Magdalene Laundries were one of Irelands biggest scandal; these were a prison-like establishment. They are now commonly known as a location where Irelands fallen women were maintained. These being women that experienced become pregnant out of wedlock or were unmarried moms. They unfortunately were not the sole women who experienced at the hands of the Nuns, Priests and the Catholic Church who subjected women to misuse and slavery. The Laundries were named after that of Mary Magdalene, who was a prostitute, who sought forgiveness so that these were intended houses to "save fallen women" you can see why they choose the name. The task was supposed to be symbolic, that the purging of sin was by cleansing dirty laundries. Here, I'll explain my knowledge of the Magdalene Laundries from my research of the Laundries record and from the experiences of the survivors of the unimaginable prisons and show these weren't charitable institutes but have there been as consequence for innocent and susceptible women.

In Ireland there was a total of 10 Magdalene Laundries which were based in counties Cork, Dublin, Galway, Waterford, Wexford and Limerick (http://leargas. blogspot. ie), with the first one being create in 1767 in Dublin(). These were run by orders of Nuns of the Catholic Chapel. In Ireland, the Catholic Chapel was viewed as always being right and you simply were to do what they said without question. They, to the extent managed the folks of Ireland and with this indoctrination came the fact that sex before relationship was a sin, therefore contraception was illegal in Ireland and therefore sexual education was not provided for. As the Catholic Church had all of this power in Ireland it is not hard to understand why that they had control of the Laundries. It was initially believed that the Laundries were being privately run, nonetheless it was later discovered that the State was paying the Nuns three pounds for every women or woman who arrived to the institute at first this source of income, which increased to eighteen pounds per week between your years 1979 to 1994. With such a powerful carry over there laundries these young women didn't stand a chance. The Laundries were often forgotten about in the neighborhoods but would soon become one of Ireland tragic secrets. In 1993, after one of the Laundries was sold not because of closure, a heart-breaking breakthrough was soon made; the corpses of 155 women were buried in unmarked graves (http://www. abandonedireland. com). With this brutal breakthrough the storyplot of what went on in the Magdalene Laundries started to be revealed and even at present continues to be unfolding. The Magdalene Laundries were in the beginning set up for the "rehabilitating" of women who possessed "sold" their body for making love i. e. prostitution (www. broadrecognition. com), however by the first 1940's it became a location where not only "fallen women" were sent to the laundries but anyone who got disgraced their family or were suspected to experienced their chastity violated were also sent. Likewise, women who were raped were often put into the Laundries as the family did not want to handle the scandal, so would offer with it by mailing the victim away. On the other hand to this there have been also all women who never recognized why they were positioned in the laundries and many having never found out. Many women spent their whole lives in the Laundries and regrettably passed away there as the only path you may leave the Magdalene Laundries was too either break free or await a relative to come and retrieve you. Regrettably this frequently was then used as part of the mental abuse employed by the nuns who would tell the regrettable women that no-one could love them and they were heading to be remaining there all their lives.

The torture that these women were subjected to is unthinkable and disturbing to think that one human-being could feel empowered eliminate another human-being's liberty and deny them of any sort of quality of life. They were cared for as slaves and all were bodily and psychologically abused, with some even being sexually abused by both the Nuns and Priests. There were many brave women which may have come forward to share their history of the distressing life they were forced to go through the Laundries; these women have therefore given us an understanding into how extreme the maltreatment was. Some ways in which the ladies were abused ranged from their changing appearance to simply just refusing to do the task, for example, they were not allowed to look anyways like a female as they made many young women wear bandages to flatten their breasts. They might then have to pay the rest of the physiques in very coarse darkish dresses or outfits. Their head of hair was cut up short to try and make them look more unattractive, as it was believed to be a sin to be vain or beautiful. This also was grounds why a lot of women were delivered to the Laundries as it was feared these were too attractive and would be at risk of burning off their chastity before they were married. Many of the women said the physical misuse was terrible but it's the psychological abuse that has caught up with them. Examples of the psychological mistreatment was making the women remove naked and the nuns standing up there taking a look at them criticising and laughing while shouting insults at them which made the ladies feel degraded. The women received no privacy, their names were taken from them, their personality was taken this would be extremely detrimental to anyone. They weren't permitted to speak in any way to the other person or to anyone they arrived to contact with as they were consistently reminded that they were very sinful women. Different ways they were physically and psychologically abused was that after a beating they might be made look in a mirror and be told that these were "unsightly and disgusting". Many beatings were to be disobedient; not following a nun's requests or for talking. Along with the abuse the women were required to work 6 days and nights weekly from early morning to very late at night without pay. The ladies would develop health issues from the chemicals and from ranking long hours without rest. Add in the beatings to the and you may begin to comprehend the pain these women was required to endure. Tragically, a lot of the sexual misuse was from the Priests who went to each week to state mass. This intimate abuse would range between rape to the priests masturbating on top of the women. Needless to say, this also had damaging effects on the ladies who were abused.

Thankfully, the Magdalene Laundries are closed with the previous one being shut in 1996; nevertheless the analysis into what happened has only started in the last ten years as much women still feared the chapel and were worried to come ahead. The legacy how the Magdalene Laundries has left behind devastated people who are looking for justice for the maltreatment that they had to experience for doing nothing at all wrong. They may be preventing for an apology from both the Talk about and the Catholic Chapel. Over the last couple of years many folks have started to advocate on behalf of the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries to help to win this combat and also to try taking closure to these brave women. It includes left out many broken people and a ruined era, as it not only influenced the women but also the kids which were either ripped away from them or the kids that were forced into the professional schools. They have haunted these women all their lives and has taken many women years to come to terms using what was done to them.

In summary, The Magdalene Laundries were one of Ireland's most horrific tragedies, the mistreatment and struggling innocent women were required to endure at the hands of the Catholic Church is unforgiveable and unimaginable. The legacy left out from the Magdalene Laundries has luckily struck in the fight for justice for these women, sadly the ladies have yet to get any justice but this struggle has only truly started so you can find hope that the ladies will one day get the apology they should have. The folks of Ireland need to be informed of that which was occurring in these institutes so that it will never happen again. It creates me ashamed of Ireland it shows we still have much to learn if we are still protecting the Catholic Church from the clear wrong they did.

Part B:

A sociological review and understanding of the film "The Magdalene Sisters"

The film "The Magdalene Sister's" directed by Peter Mullan portrays the internal and physical mistreatment the regrettable women suffered at the hands of the Nuns. However many of the survivors have expressed that the maltreatment was much more severe than that shown in the film. The film has some good point and bad in exhibiting us an insight in to the Laundries. For example, it mainly targets the unmarried women placed into the Laundries; though it does reference women being "simple-minded" and "vanity" it does not get into much aspect about the amount of women who were devote anticipated to these reasons. Similarly, it obviously shows how Irish families wished to avoid scandal after one of the heroes was devote the Laundries after being raped. Furthermore it portrays how the Irish men made all the decisions because of their daughters and women in their lives, demonstrating the power men possessed over women back the 20th century.

The movie does not seem to concentrate on any specific course; by looking at the three main individuals we can easily see that one is from what is apparently a middle income family, one appears to be from a working category family and another is from an industrial school. This evidently shows us that not just one particular class had been affected by the Magdalene Laundries, and any women was put in if she was an unmarried women, victim of rape or even if she was a at a risk of violating her chastity. Therefore, no-one was safe from the Magdalene Laundries.

In the film there was exploitation of labourers, we can see the a few of the task these women possessed to do every day from morning hours to late at night and medical problems from the chemicals. This risk of their heath, both metallic and physical was exploited as these women works for no pay. Also, many of these women were erotic exploited, this is portrayed excellently in the film such as a few scenes we see the Priest using one of the ladies for his sexual joy, another landscape is when the women are prearranged naked and judged for the Nuns enjoyment.

To conclude, "The Magdalene Sister's" is a brilliant yet heart-breaking film that gives us an information into the way the women suffered in the Magdalene Laundries. Although it might not exactly portray the mistreatment as gruesome as it was, it does however have a shocking affect from the abuse it does show. The exploitation of the women is portrayed to this scope that, with any good luck the film will service as a reminder for the people of Ireland in the wish that this kind of horrific maltreatment won't happen again.

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