I’m not saying that the use by the Irish state of the Magdalene laundries as reformatories to which people could be sent without explanation or due process was in any way defensible. And Irish nuns could undoubtedly be tough in those days (my wife has fond memories from her convent school in Swanage, now a holiday hotel, of being called “a bold girl” and having her hand thwacked with a 12-inch ruler). But, says one woman quoted above, there was in the Magdalene laundries no physical punishment that she saw, and though things were “not rosy”, “we were treated good and well looked after”.
Says William Oddie, whose clueless article on the Catholic Herald denigrates the tales of horrific abuse that came from the Magdalene Laundries. In particular? The Throwaway line about his wife surviving her own pointless abuse and being “better” for it.
Beating your kids is abuse. Someone else beating your kids is also abuse. It’s assault and battery and should be punished as such. The sexual and physical brutality of the Magdalene laundries are well known and people such as Oddie actually are trying to say this.
The Laundries aren’t as bad as you make them out to be. The majority of women who were FORCED into them were not abused to the level of the stories. The fact of the matter is the Catholic Church in Ireland with regards to the Magdalene laundries is guilty of Sexual Exploitation, Physical Abuse and one more crime.
Tell me? What crime involves making people work for you without any pay or reward and under compulsion or force?
It’s called “Slavery” mate.