Time to shine light on ar­chaic shad­ows in our con­sti­tu­tion

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - OPINION -


It is time to fi­nally rid the Ir­ish Con­sti­tu­tion of the long stand­ing al­ba­tross that of­fi­cially de­fines a woman’s place as in the home. In the year 2018 it is em­bar­rass­ing and, in­deed, al­most laugh­able that such a sex­ist and in­sult­ing re­frain still ex­ists in our con­sti­tu­tion.

We have only just con­ducted a ref­er­en­dum on rid­ding the con­sti­tu­tion of any ref­er­ence to blas­phemy .... a crime for which there were no pros­e­cu­tions in over 200 years. It was a use­less phrase in the con­sti­tu­tion and now we are rid of it.

Is there a more use­less phrase in our con­sti­tu­tion than the one that rel­e­gates a woman’s place to the home?!!

We al­low di­vorce now, we al­low abor­tions, we al­low same-sex mar­riages and now we can swear at any­body we like. But women best keep that apron on and get the wash­ing up done!! Best fold the laun­dry, make the beds, do the dust­ing and get the rub­bish out.

At least un­til the numb­skull politi­cians in Dublin get some sense knocked into them.

There’s a group up there who thinks the of­fen­sive clause should be ‘amended’ rather than al­to­gether deleted. Amended? To say what?

No amend­ment could pos­si­bly scour this ar­chaic and misog­y­nis­tic shadow from the root of the Ir­ish Con­sti­tu­tion. They want to make sure that there is some value given to car­ing in the home. That is typ­i­cal, ob­streper­ous po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion – throw the kitchen sink into the ref­er­en­dum and it’ll never even get to a com­mit­tee vote.

Smarter heads hope­fully will pre­vail. They want to delete Ar­ti­cle 41.2 in its en­tirety. Kick it to the curb. Let’s see the back of the his­tor­i­cal ridicule of a woman’s role in mod­ern Ir­ish so­ci­ety. When a doc­tor goes af­ter a can­cer­ous tu­mour in a pa­tient, the goal is to cut the lot of it out, not just a lit­tle bit.

It’s time to get rid of this can­cer­ous lan­guage and let women be women ..... any­where they like.


Tom Cahill Ballinskel­ligs

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