Women in Ireland: Voices of Change by Jenny Beale

By Jenny Beale

"... a dramatic evaluation of the altering life-styles and values of girls within the Republic of Ireland." —Choice

"Beale’s learn is enticing, informative and concept provoking." —Women’s stories foreign Forum

"... an interesting examine girls made up our minds to take part within the fight for the lengthy haul, girls who may perhaps simply have thrown up their fingers in depression, and subsidized clear of an all-too-powerful Catholic heirarchy. that they've no longer performed this can be inspiring, and reinforces the truism that "sisterhood is global." —Belles Lettres

Beale’s research indicates that even supposing eire continues to be a deeply conservative society with appreciate to sexual morality and the ideology of the kin, it additionally has a full of life women’s move, which has gained major advancements for women.

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Most emigrants stayed abroad and their sisters and brothers and cousins went out to join them. America exerted a strong pull on young people's minds, and American money from relatives helped many farming families to keep going. Audrey remembers it well from her childhood in Co. Mayo: When I was growing up it was American culture all the time. The beautiful Christmas cards which used to arrive with glitter on them, and reindeers. I would have given anything to have got those. Then there were the clothes that used to come from America which were all frills and bows.

In his study of a west oflreland parish in the 1960s, Hugh Brody found that of a total population of 436 people, eighty-seven were bachelors over the age of 35. The majority lived alone, while others lived with elderly parents or in sibling groups. 22 The picture is a familiar one. Even today, many rural parishes consist in large part of bachelors living alone- people who have been overtaken by time, living the old life in a new society and increasingly isolated. What caused this excess of single people?

Although arranged marriages are a thing of the past, the values of traditional family life are still held up as ideals and lie at the root of many modern issues. We have seen that emigration in this century increasingly reflected a rejection of the farming way of life, a rejection that may well have been more pronounced in women than in men. As early as 1911, George Russell had warned Irish society of the consequences of women's dissatisfaction: Today the starved soul of womanhood is crying out over the world for an intellectual life and for more chance of earning a living.

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