Passion on both sides

Wed, Oct 17, 2012, 01:00

“Women, in whatever country ye breathe – wherever ye breathe, degraded, awake! Awake to the contemplation of the happiness that awaits you when all your faculties of mind and body shall be fully cultivated and developed; when every path in which ye can exercise those improved faculties shall be laid open and rendered delightful to you, even as to them who now ignorantly enslave and degrade you.”

 - William Thompson and Anna Doyle Wheeler, Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men, to Retain Them in Political and Thence in Civil and Domestic Slavery, 1825

“The sex of a woman, though it may be a misfortune, is not a crime.”

 - Edward Gibson, Dublin, 1863

“Allowing woman the right of suffrage is incompatible with the Catholic ideal of the unity of domestic life and would fare ill with the passive virtues of humility, patience, meekness, forbearance and self-repression looked upon by the church as the special prerogative of the female soul.”

 - Fr D Barry, Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 1909

“The [women’s] movement in Ireland smacks rather of imitation of the English, and we do not regard it as a native and spontaneous growth.”

 - Editorial in the Leader, 1910

“For Men and Women Equally the Rights of Citizenship; From Men and Women Equally the Duties of Citizenship.”

 - Masthead of the Irish Citizen, 1912-1920

“Women’s suffrage will I believe, be the ruin of our western civilisation. It will destroy the home, challenging the headship of man, laid down by God. It may come in your time – I hope not in mine.”

 - John Dillon, MP, circa 1912

“It would be ludicrous, were it not shameful, to find nationalists, whose history is a record of success gained by the use of violence and lawbreaking and damage to property, condemning the smashing of a few panes of glass as if it were an unheard of and unpardonable outrage, or to find unionists, while vehemently applauding the resolve of Ulster to resist Home Rule by illegal methods and encouraging them to drill for the purpose of armed resistance, at the same time condemning last Thursday’s window smashing in the name of the Irish reputation for sanity and sobriety in the conduct of their social and political affairs.”

 - The Irish Citizen, June 1912

“Down with the suffragettes”; “We will never forget the hatchet”; “Burn them”; “Throw them in the river.”

 - Calls from a crowd at a suffrage meeting in Beresford Place, after a hatchet was thrown into Prime Minister Asquith’s carriage by a protester, July 1912