She too: stop sexually harassing Molly Malone
‘I first laid my hands on sweet Molly Malone’ is not how this song is supposed to go
Show some respect: the Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan
I wish to include the internationally famous fishmonger, Molly Malone, in the current movement against sexual harassment.
On a visit to Dublin recently, I passed by her outside the tourist office in the former St Andrew’s Church on Suffolk Street. There were crowds of people around, everyone straining to get photos. I glanced to see how she was holding up with all the attention and was shocked to witness more than one young man cup her breasts and laugh suggestively, looking out at his large audience for reaction.
She represents a young woman who may or may not have existed during the 17th century or Victorian times. Many other statues adorn our capital city’s streets, James Joyce (North Earl Street), Oscar Wilde (Merrion Square), Wolfe Tone (corner of St Stephen’s Green and Hume Street), to mention a few.
Yes, allow for romanticism encouraged by the song Molly Malone but do not for one minute think that this should give anyone permission to grab a breast or two
Can you imagine anyone fondling these statues? Groping them in any way? Absolutely not. So why should our “enigmatic heroine” as she has often been described, have to be subjected to undignified and disrespectful attention?
The sculpture by Jeanne Rynhart was commissioned 25 years ago to mark the city’s millennium. It is understood that the ample bosoms are an interpretation of another profession that Molly had to resort to apart from selling her cockles and mussels, that of prostitution. Her birth, her existence, is sometimes debated; nevertheless she is a representation of women, regardless of century, who led impoverished lives.
Yes, allow for romanticism encouraged by the song Molly Malone but do not for one minute think that this should give anyone permission to grab a breast or two. This lack of respect for me is on the same level as allowing Hugh Hefner of Playboy magazine to stash his ashes near the vulnerable and preyed-upon Marilyn Monroe.