How October 7 exposed Irish feminists as hypocrites

Jews have been betrayed by the progressive movements they’ve long supported


2TD1JG7 Sally Rooney attends a photocall during the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

March 28, 2024 12:55

As an Irish woman of Jewish heritage and a proud feminist, since October 7 I’ve been heartbroken by the profound cruelty of Irish feminists towards Jewish victims of gender-based violence.

‘Ní saoirse go saoirse go mBan’ is an Irish phrase that translates into English as: ‘there is no freedom until the freedom of women’. In recent years, this slogan has resonated through Irish society as we fight for advancements in women’s rights.

A core tenet in the pursuit of our freedom and dignity as women globally is combatting domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence. Modern feminist movements have made this central to their work, leading to the enormous success of the #MeToo movement.

In the past few months, a common sentiment expressed amongst Jewish friends and acquaintances has been one of a profound sense of betrayal. Distressingly, it is one felt with respect to people, organisations, and institutions that were once wholly trusted. There has arguably been no betrayal more acute than that of ‘feminists’ and women’s organisations. Not least given that feminist movements have been enhanced by the contribution of countless Jewish women worldwide. Feminists allowed their biases to supercede every principle they purportedly stood for: believe all women, stand by all women, rape can never be contextualised, rationalised, justified.

We agonised as they remained indifferently silent in the face of the sadistic rape, torture, and mutilation of civilian women and girls. We were astounded at their hypocrisy when Jews were part of the equation: imposing on us a wave of doubt and denialism. How could those who embraced the concept of ‘Believe Women’, choose not to believe the experiences of Jews? How could they instead place faith in the non-existent virtue of their perpetrators: terrorists who slaughtered whole families?

Institutionally and individually, Irish feminists espoused a disturbing level of gloating callousness towards 7/10 victims of gender-based violence: one that betrays a malicious level of dehumanisation.

The Student’s Union of Trinity College Dublin-the university in which I am currently pursuing a doctorate-contains many feminist representatives. On the 11th of October, they released a statement condemning Israel and rationalising Hamas’ atrocities. The victims of 7/10 received a banal and universalised ‘TCD stands against all forms of violence and we acknowledge the tragic loss of life caused by this war’. This seemed to be contradicted by the subsequent: ‘...wars of national liberation have been expressly embraced…’

Rape is not liberation.

On 7/10 a public representative and avowed ‘feminist’, Brigid Purcell, wrote the following on X: ‘Palestinian resistance is beautiful, it’s inspiring and it’s legitimate…’

Rape is not resistance. It is not beautiful. It is not inspiring. It is never legitimate.

In an opinion piece in the Irish Times, renowned Irish author and ‘feminist’, Sally Rooney, justifiably decried IDF soldiers playing with Palestinian women’s lingerie. She described this as an instance of ‘moral depravity’. However, she had nothing to say about the astounding moral depravity that was Hamas’ butchery of Israeli women. This silence speaks volumes.

The gender-based violence Jewish women and girls were subjected to en masse incited no public condemnation from the taxpayer-funded National Women’s Council (NWC) of Ireland. However, they did see fit to share an Irish Times article-written by another Irish ‘feminist’ Justine McCarthy-that contained appalling Holocaust inversion. In this same post on X, they announced they would be marching as an organisation at the National March for Palestine the next day. The NWC purports to be an organisation: ‘where every woman enjoys true equality, and no woman is left behind’. It seems they have failed in this mission.

This dehumanisation is emblematic of a particularly virulent manifestation of antisemitism in my country. It is a deep prejudice that permeates Irish society from the top down, the prevalence of which has become infamous amongst the Jewish community globally.

I’m heartbroken to bear witness to the fact that this prejudice is ingrained in many Irish women whom I used to respect, admire, and love. ‘Feminist’ friends have almost universally sanitised Hamas’ atrocities in conversations. They prosaically describe 7/10 as a ‘sad loss of life’: notably omitting the specific sexual violence perpetrated against Jewish women and girls. Further, I see them engaging in inhumane rhetoric online that places the blame for this ‘sadness’ firmly on the shoulders of the victims themselves: ‘victim blaming’.

It is devastating beyond measure that so many fellow Irish women could not extend the principle of ‘ní saoirse go saoirse go mBan’ to Jewish victims of gender-based violence: the sheer evilness of which is beyond human comprehension. It suggests that, to them, above being women and girls, they were just Jews who deserved it.

The weight of the unspeakable agony that these victims endured in their final moments is one carried by the Jewish community globally: an agony that echoes the brutality inflicted on Jewish women for millennia.

It is a weight made infinitely heavier by the profound betrayal of so many ‘feminists’. Author Rena Lipiner Katz, daughter of Holocaust survivors, searingly wrote on X: ‘after 40 years of self-identification as a feminist, I renounce it. Women’s groups have abandoned me and my Jewish sisters by politicising feminism and left us exposed once again to a brutality unseen in history. I am a Jew’.

March 28, 2024 12:55

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