Scarlet Jewels
The NewsLog of Julie Solheim-Roe

Monday, September 1, 2003day link 

 Where you a Magdalene too?
picture The heartless of a heartless world
The Magdalene Sisters, written and directed by Peter Mullan
By Joanne Laurier
“Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world”—Marx

Five years ago in Dublin, Ireland, an order of nuns sold off part of its convent to real estate developers. On that property the remains of 133 women buried in unmarked graves were discovered. It turned out that the women had been incarcerated by the Catholic Church to work as virtual slave laborers in institutions known as Magdalene Asylums.

The asylums were a network of laundries named after Mary Magdalene, who, according to Christian theology, was a prostitute turned devout follower of Christ. The Magdalene Asylums were set up in the 19th century, first as homes to rehabilitate prostitutes and then as industrial orphanages in response to the growth in the number of abandoned children resulting from the devastating Potato Famine of the middle and late 1840s. By the early 20th century, their role was expanded to function as workhouses for women who in a variety of ways had offended the country’s moral code. Run by the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland, the asylums functioned as commercial laundries, financing the order’s operations.

Under pressure from the Church and its archaic mores, families sent daughters who were deemed wayward to the asylums. The girls were brutalized and worked long hours every day but Christmas, for no pay. The choice of work was not accidental. Called “Magdalenes,” or penitents, the inmates were intended to scrub away their sins by scrubbing clean the dirty laundry from orphanages, churches, prisons and local businesses. Many of the women were so broken in spirit and isolated from the outside world that they chose asylum labor over leaving the institutions, some remaining until they died. The Catholic Church in Ireland indentured more than 30,000 women and girls in the Magdalene Asylums. Amazingly, the last one was not closed until 1996.

[ | 2003-09-01 14:13 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


 Hope for Potato Heads
picture
New fitness system turns couch potatoes into armchair troopers

The University of Warwick is promoting healthier lifestyles for even the most deconditioned by increasing awareness of a unique fitness system designed to combat couch potato culture.

The Exten Fitness System uses state of the art motorised chairs to give users a safe all-body workout and help those who are unfit or overweight get in shape. The unique technology offers an alternative to the exercise machines currently found in gyms or rehabilitation centres and provides a new way of achieving a healthier lifestyle.
[ | 2003-09-01 13:55 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >


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