Women as property - bizarre tweet from No campaign leaders says more than intended


This seemingly bizarre tweet from a No campaign leader in their attempt to prevent the repeal of the anti-women 8th amendment gives a few things away about their ideological mind set.

It read "Referendum will repeal our property rights. Ignore the fact the the Goverenment then plans to pass a law nationalising half the housing stock. #8thref #refcom @morningireland"

1. For a lot of last 5,000 years women under state forms of government were reduced to property, property that is still symbolically handed over from father to husband at a marriage ceremony. Rape was treated in many penal codes as a property offense against the father / husband and punished by a fine paid to father/husband. Marriage without fathers permission was thus treated as rape in some penal codes including 17 century France.

The No campaign in general have a lot of hard right elements, some of whom would look back to pre - revolution catholic France as a model - to them bodily autonomy is a crime against husband / father i.e. the owner. So the comparison of women to property here falls within that mindset and is less surprising than it first appears.
2. However his reference to housing stock suggests that although the women as property part is illuminating he may also have been trying to say something else, which if anything is more remarkable and undermines their 'you can't trust politicians' messaging via reductio ad absurdum.

Their messaging that the right wing Fine Gael party propped up by the right wing Fianna Fail party are going to introduce an abortion law without restrictions was unconvincing to start with but are we really now to believe that the parties of the landlords have a secret plan to nationalise their own property?

In putting out this claim Quinn has lost all touch with reality, but in a manner that serves to demonstrated how out of touch with reality No claims about the intentions of politicians are after the Repeal the 8th referendum is passed. Our expectation is that the laws they will try and introduce will be too restrictive and we will have to then struggle to have them expanded, just as the No campaign will lobby for tighter restrictions much as their US mentors do back home.