My guest column for Friday’s Irish Times

It was in the Book of Genesis that Onan spent his seed upon fallow ground. This ultimate act of narcissism is an apt metaphor, you will agree, for the self-indulgent culture which has grown up in what is wrongly called “post-Catholic Ireland”. Nowhere do we see the, if you will, seminal apotheosis of this literally godless self-absorption as we do in the 21st Century scourge known as “social media”.

(On a point of Biblical accuracy, perhaps we should not be so quick to judge Onan. There was, after all, a woman involved. There usually is.)

In ancient Greek plays, it was the function of the Chorus to keep the audience informed of developments within the drama. Originally numbered at fifty, Sophocles wisely reduced the Chorus to twelve. This was later revised upward to fifteen by Euripides in the case of tragedies and twenty-four in comedies, and, look, let’s not get bogged down in nuance here, I’m leading up to a clever point about Twitter. Suffice to say, Sophocles recognised that the Chorus should not be allowed to drown out public discourse and, unfortunately, that is precisely what we have allowed Twitter to do.

Social media’s democratisation of opinion is, of course, a horribly unhealthy thing, giving as it does a notional equality which suggests that some person with a laptop is the equal of a man with a column in the paper. And yet, for all of that democratisation, online commentators remain locked in the iron grip of a tyrannical orthodoxy, one which brooks no dissenting voice.

There is a crushing grimness to the prevailing climate on Twitter. Like Henry Ford’s black car, you can have any opinion you like on Twitter, so long as it’s liberal. Those daring to deviate from the approved group-think of “cool” left-wing, mostly urban, radical feminism, are branded “trolls” as though it were they who hide beneath bridges awaiting innocent goats, and not the self-appointed footsoldiers of so-called progressive thinking.

(Sub-Editor- Metaphor works perfectly. Do not change. -JW.)

The professionally-aggrieved who howl “misogyny” continue, as ever, to misconstrue wilfully an attempted examination of pre-misandrist societal norms. The feminists, those purveyors of naked misandry, will never see the damage they have wrought to our collective identity. God be with the days a gentleman could innocently address a young woman as “Girleen”, without getting his cranium stoved in.

Oh, of course there are some who will say that we’ve benefitted from Feminism, but I would contend that we have lost far more. Men are afraid now to be men at all. It is fashionable these days to mock the simple, unspoken love between men, the bond that only comes from GAA scores and pints, but should not a boy aspire to be a man, a real man, with a hurl in his hand and the glint of our ancestry in his mind’s eye?

At work here too is a visceral hatred of rurality, and an utter contempt for the people who liked the showbands and who still unconsciously affirm their simple faith by saying “Tang God”. The feminists would never admit to it, but in their secret, post-Catholic hearts, they know that there has always been something very masculine about the smell of slurry as it drifts like the sound of the Angelus Bell across the fields of an autumn evening, something male and true, something that speaks to our shared bond with the land.

As I said to my new girlfriend when we met the Pope, misandry is behind the aggressive liberal agenda of secularism too. At a time when feminists are hell-bent on their agenda to deny the rights of fathers, their ultimate goal is now clear and obvious: they intend nothing less than to deny the rights of God the Father Himself.

It is surely past time that we look beyond the current, cosy, liberal consensus, as embodied by the latter-day followers of Onan on Twitter, and its agenda of aggressive feminism and look instead to the vision of a truly modern Ireland, as articulated by Eamon DeValera and Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

And let us never forget the rights of fathers.

Donal O’Keeffe

P.S. (Given the number of people telling me they didn’t “get” this, I should really refer you to this article by David Robert Grimes.)

P.P.S. There is no way The Irish Times will publish my letter

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13 thoughts on “My guest column for Friday’s Irish Times

  1. considering in the past fathers had even less rights (children could be taken from fathers and placed in industrial schools and orphanages simply because their mother had died) I really don’t get this new cry that it’s the wicked feminists who are being mean to fathers.

    In my humble opinion the same traditional forces which decided women were best suited to rear children also decided that men were not best suited to rear children. Surely the logic is obvious?

    In my experience men are equally guilty of mocking stay at home fathers and fathers who prioritise their children. When feminists do it they are not feminists – they are buying into the traditional sexisms that have shaped our attitudes for millennia.

    Sexism effects men…yes. It’s wicked feminists who started it….hardly!

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