PBS is airing a three part documentary on the Easter Rising tonight. SundanceTV is also showing a three part series on the Rising starting tonight as well (h/t: Charles Pierce). 100 years ago today a group of Irish republicans launched an insurrection against the British occupation and in support of home rule and autonomy. One of the most remarkable things about the Easter Rising was the significant role played by over 200 women from the Cumman na mBan/The Irishwomen’s Council. The role of women in revolutionary movements and other forms of low intensity warfare is often overlooked or under appreciated. While the role of women in seeking to end revolutionary conflict, especially that in Northern Ireland is well known, what is less often remarked upon is the role women play in promoting revolutionary conflict. In regards the Irish Troubles, women played a tremendous role in transmitting the ideals of Irish republicanism and the idea and cause of a free and autonomous Ireland. This often took the form of inculcating these beliefs in their children and grandchildren and provides an excellent example of social learning. I’m looking forward to seeing how tonight’s documentary deals with these and other issues relating to the desire for autonomy, self determination, and the decision making process that leads a significant portion of a movement to chose to rebel, rather than take some other form of political or social action.
* Image found here.