Photo credit: Houses of the Oireachtas

McConkey: Men should need a licence to enter social spaces

In the wake of the senseless and tragic killing of 23-year-old Offaly native Ashling Murphy, there has understandably been a viscerally emotional reaction from people the length and breadth of the country.

Naturally, we all want to ensure that something this awful can never happen again, and most people (myself included) agree that new systems need to be put in place to make society safer for everyone.

However, Professor Sam McConkey had something else in mind, as he announced on Sunday.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 with Brendan O’Connor, McConkey said that Murphy’s killing “leaves us in speechless, cold, seething anger.”

Now, did he mean anger towards the perpetrator, or anger towards men in general? While he didn’t specify, one can guess what he meant based on the “scientific-driven public policy” suggestion that came next:

“My view is to be radical. You need 12 lessons to learn to drive a car. You need a license to drive a car. You need to do a test. Do we need some sort of, almost, qualification, licensing, education for men to go out into the social sphere?”

For clarity here, the word “social” is defined by Oxford dictionary as “relating to society or its organization.” In other words, what McConkey is suggesting here is making all men qualify for a license to participate in society, all because one deranged nutcase killed a woman.

In other words, all men are to be treated as potential murderers of women until they prove otherwise by receiving a “Not-A-Homicidal-Rapist-Or-Murderer” license.

Can you even for one second imagine if someone suggested that immigrants, or Travelers, or Muslims, or any other group was forced to prove their innocence and excluded from society unless they had a special government-issued license?

If you even hinted at such a proposal, everyone on this RTÉ panel would immediately start foaming at the mouth with rage at how bigoted and hateful you were. You’d be accused of painting an entire group with a broad brush, and shouted down as a backwards, prejudiced, loathsome individual. Yet when men are the target of the exact same suggestion, nobody sees the slightest issue.

In fact, earlier in the segment, Alison O’Connor of the Irish Examiner said that while “it’s not all men, for women, it could be any man.”

“It could be any man” – that is to say, presumably. if you’re a male at home reading this, you have the potential to savagely beat a young woman to death in the street at random.

Or if you’re a woman, any man you know – your Dad, your brother, your husband, your son – could just wake up one day and decide to kill you with his bare hands for no reason. Every man is a violent murderous psychopath in waiting – it might not come out in all of them, but they all have it lurking under the surface.

Again, sub out “man” for any other demographic in society and see how long it takes you to get canceled by these same people. It’s shocking stuff.

McConkey continued:

“People would say, is that an impingement on our rights of free movement? And we’ve obviously all been through this through Covid. But as we’ve just heard, many women feel their ability to free move is restricted because of danger.”

By the way, as an aside, it’s a bit weird that McConkey, who is an infectious disease specialist, is being brought on to talk about a young woman’s tragic murder. He’s entitled to his opinion, but it really seems like at this stage we’re just holding medical experts up as infallible oracles who we consult on any and all subjects. But that’s for another article.

Regardless, it’s noteworthy that he cites Covid as a precedent for a policy like this, highlighting the degree to which civil rights have been utterly eroded over the past 2 years. He basically admits that yes – all men’s freedom of movement should be restricted because some women feel unsafe.

Again, just imagine instead of men and women, it was someone in Blanchardstown saying “I think young Nigerian males should have their movement restricted because I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood.” Imagine it was someone in the country saying Travelers should have their movement restricted. Would this fly?

Of course it wouldn’t. And yet not one panelist on the show with McConkey had a word to say about this frankly insane proposal. It was allowed to sit with zero pushback.

The kind of person who savagely beats another person to death unprovoked is someone who is pathologically lacking in empathy. The fact that they kill another person has less to do with the fact that they are men, and more to do with the fact that they are psychotic.

It’s estimated that around 1% of the population are actual psychopaths. These are people who are virtually incapable of feeling empathy for another human being. Not all psychopaths are dangerous – many of them live fairly normal lives. But for those who are dangerous, there is little you can say or do to convince them not to attack others.

Take Pedro Rodrigues Filho – a Brazilian serial killer who has admitted to killing around 100 people, and who has the words “I Kill For Pleasure” in Portuguese tattooed on his arm.

Or take Jeffrey Dahmer – a child molesting, cannibalistic necrophiliac. As a child he used to torture animals for fun and impaled the head of a neighbour’s pet on a stick for his own amusement. The man was an absolutely deranged headcase.

The issue with people like this is not that they’re male. It’s that there’s something wrong with their brain. They’re not normal, by definition. Sam McConkey’s anti-murder course is not going to fix whatever issues they have going on inside.

I don’t think it’s whataboutism to point out that there are countless examples of female killers – women who murdered their husbands, children, other women, etcetera. It’s absolutely less common, of course, but the male sex does not have a monopoly on these acts.

Here in Ireland we had the Scissor Sisters, who were convicted of killing and dismembering their mother’s boyfriend. They cut off the man’s head and penis with a stanley blade after bludgeoning him with a hammer. But nobody would attempt to judge all women by this extreme outlier, nor should they. Who would say that these individuals are representative of the female sex at large, or that all women have that potential within them?

We have prominent figures in this country pitting half the population against the other on the back of a woman’s death, trying to shoehorn a woke political agenda into a family’s tragedy.

What we have in Ireland, above all else, is a violent criminal problem that is destroying families. 81.1% of recorded victims of sexual violence in Ireland are women. 81.6% of murder victims are men. Both of these are appalling. Neither of these get enough attention.

The CSO says women feel less safe at night than men, which is dreadful. It also says 60% of physical assault victims are men. Both of these are huge causes for concern.

We have criminal predators victimising both sexes, and people of all races and backgrounds all the time in this country. Men, women & children in Ireland are constantly victim to criminals – some Irish, some foreign-born. The horrific killing of Ashling Murphy is part of that.

This is a crime problem, full stop. We need harsher sentencing, stricter policing, and so on. It’s not an excuse to go off on 50% of the population. And for people to try and make this a male versus female issue, using it as an opportunity to shoehorn a hobby horse agenda into someone else’s pain? That’s reprehensible if you ask me.


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