Added: March 5, 2016 – Last updated: March 5, 2016


Author: Jemma Tosh

Title: “Rape Me, I’m Irish”

Subtitle: An Analysis of the Intersecting Discourses of Anti-Irish Racism and Sexual Violence

Journal: Intersectionalities: A Global Journal of Social Work Analysis, Research, and Practice

Volume: 4

Issue: 1

Year: 2015

Pages: 59-81

eISSN: 1925-1270 – Find a Library: Open Access Journal

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | European History: English History, Irish History


Link: Memorial University Libraries (Free Access)


Author:, ResearchGate

Abstract: »Well documented experiences of the Irish diaspora in England include humiliation, discrimination, and higher rates of suicide and psychiatric intervention (Hickman, 2000). However, the construction of the Irish in relation to rape has rarely been considered, despite the longstanding history of the term being used as a metaphor in the context of colonization (Sharkey, 1994). This paper examines intersecting discourses around anti-Irish racism and sexual violence through a genealogical tracing of the concept of rape in relation to men, women, and the discursive category of “The Irish.” This historically situated, discourse analysis (Parker, 2003, 2014) includes contemporary material from microblogs (Java, Song, Finan, & Tseng, 2007). It reveals the construction of the Irish as passive recipients of sexual conquest (whether consensual or coercive) that implies sexual availability. Whether it is the popular “Kiss me I’m Irish” or the more aggressive “Rape me I’m Irish” “joke,” the conceptual Irish body is positioned as an object for others to act upon. This analysis exposes the myth of white homogeneity and the relative invisibility of anti-Irish racism, particularly when combined with other axes of oppression such as gender and class. For professionals working with victims of violence, the complex relationship between colonialism, sectarianism, and racism should be considered beyond visible differences and black–white dichotomies.« (Source: Intersectionalities)


  The Myth of Homogeneous Whiteness (p. 60)
  Colonization and the Metaphor of Rape (p. 61)
  Colonization and Language (p. 63)
  Irish Diaspora (p. 64)
  Contempoary Discourse: Microblogs (p. 65)
  The Irish (p. 66)
  Too Attractive to Rape (p. 66)
  Anti-traveller Racism and Criminal Discourse (p. 67)
  Class and Poverty (p. 68)
  Humour and Humiliation (p. 69)
  Stupidity (p. 70)
  Racist Humour (p. 70)
  Victims of Violence: Anti-Irish Rapism (p. 71)
  Irish Women: Silent and Invisible (p. 72)
  Conclusions (p. 73)
  References (p. 74)
  Author Note (p. 81)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of England, History of Ireland