"Military Age Males"
The media, politicians and activists are very inconsistent about when it's ok to be afraid of men and the threat of male violence
In the Irish Examiner last week, Mick Clifford wrote about the origin of the term “Military Age Males” and its creeping use in Irish society in the context of immigration. The phrase is often used by restrictionist protestors about international protection applicants in Ireland. Much like the flying of the tricolour, its adoption by this group has caused a lot of distress in the mainstream, which often seeks to de-emphasise the proportion of single males in new arrivals.
The concludes that this “ugly trope” originated during the war on terror as an American way of presumptively designating young men killed in drone strikes as legitimate targets. A government activist quoted by the piece “tracked the use of the phrase by British white supremacists… around 2015… (they were tweeting) about “a tsunami of Muslim men of fighting age” en route to the UK. Others immediately locked onto the phrase and it spread throughout far-right circles.”
Fears about outsiders, the sudden enforcement of demographic change, and competition for scarce resources are amongst the most basic ones a human can experience. So it’s notable that the government and their informal spokespeople feel the need to outline an explanation for the country’s reaction to immigration that only dates back a decade or two. It’s doubly notable because they themselves have spent the last few years warning about the out of control nature of male violence in Ireland. If you were wondering why people would react with alarm to the sudden arrival of a group of men in their community, there’s no need to invoke the spectre of the British - all you had to do was leaf through couple of editions of the Irish Examiner itself. Some sample headlines: