Christine O'Mahony: Humiliation

Christine O’Mahony was born in 1952 in Northampton. As a young child Christine spent time in Nazareth House children’s homes with her two sisters, before returning to family life in Camden, London aged five. Christine attended local C of E and Catholic primary schools and a local Catholic Secondary School, also spending time in hospital aged seven.

Here Christine describes a culture of humiliation in her lessons.

  • Christine O'Mahony
  • Christine O'Mahony
  • Christine O'Mahony


That thing about teaching you humility, I don’t know if it was sort of universal but, oh my God, you couldn’t get it right. If you put your hand up and you knew the answer you’d be told, ‘Put your hand down Christine O’Mahony, we all know Miss big brain knows what she’s doing,’ so you’d be told off for knowing it. If you put your hand up and you didn’t know it you’d be told, ‘how dare you put your hand up and you don’t even know the answer, you stupid girl, put your hand down’. If you didn’t put your hand up and you got picked on for the answer and you knew it you’d be told off for arrogance in not sharing your information with the rest of the class. And if you didn’t know the answer and you didn’t put your hand up you’d be told to leave the room because you hadn’t been paying attention or something. I mean whatever it was humiliation was woven into everything.

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