Tag Archives: Joe Hockey

Men who hate women are everybody’s problem.

13 Jun

It’s no surprise that there dwell among us packs of males, whose feelings about women are so conflicted that while outwardly conducting apparently reasonable relationships with females close to them, they display the most base hostility to women they perceive as different, and in some way dangerous.

It also comes as no surprise that this hostility is expressed in sexual terms. Our breasts and our genitals serve as a focus for the fear and hatred felt towards us by some men, all of whom have mothers, some of whom have wives and female lovers, many of whom have daughters and sisters. Our body shapes and our faces are also the focus for this hatred, and our physical characteristics are almost always the first object of complaint when such a man feels himself provoked by something we have or have not done.

What ought to really terrify us, apart from the frequently repressed fear of going about our daily lives amongst these marauding packs, fear we must repress or we’ll never get out of our front doors, is that some of them will likely soon form the government of this country.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has served as a lightening rod for woman hatred , but anyone who thinks it’s only about her needs to think again. Any one of us who crosses any one of those men will be treated in exactly the same way, because that is what they do. They have no idea how to do anything else, and they don’t care to find out.

These men, and the women who support them, will have control over an array of legislation that directly affects women in terms of our reproductive health, and child care, for example. If the ALP defeat is as catastrophic as is forecast, there will be little in place to curb their enthusiasm for controlling our lives. We must not have men who hate us and the women who support them, wielding such power over us. Read this piece, by Lenore Taylor, on the possibilities.

This is Tony Abbott’s statement on abortion

If the last few days of ugliness have shown us anything, it’s that there are men who hate women and women who will make excuses for them, fast heading into a situation where they will have an alarming degree of control over our bodies and our lives.

I know there are men who are disgusted and repulsed by the attitudes and actions of some of their fellows. You have to speak up. This is not just a problem for women. Anything you can do and say. Whenever you can do and say it.

It is a bizarre and isolating feeling, to live in a body that can be so vilified simply because it is female. The slurs may be directed against Ms Gillard in these latest instances, but they threaten every woman. Everyone needs to take a stand against those men who need to belittle women, in order to feel good about themselves. It isn’t fun. It isn’t just a joke. It’s a sick and perverted masculinity.

Pell claims a “disproportionate attack on the church”

12 Nov

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, today claimed that calls for a royal commission into the sexual abuse of children by priests and brothers  are a “disproportionate attack on the church.”

Pell goes on to claim that the Catholic church is not the only culprit, or the only community producing culprits, and that the sordid history of coverups, removal of offenders from one school, parish, diocese or state to another is no indication of a systemic failing in the church.

If this widespread protection of sexual offenders isn’t an indication of systemic moral and criminal collapse, I’d like to know what is.

There is no doubt that the Catholic church is not the only culprit, and that sexual abuse of children occurs in other institutions and indeed, within families and friendship circles. I fail to see why this tragic reality is an argument for letting the Catholic church off the hook. “He did it too” is hardly a rational justification for avoiding investigation.

The phrase “disproportionate attack” is an apt description not of proposed moves against the Catholic church, but of the crimes perpetrated by its priests and brothers against children. Cardinal Pell continues to confirm suspicions in the wider society that he just doesn’t get it. His priority is his church, not the children who suffered abuse perpetrated by members of the church community.

Given the nature of these attacks, their prevalence, and their disastrous long-term effects on the lives of victims, it is hard to imagine how any “attack” on the Catholic church could be seen as “disproportionate” to the crimes it has allowed to be committed, unchecked, for decades.

Indeed, I would argue the Church is not being “attacked” at all, rather it is being called to account for these crimes. This accounting may well go on for some time, and may well increase in its rigour. However, nothing that is done to the Church or its hierarchy will come anywhere near the damage and havoc created in the lives of victims and their families.

Sexual abuse of a child is a crime. Anyone who sexually abuses a child is a criminal. Anyone who covers up the crime is also a criminal. George Pell continues his efforts to minimise the role of the Church in enabling circumstances in which a network of criminal pedophiles could continue their vile practices for years. He does this because his loyalty is to his church, not to his God, who according to scriptures would see anyone who offends a little one tossed into the sea with a millstone round his neck.

George Pell’s loyalty and devotion is to an institution, an institution that appears increasingly corrupt in its convoluted efforts to avoid legal scrutiny, and increasingly divorced from the passionate ideals of its prophet, Jesus.

As Leonard Cohen puts it: “It was you who built the temple, it was you who covered up my face…”

What is “disproportionate” is the Catholic church’s resistance to a Royal Commission. What is “disproportionate” are protests by the like of Joe Hockey, Bill Shorten and others who attempt to conceal their objections to a royal commission behind a faux concern for the church’s victims. In so doing, they contribute to the repression and suppression that has allowed these crimes to continue, unchecked. Victims of child sexual abuse live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. Silence and denial are not their friends. Transparency  and accountability won’t entirely take away the pain, but they will go a long way towards easing the torments of life after childhood sexual abuse.

 

Dear Joe Hockey

21 May

Dear Joe Hockey,

Meet Archie. According to you Archie has the ideal parental configuration, that is, he has a male and a female parent as his primary carers.

Note I don’t say he has a “mother and father.” That’s because in my experience the attributes the dominant culture (as represented by you in this instance) associates with mothers and fathers aren’t necessarily founded in biology, rather they are cultural constructs and as such, can be assumed by either sex. I have seen male parents in my family engage in “mothering” while I’ve witnessed female parents happily “fathering” away and nobody much cares, as long as the babies are getting what they need.

While Archie meets your standards in terms of immediate family, after that it gets a little wild. This fortunate infant has four grandmothers, two of whom are called Jennifer because one grandfather married the same name twice, though not simultaneously because as yet, nobody’s done polygamy. I don’t see this in our futures either, as the women in our extended family are exceptionally feisty, and most of us see polygamy as favouring the male of the species. The prospect of having more than one male partner at a time leaves us uninspired, though several of us have engaged in serial monogamy.

That being said, Archie does have Mormon-by-marriage cousins in the US, albeit lapsed.

Archie also has five cousins whom we all call the Caramels, owing to their Indian mother and Anglo-Celtic father. These parents were married in two ceremonies, one Catholic and one Hindu. Archie himself recently enjoyed a Catholic baptism and an atheist Name Day, to cater for the disparate choices of his nearest and dearest. All four grandmothers were present including the bisexual one, and nobody got into any recriminatory fights.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot. One of Archie’s great-aunts is also bisexual, and her partner is transgender.

Archie’s parents both work and the extended family as a whole has a strong work ethic, even the sexually adventurous among us. We are all good citizens paying our taxes and staying out of jail.

As yet, we have no idea how Archie will decide to express his sexuality. We don’t much care.

However, all us four grandmothers  love him with a ferocity you don’t want to mess with. If anybody like you tries to put Archie down because of who he loves, they’ll have us to contend with.

Until I was seven, I was brought up by my grandparents. They were then forced to relinquish me to my birth mother and her new husband. A heterosexual pair. In that configuration I experienced physical, sexual and emotional abuse that I barely survived. What I’m saying to you Mr Hockey, is that you and those who think like you are making too many assumptions, and there are too many of us with too much experience who will continue to challenge your assumptions, and we will win.

My family is a big family and we contain many differences. The babies in our family grow up accepting difference because it’s in the familial air they breathe. This is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

I am sorry for you and your kind, Mr Hockey. I am sorry for your small minds and shrivelled spirits. With my history, I know the miracle of finding human beings who love me and let me love them. I feel sorry for you, Mr Hockey, that you are compelled to judge and reject human beings who don’t fit your narrow vision of what families should be. Maybe if like me, you’d lived in darkness from which you never imagined you’d emerge, you wouldn’t be so damn picky.

I don’t think you will win this battle. There are too many of us who can say, echoing the magnificent words of Penny Wong: “I know what my family is worth.” I know what my hard-won family is worth, Joe Hockey. And none of us need you to tell us how we should be.

Hockey’s contempt; lavartus prodeo nights redux

23 Sep

In his rush to denigrate Treasurer Wayne Swan‘s award from Euromoney Magazine as Treasurer of the Year, Joe Hockey managed to deliver both ethnic slurs and sexist insults.

Listing several countries whose treasurers have previously won the accolade, Hockey contemptuously inferred the utter lack of value he attaches to it, apparently based solely on previous recipients. These include two Slovakian ministers, a Serbian, a Nigerian and a Bulgarian. In 2001 a Pakistani finance minister received the accolade. “That is quite an extraordinary one, that [last] one,” Joe told us, rolling his eyes for the cameras.

He then gave the email address of the magazine as “chunts@euromoney.com” How tragically unreconstructed it is that a seasoned MP can do no better than to use female genitalia in a pathetic effort to convey contempt and insult. It does tell us where his head’s at, in case we were in any doubt. He doesn’t think much of women and select ethnicities.

Hockey did manage to redirect some of yesterday’s press attention towards himself, albeit in largely negative commentary.  But like attracts like, and given the coalition’s commitment to unrelenting negativity as a legitimate form of opposition, it’s inevitable that some of it’s going to come right back at them.

Interesting how racism and sexism are apparently Hockey’s default position.

Last night I noticed a bit of traffic from the Lavartus Prodeo blog to No Place for Sheep. I was curious, as since I wrote this post here  earlier this year on my brief encounter with some of the charmers over there, we’ve had nothing to do with one another. I once read something by Mark Bahnisch that I thought was pretty good and I meant to leave a comment, but forgot.

Seven months ago it was to be exact when I withdrew my love, I was informed bitterly when I trotted over there last night to find out the reason for the sudden link. They’re keeping track of the months, I marvelled. They’re still quoting the things I said? They’re still calling me “Dr?”

Turns out there’s a climate change dispute happening there, someone attacked what they perceived as regular commenters’ defensive insularity, and was brusquely referred to my piece for his trouble. The matchmaking Mercurio suggested to Norm that he’d have a lot in common with this “lady” called Jennifer, and linked us.

Well, of course I had to thank them for their ongoing interest in me, which led to a brief spray from a few of the regulars, pretty much in the same vein as it was seven months ago, but not as clever.

Seven months is a long time in the blogosphere. Most posts are lucky to hold anybody’s interest for seven seconds. I’m astonished to discover that they still think about me at LP after all this time, let alone send me visitors.

Dr Bahnisch did invite me back to his blog, and said some of them really wanted me to join in. But I’m a bit squeamish about the stratospheric levels of hostility over there, especially that directed at newcomers who don’t always agree with them. The competition to write the most articulate insult seems to frequently overwhelm the matter under discussion. Just like Gillard and Abbott, all topics become an opportunity for the performance of clever spite. After a while, it’s utterly boring to everyone other than the protagonists, and who needs to wade through all that negativity in search of a robust exchange of views?

It’s interesting, however, to see that there are still people complaining about LP’s defensive insularity, and it wasn’t just a product of my fevered imagination and pain killers.

Lover, lover, lover – burying the dead, Scott Morrison, and L. Cohen

16 Feb

Grief. Edgar Bertram Mackennal via Commons Wikimedia

One thing the Shadow Minister for Immigration reminded me of yesterday is that whatever qualities may be required for the practice of politics, the possession of emotional intelligence is not one of them.

Morrison’s race to the bottom whine about misuse of taxpayer dollars to bring bereaved asylums seekers from Christmas Island to Sydney  has brought down buckets of approbation down on his head, and deservedly so.

Jonathan Green’s piece also reveals the morally bereft position of the government on the issue.

Morrison’s complaint was that Australians have to reach into their own pockets to attend the gravesides of loved ones, but asylum seekers don’t.

I did for a moment have a wild fantasy that this was a bit of theatre. Well, it gave Joe Hockey the opportunity to parade his compassion, and he is trying to get somebody from the government to go on Sunrise with him to lift his profile. And if there’s to be a tilt at leadership, given that Abbott’s apparently in roughly the same place as was Rudd when he got the axe, then Hockey’s a likely candidate. What better way to pitch him than as the mature voice of emotional reason, with Morrison’s forces-of-darkness gibberish as the foil?

But as LP’s Mistress Kimbrella (oh, lover,lover,lover, come back to me…) and Ken Parish reminded me, I have the capacity to think like a loony conspiracy theorist if I’m not vigilant.

BTW, friends, I was proved right about the OLO strife being provoked by more than one person, IBM stating it was the article that offended employees in their offices as well as their advertising agency, and it being revealed that Gregory’s call to the ANZ didn’t get a mention anywhere. I guess someone will apologise sometime? Just kidding.

I notice that LP’s supporters are still busily defending over at the Drum, including one commenter who writes, mysteriously,Christopher Pearson has every right to his vile hate-speech.

A generous friend gave me Leonard Cohen’s On the Road DVD and CD for Christmas. Listening to Cohen, and watching him, (not to mention the spectacular Javier Mas) is a great antidote to the inevitable and profound spiritual exhaustion provoked by politicians using the funerals of babies to let everybody know how tough they are.

I thought of politicians when Cohen sang:

I asked my father
I said, “Father change my name”
The one I’m using now it’s covered up
With fear and filth and cowardice and shame

Vale little babies, mothers, wives, husbands, uncles, brothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, sons, cousins, lovers and friends, drowned at Christmas Island. Vale.


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