Rape culture alive and well in Australia

This one has been stewing in the back of my mind for a few days now. The other night I was up late and happened to be watching the ABC late news. Karen Middleton, their erstwhile political reporter, came on screen and told us about the Parliamentary Midwinter ball, at which one Tony Scrinis had wandered around sexually harrassing women. Karen looked quite non-plussed, the first time I’ve seen such a thing from her. Since then, I haven’t seen her at all… Instead there’s some other bloke who hasn’t been on before… No doubt there’s a reasonable explanation for that.

But I digress. What really gave my obstreperal lobe a case of acute feminitis was the fact that the boss of this staffer, Sophie Mirabella, immediately denied that he would have done it.

Now this, girls and boys, is one of the primary problems with rape culture. Denial of the abuse of women by men. The idea that men have a right to help themselves to women’s bodies and if women don’t like it, they’re called liars or beaten up for their trouble.

Note also the article’s focus on whether Sophie Mirabella is suitable for her portfolio and criticisms by Tania Plibersek that she isn’t… Omission of any criticism of the activities of the man in question.

Opposition frontbencher Tony Smith has told Channel Ten says that is ridiculous.

“Yesterday I saw you calling for action on the staffer, the staffer is no longer employed,” he said.

“He behaved appallingly, everyone acknowledges that, and within the day, he had ceased employment.”

In otherwords he lost his job for getting caught. Where’s the indictment? Where’s the police investigation? Where’s the judgment and rejection other than a piss-weak “it was appalling”?

It’s like something out of one of those hideous crime shows where any woman who claims rape and is still alive is portrayed as a liar, and the only genuine victims are those who show up dead and hideously mutilated. Imagine the subtle effect this would have on jurors, police and judges if they watched a couple of hours of this crap every week before having to be involved in a rape case.

“He wouldn’t have done that.” = “Those lying bitches deserve to be treated like meat.”

It also serves to keep other women quiet about abuses they’ve suffered at the hands of men. Not to mention the psychological damage it does to men, to preserve the destructive gender roles that support rape culture.

Such denial is commonplace in Australian culture as well as the global fungus we import from the US. Shortly after Ms Mirabella’s staff member decided to drunkenly grope a number of women at a Parliamentary ball, a woman in South Australia won a sexual harrassment case.

Ms Poniatowska was awarded $466,000 plus costs, which her lawyer believes is the highest awarded for such a case in Australia.

“I am very happy, not only for myself but for all people who are being harassed at workplaces,” Ms Poniatowska said outside court.

“I would strongly recommend not being afraid to stand up for their rights.

Is it my imagination or does the description of the compensation as “huge” imply that it is undeserved?

Notice the conclusion, however. The last word…

The company said in a statement it contested the claim because “to take any other course of action would have been wrong”.

It says it will lodge an appeal against the decision.

Ah huh. She should shut up like a good little cunt and put up with abuse at work by *four* men… Didn’t she get the memo that the sex class are expected to say nothing and look pretty?

How is it wrong to admit to something you’ve stuffed up over? How is it wrong to admit that you’ve been a complete misogynist pig and need counselling probably for fucking years? Someone should give these Hickinbotham creeps a memo of their own: It’s the 21st century and regardless of ten years of Howard’s conservative christian patriarchal abuses, women are in fact human.

Jesus tapdancing Christ, are we ever going to get out of this goddamned locker room?

Australia’s shame. Rudd’s neglect.

Further in my series of discontent. This morning I happened across an article in The Australian about a family in crisis. Well, not only is the family in crisis, the State’s child welfare system is an appalling mess.

…eight children living in a three-bedroom house with mice and rubbish in every room.

Four had disabilities: some couldn’t hear properly; some couldn’t walk properly; all were malnourished and had head lice. Several had broken bones, and none could use a knife and fork.

Their mother, a young Sunni Muslim woman, veiled from head to toe, found caring for the children impossible, especially as the older ones grew wilder, and then violent. Her husband, an Iraqi, is believed to have at least two other women he refers to as his “wives” and they, too, have children.

He moves between their different houses. None had paid work.

The NSW Department of Community Services has known of the situation for years; and has surely also known that it was a disaster waiting to happen.

And if you think it’s only the NSW system that’s a disaster, Victoria’s was found to be introducing pre-teen children to drugs and prostitution.

Let’s ignore for a moment the implicit criticism of the mother for being a veiled Muslim, particularly since the article goes on to comment on one foster mother who came to the rescue who took veils off the young girls… Who gives a rats what they wear on their heads if we’re talking about a situation of domestic disaster? Is it only Muslims who have trouble raising kids? It would be interesting to see the comparative stats on white, Christian families who are in crisis. Considering the Government is funding religious schools who train children in the psychopathology of conservative christianism, there’s probably shit loads.

The point is this. The Rudd Government actively discriminates against women and children seeking to leave situations like this. Kevin Rudd denies adequate support for women who are single mothers trying their hardest to provide for their children. He has maintained the bias against women of the Howard Liberal Government and is apparently in denial that he hates women.

Surely if you were in a position to do something about a situation like this, about many, many other people in similar circumstances in Australia right now, you would do something constructive. If you were in a situation to address terrible injustices that had been done previously and make things easier for people to keep their heads above water, you would do so. Yet our Prime Minister, who has been on occasion found drunk in a stripper bar and reprimanded for manhandling the dancers, is too busy criticising a celebrity chef over his abuse of a TV host, to bother addressing one of the worst, most hideous cases of discrimination against women and children in the developed world.

And to make matters worse, not only does Kevin Rudd actively discriminate against women and children who’ve had to leave violent, dangerous, demeaning or otherwise unnaceptable domestic circumstances, he neglects to support families struggling to support children through high school. While having made apparently non-core promises about improving education and enabling children to further their education, support of families ends when a child turns 16, just when they hit the hardest, most expensive school years. He’s also planning to make further changes to welfare law to make it harder for children without jobs to claim any form of welfare. Why on earth, in times when jobs are supposed to be getting harder to come by, would you put pressure on children to leave school and look for work, to compete for jobs with other employees when they could be staying in school and improving their education? And why, if we’re having so much trouble looking after the children who are here, would you be paying a baby bonus to encourage people to have more? (Not to mention there’s already 6 billion people on the planet!)

The fact that the State Governments are responsible for foster care systems does not distract from the Federal Government’s discrimination against single parents. While the children referred to in that article have been living in such dreadful suffering, what has the State Government been doing? Pointing the finger at bikers in an attempt to get re-elected on a law and order platform. Scapegoating bastards.

These are only two of the current hypocrisies of the Rudd Government. And if you think the Liberals would be any better, consider that they created this disgusting, exploitative situation in which we now find ourselves. Why on earth can we not vote for someone who doesn’t hate the poor? Why do the two major parties continue to use people who’ve fallen on hard times and those who are struggling as political footballs to earn themselves points for re-election?

How did Australians become such bastards?

We hate you too, Kevin

I’ve posted this on my bike blog as it follows on from my previous annoyance with our Prime Minister. Because it’s about women I’ve cross posted it here.

The other day in conversation, the subject of pension changes came up. We were a little confused as to why the Government would increase aged pensions, disability pensions and just about everything else, but not single parent pensions. How does it make sense in a climate where more and more people are expected to compete for less and less jobs if a depression takes hold, and also force single parents to continue to compete for those jobs?

It was bad enough when Howard brought in his hell-spawn misconception of “mutual obligation” and forced heavier unecessary burdens on single parents and unemployed people… It was really crappy when the laws regarding single parents working were changed and put pressure on people just when they really don’t need it.

For a supposed Labor Government to not only keep these discriminatory changes but exacerbate things by singling out single parents for further mistreatment is absolutely disgusting. Not only is it petty and mean spirited, it makes no sense while the economy is under suspicion.

The conclusion we came to is that being another Sydney Anglican, Kevin Rudd must have a similar religious agenda to that of the maggot Howard. Only if someone was deliberately trying to keep women dependent upon men and punish separated and divorced women, and over 90% of single parents are women, would this make any kind of twisted sense.

It’s exactly the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from those slimy, underhanded control freaks attempting to import US style extremism to Australia. Bastards. Women have it hard enough in cock culture as it is without their added hatred and pathology.

You know, after the second world war Menzies went on a bit of a campaign building infrastructure like the Snowy River project to attempt to provide us with reliable utilities. It was seen as a pretty good thing that every Australian had a piece of this improvement to the nation’s infrastructure. With stable power supplies we could build a secure community and businesses. Somehow in the 90’s we were convinced that selling off all that stuff was necessary because otherwise we’d be communists. Only communists or socialists would deny the free market the chance to compete to provide Australians with utilities they already had.

It seems pretty ironic to me that the kind of thinking that implies that Menzies was a communist is behind the current financial terror.

What pisses me off is that this, in connection with equally ridiculously right-wing religion is an influence in a country that is supposedly a democracy. Why should 1% of the population have such influence to penalise and discriminate against other Australians who are down on their luck… What sort of stuck up bastard uses mediaeval morality to judge who is worthy of assistance when life has taken a turn for the worse?

The other thing is that this is contradictory even within their own belief system. Jesus specifically forbade Theocratic style Government. “The rulers of the gentiles lord it over them but it shall not be so among you.” The New Testament was supposed to be about individuals relating to god, not a forced national morality drive. Add to that the fact that the very people this religion is supposed to be caring for are the poor, widows, orphans and strangers in the land… Geez, it looks like one big cock up all round really.

From those of us who have had enough of locker-room male supremacy in Australia and would rather live as full human beings without the Government under-handedly penalising us for our gender, we hate you too, Kevin.

Male privilege circumvented by teh ‘nets and geek grrrls.

Hoyden has founded the Australian chapter of Hollaback. Hollaback Aus is a blog where you can post pics of men who have been harrassing you, should you record them on your mobile or digital camera.

* A note to harassers: All emails containing threats, bluster, abuse, insults, rudeness, and general douchehoundery may be published, here or elsewhere, and/or appropriate action taken. Harassers and their apologists have no expectation of privacy on this blog.

H/T to Twisty for this one.

Yay. That’s it. Fortunately I don’t have a use for it presently, unless I scope back through my past and take pics of various church ministers, adoptive father and other assorted retrograde semi-human evolutionary anomalies…. But what a freaking great idea! Out the bastards. And mucho kudos for any woman who makes use of it.

Still a man’s world.

In the news today, police are looking for a man who assaulted a woman in West Melbourne. The article was entitled Woman indecently assaulted in West Melbourne. Not only does this fail to specify that a man was the agent responsible for this crime, but when the journo does get around to mentioning the bloke involved, it is in graphic terms describing the violation of this woman’s person. Not so much a horrified response to the harm done to this woman as a blow by blow set of instructions for some creep who wants to jerk off over it.

Yet another perfect example of women serving as fodder for the great cock culture and its treatment of women as sex objects and nothing more. How many other rapes and assaults were committed by men against women over the weekend? How many went unreported, I wonder?

Consider also the guy who drowned his three young sons to punish his wife. He’s now appealing his conviction, he doesn’t seem to think he ought to be punished. He’s a man.

This is simply an echo of the Government’s, and Australian society as a whole, punishment of single mothers, both financially and socially. In being condemned to living in abject poverty and forced to take low income jobs often at the expense of children who may be interred in sub-standard day care facilities, these women are specifically targetted because they are no longer property of some male. Such circumstances make the so called baby bonus payment that is intended to convince women to have more children simply more sinister. Not to mention stupid. Has no one noticed that there are already 6 billion people on the planet and there’s not enough food and water?

While economists are concerned about possible recession and the stock market, those of us who live in reality are wondering why there’s still such a focus on the thin veneer of affluence in Australia that overlies the deep inequalities. This is an issue that is often the subject of posts here, and in many other places, yet the failure to connect the disparity and disillusionment in Australia as in many other “Western” nations continues unabated and largely unquestioned. Eventually the media and politicians will have to take their heads out of their rectums and have a look around at the world they’ve manufactured. The constant bombardment of images, lies, propaganda and manipulation coercing people into submission to a lifestyle that is killing us and the planet. And as has been the case for a few thousand years now, women continue to cop the worst of it.

On this occasion Australia has some competition in misogyny from the head of the Formula one racing organisation FIA. Who’d have thought a big old petrol head would be into sado-masochistic re-enactments of Nazi concentration camps with a room full of prostitutes? Again, there isn’t a whole lot of condemnation in the stories. There certainly isn’t any mention of the situation for the women involved. If anything there’s a bit of boys will be boys nudging and winking going on and apart from the very brief mention of Jewish groups being outraged, the overall impression is a bit of jealousy. Again, the description of events reads more like a script for a fucking porno.

Gleeful journo’s and their media masters giggle and snigger over their sweaty little typewriters pecking out yet another dismal example of women as sex-caste objects, more a toilet than an actual human being, depicted as such by a man with a toilet for a brain or the tame female toady who’s had to sell out her sisters in order to keep a job. Good on you. Dickhead.

The Prof was right.

Guaranteeing salvation since 1620… Ah-huh.

After following a link from Pharyngula about the lunatic fundies doing a hatchet job on Mrs. Myers, I read stuff like:

Vote McCain or God will make you eat your children for betraying America, Christianity and Freedom.

A free people have the freedom not to question their leaders.

Stay the course in Iraq for RAPTURE!

The fine print down the bottom reads: “I am positively NOT Angry and I am NOT gay!” At which point I assumed it must be a hoax site. Thanks to chiropteran for confirming this!

Which makes it *so* good for a laugh, though perhaps a slightly bittersweet laugh when you’ve personally been part of a cult that taught things all too similar to the parody on the Landover site. If you think the stuff they’re laughing at is fabricated, have a squizz at the Focus on the Family’s Australian beach-head.

Imagine that. Only 9% of christians have a Biblical worldview. What a stunner. Who’d have thought that after 6 million years of evolution we’d have to remain stuck in the nomadic desert culture of ancient Palestine and pretend the earth was only 4,000 years old? Not to mention the treatment of women and children in such a society. How exactly do we justify factory manufacturing and the internal combustion engine if we have a Biblical worldview? What of quantum physics? Hell, I’m a witch and use astrology, but even I recognise that it’s mainly psychology. But psychology isn’t part of a Biblical worldview either. That’s what stops them going to see a shrink and dealing with their delusions.

If you think self-serving, myopic, misogynist politicians aren’t using Fundamentalist lunacy over here in order to get re-elected, have a look whose face is on this page. Not to mention Federal funding of child abusing religious schools.

Edit: Richard Dawkins review of the whole mess, P Z Myers being kicked out of the screening of Expelled that is, is online now.

Another day, another religious abuse.

As regular readers may be a aware, there is an ongoing disagreement between myself and my ex-husband regarding my children’s church attendance. He is still a member of that perfidious cult that we were sucked into in our late teens and twenties. I don’t believe that my children should be forced, coerced or manipulated into attendance in a meeting where they’ll be screamed at by an un-medicated, aging paranoid schizophrenic for hours at a time.

It’s a so called independent pentecostal church, the Minister being ex-Brethren and probably not even ordained, certainly not supervised or approved by any religious group in Australia. But those who aren’t properly acredited generally get together and invent their own organisation. The whole pentecostal movement started out like that. Come to think of it, that covers Christendom since the Roman Empire.

When you’re young and/or innocent (possibly stupid), if you go to a church meeting and they talk about being better people and making the world a better place, it doesn’t occur to you that they might actually be a festering hive of psycho-pathology, breeding abuse and sadistic control issues in a cult environment riddled with the same pathological roles as the families of a raging alcoholics. You sort of take things at face value until you learn the hard way and by then you’re so indoctrinated yourself that getting out involves a full blown psycho-spiritual crisis.

It’s like coming out of Plato’s cave. The “born again” they talk about is really what happens after you flee, have your breakdown and years of grief counselling, when you eventually salvage some semblance of self-worth and read about personal boundaries in a book.

These independent Christian cults are pretty popular in Australia these days. It might be in part because their leadership is based on a kind of perverted super sales technique and so called “charisma”, that attracts people gifted in manipulating the emotions of others. If they weren’t doing it for religious prestige they’d be called con-artists. well, they are anyway.

Australia’s ex Prime Minister, the one who was voted out of his own electorate in preference for a left-leaning woman journalist, was well known for being in cahoots with deceitful religious power mongers. While Australian voters were sighing with relief and hoping he’d crawled away in shame to die under a rotten log somewhere, he was busy donning a lurid polyester nightie and fluffing the pillows for US Republican knee-bending devotees. In an arousing pre nuptial speech “shorn of political tact” according to reporters, Howard referred to his government giving “faith-based groups direct involvement in policy making and execution”. Maybe the speech was in Texas?

He also criticised those who would like to slow global warming and consider a more rational, sustainable approach to life on earth: “The same intellectual bullying and moralising, used in other debates, now dominates what passes for serious dialogue on this issue”. He of course being the expert in bullying, domination and moralising. Of serious dialogue not so much.

These “faith based groups” he was so in favour of are the kind who tell children they’re going to hell if they study evolution. His Government gave billions of dollars to church based schools all over our nation, to institute a generation of emotionally abused, ideologically distorted young people. Some of us are wondering who’s going to fund the mental health facilities needed to help the graduates and their families.

Meanwhile, my ex is on the phone to my daughter asking why she doesn’t come to church, doesn’t she love him? Won’t she go just once as a birthday present for him? She’s 14 years old. Last time he rang to speak to me he asked why I wasn’t standing up for him as their father. Possibly because I divorced him 12 years ago after he threatened to belt me and kicked me out for not submitting… No, I feel no obligation to defend him and is ridiculous religious beliefs at all. Particularly not at the expense of my children’s personal development. This is the same man who withholds child support, mainly because I’m a child of Satan. Also because financial abuse is another great symptom of male privilege in noxious religious hives.

A week after he was told his former wife was under no obligation to support his control agenda, said zealot started directly on the children. This suggests he’s had some inside support, probably from other devotees who fear the kids’ imminent demise and eternal torture in a lake of fire on account of their mother having a spine.

Why on earth would you want your teenage daughter sitting in a room full of black suited syncophants nodding and mumbling “Amen” as some deranged old fat guy in a suit screams about how women have to submit and there’s no such thing as rape in marriage because a woman’s body belongs to her husband? Why would you want your children, or yourself for that matter, subjected to endless tirades about how a woman who won’t submit should be publicly shamed in front of her friends in order to bring her into line? And why doesn’t someone shout the poor bastard a trip to a brothel?

Seriously, what sort of person believes that this is an appropriate way to conduct a relationship or to encourage children to grow up sane and well-adjusted with any sense of personal boundaries and trustworthy judgment? Okay, other than diagnosed narcissists and control freaks.

Exactly what kind of political policy should such malignant despots be introducing into our society? Who in their right mind thought a class society based on religious abuse and emotional trauma was a good idea for Australia? Who stands to profit from this situation and who believes that such profit is acceptable in the community? This is another one of the problems with money and work being attached to personal honour and self-esteem as we have in post-convict Australia, there is no honour.

Ever notice how the same political party that welcomed the input of “faith-based groups” was the same one whose State level iterations reduced the mental health system to a pile of rubble?

While personal liberty may be the hallmark characteristic of civilisation, and the freedom of individuals to speak their minds is a necessary human right, those who cross the line into emotional abuse and malicious psychological manipulation of children shouldn’t really be out on the streets, let alone the think tank for Government policy.

Perhaps the constitutional clause that provides Australians with freedom of religion ought to be revised in the 21st century to give us freedom FROM religion.