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?

Advertisements

The name of privilege.

Unspeakably Violent Jane enscribed a comment relating to men’s apparent right to brutalise the womenfolk, questioning the murder of a young woman by her father over a facebook relationship. Regardless of a man being of Democratic or progressive persuasion, why is the blame ascribed to a religious perspective rather than a social, even global problem? Why don’t men acknowledge that men are the problem?

Unfortunately the problem is male privilege, where men as a class are defined as being superior to women as a class. This is not only a Western phenomenon, this is a global problem as UVJane quite correctly points out. Marilyn French wrote books about this very phenomenon describing the way that men were socially defined as being superior beings to females. Pop-cultural stupidities such as “men are from mars, women are from venus” illustrate the point. Although women and men both originate from earth as descendants from a common ancestor with apes, (and the mammalian genotype was originally XX) Victorian class society would have it that male and female human beings are somehow separate entities and subject to a heirarchy artificially created and enforced by men for men.

The problem began with Greek philosophers like Galen, about 500 BCE, who thought that men were the normal outcome of a pregnancy and only if the wind was blowing the wrong way would a pregnancy result in an inferior female offspring. Early christian writers like Augustine endorsed such a perspective. Don’t even ask what notorious misogynists such as Thomas Aquinas wrote.

It wasn’t until the 17th century that microscopes and the details of sexual procreation were discovered. Even when we did become aware that semen wasn’t the be all and end all of human fertility somehow the dominant cultural influences of church and state declined to admit that they’d been wrong and further declined to admit the full and necessary female participation in human procreation. So far as they were concerned men were all that mattered and with the lingering (mis)influence of the fall of man and subordination of the female, there was not going to be any serious reconsideration of human sexuality.

Needless to say, if procreation and fertility weren’t going to be reconsidered then the equality of the human female wasn’t even going to be mentioned. As early as the third century CE women were subjugated and subordinated, and the systems of political and religious patriarchy that brought that about weren’t going to reconsider it lightly. In fact, to date they haven’t done so at all.

UVJ raises a point regarding academic men and their opinions, through which she touches on a much broader issue. The subjugation of the female of the species is not now limited to religious influences because of the scope of religious influences in the past. All the current and many of the future leaders of religion, business, politics, medicine, law and education are themselves educated in religious (private school) environments wherein they are subtly or overtly subjected to the sexist agendas of religion.

That’s about as simply as it can be stated. Although humans are well aware of the nature of sexual procreation, inheritance, DNA and the lack of any evidence suppoting male superiority, female subordination continues to be overtly and subliminally taught by means of social and cultural male superiority enforced by men over women by such means as rape and emotional and financial abuse, and the threat thereof by media stories of factual and fictitious abuse of women by men.

As Marilyn French described, in a society where men as a class are culturally held as being superior to women as a class, how can there be any equality? And after roughly 3 or 4 thousand years of male dominant society, where is there going to be anything other than male dominant social definition?

Well, that explains it…

Over Summer the ever lengthening reading list included Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Amit Goswami, Irshad Manji and Tariq Ali. The subsequent cross-breeding and strange procreation of ideas has been steadily gelling somewhere in the back of my tiny mind.

Dawkins made a point about certain behaviours or the presence of religious beliefs being a side effect of 6 million years of evolution.

It’s been dawning for a little while, that most of human behaviour that seems so stupid, confusing, self-defeating and downright lunatic is probably the by product of us being 99% similar to chimpanzees but having brought about the industrial revolution. We’re still bashing each other, pretending to be more important, dreaming up all sorts of reasons why Victorian class society should persist in cahoots with global thievery, blustering, posing, threatening, murdering and generally behaving like animals… because we are.

In the midst of ongoing battles with long term depression that can even include suicidal ideation, dealing with life in the knuckle dragging cock culture that is (only just) post-convict Australia, and wondering why the fuck anyone would want to live in the midst of a society that considers global abuses of women, children and the environment to be an acceptable or in any way appropriate way of life, this idea comes the closest to making sense of it all.

Sure we all have our own journies through life. Sure we need meaning, that’s a by product of developing a temporal lobe. Sure we need some connection to a community of other humans even if it’s only to climb over the piles of bleeding, mutilated bodies on our way to banking another billion in arms sales… But we’re animals. Only about 1% point different genetically from chimpanzees (no offence (to the chimps))

As much as the continuing abuses and lies of the Patriarchy get my fur in a bunch, realising that they’re all only apes explains it all, really. In fact it seems pretentious to want to change much, when considered from that perspective.

Embarrassingly enough, this all resonates with a comment made to me by a Krsna devotee a few years ago, that in order to avoid burning out over the stupidity and self-destruction of the human race, you need to focus on the things within your reach.

Now that I can cope with.

Doesn’t make me any happier about life in the kleptocracy, but it does explain a few things.

Timely piece on AFL conduct regarding women.

Wow, I think I’m now a fan of one Michael Shmith. In an article for The Age entitled “ominous assumptions” Mr. Shmith makes some very pertinent points appropriate not only for footballers but indeed all of convict culture.

Now racism, drug abuse and problem gambling are clear social evils, and the AFL is right to include them in its lead-us-not-into-temptation filmic primer, and to warn, by whatever graphic examples possible, of their potential perils. Women, however, being significant members of the human race, are a different matter. In presenting a scenario that assumes a mate’s girlfriend, in summoning you to her bed, does not know the difference between you and her boyfriend and, that once between the sheets, such pretence can be maintained, is making a wider assumption that the woman is indiscriminate and/or basically thick.

Just as fatuous is the notion that because a woman happens to have had too much to drink she is an object for sex.

Another even more ominous assumption is that somehow the men in these situations are innocent, and that the women involved have caused them to stray from the paths of righteousness.

Put things another way: your boyfriend’s mate hops into your bed pretending to be him; you are with a footballer who has had too much to drink; your mate’s friend wants to watch you have sex.

Brilliantly said, Mr. Shmith.

What is particularly good to see is the reversal of the situation, so that a bloke puts himself in her shoes…

The idea that women are indiscriminate and that they lure men into sexual misadventures is a belief that rarely is discussed openly. It does still infiltrate Australian culture as another of the uncriticised leftovers of the Victorian class society.

Back when convict Australia was being settled, class culture back in the UK was in full swing. Attitudes that might now be associated with the most narrow minded of religious bigots were considered “appropriate” for the sons of the Empire. While such attitudes as female submission or subordination might come in for comment at times, we really haven’t, as a nation, considered quite how much these ideas still persist.

Even the concept that women are either whores or madonnas is still common currency. Try stopping to put petrol in your car without being assaulted by images of women as sexual toys plastered all over the place.

It’s fortunate that Mr. Shmith has pointed out the underlying problems in the AFL’s advertising or “education” if you could call it that. High time these cultural leftovers were brought out into the open and dispensed with before another generation of women are reduced to being used as toilets by unquestioned male privilege.

Yes, women are people too.

How about that?

Misogyny in the USA.

Yeah, I know that will shock you. Fancy that, in the land of the free and home of the brave, people are selling their teenaged daughters. How sick is that?! Worse, religiously sick.

What’s worse, describing a 14 year old girl as “not having much experience, but having been taught everything she needs to know to be a good wife and mother” or asking $29,000 for her! Do you think this girl knows what her parents are up to? Do you think she’ll be pleased when one of them tells her they’ve just been paid nearly $30k and she has to go marry some guy she’s never met, who, to have $30k to spend on a 14 year old girl, would have to be quite a bit older… How absolutely creepy. How disgusting!

How about the 16 year old who has a bit of a wild streak? Not surprising since her parents are trying to sell her for $49k.

The ones that really break your heart are the fostered girls. One is 17 1/2 and offered up for only $3,900 because she’s almost 18 and at that age will be on her own and have no support. I wonder why her foster parents didn’t equip her to stand on her own two feet as an adult and take care of herself? Could it be because their religion tells them that women are supposed to be subordinate to men?

Marry Our Daughter is an introduction service assisting those following the Biblical tradition of arranging marriages for their daughters.

Uh. Right. Selling your children like a piece of furniture is a reprehensible, ancient practise that civilised cultures outgrew centuries ago. Didn’t anyone tell the religious right that? Are Sydney Anglicans and Pentecostals in Australia going to attempt to do anything like this? Bastards. I thought I was over my angry Feminist bitch phase, but stuff like this really pisses me off.

Prominent permanent ads on the site also advertise the “city kids foundation” where young people can get involved in community programs and further their education. What manner of education might that be, I wonder?

It’s difficult to get my head around the idea that a couple would foster girls, teach them to be subordinate to men and that their place in life is to live as domestic sexual slaves, and then sell them off for a few thousand dollars. You wouldn’t want to be a fostered child, would you?

So many psychologists talk about the detrimental effects of religious thinking, mainly the way guilt and tradition keep people from integrating their shadow selves resolving differences and experiences and moving forward to take responsibility for their lives. I wonder how these girls will feel in twenty years time, when their doubt over religion leads them to question God, and God shows them how so many traditions are the result of power agendas, having a basis in the thinking of people in an organisation and not based in spirituality at all, I wonder how they’ll feel?

And people reckon there’s no need for Feminism.

These poor girls. After a childhood of indoctrination to be nothing more than a domestic slave, how on earth will they ever find the werewithall to live as a human? And what sort of man would seek out a psychologically deformed, emotionally abused teenager as a wife? *brrrr* What sort of woman would stand by and allow her daughter to be sold off like that? What kind of distortion of motherly instinct renders a woman so powerless as to allow her children to be sold as sexual slaves in a nation so purportedly developed as the US? If this is the leader of the free world, Goddess help us.

Cybele! Cybele, where are you?