Tagged: journalism FAIL

Why do cis men defend the outing of trans women?

[Trigger warning: discussion of transphobia, transmisogyny, misgendering, self harm]

This was going to be a post about Caleb Hannan, a man who calls himself a “journalist” and who, in the course of what he thinks “journalism” is, hounded a trans woman into suicide, and then (because that wasn’t enough) turned his “story” – and the details of her suicide – into a self-aggrandizing, sensationalist narrative about himself.

But you can read many other excellent people’s writing on it:

I want to discuss a different aspect of this article: the reactions of journalists, predominantly cis men, who have tried to insist:

  • we can’t tell her life story without mentioning her gender identity! (when the article was never about her life story)
  • it’s just like how we mention people’s past marriages! (when there are obvious differences in how our society treats divorcees and trans women)
  • we should focus on the “fascinating” ethical side of this! (when a woman is dead)

And those points are all just so utterly irrelevant to the facts – that a journalist invaded an interviewee’s privacy, ignored her pleas for respect, and exploited her suicide – that I can really only come to one conclusion.

Y’all are a bit fucking insecure about trans women, aren’t you?

Every objection, every insistence that we treat this case as part of a “wider discussion”, every excuse about “telling the full story”, every lie told that Dr V’s gender identity was somehow relevant to a story about a golf putter and possible discrepancies in her academic record, boils down to one thing:  WE MUST KNOW THAT SHE IS TRANS! WE MUST! THE WORLD MUST KNOW!

And we have to see this in the context of a society which treats trans women as a punchline – where the scenario of cis-men-who-have-sex-with-trans-women-without-knowing-it is treated as the height of “gotcha! oh snap!” comedy.  Ally McBeal.  The entire plot of Ace Ventura Pet Detective.  Austin Powers.  Nip/Tuck.  And in a more serious vein, God knows how many episodes of the various Law & Order and CSI franchises – which usually highlight (in their sensationalist way) the real, terrible issue of trans women being murdered by their “betrayed” sexual partners – who are usually portrayed as violent thugs, but you know, violent thugs who maybe had a good reason this time.

The “reverse” situation – cis-woman-has-sex-with-trans-man-without-knowing-it – is almost non-existent.

So we end up in a society where heterosexual cis men are told that having sex with a trans woman is tantamount to having homosexual sex (and therefore wrong!  And unmasculine!!!)  Where trans women are seen as inherently deceitful, to the point that being-a-trans-woman-and-not-disclosing-your-history-before-sex is tantamount to a deliberate conspiracy to make poor hetero cis men have gay sex (and therefore become Not Real Men!!!)  Where the good and proper dudely thing to do is to make sure that all the other dudes know that someone is a trans woman (and thus, to them, Not A Real Woman).

And we end up in a society where Dudes Who Journalise vehemently defend the rights of another Journalist Dude to invade a woman’s privacy, threaten her safety, ignore her pleas and cause her suicide.  Using arguments which are irrelevant to the actual facts of the matter.

We end up saying, “how dare you treat this real-life tragedy as a thought experiment”, but what I wonder is: are they really treating this story as a thought experiment?  Or does it all just boil down to hetero cis men’s sense of ownership over bodies-they-might-want-to-fuck?

From a prochoice position, changing our abortion laws DOES MATTER

First things first:  lump of coal to Stuff for publishing an article with an alarmist headline based on shitty research into abortion and mental health, which I’ve blogged about before.  (A tinier lump of coal labelled “old news, much?” will be delivered in five months’ time.)

But today’s post is not about that shitty research.  It’s about the comments of Dame Linda Holloway, chair of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, and apparently no fucking ally to pregnant people.

Dame Linda Holloway, the chairwoman of the committee, said any move towards liberalisation would be a “difficult political argument and from a pro choice position it doesn’t really matter”.

Doesn’t really matter?  It doesn’t really matter than pregnant people are treated like they’re incapable of making their own decisions, that they have to get permission like they’re schoolchildren on a field trip, that they may not have accessible services in their own area and have to travel, sometimes overnight, to get a very safe and very normal medical procedure done?

I don’t know how Dame Linda Holloway defines “a pro choice position” but it’s not one I’d sign up to.

“The chance of changing the abortion laws in New Zealand at this time are sub-zero. At the moment we have assured successive ministers of justice that we can operate under the law as it is.

It’s so fantastic that these two sentences are right next to each other.  Gee, do you think maybe the lack of political will to change our archaic, condescending abortions laws might have anything to do with those “assurances”?  Think you might be playing the smallest part in ensuring that pregnant New Zealanders are

“If we start opening the whole thing up to do new legislation my concern is that we might end up with something that is worse than what we have got. The chances of that are quite high.”

I guess I have to give this much:  Dame Linda Holloway, as chair of the ASC, is under constant attack from the likes of Right to Control Your Life.  So maybe this has given her the impression that the antichoice feeling in New Zealand is overwhelming.

I talk about abortion a lot, and my perspective is that while a lot of people think it’s icky and don’t want to talk about it, as soon as you say “did you know that abortion is still a crime in New Zealand?” much less “did you know pregnant people are still regularly travelling to Australia to get abortions?” they’re very much on board with updating our laws.  Sometimes you literally have to argue with people who insist we have abortion-on-demand – and articles like this one don’t really fucking help, so another lump of coal to Stuff for propagating bullshit myths which oppress pregnant people.  But once the facts are explained?  The majority of people still don’t really want to think about it, but they are, at a basic level, prochoice.

Holloway said she would prefer to “soldier on”.

“If I thought we could get a perfect world I would be all for it.”

Bully for you, person-who-doesn’t-have-to-raise-money-to-fly-to-Australia-for-an-abortion.  Perfection or nothing, that’s a fantastic way to approach things.  The staggering irony is that the antichoice movement, especially in the US but also here, have demonstrated the terrible effectiveness of not demanding perfection or nothing.  They (or at least, the moderately-douchey ones) don’t say “illegalise abortion, nothing else will do”.  They start with “oh, parents should be notified, you’d want to know if it was your child!” and “maybe you should have to wait a week to properly consider things” and “oh you really should have to have an ultrasound beforehand so you really understand what you’re doing.”

We probably can’t get free universally-accessible holistic-care abortions-for-all in one go.  But we can at least start by taking abortion out of the Crimes Act and removing the need to get Mummy and Daddy to sign your permission slip.

At the very fucking least, let’s stop making it easier for antichoicers to lie about the situation in NZ, could we?

[Daily Blog reposts] Last night’s Vote: let them eat blankets

This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 20 June 2013.

Serious note:  KidsCan and Plunket are two amazing organisations which help kids in need without, to the best of my knowledge, being judgey shitheads.  Think about supporting them, yeah?

~

So, last night’s episode of The Vote, a show where Guyon Espiner and Duncan Garner really strut their “we are such fucking awesome journalist” peacock stuff, dealt with a complex issues which affects the lives of many vulnerable Kiwis, especially children, in a thoughtful, sensitive and informed way.

No, wait, I’m sorry, that’s completely wrong.

What Espiner and Garner did was happily reduce the issues of poverty, deprivation, child abuse and a vague, undefined notion of “bad parenting” to a circus act.

Look!  Here we have lined up the extremist Christian right of the country, representatives of Family First, the Conservatives, and Destiny Church, to say money don’t buy me love and hate on parents who are doing it wrong!

And look!  Here we have actual advocates for the poor and unprivileged, representing the medical community, poor and unemployed Maaori, and “dysfunctional families”!  (The silly fools think they’re here to actually discuss the issues, but we’ll soon fix that!)

And throughout it all Garner and Espiner grandstanded (grandstood?) and pretended to have one view or the other, while a studio audience and denizens of social media came to probably exactly the same conclusion they started with, either “I hate poor people and have no concept of real poverty” or “I think this is a fucking complex issue so I’ll pick the bigger structural cause.”

The tell is at the end, when Espiner and Garner crowbar in a little talk-piece about how obviously it’s a complex and difficult issue and obviously both parenting and poverty place a part in kids’ lives, standing there and pretending they haven’t just reduced serious social issues into a custard pie fight.

Like they haven’t let Christine Rankin talk about “a bowl of cereal and milk costs 37c” – because they, too, live in a magical world where supermarkets sell you a single serving of cereal and milk at a time, and milk doesn’t require refrigeration (even when it’s in the more-expensive-brand’s lightproof bottle) and refrigeration doesn’t require electricity.

Like they haven’t just let Hannah Tamaki waffle on about how families in cold houses should just snuggle under a blanket – literally a minute after Celia Lashlie talked about horrible cases of family sexual abuse – and pretend that no church ever forces people to tithe.

Like they haven’t just brushed over Hone Harawira’s clear, brutal facts about the median income in Te Tai Tokerau ($12,500) or incidences of “third world disease” rheumatic fever (90, I believe in the last year.)

As much as I knew the “debate” itself was going to anger me, it was the cheap theatrics combined with the overwhelming sense that we were all meant to be so very impressed by the Serious Journalism going on that saddened me.

But then I reminded myself that this was exactly as to be expected, given the trailer for 3rd Degree basically involved a circle-jerk about how amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing Espiner and Garner were as journalists.

So of course the Vote’s production team turned 270,000 children living in poverty into a farce.  They probably don’t even realise.

Radio NZ: reputation jeopardised

[Radio New Zealand] said the way [Matthew Hooton] expressed his opinion was unacceptable, and fell well short of our standards for fairness and balance, so this week we also asked Radio New Zealand how can you be sure Matthew Hooton won’t make further politically-motivated claims in future, which might also jeopardise that even-handedness and political neutrality they value.

Well, Radio New Zealand replied that Matthew Hooton had raised a legitimate subject on Monday, in the context of Nine to Noon’s robust political debate, from the left and from the right, but its concern was the accusations of lying, which were addressed, they say, by Nine to Noon on Thursday morning’s apology and clarification.

Well Radio New Zealand also added, in live radio we can never give an absolute guarantee that comments won’t be made by contributors which might jeopardise our reputation for even-handedness and political neutrality, but we will continue, they say, to do all that we can to maintain that reputation.

From Mediawatch, 29 September 2013.
Segment starts at 9:23, quote from 16:51-17:47

You know what actually “jeopardises your reputation”, Radio NZ?

1.  Claiming that Matthew Hooton’s comments were raising a legitimate subject but that it was the accusations of lying which were the problem.  The subject he raised WAS the accusations of lying.  THAT’S ALL HE SAID.

2.  Crying about the dinnamic environment of live radio when you’ve already set a precedent for refusing to re-hire commentators who spew crap all over your microphones.

3.  Saying you’ll do “all that you can” to maintain your reputation while also [GO TO 2].

4.  Referring to anything which happens on Nine to Noon involving Matthew Hooton and Mike “I agree with Matthew” Williams as “robust political debate”.

(Oh, and obviously we now have a new bar for measuring one’s political gullibility:  when Matthew Hooton says “There’s a growing sense”, do you assume it’s only growing because he keeps mentioning it?  If so, congratulations:  you can grasp basic political strategy.  Moreso than Nine to Noon’s producers, apparently.)

ManBan!

A great joke has been played on the mainstream media: they have bought, hook, line and sinker, into W****O**-type spin.  They have been exposed as a bunch of followers, desperate to land the next hilarious 140-character-one-liner, to prove their relevance … without really understanding just how much they’ve been played.

Here’s a few of the problems with the “man ban” narrative which anyone with half a fucking clue about the functioning of political parties and society in general might have cottoned on to.

We don’t have a meritocracy even if you ignore silly identity politics

A lot of people are having a fucking whinge because oh my goooooooooooood, if you only select womeeeeeeeeeeeeen then what about the meeeeeeeeeeeeen.  It should just be on merit!  Merit alone!

Here’s the problem – and again, this is if you completely ignore things like sexism (or insist despite the mountains of evidence that they don’t exist):

When there are five candidates running in your electorate – say, four party candidates from National, Labour, the Greens and ACT, and one independent – do you honestly believe that they are objectively the five best possible candidates for your electorate?

I’m certainly no National supporter.  I have significant issues with their policies, approaches, and general existence.  Even I cannot believe, however, that Aaron bloody Gilmore was the best National Party member to run for Christchurch East, nor that he was the 56th best National Party member overall.

There are many reasons people get to stand for parties, or even as independents, in our electorates.  There are many reasons people get placed on their party’s list.  You honestly want to sit there and say that ~the people get to decide~ when there’s bureaucracy, factionalism, and a shitload of money at stake?

And that’s ignoring the obvious disparities of gender, race and class between “who’s in Parliament” and “who’s in New Zealand”.  That’s ignoring the lifestyle constraints on MPs and other elected representatives – constraints which massively favour the privileged classes.

If you think “but merit” is an argument against gender-balancing strategies, you’re saying everything is already done on merit.  Trying taking that thought through to its logical conclusion.  Then look at yourself in the mirror and say “Wow, I’m a racist, misogynist piece of shit.”

There’s a difference between “making the grade” and “being the best”

Another illusion created by this argument is the idea that “the best” candidate should always win.  But that’s not really how it has to go.

Let’s assume there’s a basic standard for party candidates – a history of party involvement, good local knowledge,  basic electability (and see “not a fucking meritocracy” above for why this is more a wishlist than a reflection of the current situation in any party.)

If you have candidate A who’s lived in the area for ten years, owns the local fish’n’chip shop, has a great name for punning on and is pretty likeable, compared with candidate B who’s lived in the area for twelve years, runs a stall at the market selling organic salami, has a surname beginning with A and is pretty likeable … is the difference between victory and defeat going to be that significant?

Is it going to crush the hopes and dreams of your party to pick basically-electable Candidate A – who happens to be a woman, or a man of colour, or a person with a disability, or a woman of colour with a disability – over basically-electable Candidate B, who’s another white dude?

Sports metaphor:  in order to try out for swim team, you must complete [swimming task A] in under 3 minutes.  Kid 1 does it in 2:58.  Kid 2 does it in 2:53.  According to the “but merit!!!” arguers, you must choose Kid 2.  Even though Kid 1 might have a better attitude, or comes from a shitty home and needs the self esteem boost.

They both passed the mark.  Nothing wrong with taking other things into account after the fact.

(Of course, this raises a far broader, more complex issue of what constitutes “merit”.  In my books, ensuring a diverse range of viewpoints is about merit, because we know that more diverse groups make better decisions.  But that’s a whole book’s worth of discussion.)

Party conferences throw up ridiculous shit all the time

This is what got me.  Apparently for a few brief wonderful moments yesterday afternoon, TV3 had a story up on their website about the Labour Party introducing a Bill to change the law around candidate selection in every electorate.

I can see where the mistake comes from: when everyone’s squawking about something, you probably assume it’s serious.

But … it’s really not.

It’s a draft policy remit from a party committee which is going to the conference to be discussed and potentially included in the party’s rules, which would allow individual electorates to voluntarily request that only women be shortlisted if the party council agrees on a case-by-case basis.

fry

… fuck me, the fucking Amazons are storming the Bastille with fucking laser-cannons.  Hide your menfolk!

It’s not even a fucking quota, people

See above.

The painful/hilarious side of this is, of course, that the UK Conservatives are looking to introduce much the same process - but without the voluntary factor.  Yep, they’re going to mandate when winnable seats have to run women candidates.  But figuring this out would require Googling, paying attention to UK politics or following Andrew Geddis on Twitter.  Clearly, far to hard when you can just badger David Shearer into making stupid statements.

Victimised prisoners denied $290,000 legal compensation

Less than half the compensation awarded to New Zealand prisoners who have been mistreated has actually been paid to them – or to their victims.

The scheme, which came into effect in 2005, was set up to ensure that prisoners who have been mistreated do not receive compensation until any outstanding debt they owe to their victims has been paid.

One prisoner, Steven Brent Gunbie, was awarded $43,313 for [something].  However, the payment has been held in trust since 2007, and Gunbie will only receive the money after claims from victims of his crimes are settled.

However, only six victim claims have been successful since the scheme started in November 2005.  The six victims have received payments totalling $49,000, and another $63,000 is being held in 19 cases for court-ordered reparation.

The delays are caused by [something].

The scheme was originally set up after prisoners at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo were forced under a programme called the “behaviour management regime” to live in isolated squalor and were treated inhumanely.

The prisoners were awarded a large sum in compensation.  This led to public outcry over the rights of victims of crime.  The Labour government introduced the current law on a trial basis to ensure money would not go directly to prisoners if their victims were owed anything.

The Government has now made the scheme permanent, even though its own advisers say it does not help victims of crime.

Prisoners have received $220,000 from a total pool of $516,000. Another $290,000 is being held in trust pending 12 claims from victims.

After the initial payments, almost all compensation payments are being made to prisoners who have been kept in prison beyond their release dates.

Correction Minister Anne Tolley said work was in progress to move to an electronic system to reduce the number of these errors, but also said prisoners should not receive taxpayer money, despite being illegally detained after their sentences finished.

Garth McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust criticised the scheme for forcing victims of crime to re-engage with offenders if they wanted compensation.  He said the Justice Minister at the time, Phil Goff, “was trying to pacify and tried to have a foot in both camps.”

Current Labour Party justice spokesperson Andrew Little said the law did not work and failed to meet victims’ needs.  It also had the perverse effect of victims benefiting only when the state abused prisoners.

Outstanding payouts

[insert list of unsettled claims here if necessary]

~

This is the article which David Fisher wanted to run in the NZ Herald – an article about obstacles in the path of giving just compensation to prisoners mistreated by bungling corrections staff.

It’s just a pity the version which got published was headlined “Prisoners paid $500,000″ – which isn’t true – describes Steven Brent Gunbie as “violent gun-wielding kidnapper Steven Brent Gunbie” and began,

A child sex offender was paid $26,600 in compensation by the taxpayer under a scheme which has awarded more than $500,000 to prisoners since it came into effect in 2005.

which puts a rather different spin on the matter, don’t you think?  Or am I just unintelligent and poorly informed?

~

But let’s be serious – David Fisher could’ve written the above – or even something better.  The NZ Herald?  Ain’t got no time for giving a shit about abuses of prisoners’ rights.  Not when there’s pageviews in them thar hills.

Abortion and mental health research not as clear-cut as reported; no surprises there

In a previous post I questioned recent research which was widely reported as “proving” that there’s no positive mental health benefit associated with abortion – thus basically “disproving” the idea that abortions are being legitimately permitted on mental health grounds in NZ.

Via some helpful pixies, I was able to obtain a copy of the full article, and … yeah.  No surprises here.

The fact is, it’s a literature review, which revisits the results of previous studies which had pretty inconclusive results regarding the abortion-mental health link, usually because:

  • they didn’t distinguish between unwanted and unintended pregnancy
  • they didn’t compare people granted abortion against people denied abortion (it’s a lot easier to come to terms with things when you have no other option)
  • some of the studies were carried out by people with explicitly antichoice views

So … yeah, pretty much what we already knew.

Here’s the rub, though:

It may also be suggested that the studies reviewed contain multiple problems research design, analysis and interpretation that prevent any clear conclusions from being drawn. In comparison to the ideal of testing the mental benefits of abortion using a randomized controlled trial, it is clear that existing observational studies provide only limited and potentially flawed evidence on the mental health consequences of abortion. However, this observation does not impugn the validity of the conclusion that: at the present time there is no credible scientific evidence demonstrating that abortion has mental health benefits.

So sure, you might say that some/many/all of the studies we looked at were flawed/biased/unscientific, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are no studies which prove the opposite.

Oh, except that:

In addition, it could be suggested that the comparisons made in the study between those having abortion and those having unwanted or unintended pregnancy do not provide an appropriate test of the mental health effects of abortion. A better comparison would be between those having abortion and those refused abortion.

In addressing the research question, we have taken the approach used by the majority of the reviews of the mental health consequences of abortion (Bradshaw and Slade, 2003; Charles et al., 2008; American Psychological Association, 2008; National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, 2011) by comparing those having abortion with those coming to term with unwanted or unintended pregnancy. Further, to our knowledge, the only study that has compared those having abortion with those refused abortion is the re-analysis of Gilchrist et al. (1995), conducted by the AMRC review.

This re-analysis found that, for a number of outcomes (psychotic illness, non-psychotic illness, self harm), those refused abortion fared worse than those provided with abortion, with this difference being statistically significant (p<0.01) for psychotic illness. This evidence suggests the possibility that further studies making such comparisons could demonstrate positive benefits for abortion.

However, at the present time the evidence is far too limited to conclude that abortion reduces any mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy.

[Emphasis and paragraph breaks mine.]

Sure, you might raise the totally valid point that unplanned =/= unwanted and this might muddy the results, but fuck you, that’s what everyone else does.  And anyway, there’s a small amount of research which does actually suggest that if we compared apples with apples we’d get different [more accurate] results than when comparing apples and tractors, but fuck you, because there’s not much of that so go away.

And here’s the Bonus Rub Cookie:

A NEW ZEALAND professor whose work has been used by pro-life groups to contend that abortion holds no mental health benefits for pregnant women has said that his research is too limited to make any definitive conclusions.

… are you fucking kidding me.

Look, apparently Dr David Fergusson considers himself prochoice.  Which is great.  And no one wants to be the big scary feminist meany-head who scares off the gentle, placid, well-meaning allies.

But what the fuck is with a supposedly pro-choice researcher putting out research which is too limited to make any definitive conclusions when anyone with half a fucking ounce of awareness would understand exactly how said limited research will be twisted to fuck with the lives of pregnant people?

Is there some kind of “papers published” quota researchers have to meet?  With no other important KPIs like “papers must be actual good research” or anything?

Why the fuck didn’t I go into academia?

Another issue with the original research:  here’s the five “mental health outcomes” measured, which were then equated with a general picture of “mental health”:

anxiety, depression, alcohol misuse, illicit drug use/
misuse, and suicidal behaviour.

… all of which are pretty complex things.  I mean, are we really going to equate a once–pregnant person who smokes the occasional joint among friends with a once-pregnant person who starts huffing paint thinner to get through the day?  Is post-partum depression – common even in pregnant people who are happy and enthusiastic about having a baby – being included and thus compared with other types of depression which might exist regardless of birth status?  Do we ignore the fact that suicidality might be affected by the gigantic social pressure on new parents not to “abandon” their infants?

Sure, some of these questions may merely highlight my own lack of clinical psychological training, but come on.  Even the dude who wrote the damn article thinks it doesn’t pass muster.

~

H/T Alison McCulloch and the magic pixies.

Change the names BACK

I do actually kind of love these kinds of stories.  See, despite white people settling themselves down in Aotearoa/NZ all those years ago and naming stuff after each other, it seems that the incredibly-creative “North Island” and “South Island” were never officially named as such.

So now the NZ Geographic Board, who have great form for innocently following procedure and stirring up white people’s privilege defence mechanisms, have suggested we official-ise the names – and maybe use Te Ika-a-Māui and Te Waipounamu instead, or in conjunction.

Cue the fucking whinging, and the incredibly bad reportage in the media.  3News hasn’t deigned to put the two-sentence blurb read out on last night’s broadcast onto their website, but their text article makes for some great close analysis:

The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) has announced it will publicly consult on proposals to adopt new names for New Zealand’s two main islands.

Proposals to adopt new names. Because the names which the indigenous people of the country called something long before Whitey A said to Whitey B, “This one’s more north than the other one!  And that one’s more south!  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” are obviously new scary terrifying changey things!!! which will destroy our society and confuse our children.

(And because of course it’s far too inconvenient to note that Whitey A forgot to follow proper process while re-naming the land he was appropriating.)

I’m with marty mars on this one.  Use the names with provenance.  Use the names which mean something.  Use names which are undeniably New Zealand names.

And although the change is frightening, here’s a reassuring tale: a few generations back, one of my relatives was given the middle name Egmont.  And today I explain to people, “well the name Egmont came from the fact they were living near Taranaki.”  And if those people are under about 25?  I have to explain why that makes sense.

From a certain point of view: Curia/Family First bullshit polls edition

The mainstream media trumpeted the findings:

Poll: People want smacking law changed

And three paragraphs in explained:

Respondents were asked whether the anti-smacking law should be changed to state that “parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law”.

Seriously, what the fuck is up with fundy bigots and their perpetual need to lie about things?

Wait, no, it’s not a lie, it’s just a conveniently twisty overcomplicated series of questions which handily paraphrases into what they want it to.  So they’re not liars as such, just manipulative scumbags who will say and do whatever it takes to bully society into retrograde attitudes.

They are fully aware that just saying “a smack” would not get the same juicy results as “a smack that is reasonable”.  I mean, how do you argue with that, when being prompted for a yes/no answer?  They said the smack was reasonable so of course it should’t be illegal!  Duh!

Note the same trick in the follow-up question, which is coincidentally not written out in full until the very bottom of the article:

Would you still smack your child to correct behaviour if you thought it was reasonable, despite the current law?

I look forward to Curia’s future work, involving questions like

“Should rollerblading safely at high but reasonable speeds around blind corners be not against the law if you don’t hurt anyone 99 times out of 100?”

or

“Is wearing white at a wedding okay if the bride isn’t wearing white and you’ve asked permission to wear white and it’s more off an off-white anyway and nobody minds you’re wearing white?”

Maybe he could hook up an awesome tie-in with Westpac, too.

The point is this:  if you agreed with Family First’s statement, you are one of two things:

  1. Confused by stuff explicitly designed to confuse you
  2. A pro-violence child abuse apologist.

The only practical function of section 59 was to allow people who had hurt their children so badly that it got to court to walk free.  Electric jug cords?  Riding crops?  Please, tell me what’s so fucking “reasonable” about that.

(Note: I’m being a little facetious with that request, because I will in fact delete any pro-smacking bullshit posted here.  It’s violence.  Against children.  If you did it to an animal you’d be arrested.  End of.)

Final question: does “Curia” actually stand for Completely Unreliable Results In Abundance?

Rape culture post of the day

Actual Stuff/The Press headline:

Man denies sex with ‘pretty hot’ 13-year-old

… I guess we should just be thankful that he’s arguing his innocence on the basis of the sex act rape not actually taking place, rather than relying on her “hotness” to override basic common sense and that pesky age-of-consent thing.

But he still had to mention she was “pretty hot”.  And Stuff still decided to put this in the headline of their story.

So we shouldn’t really be thankful at all.

H/T Lew on Twitter.