The Government Administration Committee is hearing submissions on the Marriage Equality Bill. Ostensibly the purpose is to gather the views of the nation in order to make judgements on how the Bill might move forward to become New Zealand law.
On the other hand, it may just be about Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi MP delivering a fantastic performance art piece on the ludicrously blinkered worldviews of [some of] the Bill’s opponents.
First there’s his asking a same-sex couple “who would be the husband and who would be the wife” if they got married. Props to the couple for being able to field a witty answer, as I know overcoming one’s natural reaction of standing there flabberghasted must have been difficult.
Earth to Mr Bakshi: They’d both be husbands. Or they could both be wives. Or they might call each other “partner” or “spouse” (if the Bill passes; currently I understand civilly-unioned folk can’t use the term legally).
If, as I do somewhat suspect, Mr Bakshi was asking who would take the working / driving / lightbulb changing / penis-insertion role, and who would take the cooking / cleaning / screaming at tiny spiders / penis-envelopment role … well, I think that’s just a little personal for a Select Committee hearing, don’t you?
Then he saw fit to ask Jordan Carter – who in a spirit of encouraging empathy had asked the Committee to consider a role-reversal situation – where babies would come from if everyone turned gay.
Let’s add into the mix the fact that previously, he’d informed an anti-equality protest that the majority of National MPs voted against the Bill – which they didn’t.
The options are this: Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is a complete embarrassment of a human being, someone who really thinks same-sex couples are aliens from another planet whose ways Are Not Our Ways, and also a liar;
or Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is a brilliant satirical performance artist.
My faith in humanity begs me to go with the latter; my brain says nope.
It’s a bit shit for a political party to have a Facebook page, ostensibly to reach out to potential voters, and then leave it unmoderated so that said potential voters, when asking questions about your policy, can be called “whores” and “lezos” by your supporters, n’est-ce pas?
Your move, Mana.
PS. Please don’t just delete-and-pray, though, the screenshot finger is twitchy tonight.
PPS. Just let Sue Bradford at him and all hope will be restored.
PPPS. More thoughts at The Storyteller Project.
Deborah has an article in the DomPost about SlutWalk.
But what is wrong with enjoying sex, and sexuality, and with seeking out opportunities to have sex? A man who enjoys sex and signals his interest in having sex is called a stud. He’s a player, but she’s a tramp. He’s a Don Juan, but she’s a loose woman. It’s an old double standard, and it’s time we got rid of it. Women shouldn’t be shamed for enjoying sex and sexuality. Like “stud”, the word “slut” should be said with pride.
As Julie commented at The Hand Mirror,
DON’T READ THE COMMENTS
Which are words well deserving of their capitals. But if you want the edited highlights, I have invoked the protection of a few beers and thus present the following Wisdom from Stuff Commenters, or, How I Learnt to Stop Worrying And Love Reactionary Douchebaggery Which Makes No Sense.
[trigger warnings in place for rape apologism and mansplaining]
- women are billboards, and “if you put a billboard up you expect folk to look at it” (and we all know men are genetically hardwired to rape billboards)
- it’s not going to achieve anything and you should do real work against rape, you know, not something so meaningless as loudly and publicly declaring en masse that victim blaming is wrong
- women encourage rape by posting sexy pictures on their Facebook and friending their cousins
- by writing about SlutWalk and her own relationship, Deborah is actually just saying “haha, sucks to be you, rape victims” [no, seriously, that's their argument]
- awesome new euphemism for sex work: “the unwanted profession”
- if we end rape then no man will find us attractive again because we’re trying to stop them “reacting” to us
- inevitable car theft metaphor
- inevitable “vagina is like waving around a wallet full of cash” metaphor
- blaming the victim is wrong but sometimes it’s their fault
Dear readers, truly I have learnt a valuable lesson this day. Unfortunately I just can’t let my bitchingly awesome signs go to waste so see y’all at SlutWalk Wellington!
It’s okay, ladies, we can stop now.
We can put down our keyboards and go back to our kitchens, tie a picture-perfect bow in our polka-dot pinnies, and get to baking some cookies to reward a man who truly deserves them.
You see, we were wrong about Chris Trotter.
He’s a deep, sensitive man with a luxuriant moustache that we are too silly to admire properly. His boner, I have heard tell, is of tremendous proportions as befits a noble, wide-stanced member of the sainted dinosauria.
He wrote us a song, you see. Before many of we poor ignorant “confident young women” were even born, he wrote us a song about how much his feelings are actually the most important thing to focus on when we fight (in an appropriately timid fashion) for the right to control our fertility.
On a grey afternoon,
In an old waiting-room
He said: “In this circumstance
She’s a fifty-fifty chance.”
On a grey afternoon.
And I don’t know how she feels.
And I can’t know how she feels.
But I want her to know
That I feel for her, oh
I want her to know that I feel.
What Chris Trotter wants us all to know, comradettes, is that he and his verdant moustache care about us.
Isn’t that enough, really?
But it’s not enough for Chris. Saintly, magnanimous, divine-manhood-bearing idol that he is, he has also taken precious time out of his grooming schedule to write up a history of abortion reform in New Zealand. Truly, consider what we might have done, sistren, without this great service. Surely it is not becoming a lady to access the unfettered “Google” and subject herself to all manner of strange, thought-provoking search results in a selfish, egomaniacal quest to Educate Herself.
We never need educate ourselves so long as Chris, moustache at his side, is there to tell us about the history of a movement we fancy to call “ours”.
Do you think his great work ends there?
No, gentle acolytes. Chris also lets us know exactly how things stand right now – praise him! For without such cogent analysis to hand some of our number may have had to sacrifice dignity, self-respect, and honour by straying out of our father’s or husband’s doors to explore the World Outside for ourselves, to sully our soft, pale hands with the filth and degradation of Modern Politics.
Yet still he is not satisfied in his quest to make sweet, romantic intellectual love to our brains. He gives us the way forward, as only an artistic yet acutely-honed political mind can.
Yes, my sisters. We must focus group. We must conduct market research, for so it has always been done when people alienated from the means of production and denied their fair share of the nation’s wealth desire to learn more about what they themselves are thinking. Following in the footsteps of Kate Sheppard, we shall employ public relations consultants to tell us what to do.
But not yet, neonates. No, now is not the time, for it would go against the timetable laid out for us by the tragically unbearded Messiah before us. We must wait. I know there are those of you out there, you foul-mouthed and uncouth so-called “women” who may cry “What convenience, comrade, that you insist our revolution wait until after this coming, perhaps pivotal, election!”
I do wish you would not say “revolution”, my pitiable ones. It is not seemly.
I merely beseech you. Look to the moustache. It could not lead us astray, for truly, above all else, it wants us to know that it has a lot of feelings.
I’m sorry, everyone.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter likes to wax lyrical, pretending not to know what people are talking about when they’ve taken the time and energy to provide all the relevant links to his own previous sexist whinging.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter has so little respect for women he thinks we can’t concentrate on more than one issue at a time.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter is so defensive about being called on his and the “mainstream” Left’s misogyny that he has to ironically apply a “you’re either
Nexus with us or against us” strawman on feminists.
I’m sorry if any of you sustained abdominal injuries while cackling* at Chris Trotter of all people calling someone else a “bully”.
I’m sorry if anyone had to waste 5 minutes on Google to reassure themselves that Chris Trotter has no idea what he’s talking about in regards to the US antichoice movement, which has been incremental and smouldering and very subtly engineered for the most part.
I’m sorry that my heretofore mild tone is about to be cast aside in favour of my usual “expletives-included” style.
Because fuck you, Chris Trotter. Fuck you for using vulnerable solo mothers as a fucking weapon against a feminist who actually gives a fuck about helping women take charge of their bodies and doesn’t cast them aside once they’re no longer useful. Fuck you for trying to turn NZ feminists against each other and using a woman public figure, very thinly veiled, as another weapon. Fuck you for fucking implying with scare quotes that that woman was somehow being dishonest in describing herself as a mother.
And fuck you, you pathetic, outmoded hack, for trying to say “that’s politics” as though you have a single fucking clue how to get the left back into power in this country. Let me know when that brilliant racebaiting manoeuvre from fucking 2009 starts paying off, mmkay?
But thank you, too, Chris. Thank you for continuing to demonstrate your utter irrelevancy. Thank you for proving for me (as though it needed to be proven) that feminists cannot assume the left are allies (hey Marty G, if you’re reading this, remind me why you were surprised my post was less than flattering of Labour?).
Thank you for the hilarity of the fact that you have no fucking sense of history, when you try to say that the people who stood up and made noise never achieved anything. I’ll remind every civil rights activist ever, shall I? Guess they should’ve just got up and asked quietly from the back of the bus if they could be treated like full, worthy human beings, etc.
You’re not scary, Chris. You’re not intimidating. You haven’t put me in my place. You’ve just made my entire argument for me. And I thank you for that.
… which you should read:
On dealing with dudebros at Two Whole Cakes
Your resistance was not surprising. It always seems as though these issues will go away if you stop looking at them, which is a function of being one of the fortunates for whom looking at them is optional. But you can’t push these conversations aside; you can’t ignore them away, and you can’t will them out of existence.
My point, here it is at Shakesville
Since yesterday, when Mike/Gabe declared “Okay That’s Enough,” once he found himself on the receiving end of the same sorts of threats and violent rhetoric I’ve been getting from his readers for the past six months—from exhortions to kill myself to threatening emails and comments to a coordinated campaign against me and the blog … which explicitly encourages Penny Arcade readers to stalk and rape me—the amount of email I’ve been getting has actually increased.
Is it just me or is the idea of our Prime Minister joking around with Tony Vietch (a guy who threw his fiance down the stairs before kicking her in the back) about celebrities he’d like to shag just a little creepy?
Props to Sue Kedgley for calling this shit out, but oh my god does the article get into some seriously bizarre territory:
On the other side of the airwaves, Veitch’s rival breakfast host, former Kiwis league great Dean Lonergan said Key’s comment had made him respect the PM even more. “John Key is a strong leader and a very good family man,” the LiveSport host said.
“Those women who might be upset at his comments are obviously just disappointed they never made John Key’s list and never will.
Um, yeah. Sue Kedgley definitely lies awake at night, sobbing into a handspun hemp handkerchief, crying out “WHY??? WHY JOHN WHY? WHY DON’T YOU LOOOOOOOOVE MEEEEEEEEE?”
I mean, let’s just start with the fact that in Dean Lonergan’s head, “going on the radio to call Liz Hurley hot” directly correlates to “strong leader and good family man”. As Danyl put it, I don’t think one needs to be a feminist, or even particularly liberal, to wonder how the fuck that works.
But what I think we really need to take from this is the utter, utter cluelessness of patriarchy some time. Yes, yes, it’s a common trope to try to write off feminists as “jealous” – “you’re just into fat acceptance because you’re ugly, you criticise rape culture because no one will fuck you” etc. etc. But seriously? We’re actually meant to buy that as some stinging criticism of Sue Kedgley? That’s meant to somehow invalidate what she says, because she’s obviously just jealous she didn’t make a list populated by conventionally-hot celebrities? That was the best line you could come up with?
I ‘m feeling the need to go have a wash after writing this, so just a final thought: how much can we read carefully-engineered Crosby/Textor influences into the fact that all smile-and-wave’s celebrity crushes are brunettes, just like his “childhood sweetheart” Bronagh?
Birthornot.com is purportedly a website on which a pro-choice couple are conducting a massive civics social experiment by getting people to vote on whether or not they should have an abortion.
But I think something pretty important needs to be stated about this:
It doesn’t matter.
Yes, I pretty much wrote off the site as a frankly dull prolife piece of flamebait as soon as I saw it, but the fact is that even ignoring that, the “poll” made no damn sense to me.
Because I am pro-choice.
The entire point of a “trap” like birthornot.com only works if you assume that prochoicers are lying about being prochoice. It can only be sprung if you get an upswelling of people saying “I support your choice, so go vacuum that baby right out!”
(Alternatively, it works if prochoicers just ignore it, prolifers spam it and then the “mainstream media” report the results as showing that the majority of people really are prolife, honest they are, yay internet polls are so valid.*)
Unfortunately for the prolifers, that’s not actually how prochoice-ism works. (And also, how you didn’t foresee that 4chan would explode with trollish glee as soon as they got wind of it escapes me.)
I know, I know. I get that you’ve got an entire mythology built up around how pro-choicers are just callous baby-hating bitches, how we put no value on pre-birth human life and want every pregnancy to end in a D&C, how we’re the actual woman-haters and if a woman professes any anxiety about a pregnancy we think she should be forced to abort for her own good … but it’s just not so.
I couldn’t tick a box in Pete and Alisha Arnold’s little troll-poll because I am not Alisha Arnold.** Even with all the handily-provided details about their life, I cannot know how she feels, what she wants, how she’ll prioritise different considerations. Having never been in the position, I barely know what I would do in similar circumstances.
Whatever the circumstances, the only thing I support unequivocally is that a pregnant person be able to choose what to do about their pregnancy (and about their fertility and sex life before/during/after pregnancy).
That means having access to abortion to end it, and having access to whatever medical care is necessary to get through it, and having medical and economic and social support after an abortion or after a birth, and a whole shit-tonne of basic support systems to undercut and mitigate the sheer volume of disadvantage and stigma and social pressure around pregnancy and childbirth that’s put on all women and all people capable of getting pregnant.
Because I’m pro-choice. And that’s exactly what it says on the label.
*Sorry to break it to you, NZHerald.
**I’ll give you this one, prolifers; I don’t think Pete’s views enter into the issue. Because either he’s in line with Alisha’s choices, which is irrelevant, or he’s against Alisha’s choices, which is too bad for him.
Here’s a conversation I want to be present at: Lockwood Smith – who doesn’t think DVDs are “documents” – talking IT with Cameron Slater, who doesn’t think posting pictograms on his blog counts as breaching name suppression.