You know what probably traumatises kids a hell of a lot more than the existence of a brothel on a street in their neighbourhood?
Seeing their parents having sex.
… Yep, we’ve all been there.
Sex work is legal in New Zealand. Busybody moralising fucks stalking sex workers and clients fucking shouldn’t be.
Especially moralising fucks who are trying to play the Big Man by threatening people with public shaming who he knows won’t be comfortable defending themselves.
Wayne Hawker, in short, is a fucking bully.
For a more in-depth discussion with the occasional terrible joke, check the Storify.
It’s been nearly six months since our last visit to the alternate universe occupied by Family First-commissioned Curia polls. Do you think they’ve learned not to be lying shitbags yets?
Do you agree with the statement,
“There was no need for Parliament to change the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry, as civil unions were sufficient for same sex couples.”
44% agreed, “half” disagreed.
What Family First thinks this means:
the country still remains deeply divided on the issue [of same-sex marriage]
… So that’s a “no” on the shitbag question.
What this poll actually means:
Some people thought civil unions for same-sex couples was legally equivalent to state-recognised marriages – a belief no doubt helped by organisations like Family First which consistently lie about the clear legal differences between marriage and civil unions – legal differences which they themselves mention in relation to their second question, “do you think children need to have a 50/50 penis-vagina split in their parents’ pants to be normal?”
What this poll also actually means:
David Farrar is an unethical douche who would, if he had any integrity as a pollster, either reject Family First’s questions or clearly state that he disagrees with their manipulation of the facts.
Next time on How Not to Poll With Curia And Family First:
Overwhelming numbers of Kiwis think food is a good thing to have as part of your daily diet! And when we replaced the phrase “definitions of marriage inaccurately described as Biblical” with “puppies” you may be surprised how many people agree with our bigoted point of view!
A few of my closest pseudonymous Twitter pals and I will be live-tweeting TV3′s The Vote, asking hard questions like “can’t we just keep bashing parents and ignoring the shitty situations they’re living in due to ongoing neoliberal economic fuckups?”
Tune it to #voteWTF tomorrow night for good wholesome rage. Warning: contains Bob McCoskrie.
On this coming Wednesday’s episode of The Vote – our monthly break from the awfulness that I hear is 3rd Degree – a very
angry-making important moot is to be discussed:
Our kids – The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting. Do you agree?
I first heard of this on Twitter, was informed of this, and the fact that one of the “debaters” is to be Bob McCoskrie, on Twitter. Then I visited the webpage for the show and found out who the rest of the debaters are. On the side of “shitting on poor people”:
- Bob McCoskrie
- Hannah Tamaki
- Christine Rankin
On the side of “acknowledging that poverty is a thing”
- Celia Lashlie
- Dr Russell Wills
- Hone Harawira
Oh my god. This is going to be a fucking trainwreck punctuated with occasional moments of beautiful Hone smackdown. This totally calls for live-tweeting.
If you’re not already hanging on my every word on the Twitterz, you can follow #voteWTF. I cannot promise lulz. Only capslock.
If you want to do some homework before the debate, I recommend r0b’s Poverty Watch posts at The Standard.
… which I have no doubt will be blithely reported by our mainstream media as though it’s meaningful.
“Should families where there is both a mum and a dad have priority for the adoption of babies and children?”
The headline which purports to summarise the results:
Mum And Dad Matter For Adopted Kids – Poll
The question does not specify priority over whom.
Now, despite the frequent “echo chamber” bingos of rightwing trolldom, I don’t actually think that everyone does – or should – think exactly the same as me. I’m well aware that there are a lot of Ordinary New Zealanders out there who do not analyse every political statement they hear, who do not automatically ask “what about same-sex parents?” when someone talks about families.
And that’s why I feel comfortable suggesting that when a lot of Ordinary New Zealanders hear the question “should families with a mum and dad get priority?” they do not think “yes, hetero parenting setups are better than same-sex parenting setups”. They probably think “kids are better off with two parents than one.”
(This is still a little problematic to me in social-construct-y terms, but hey, families with two parents are almost certainly in better positions to raise children because our society shits on single parents from orbit, so I’ll let that one go.)
The point is: unless you give people full information – by asking, say, “should a heterosexual couple be given priority over a homosexual couple?” – then you simply cannot make the assumption that that’s what people’s answers mean. Especially when other polls indicate that New Zealanders are not, in fact, majority opposed to same-sex adoption.
Unless you’re Family First and you lie a lot.
The press release describes the poll as independent.
And I describe myself as the Queen of Sheba.
Marriage equality isn’t about gay men stealing babies.
The changes to our marriage legislation, which will give same-sex couples the same rights to adopt children as hetero couples, has a lot less to do with “stranger” adoption and a lot more to do with stories like this one.
Stranger adoption is pretty rare in New Zealand, for a start.
And under the current law, if I had my Own Biological Children and then had a civil union with a woman, who loved and cared for my kids for a decade, she would have no right to adopt my kids. Even though they were pretty much her kids, and even though if I’d married a dude instead it wouldn’t be a problem.
Our current law doesn’t just discriminate against committed loving same-sex couples adopting a “stranger” baby, creating a slightly ridiculous situation where an individual can adopt, then raise a child in a same-sex parenting household, with the other parent not being legally treated as a parent.
It also discriminates against same-sex couples who are, right now, raising kids together – often with one partner the biological partner and the other left to piss in the wind, legally speaking.
As the CYF website notes, the decision for who to adopt a child to (for individuals or hetero couples) comes down to the birth parent – and advises them “You can take your time to look carefully for a family that feels like the best fit for your child”. No one is forcing people to give their children to same-sex couples. They’re just not even being presented with the option.
It’s a bit fucking silly, when you think about it like that.
Polyamory, flatmates, and widows/widowers.
Not every family is based on a simple two-parents-who-fuck model. Once again, Family First, a group which takes upon itself the mantle of Protector Of All New Zealand Families, erases the existence of any number of family setups where children are, right now, being raised happy and healthy and well-rounded.
Family First is so dedicated to crapping on same-sex couples that they will even shit on people who are having to raise kids alone when their monogamous hetero partner has died:
A child has a right to a mum and a dad. Death, divorce and disaster may not always deliver that, but we should not set out in public policy to deny a child that basic right
Aren’t you glad, solo parents, that Family First is able to acknowledge that death has “delivered” a sub-optimal family situation for your child? That even when they do acknowledge that sometimes shit happens, they still want to emphasise that your child is disadvantaged, their rights are being breached, and you are incapable of raising them properly on your own.
And to the communities and extended families and friends and support networks who are pitching in to help those solo parents? Fuck you. You didn’t provide the jizz or the incubation facilities so you ain’t shit.
That’s Family First for you: obsessed with heterosexual sex, and willing to perform any linguistic gymnastics necessary to convince you that they’re just doing it for the kids.
Mythical-concepts-of-Family First have issued a pamphlet (warning: links to Family First website) outlining the “21 great reasons” to keep legally discriminating against loving same-sex couples and parents.
I assure you you don’t need to read it, since it’s actually just the same old four ridiculous reasons they always bring up:
- Marriage is an eternal unchanging institution, the Bible says so, also we’re afraid of change
- We don’t hate gay people, we just think they’re
- What about dogs, ponies, and underage children? (This line of reasoning really never does get less creepy, does it?)
- THINK OF THE CHILDREN (not because of the underage marriage provision, obvs)
Which is where they roll out this hilarious image:
I thought of a few ways to respond to this. There’s the classic “lacking one bio-parent doesn’t mean you never see a person of that gender for your entire childhood” argument:
Then there’s, “but despite continually insisting that you have SCIENCE on your side, you’ve simply never established that a parent of either gender is 100% necessary to the development of a well-socialised human being”:
But let’s be honest, after five minutes trying to engage with the bizarro logic of homophobic bigots, I just decided laughter was the best policy.
… is this, MRAs:
For actual hard, crunchy numbers on the topic, I refer you to The Little Pakeha.
Of those that go to mediation and are decided on by both parents, 65% go to the mother, 11% to the father, 12% to a third party and 12% shared.
Of those decided by a judge, 19% go to the father, much higher than the 11% when the two parties decide by themselves.
The real kicker though is when you look at the percentage of male applicants and the percentage of female applicants who are awarded custody. That is, the person who brings the case to court because they want more than their ex-partner wants to give them. Of all female applicants, 69% are awarded custody. Sound like a lot? You might be surprised, then, to find that of all male applicants, 65% are awarded custody, nearly the same amount.
Oops, looks like there’s only about a 4-point difference between the sexes in custody being granted to the parent who applied for it.
Men getting awarded custody less (that is, of cases which actually make it to the court system)? Might just have something to do with men applying for custody less. Because it looks like whatever assumed junk is in your trunk, there’s a 2/3 win rate for those who choose to go through the system.
The annoying thing about this “issue”? Is it’s one of those real-life examples where patriarchy does hurt men too. Because in heterosexual-couple households, men aren’t expected, much less supported, to take parental leave when the baby arrives. And in a double-income household they’re likely to be earning more so if it’s a matter of financial stability, it does make sense for Mum to be the one who suffers the career break.
People still seriously use phrases like “he’s babysitting this weekend” when referring to a dude taking care of his own children. That’s how we treat men being primary caregivers – and we always assume it’s a temporary arrangement, probably because “she” is so strung out / exhausted / needs Girl Time / a manicure / whatever.
Women get granted custody more because women are assumed to be the default caregiver. Men apply for custody less because their lives and expectations aren’t geared around childrearing. In one case I personally know of? A dad seeking 50/50 custody was told by his relatives that “the kids need to be with their mum”. So there’s fuck-all social support for the guys who do give a fuck.
And I’m sorry, MRA wankheads, but that has fuck-all to do with feminism.
So, Business NZ has chosen to use the recent push for extended paid parental leave as a chance to warn “potential parents” that they might face discrimination in the workplace.
I’d personally like to be the first to welcome Business NZ to “gender pay gap 101″. Now class, I know the rest of us covered this at some point in the 1970s but let’s give the privileged doods some cookies for finally acknowledging that they’re a bunch of discriminating, women-hating bastards.
Oh wait, no, they’re pretending that they totally just came up with this idea and it has nothing to do with historical, often open discrimination against women in the workplace entirely founded on the premise that we’re nothing but walking uteri.*
They’re doing this by claiming that extended paid parental leave – which, as Sue Moroney is probably getting engraved on her forehead right now because she’s tired of saying it, does not extend the total amount of time a person may take for parental leave, just the paid portion of it – will threaten the job prospects of:
women aged anywhere from 15 to 45 and men of any age.
Yes, I’m sure we can all remember the dark days when no man could ever get a job because employers took one look at a male candidate and said “look mate, sure you’ve got the quals, but how do I know you’re not just going to swan off when your partner gets knocked up in order to play an active and meaningful role in your child’s earliest days?”
Here’s the real question.
Business NZ want to claim that:
extending paid parental leave could result in mums and dads having to be retrained because they lose their “sharp edge” by taking more time off work
Yes, mums and dads, shut up you feminists, Business NZ is a staunch supporter of men taking a more equitable role in childrearing.
But here’s the thing. What’s so special about time taken off to raise a baby?
Don’t people who go through illness, or suffer injury, need to be retrained? What about people who take extended holidays? People who are ordered to take extensive holidays because they’re such bloody hard/obsessed workers that they accrue ridiculous amounts of leave? People who take a few months off between jobs? Doesn’t the absenteeism caused by our wonderful Evil Binge Drinking Culture knock the sharp edges off a lot of people, especially young dudes?
Don’t we all need a little bit of retraining after our Christmas breaks? Personally Labour Weekend was enough to take a few sharp edges off me, is all I’m saying.
The answer is simple: babies eat your brains. Probably while you sleep, though I understand scientists are getting close to some really good data on babies’ abilities to literally suck neurons out of nearby adult brains with heretofore undocumented Village of the Damned-esque psychic powers.
The BBC tried to warn us, but did we listen? No. So now Business NZ, on behalf of all the mums AND DADS, SHUTUPFEMINISTS is going to save us from ourselves, by preventing parents (INCLUDING DADS) from having extra paid time at home with their babies which doesn’t actually have any impact on their employers at all because they could still take unpaid leave to make it up to a full year.
It’s the only logical answer. Because otherwise we’d have to believe that the national Voice of New Zealand Business is run by a bunch of reactionary conservatives so far up Milton Friedman’s ass that they literally cannot even understand that happy healthy babies = happy healthy future working units, and happy, relaxed parents = happy healthy present working units.
And that would just be silly.
*Of course, not all women have uteri, not all pregnant people or potentially pregnant people are women, but I have the feeling this concept might blow Business NZ’s collective doodly minds.
I mean, we’re talking about a dude who claims some level of expertise on parenting and family dynamics, and then when actually put on the spot and asked how many same-sex parenting couples he knows, answers:
“I actually do know of a couple, I don’t know them well. I wouldn’t say they were friends of mine.”
Colin Craig doesn’t have a lot of gay friends? I can tell you’re shocked.
Anyway, the delightful judgmental asshat touched today on one of my least favourite tropes: the “only bio-daddy and bio-mummy can possibly raise normal kids” line.
“The differences between homosexuals as parents and a mum and a dad as parents are very, very significant,” he says.
“Seeing how an adult woman and an adult man live and how they work together is fantastic, positive and important for children.”
In Colin Craig’s world, parenting is basically nothing more than correctly acting out his mythical 1950s Perfect Gender Roles so that the kiddies will thoughtlessly mimic those roles and nothing will ever inflame Colin’s massive throbbing bigotry gland.
Let’s remember that Colin Craig, and allies like Bob McCoskrie and his imaginary friends, are the people pretending to be about love. Pretending to be about compassion. Pretending to give a shit about children.
Yet Colin Craig, right there, said to a hell of a lot of people, “You aren’t good parents. You’re messing up children’s lives.”
Even if you’re a widow or widower, doing your best for the kids after a parent has died. Even if you’re a grandparent, stepping in to help your own kids when they can’t handle the responsibility of childrearing. Even if you’re an auntie or an uncle who’s always there for them, if you’re a cousin who lives in the same house and babysits them while their parents have to work, even if you’re an older sibling who’s stepped into the parental role -
Colin Craig thinks you aren’t worth shit, basically. Because
“Love is not all that matters.”
So screw you. You might be looking out for a kid, you might be the person who feeds and clothes them, helps them with their homework, takes them to the park, teaches them how to knit or fish or ride a bike, but if you’re not playing a part in some ludicrous Don and Betty Draper masquerade? The people who claim to be for families and about children think you’re worthless.
Because the junk in his pants and the flowers on her apron are what really helps kids.
How wonderfully caring.
Yep, in no time at all Bob McCoskrie and all his little friends have put up a vomitously saccharine anti-marriage-equality website, full of all your favourite memes:
Marriage is about babies!
Yet we let infertile couples marry. We let trans people (only after surgery) marry as their identified gender. We let people well past the age of child-bearing marry. We don’t forcibly dissolve marriages after X years if no children have been produced, and the Marriages Act makes no reference to childbearing nor rearing as a purpose of marriage.
The state shouldn’t redefine marriage!
The state already has. It “defined” marriage when it created laws affecting married people. It changed that definition when it allowed divorce, when it made marital rape actual rape, when it acknowledged de facto couples who haven’t said the magic words as basically equivalent in terms of property rights.
There’s only one logical solution:
Since the State has naughtily “defined” marriage, ignoring the “real” focus on having children, ignoring the “true” nature of marriage …
Obviously, the State should get out of the marriage game.
Stop providing benefits to married people. Stop treating married couples as different from any other kind of cohabiting pair or group of adults. Leave it all up to the churches and the individuals to do whatever the fuck they want to do to celebrate their union, and have nothing to do with it.
Ban straight marriage, basically.
I look forward to Bob McCoskrie’s lobbying on this matter. Since obviously he just cares about marriage, and isn’t at all a homophobic bigot using Hallmark card platitudes to push hatred and discrimination on loving, committed couples.
But if he really wants to keep pushing that line he might want to ask his mates to stop making laughable “marry my dog” comparisons.