My male role models made me the scary, cussing feminist I am today

Since I’ve been linked to from the Herald a few times now, I feel oddly compelled to let you know up front that this one gets sweary, people.  I make no apologies.

Louisa Wall and Colin Craig appeared on Q&A to discuss the marriage equality / adoption equality issue.*

Colin Craig’s statements were, happily, entirely illustrative of his bullshit, unjustifiable stance on the topics (his refusal to answer the question “do you respect members of the gay community who want this” especially so):

SHANE     Colin Craig, do you support one law for all?

MR CRAIG     I support equal rights and privileges for all New Zealanders.

SHANE     One law for all, though?

MR CRAIG     Yeah, I don’t like that phrase, but equal rights and privileges for New Zealanders.

SHANE     So why do you support one law for heterosexuals and one law for homosexuals?

MR CRAIG     Well, look, I agree with civil unions. … What we’re talking about here is who has the right to use and define the word “marriage”, and I believe there’s a status quo. We’ve got generation after generation, marriage has been between and a woman, and that is what I believe the New Zealanders want. They’ve got cultural investment in this, historical investment in this, religious investment in this.

So Colin basically thinks New Zealanders should have equal rights and privileges, except for the heteros who get exclusive domain of the word “marriage”.  Which is apparently simultaneously a minor, piffling matter, but also vitally important to our cultural identity.  (And remember, it’s those scary queer people who want “special” rights!)

One hates to invoke anecdata, but you know?  I can’t think of a single married couple I know who thought “shit yeah, getting a bit of paper that The Gays can’t get really shows how strong our relationship is!”


MR CRAIG     The only difference here is the word “marriage”. I mean, we’re not talking about an issue of equality across other things.

Colin Craig, you are a fucking liar.  Or a complete, ignorant numpty.  Possibly both.  I’m going with both.

A Civil Union is not recognised in the same way as a marriage out of New Zealand. If you wish to be legally recognised as Civil Unions partners in another country, you would have to apply in the country you wish to live in, if they have this law.

Civil Union partners do not at present have the right to adopt a child

Bonus objectifying language from Colin for the win:

There are a number of homosexuals who take a different view.

I imagine him pronouncing it the way Mr Gormsby does.

But here’s the bit I wanted to address specifically:

MR CRAIG     OK, I support the existing law. … Now, I actually think – and it’s my opinion – I actually think there are difference between a man and a woman. I actually think that when we get to choose the environment in which a child grows up, to have both a male and female role model, a mum and a dad is the ideal, and therefore I do support that restriction.

And please pardon the unladylike nature of the next sentence:


It’s obvious enough that Colin Craig is talking absolute shit when he equates “having a male and female role model” with “a mum and dad” – and that’s even if we pass by the wonderfully archaic gender essentialism, the indignant “well I actually think boys and girls are different” defence.

But fuck, this fucks me right off.

Y’see, folks, the man responsible for ejaculating in my mother’s vague direction at an optimal ovulation point wanted sweet fuck all to do with me (probably also the fault of gay people undermining the Sanctity Of The Family or something).  So he fucked off.

Now, apparently this spells immediate Becoming Another Child Abuse / Teen Pregnancy / Drug Use Statistic for the infant Queen of Thorns – after all, no dad, no Male Role Model to keep her straight and narrow, straight being the most important bit.

(Of course, infant Queen of Thorns having been assigned gender “female” at birth probably means Male Role Models Aren’t As Important For Her or something, but bear with me.)

Patriarchal wankoffs like Colin Craig want to pretend that my upbringing, sans one out of two gamete-donors, must have been immediately disadvantaged, a permanent stain on my psyche.  My mother remaining single is, after all, only marginally better than my mother taking up with another woman, which must have scarred me irreparably.

But hang on.

Who are those guys over there?

Why look, it’s my grandfather, who among other things imbued me with a love of science fiction and an allergy to terrible puns.  It’s my uncle, who has exactly my sense of humour.  My stepdad, whose strict regimen of Culturally Important Experiences (largely involving classic films and NZ music of the 70s) allow me to make obscure references no one else my age gets to this day.  And all the other men in our extended family and community who each stood as another example of What Men Are Like and How Men May Act and who, bygiving a shit about my welfare and growth, did a fuckload more for me than Mr Sperm Donor Fuckhead did before he vanished from my life.

Basically, male role models?  I had fucking plenty.  And most of them were pretty kickass, and, sorry, Colin, most of them made significant contributions to the sweary, ranty, righteous, fuck-you-I-won’t-do-what-you-tell-me personality you see before you today.

The idea that my mother, in some parallel universe, hooking up with a woman at any point after my arrival (and, tragically, having some kind of deep and committed relationship!!!!) would somehow have denied me these important relationships is complete.  Fucking.  Bullshit.

And I love my mum, but the idea that she was somehow my Only Possible Female Role Model is likewise bullshit.  (Especially given the dominance of women in New Zealand teaching and early childhood education.)

The idea that in some pseudo-1950s Golden Age, I would have automatically been better off either (a) being raised by parents forced to marry following my conception or (b) being taken from my mother and raised by a complete different grab-bag of people … is complete.  Fucking.  Bullshit.

And let’s be honest here, when people start talking about “traditional family values” or “returning to a better time”, that’s what they mean.  Oh, they will protest, no, we just meant the good parts of a fantasy past where all marriages were completely permanently perfect and all pregnancies completely safe and wanted.  But ain’t it just like fundy fuckstains to pretend that their utopia is completely unproblematic?

Children are not raised in a vacuum, in which emotional or psychological development can only be performed by Female Parental Unit A and Male Parental Unit B.  And it is fucking insulting to all the people out there who do play roles in the lives of children who they don’t even own – because that’s what this is about at its core, classic, ancient, patriarchal “rraaaa!  My bloodline must be propagated to prove my virility!  Behold the children I claim to show the power of my wang!  Rrraaa!” – to act like if you don’t get called Mummy or Daddy you may as well go home.

If I could take my childhood over again I would not change one fucking thing, Colin. Because I fail to see what Mr Deadbeat Fuckhead could have done to make me any more awesome than I am today.


In my heart of hearts, I’m deeply hoping for a “maybe he would’ve given you a damn good spanking and turned you into more of a lady!” response.  Please don’t disappoint me.


  1. felix

    But but but your male role models could only have existed in the confused heathen sinful world we actually live in.

    Mr Craig’s point – and I feel I must make it for him because he’s far too chickenshit – is that in an ideal world your mum would’ve been ostracised as an unclean harlot along with her soulless devil-child offspring.

    Bigotry does make sense but you’ve got to take it all the way if you really want to see the benefits.

    • QoT

      Hey now, I’m sure my soul could’ve been saved via upbringing in a sterile overcrowded orphanage run according to Proper Christian Values. And now I need to read Jane Eyre again, thank you so much.

  2. Draco T Bastard (@DracoTBastard)

    Children are not raised in a vacuum…

    Except that, in the nuclear family of which Colin Craig is in favour of, a child being raised in a vacuum is entirely possible. Both parents out to work and uncles/aunties/cousins/in-laws etc living somewhere far away? Yeah, vacuum entirely possible.

    If we want to correct a lack of role models then we would be dropping the nuclear family (a fairly new invention BTW, certainly not old enough to be called traditional IMO) and going back to the extended families that we evolved in.

  3. Iria

    Oh thank you. Unfortunately the hilarity-inducing effects of that ‘power of my wang’ comment has obliterated the more profound and edumacated thoughts I had about the rest of the post. But from the bottom of my sweary, ranty, polyamorous, communally-oriented-single-mothering heart….thank you.

  4. Ron

    As a son of a single mother, I completly agree. About the only bit of my childhood Id miss, given the chance would have to skipped the years with a step-father (at least that particular person).

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