Tagged: adoption

No surprise here: Family First doesn’t really put families first

Having been pretty much trounced on the marriage equality issue, Family First is now targeting Bills aimed at creating equality in our adoption laws.

And in a completely predictable move, they’re just bald-faced lying about the current legal situation and pretending that any families or relationships which don’t match up to their imaginary 1950s nuclear family utopia just don’t exist.

Point 1:  There is no shortage of stable married hetero cis couples willing to adopt

Non-family adoptions are certainly pretty rare in NZ.  So … if we make it legal for same-sex couples to adopt, they won’t actually be able to adopt any children and thus brainwash them into the Gay Agenda.  No problem there, really.

Ah, but that leads us to point 2:

Point 2:  Adopting kids to same-sex couples where there’s no biological connection is wrong!

But we’ve already established that out-of-family adoptions are rare.  And apparently the lack of common DNA isn’t a problem when it’s hetero married people doing it, so … I still don’t see their problem.

Point 3:  Motherless and fatherless families!

It honestly never ceases to amaze me that we as a society continue to put any faith in the opinions of an organisation (that is, one-man band) which is so obviously anti-family.

Bob McCoskrie thinks no family can possibly be good for a child unless it’s a monogamous, heterosexual, cisgendered, married set of parents.

So fuck you, people whose partners died.  You should’ve grabbed the nearest available bachelor/bachelorette and stuck a ring on their finger.

Fuck you, people who got divorced.  You should’ve stayed together despite the dysfunction or the arguments or the abuse.  Or made sure you both had new hetero lifepartners lined up asap before you split.

Fuck you, step-parents.  You don’t have a biological connection to the kids you’re raising so obviously that makes you a failure.

And fuck you, all the extended families, the blended families, the grandparents.  If your cock or vag was not involved in the conception of a child, you’re an automatic failure in any role you may try to play in a child’s life.

Oh, and children?  Please remember that the only male role model in your life can be the guy who ejaculated in your mum, and the only female role model in your life can be the uterus-carrier who squeezed you out.  Any suggestion that your uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, teachers, or family friends could have an effect on your life is a big gay lie.

The reality is this:  moves to make it legal for same-sex couples to adopt is largely about families who already exist.  Families where there’s already a parental relationship with your partner’s kids.

All Family First really wants to achieve by opposing these bills is to make life harder for stable, loving families, just because they have an unhealthy obsession with the genitalia and sex lives of the people doing the parenting in those families.

And they’re willing to throw all the other non-standard families in this country under the bus to do it.

Note: Kevin Hague’s Bill addresses a number of other issues with our current adoption laws, including making them more open to Maaori traditional practice, but of course Bob McCoskrie doesn’t care about that, just what junk your parents have in their trunk.  And props to National’s Nikki Kaye for working with Hague on the Bill.

You know you mean shit when you’re “those people”

And this time, “those people” are same-sex couples who want the right to adopt.

From the mouth of our glorious leader himself:

“But realistically it’s just not the biggest issue that we face. I know it’s important to those people, but they’re a very small group,” he said.

Because the rights of same-sex couples are only of interest to same-sex couples.  The rights of children to be raised by their parents, even if their parents are deviant non-heterosexuals, is only of interest to aforementioned deviant non-heterosexuals.

It’s not a human rights issue at all.  It’s not an issue with cross-party support at all.

So it’s not a priority.  And our Government is all about having clear priorities.

That’s why they’ve consistently abused urgency to pass a shitload of not-actually-urgent laws which, Mr Key, only affect a very small group of people.

Like the 90-day fire-at-will bill which, you’ll all recall, we were told was specifically only going to be used by a small number of employers who just need flexibility to test whether they can take on additional workers.

Or the Video Camera Surveillance Bill which, you’d have to hope, only applies to a very small group of Police investigations, and which was so urgent it had to be passed asap.  And then waited for nearly two weeks before it actually, you know, came into force.

Or the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Bill, which was certainly urgent, and certainly affected a lot of people, but which the government hadn’t actually finished writing the amendments yet.  But still had to be debated before anything else.

And let’s not forget how seriously National and ACT took the need to push through tax cuts for the top 10% of New Zealanders – tax cuts which have contributed to the fucked state of our government’s books now.  I’m sure those tax cuts were very important to “those people” too.

Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn, to whom I am indebted for his excellent backlog of useful posts, has more on our government’s use of urgency to pass whatever it has decided is currently A Thing Which Needs Passing.

So, if you’re rich?  If it gives a core group of National supporters, like employers, more power which they apparently don’t actually need to use because, um, shut up?  If it makes the government look Tough on Crime?

Fuck yeah, get that shit on the agenda.

If it’s just a piffling basic human rights issue which is supported by multiple parties across the House?  Fuck off, scum.  You’re just “those people”.  You’re a group John Key doesn’t even need to waste energy using inclusive language for.

Seriously, next time that fucker shows up at a gay pride event so he can get his smug little grin on with some drag queens to show how cosmopolitan and progressive he is, can someone PLEASE just pie him?

H/T to @ShakingStick 

National Council of Women acknowledges its need for feminism

That’s my personal spin, anyway.

The background:  NCW has launched a sweet little campaign in the standard internet take-pic-of-self-holding-empowering-statement-and-post-on-Tumblr vein.  They want you to say why you need feminism.

The big problem:  NCW is the last organisation which should be sending messages about why we need feminism.  If NCW is going to solicit people’s feedback on why feminism is necessary, it should only be as part of a gigantic soul-searching “where the fuck have we gone wrong” review.

I don’t want to go about crowning myself Queen of NZ Feminism or anything, so here’s a list of Official Feminist Topics as discussed by two group feminist NZ blogs or featured in the Down Under Feminists Carnival, over the last month or so (I was going to do six months, but damn, we shrieking harridans cover a lot of stuff):

  • The Southland abortion fight
  • Fundraising for Women’s Refuge
  • Family First’s attacks on Rainbow Youth and comprehensive sex education
  • Rape culture and rugby culture
  • Gender discrimination in the police force
  • The inaugural Fat Studies conference
  • The eternal porn vs erotica debate
  • Women’s political representation
  • Marriage equality

[Sources:  random scans of The Hand Mirror, The Lady Garden, the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival]

A pretty diverse bunch of issues there, being discussed and publicised by … maybe a dozen writers with families and jobs and other things to do?

You’d think some of them would have hit NCW’s radar, right?  As “the country’s leading women’s organisation”?

Their website lists five things as “some of the key issues facing New Zealand women today”:

  • Women and Work
  • Women and Leadership [in work]
  • Pay Equity [also kinda about work]
  • Family Violence
  • Parliamentary Representation [which is kind of like work]

So that’s 60% work-related, 80% if we count Parliament as a workplace, and Family Violence.  Hmm.  Let’s look around the rest of their site.

Under “Campaigns” we have two: Women And [you guessed it] Work and Facebook Campaign, which is about putting pressure on Facebook to take down pages which openly promote sexual violence.  Last update: December 2011.

But in terms of big, largely women-related issues of 2012?  No mention of abortion, either generally or in reference to the Southern DHB issue.  No mention even in passing of SlutWalk, not even the 2011 events which made headline news throughout the country.  They supported and even had a speaker at Reclaim the Night … in 2009.  Nothing at Queer the Night, but I base that assumption on the fact that a search for “queer” doesn’t return a single result.

Gay marriage?  Marriage equality?  Gay adoption?  Bueller?

How about the non-work-related big-red-buttonclassic feminist issues?  “Rape” is mentioned only in terms of the aforementioned Facebook campaign.   “Contraception”, nada.  “Queer” and “abortion” as mentioned above.

How about “pregnancy”?  Among quite a few links, we find a press release from 2008 about the rates of abuse pregnant people face.  Wait, not just pregnant people:

it is abhorrent to think that mothers-to-be, and their defenceless unborn children are being exposed to this kind of physical violence.

Fuck yeah, I love me a “leading women’s organisation” that just flops out some antichoice vocab and lets it hang there.

Let’s get some intersectionality going here.  “Disability” returns a resolution about “under-65 year olds who next rest home grade care”.  Charming.  “Maori” returns a few side mentions, particularly around the ACC issue, but nothing specific.  “Racism” returns no results.  “Transwomen”, “transsexual” and “transgender” return no results.  For “queer” see above.  “Class” can apparently only come after the words “middle” and “antenatal”.

What’s really interesting is that NCW’s Twitter and Facebook accounts do a far better job addressing a large number of issues, pushing information from other sites and organisations, and generally being interesting.  One can only assume they’ve got some keen young Gen Y stuck in a back office doing that Weird Modern Communicating stuff while the adults write press releases and create godawful videos.

Wait, press releases, you say?  Those are always a good way of seeing what an organisation cares about.  Let’s have a look at those.  A whopping seven published for the year 2012, covering:

  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse (where the focus, according to the headline, is that NCW has totally supported this for aaaaaaages)
  • Extending paid parental leave
  • Inadequate consultation on welfare reforms
  • Valuing caregivers
  • The NZX taking gender representation seriously
  • The closure of Salisbury School
  • NCW supports Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms because solo parents on benefits need to “become contributing members of society”

… HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE.

Yep, you read that right:  NCW’s President, Elizabeth Bang, issued a press release saying:

“NCWNZ supports policies that help parents on a benefit to get into the workforce where possible, so they can become contributing members of society and they and their families can enjoy a better quality of life,”

Now, before anyone accuses me of smearing good President Bang, you’re completely right.  That line is not in the version of the press release on the NCW website.  It’s immortalised on Scoop.  Kinda like someone noticed how the President of the National Council of Women just basically said “women’s unpaid labour isn’t worth shit” and thought maybe they should try to step that back.

I don’t want to downplay the good work I’m sure NCW is doing somewhere, presumably working hard to get an older white cis woman appointed to the board of Telecom because that’s fighting the good fight.  No, that’s a bit harsh.  There is (if you dig) some good work that’s been done on child tax credits and ACC’s horrible treatment of sexual abuse survivors.  And pay equity is still a big fight to fight.

But the notion that an organisation which so clearly does not represent the breadth and depth of women’s issues in New Zealand*, which, as far as I’m concerned, actively works against certain classes of women, is in any position to say “yeah grrls, let’s show people why we need feminism!!!” is fucking laughable.

But then, the disclaimer on their Tumblr should have warned me:

We want to inspire dialogue and we want to you to share the many ways in which feminism is important to you – but we want to encourage respectful discussion.

We are keen to receive submissions that are radical or provocative but we reserve the right to decline submissions if we deem them to be hateful or otherwise inappropriate.

Or there’s President Bang’s own comments in the press release for the campaign:

The idea is to show that feminists are not ‘man-hating’ and ‘bra-burning’ and they’re not just women – feminists are people who believe that men and women should be equal.

There goes my “I need feminism because the National Council of Women are doing fuck-all to advance causes that aren’t mainstream and popular” submission idea.  And my “I need feminism because even so-called feminists keep buying into bullshit bra-burning myths” submission idea.

We do need feminism.  Unfortunately, the National Council of Women isn’t even in the same room as it.

~

*And there’s a whole other argument to have about the gender-binary-imposition inherent in having a “women’s” organisation

Edited to add:  This just keeps happening to me.  I had this post all ready to go (bumped a day due to fantastic, blatant double standards in the justice system) and this pops up on the reader:  a press release from NCW (that’s 8 so far!) about our report to CEDAW.

Maybe now the UN has mentioned that whole icky abortion thing, NCW can be bothered to do something about it.

Hey, McCoskrie: here’s how you do statistics, not that you didn’t know

I am inclined to snort whenever Bob McCoskrie pulls a statistic out of his boner and claims it shows some kind of mainstream support for his views.  Ditto anyone who still sincerely argues that the “anti-smacking” referendum showed any kind of clear result (for anyone who missed it the first time around, Lyndon Hood’s flowchart remains the best illustration of why it didn’t.)

But I think statistics have a place.  Especially when they back up my own arguments.  It’s not that I’m biased, honestly, it’s just that Bob McCoskrie takes:

69% of people said “yes” to the question “Do you think schools, as part of their sex education programme, should be required to encourage pupils, to abstain from sex until they are old enough to handle the possible consequences of pregnancy?”

And turns it into

69% of kiwis overall [support] the ‘wait’ [i.e. abstinence] message

Whereas Idiot/Savant, for example, takes:

A Herald-DigiPoll showed that 61.2 per cent of the public felt adoption law should be changed to allow all couples, including same-sex couples

And turns it into:

over 60% of kiwis support gay adoption

See the subtle difference?  (And no, saying “over 60%” when “waaaaaa it’s only a LITTLE bit over and you’re trying to sound like it’s nearly two-thirds of people when REALLY it’s actually only slightly nearly two-thirds of people waaaaaa” doesn’t count.)

(Also, Roy Morgan backs it up, and has … rather more cred that Herald DigiPolls, but the point stands.)

Of course, Bob doesn’t really care about people’s actual attitudes, hence his (and the wider religious right’s) love of convoluted, multipart survey questions which rely on people’s innate biases and desire not to reject good propositions just because they’re surrounded by bad propositions (the way you might feel a bit stink about saying no to shagging Clive Owen just because it’s offered as a threesome with Clive Owen and Stellan Skarsgard.  Wait, no, I would totally go there …)

One of these days we’re going to see a headline blaring FAMILY FIRST SURVEY FINDS KIWIS HATE GAY PEOPLE and no journalist in New Zealand is going to bother to take the time (i.e. the five seconds on Google) to figure out that the original question was “Would you, like, kinda hate it if your gay best mate, like, totally kicked a puppy right in front of you?”

I RSS so you don’t have to: gay adoption edition

Kevin Hague and Nikki Kaye have put the word out about a private member’s bill they’re working on to allow same-sex couples to adopt.

Our glorious PM has of course decided to reduce this issue to a vague “look at how open-minded I am, gay people!  But I don’t really support their rights, fundies!” commitment to support any such bill to a first reading.  Woohoo.

Now, it should come as no surprise that Patriarchal Enforced Heterosexual Family First is opposed, with the usual unproven whinging about “deliberately creating fatherless/motherless families” (because if your sperm/ovum wasn’t involved you by default cannot be loving, nurturing, protective, or beneficial in a child’s life).

Here’s the fun giveaway, though:

“The purpose of adoption is not to provide a child to adults, but rather to provide a family to a child,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

You see, here’s the odd thing, Bob.  Where Nikki Kaye says things like

“… the approach I am taking would be that you focus on the welfare of the child and that’s not about somebody’s sexuality.”

… she seems equally as child-focused as you.  But she’s not the one assuming that the whole issue is about treating children as accessories (and we all know how [insert stereotype about men with handbags here]).

In fact, that’s more your bag, isn’t it?  How did that tune go?

“By passing the anti-smacking law, [politicians] have completely undermined the authority of good parents and given children a weapon to use against their parents.”

Sorry, I thought we were talking about the right of kids to have a family … but it’s almost like once they’re in a family you want them to shut up and not have any autonomy … nah, that would just be rank hypocrisy, assuming whatever position most allows men like Bob McCoskrie to maintain power over their spouses and kids.  And that wouldn’t be very compassionate and caring at all, would it?

NZ politicians: It gets worse

Andrea Vance has an article on Stuff about the Forbidden subjects in New Zealand politics – euthanasia, gay adoption, and abortion rights.

These are three issues where I truly feel change is inevitable.  We will have voluntary euthanasia, we will allow loving, committed couples who just happen to have similar sets of junk to adopt and raise kids, and we will, as god is my witness etc, have legal, safe, accessible abortion on demand in this damn country.

And I know that one day, I’m going to have to explain to my children or grandchildren that yes, Grandma Ranty can still remember when male political leaders got to dodge debates about pregnant people’s basic rights by shrugging and saying “Oh, I haven’t given it much thought.

But right now, all I can do for those in Parliament who want to ignore these issues because Bob McCoskrie’s penis might get angry at them is remind them of this:

It gets worse.

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I cede the floor to Mr Wainscotting

on the matter of the laughably predictable response by the Beat Your Kids To Prove Your Authoritah Kiwi Party to Adoption Action’s campaign to drag our adoption laws kicking and screaming into the 21st century. (And props to Jacinda Ardern for taking up the cause.)

There is no evidence to show that children require two (2.00) parents and one must have a diddle and the other a fanny. Sure, there’s evidence that children do better with two (as opposed to one or none) committed parents in a stable relationship, but there is not a shred that suggests that the gender or sex of the parents is of fundamental importance, and there’s certainly not the tiniest scrap of evidence to suggest that children do any worse when raised by same-sex parents.

Let’s put it this way: on one side George Takei; on the other, this dude.

Yep, I know who I’d trust my [hypothetical] kids with.

(BTW, Larry, you’re probably the last fucking person on this planet who should try to pull the “logic/ideology” dichotomy.)