Tagged: basic human fucking rights

Abortion in Southland: Alison McCulloch kicks ass edition

So, I got around to watching last night’s episode of Close Up, and strangely did not walk away feeling like I needed to de-ice the freezer so I could smash up the ice in the sink to vent my anger.

Because what sums it up is this:  when Mark Sainsbury interrupted Norman Maclean of Southlanders for Killing Women Life, Norm said nothing.

When Alison McCulloch of ALRANZ interrupted Norm, he put on his very best unimpressed-headmaster voice and said “Please do not interrupt me when I’m in the middle of a sentence.”

He didn’t add “young lady” at the end, but you could see it hanging there in mid-air.

Here’s the important bit:  Norman Maclean simply will not state what Southlanders For Hate will do if given the names of staff employed in the abortion services section of Invercargill Hospital.

Sure, five minutes after he was first asked he parrotted some line about being “committed to peaceful protest”, but subsequently tried to argue that if those staff feel intimidated and afraid to have their names published, that’s got nothing to do with an organised group declaring it’ll “name and shame” them, that’s just their problem.  They’re just choosing to be afraid in the context of an organised group whose spokesman states that their work is “child abuse in the womb”.   They’re just oversensitive about working in a world where people in their profession are regularly targeted, threatened, and murdered by so-called “prolife” people.

Alison McCulloch put it very well:  it doesn’t actually matter if every single member of Southlanders For Letting People Die is a cuddly vegan hippie (though it’s unlikely).  Because if that information is published, there will be someone out there who will act on it.

Abortion clinics in this country have been firebombed.  That’s the simple facts of the matter.

But Norman Maclean had another ridiculous card in his hand:  the “consumer rights” card. Because all people have the “right to know who is providing their care.”

Like Alison said, can’t people just ask a midwife if they perform abortions?

What I want to know is – and it’s the same thing that made me think we should demand that they Name The Dentists, too – why does abortion make it on the list of things which so define a person’s identity that they’re an indelible part of their character?

Why not summon all the GPs in New Zealand to public hearings so we can ask them if they are now or have ever been a member of the Communist Party?

Like Alison McCulloch said, we know very well what happens to lists of doctors who perform abortions.  Do any of us think we’ll see Norman Maclean take the tiniest bit of personal responsibility when a healthcare worker in Southland gets harassed, sent abusive mail, attacked?

I’m thinking not.

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.

Sean Plunket says it all re the Dowse exhibit

Remember my thoughts on Paul Young’s complaint about the Dowse exhibit which men can’t see?

But here’s the thing that pisses me off:  it seems like old white dudes like Paul Young have honestly drunk the anti-PC KoolAid.  They sincerely believe that the Human Rights Commission has some kind of god-like power to storm the Dowse, tear down the curtains around Sophia Al-Maria’s exhibit and instantly beam its images into the heads of all good Kiwi men so that SEXIST OPPRESSION SHALL BE NO MORE!!!!

Boy, is he in for a surprise.

Lest you think I was just being an hysterical feminist, here’s how Sean Plunket literally thinks the mediation process should go:

1: The commission tells the Dowse and the council it appears to be breaching our laws on discrimination. 2: The council and the Dowse say sorry and lift the restrictions. 3: The complainants say thank you to the commission for upholding the law and to the council and the Dowse for pulling their heads in. 4: The outcome of the mediation is made public.

That’s right.  At the merest appearance of discrimination, without weighing any of the actual harm involved (you know, like our actual law requires) the Gallery should instantly back down and says “oh shit, sorry, I’ll do whatever the whiney white men want.”

(And, just by-the-by, breach their agreement with the artist and her participants.  But who cares, right, they’re just silly brown women who Need To Be Saved.)

Do you think this is actually how Sean Plunket thinks our human rights framework works?  Or just how it should work when the group being “oppressed” (by, let’s remember, not being allowed to see a three-minute video screened in a storage area which the participants don’t consent to them seeing) is entitled dudes?

Full kudos to commenter no. 1, Guy, for summing this up in terms even Sean and Paul Young should be able to understand:

Sean, you’re being rather silly. It is the same as a man wanting to go and look inside a women’s changing room. While you might well want to sneak a peek at what they look like with their clothes off / veils off, the women concerned do not want men to see them like that, and so men are banned from the changing room. Anyone caught drilling holes in the changing room walls is arrested and branded a pervert. End of story.

The thin end of the wedge: art edition

Background here.

Paul Young, who really, really has to see a video of women who agreed to be filmed under the condition men not look at them, thinks this whole Dowse thing is “the thin end of the wedge.”

I agree.  Why, allow this 3-minute video to be shown off in a tiny blocked-off out-of-the-way of a public gallery, and what’s next? Five-minute videos?  Ten??????  My god, they might extend it to an area larger than a toilet cubicle!  It might not be tucked away behind the reception desk!

Seriously, though, watch the 3News video.  Now when they’re talking about Paul and his mates “politely asking” to see something in the full knowledge it violates the wishes of the participants, who talks about “respectfully declining”?  The gallery head does.  Who brings up “maybe they’ll call in the police!!!!”?  Paul Young does.  Gee, which side do you think is trying to stir shit up?  Which side do you think has a grandiose sense of entitlement?

If the Dowse Gallery is clever, they will have a handy power switch at reception which will stop the exhibit playing if any entitled wankers like Paul Young try to bully their way into an exhibition which does not affect them, does not impede them, does not harm them – except for the terrible damage done to their privilege.

Paul Young is hopeful they’ll “sway” the issue – i.e. the exhibit will be “canned” and no one will be allowed to see it.  Because Muslim women’s ability to have private spaces and interactions outside the male gaze is that fucking threatening, apparently.

White male privilege:  you haz it, Paul.

Family First: Marriage is just a game and youth suicide is funny

No, seriously, I can’t make this shit up.

Rugby is a game played by most boys in New Zealand in their childhood, though some don’t want to play it at all. A significant section of the community have always preferred to play a different sport, like soccer. But Rugby gets all the status in New Zealand, commanding all the respect. So much so that those who play soccer are often made to feel like second-class citizens. They lack the mana of those who play the nation’s revered game. Reliable studies show that this has statistically led to a higher degree of depression among soccer playing boys, and already our rate of male youth suicide is far too high.

Yep.  Marriage is just like choosing to pick up a ball and throwing it backwards, and lol, let’s use youth suicide as a punchline because obviously our continued statements about gay people being unnatural, confused, less valuable to society and unworthy to be considered fully equal can’t be having any kind of effect on suicide at all. Mind you, given what we know about US fundy attitudes to gay kids killing themselves, it isn’t a surprise.  It’s just contemptible. And if it’s not deliberately vicious, it’s really, really shittily timed.  But remember, Bob and Colin are the guys who care about our children and families. Bob, I can’t believe this hasn’t happened already, but you’re Officially Scum. H/T Protect Marriage Equality on Facebook.  More responses via GayNZ.com.

EDITED TO ADD:  The post on FF’s website now reads “(Author Unknown”) at the top.  Please compare and contrast with the screenshot below and rate Bob’s level of backtracking bullshit out of 10.A screencap of the Family First "rugby redefinition" postEDITED EDITED TO ADD ADD:  And now there’s a wonderful fauxpology at the bottom:

UPDATE: Please note that we have removed the reference to suicide in this satirical piece. In light of horrendous stats on suicide just released, it was an inappropriate reference. The piece was sent to us – we didn’t write it – but we should have vetted it better. We apologise for any offense the reference may have caused. It was certainly not our intention.

Look, the reference is only inappropriate, and only because of the statistics release – not because our actual suicide statistics are actually horrific.  Also, obviously, they only apologise for any offence [it] may have caused – because quite obviously they’ve only stuck this fauxpology up randomly, and not because they’ve received any actual backlash or anything.

And Family First, clearly, just loves posting poorly-written shit sent to them anonymously.  Their only real crime was “not vetting it properly”, where “vetting” is an archaic term for “reading”.

And if you believe all that, I have a big pile of bullshit to sell you.  No metaphor can really do it justice.

 

Banning men from looking at women who don’t consent: that’s real discrimination

The story:  Old white man is pissy because an artist recorded a group of Muslim women in a situation where they would not consent to be looked at by strange men.  Artist offers artwork on that condition; Dowse Gallery accepts.

There’s a lot of argument going down around the fact that the Dowse is publicly-funded, is this discrimination, do we owe it to the poor oppressed brown women to tear away their autonomy because they’re too stupid to know they’re oppressed … yeah, guess where I fall on that one.

But here’s the thing that pisses me off:  it seems like old white dudes like Paul Young have honestly drunk the anti-PC KoolAid.  They sincerely believe that the Human Rights Commission has some kind of god-like power to storm the Dowse, tear down the curtains around Sophia Al-Maria’s exhibit and instantly beam its images into the heads of all good Kiwi men so that SEXIST OPPRESSION SHALL BE NO MORE!!!!

Boy, is he in for a surprise.

Here’s what Paul Young says – and our brave, fact-checking media offer no clue that he’s talking out his ass:

Human rights legislation did not allow for exceptions on the basis of art or religious belief, Mr Young said.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Per the Human Rights Commission’s bloody-hard-to-navigate website:

There are a number of circumstances where it is not unlawful to discriminate on the ground of religious belief.

Hence, you know, why the Catholics still get to ban women from the priesthood.  I’m not saying this exception necessarily applies in the case of the Dowse, but again:  don’t you just love how someone who has probably never previously even thought about our human rights legislation assumes that NOTHING IS EXCEPTED, ALL OPPRESSION IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH?

As for the merits of Mr Young’s case, I refer him to the HRC’s “Resolving Discrimination and Harassment Guide”:

A person must be disadvantaged because of the discrimination.

Now, if an Art History lecturer decides to make Sophia Al-Maria’s work a central part of a third-year compulsory Art History paper, and bases half the final exam marks on it, and then tells the men in the class “Ha, sucks to be you, wankers” then maybe Paul Young might have a case.

But it’s frankly fucking appalling to me that he’s going to sit there and – having made his complaint and thus presumably having read that guide – pretend that not being able to see an exhibit (which I’m sure, to riff off someone on Twitter, is right up his alley as an enthusiast in Qatari women’s domestic subcultures) is any-fucking-where near being “disadvantaged”.  Disadvantaged the way pregnant people are when they get fired.  Disadvantaged the way people of colour are when they happen to get arrested more often and sentenced to longer prison terms than white people.

Fuck me, his fee-fees must be so hurt right now.  Why don’t the mean Muslim women care about his fee-fees?

I think the issues on this are kinda complex, but also fairly simple to me in a “you don’t get to stomp on other people’s consent just because you’ve convinced yourself it’s for their own good” way.  And maybe under our human rights framework the Dowse, as a recipient of public funding, shouldn’t have accepted the exhibit – but that’s a choice they made, clearly aware of the issues involved.

But on one side is an artist and the rights to privacy of her subjects.  And on the other is Paul Young, whose main gripe seems to be, completely without irony, that it’s totally unfair to stop 50% of the population from seeing a single art exhibit, which I’m so sure they were all completely interested in.

Some further reading on the HRC website:  “Why can some groups of people be treated differently?” for all you WAAAAA AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STOPPED ME GETTING INTO LAW SCHOOL WAAAAAA trolls out there.

How hypocritical IS it for the Catholic Church to accuse anyone else of a “culture of death”?

The Bishop of Dunedin has made predictable antichoice-madlibs comments on Southern DHB’s persistence in offering people the medical care they’re entitled to.

He’s even trotted out the phrase “culture of death”, literally a classic Catholic antichoice trope dating back to ’95.

As the ALRANZ blog has noted, this is basically a dressed-up fancy-pants way of calling us prochoicers baby-killers.  More than that, it paints people who are prochoice as being part of some dark murky conspiracy to destroy godly society and ground all human decency and morality into dust.

Which is a bit fucking funny, really.

This is the Church which excommunicates people (wait, no, get the weasel words straight, “she excommunicated herself“) for daring to suggest that when a mother of four faces death if she continues with a pregnancy, maybe the high-minded philosophical discussions about the sanctity of life aren’t really her most pressing concern.

The Church which will literally let pregnant people die – even if their unborn child dies with them – rather than face up to the fact that by sacrificing one doomed unconscious dependent organism they could save a living, breathing, thinking mother/sister/daughter who could potentially go on to have more living, breathing, thinking children.

The Church whose hierarchy is comprised of voluntarily-celibate men who have simply never in their lives faced the prospect, even the hint of a chance of a prospect, of an unplanned, unwanted, possibly coerced, health-affecting and potentially life-threatening pregnancy.

Yet we prochoicers, the people who want to preserve pregnant people’s mental and physical health, who want to change the world so that unplanned pregnancy either doesn’t happen or isn’t a potential financial/emotional crisis, who want all babies to be wanted and loved babies, who understand that the majority of people having abortions in NZ are already parents and thus probably have children who love and need them …

Yeah.  We’re the people promoting cold-hearted ruthless death.

Meanwhile, a paediatrician in Southland – i.e. a medical professional who cares for living, breathing children and has never been within shouting distance of an abortion – has tendered his resignation over the issue.  And then withdrawn it as long as “negotiations to reduce abortions will continue”.

Cry me a fucking river.  Introducing Dr Vili Sotutu, ladies and gentlemen and others – a man who will happily let your kids suffer through lack of paediatric services just because he doesn’t like the fact that some pregnant people make choices he doesn’t like.

Dr Vili Sotutu, who will pull stunts (because of course resigning was the only way a senior medical practitioner could possibly get his concerns heard) over living children’s health rather than accept that some pregnant people don’t want to be and deserve to get the medical treatment they need too.

Who wants to bet me a shiny dollar that when Dr Vili Sotutu thinks about “reducing” abortions, he doesn’t actually think in terms of “changing society so that we provide better support to solo parents” or “making contraception more accessible”?  Who wants to bet that Dr Vili Sotutu would be quite happy to see pregnant people bullied and denied access to care because hey, it reduces abortions, and fuck it if people’s lives and health are affected, right?

One can only imagine the kind of compassionate care solo teenage mums get at Dr Vili Sotutu’s hands.

But remember, it’s us prochoicers who are creating a “culture of death”.

As GG Wookie tweeted, “Okay then.  Goodbye.”

“Those people” are a “problem” – gosh the Nats love their revealing language

Finance Minister Bill English, quoted on Stuff today:

deputy Prime Minister Bill English says [legalising same-sex marriage] is ”not that important” and he ”thought the problem had been solved” with civil unions.

Yes, I know, he probably meant “the problem” as in “the problem with same-sex couple relationships not getting the same legal recognition as hetero couple relationships”.

But that just means that he’s less a clumsy speaker and more an outright liar.  Which is what you are if you peddle the bullshit argument that civil unions are just slightly different yet completely equal to marriages.

Forgive the tautology, but you know how I can tell that civil unions are different from marriage?  (Beyond the actual obvious legal differences, e.g. being unable to adopt children as a couple).

Because civil unions exist.

If there were truly no difference, if civil unions were equivalent in social meaning and weight and importance and cultural significance, they would just be marriages.

We have civil unions precisely because enough judgemental hetero douchebags decided that scary gay people were not worthy of having what they got to take for granted.

Maybe in some future utopia there could be two distinct states, marriage vs. civil union, where the decision of a couple to pick one or the other truly came down to nothing more than personal preference, influenced by largely irrelevant historical religious/cultural/political leanings or simply an aesthetic choice on the words uttered at the ceremony.

But we, here and now, live in a society where we’ve pretty much all grown up knowing that marriage was important, marriage proved your relationship was real or permanent, marriage was the inevitable outcome of a successful falling-in-love happily-ever-after story.

Thanks, Disney.

And despite feminism, despite queer rights, despite that awesome divorce rate across the West (which truly shows how “sacred” and “special” the institution of marriage is), the fact is that marriage and the societal assumptions about it are still very important.  Even when your partner is the same gender as you.

Back to Stuff.  English, along with Joyce, then trots out the classic “it’s not a priority / it’s not the most important issue.”

Which, if we had a press gallery worth something, would immediately lead to the follow-up question, “Is the Minister saying that his Government is incapable of tying its shoes and chewing gum at the same time?”

We don’t, but we have a good start when our media start noticing that John Key, who voted against civil unions, magically comes out in carefully-worded support of at least introducing marriage equality legislation just as soon as Barack Obama says it’s cool.

Anyway, enough aggro.  Louisa Wall’s bill has been drawn from the ballot.  Let’s get our marriage equality on, people!

List of known MP leanings on a first reading at least – Damian O’Connor is a no, surprise surprise

For lulz, read the Conservative Party’s release on the subject, which demonstrates the Conservatives’ deep respect for the sanctity of marriage by referring to married people as “stakeholders”

Check out the Legalise Love website for more!

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 

NZ government lying to the UN about abortion

Well, here’s a turn-up for the books:

During the CEDAW Committee’s review of New Zealand this afternoon, the country’s delegate stated that the New Zealand government has no interest in expanding its abortion laws. This was in response to being told twice that the country needs to modernize its abortion laws.

As the New Zealand delegate went on to explain, in order for a law to be changed, a government member needs to submit a bill to the legislature. There is no such abortion bill at the time because as the delegate put it, “there is no appetite by government members or other parties to discuss or modernize the legislation.” Any abortion vote would be a personal vote, and the members of parliament are just not interested in addressing abortion.

What utter, unmitigated bullshit.  Wasn’t it a mere two years ago that Steve Chadwick was trying to get support for a bill to change our current dire abortion regulations?  Two years ago that the media spun the issue into such an out-of-proportion freak-out that Chadwick ended up withdrawing her bill?  (Oh, and fuck you once again on that one, Comrade Trotter.)

Don’t we still have a case before the courts about the interpretation of our messed-up laws?  Hasn’t Southern DHB illustrated the stupidity of the current situation by getting a lot of grief for daring to acknowledge that some people from Invercargill get abortions?

But no, our government is quite happy, when told point-blank that our laws are archaic and unjust, to say “Nah, not an issue at the mo, sorry.  Anyway, no one cares.”

We fucking care, douchebags.  And we know there are MPs who would support de-fucking our abortion laws – Steve Chadwick was trying to get them all together and on the same page before her bill got leaked and blown into a dark plot to murder innocent Kiwi babies.  And they’re not, to my knowledge, limited to the lefthand side of the spectrum.

But it doesn’t suit Nice Mr Key to look like he actually has strong views on anything, especially not such [bizarrely] polarising issues as basic healthcare.  And it certainly didn’t suit Boring Mr Goff to stick his neck out, not when he could get invited to Family First conferences instead.

Lower down on the right there’s Bill “I can afford to have 6 kids because I rorted the taxpayer for years” English and Judith “parental notification” Collins.  Lower down on the Left there’s no doubt plenty who agree with Chris Trotter that the laydeez should just shut up and keep making the coffee, because John Pagani says we should be more like John Key and he knows his shit.

But unfortunately, the issue is still there, because pregnant people in New Zealand are still being denied medical treatment, still being forced to jump through hoops, still being denied the dignity of the assumption that they know what the fuck they’re doing.  And the UN has noticed.  And they’re not accepting our hand-wavey “yes, but we gave women the vote, so we must be good, right?” bullshit any more.

A hell of a lot of our national pride is based on our progressiveness, our independence, our stand-up-for-what’s-right attitude as a nation.  Are we really going to let that disappear because we can’t act like fucking adults, own the problem, and find a solution?  Looks like our government will.