As a friend tweeted, remember the time I got trashed because abortion was a dead issue and no one really cared about it and our laws weren’t going to change any time soon so why didn’t I get back into the kitchen where I belonged?
Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Judith Collins thinks young pregnant people’s wishes are less important than enforcing their parents’ ownership rights, given her support of similar provisions during the 2004 Care of Children bill debate, nor that a finance minister of Catholic faith agrees.
But I have to give props to Dr Paul Hutchison for acknowledging, even in the most tempered terms, that this isn’t actually an automatic-moral-outrage issue:
We have to tread lightly, doing everything possible to have the parents involved. But having worked in places like National Women’s, where I saw women who had been beaten by their families because of an unknown pregnancy, that’s why the law is there
The alternative proposed, that young pregnant people should be able to see a judge in chambers within 24 hours, sounds fine and fucking dandy if you’ve got privilege shining out your ass. What if the judge is an asshat and agrees with Collins and English that you should be forced to tell your parents unless you have written documentation to establish they’ll beat you? What if the judge is a douchewad who believes in bullshit ideas like only “forcible” rape really counting?? What if you live in godforsaken Gore and the only judge willing to do teen abortion decisions is in fucking Rangiora but will only see you on a Wednesday? (Oh look, I’m drawing on the actual current abortion situation for some pregnant people). What if your abusive parents demand to know where you’ve been? I’m sure they’d react really well because obviously teenagers only refuse to tell their parents because they’re just “mental“.
What if we pass this retrograde bullshit and within two weeks the Sunday Star Fucktimes decides to run another panic-mongering article about School Counsellors Arranging Secret Judge Visits?
Because what this issue comes down to is some parents thinking they have every right to control every moment of their children’s lives. The specific current story is about a parent who did find out and insists she would have been totally supportive of her child getting an abortion, but is outraged because she didn’t get to find out before the fact and because she didn’t get to exercise control in granting that “support”.
It is not about health. It is not about supporting teenagers through a difficult time. It is about control. Scary, patriarchal control.
And Sunday Star-Times? Hire a fucking journalist with some basic ethics and numeracy, would you? Because that shit scare-statistic at the bottom about How Many Teens Had Abortions!!! would be a lot less damaging to your rep as a publication with integrity if you noted that all the abortions performed on over-16-year-olds wouldn’t require parental consent under this shit law anyway.
Of course it would also make the Big Scary Number a lot smaller, and that would ruin the panic-mongering, wouldn’t it?
More awesome rage from Boganette.
[TW domestic abuse and rugby violence apologism]
My, has it really been 3 years since I last wrote about our fucking sick misogynist boys-will-be-boys violence-excusing rugby culture?
This time it’s Shaun Metcalf, whose soulful puppy-dog eyes probably helped him get his “second chance” at being on the Warriors team after a tragic mistake, an exuberance of youth, and terrible accident …
Oh wait, no.
In 2004 Shaun Metcalf was 16 and fucking a 15-year-old girl – possibly cheating on his “long-time partner” with whom he now has six-year-old twins – and when said 15-year old girl got pregnant, he and his mates responded really poorly, by, oh what was it?
LURING HER TO A FUCKING PARK IN ORDER TO KICK HER IN THE STOMACH IN ORDER TO INDUCE A MISCARRIAGE.
Just, you know, average adolescent shit, boys-will-be-boys stuff.
But it’s okay, because let’s all forget Young Men Being Fucking Thugs Apologism 101: “Let’s not let this terrible
deliberate calculated assault mistake ruin a young man’s life!”
Cue everyone’s favourite “oh but they’re boys so they’re different” quote machine, Celia Lashlie!
‘We can all get caught up in the emotional image of young men booting a young woman in the stomach to cause her to abort her baby, but these were two young people … she got pregnant, he was way out of his depth, and he did a really cruel and dumb thing.
”He was caught in the moment, and what he did was the equivalent of a young man putting a noose around his neck because his girlfriend tossed him out. He has to be allowed to move forward and put his life together, and I think the ability of the NRL and the Warriors to take this young man in and help him do that is role modelling and something they should get credit for.”
WHERE DOES ONE FUCKING BEGIN.
“She” didn’t fucking get pregnant on her own, Celia, and it’s really awesome how your shitty sloppy language manages to buy into all kinds of tropes about evil bitches ruining men’s lives by having evil functioning uteri.
“Cruel and dumb”? That’s one way of putting luring a woman into a situation so you and two of your mates can stomp on her stomach.
“Caught in the moment”? Pretty long fucking moment, Celia, what with the calculated decision and the gathering of the bash-buddies and the luring of the victim and the stomping on her stomach in an assault specifically designed to induce miscarriage.
“Equivalent” of what the fuck now, Celia? Shaun Metcalf didn’t try to commit fucking suicide, he deliberately set out to cause internal injuries to a woman he’d chosen to stick his dick into.
But hey, enough about Celia Lashlie’s blatant victim-blaming and abuse-apologism.
Because the fucking cherry on top is of course fucking rugby culture and our wonderful fucking wilful ignorance about the obvious fucking paradoxes involved.
NZRL chairman Selwyn Pearson said ”…What he did was disgusting and abhorrent but you don’t get life for murder, and I consulted a lot of experts who all said that the best thing for the boy in terms of his rehabilitation was to get back into sport.”
Point 1, Selwyn-of-the-vomitous-comments-which-I-haven’t-quoted-because-there-is-not-enough-fuck-in-the-world: He’s not a fucking “boy”. He’s 23.
Point 2. Yeah, it’ll be fucking awesome for Shaun Metcalf to get “rehabilitated” by thugby culture. He’ll apparently be surrounded by people who know that spousal abuse doesn’t have consequences for All Blacks, and rape charges are a great Women’s Day opportunity, and teaming up with your mates to violate a vulnerable woman is practically part of the job description, and will eternally be excused because “well she shouldn’t have …”
Gosh. I can’t think why people might not be pleased to have this hero-worshipping bullshit crammed down kids’ throats …
First antichoicer to imply it’s illogical for me to be outraged by assault against a pregnant woman because I’m prochoice is invited to suck it. The rest of you can fuck right off.
Well this nearly made me throw the computer out the window. Couldn’t quite figure out why at first. Was it the incredibly fake “appreciation” expressed toward kickass activist veteran Dr Dame Margaret Sparrow?* Was it the gobsmacking pretence that antichoicers and prochoicers just disagree in principle?**
Nah, it was almost certainly this sentence:
The commitment of this Society is founded on a deep respect for the inherent dignity of women who are invited by our Creator to share with him in bringing new life into the world.
But also, grazie, for really just illustrating how little you fucking care for women. They’re not mistresses of their own destiny, even when they plan and initiate and undergo pregnancy, they’re just helping God out with his greater plan for the species.
The rest is the usual utter pack of fucking lies. Women never really want to terminate pregnancies! (Oops.) Implication that prochoicers don’t care about coerced abortion! (Oops.) Baldfaced twisting of Dr Sparrow’s words to pretend that even the standing-down President of ALRANZ secretly agrees with them! Our laws were totally passed by people who cared about women and weren’t just throwing them a heavily-qualified bone to shut the bitches up!***
All definite signs of a movement driven by sincere ethical concerns, wouldn’t you agree?
*And how much do you reckon it pisses the antichoicers off that we’ve got a freaking Dame onside?
**Hint: one side is known for hacking websites, calling the other murderers, and killing their opponents. Probably not just an objective difference of opinion going on.
***Which is of course why our current fairly-accessible system is only working because of doctors willing to bend the letter of the law, of course. Which Right to Foetus Life want to stop.
Mr Goff has admitted he got it wrong when he pressured Prime Minister John Key to reveal details of a police investigation into a former National MP.
Mr Goff says he has a better understanding now of how these things work and regrets pressuring Mr Key at the time to discuss aspects of the police complaint.
I cede the floor to Mr McEnroe.
So let’s get this straight:
One of the only issues in this term where Goff has been able to largely control the story, stand up for a progressive principle in the face of horrific misogyny and victim-blaming and conspiracy-theory-spinning. The scalp of a Minister and an eternal “so why was he fired, Mr Open Smile and Transparent Wave?”
… was all a fucking mistake because a former Minister of Justice, whose deputy is a former Minister of Police, didn’t know how sensitive-political-ramifications investigations went?
Let’s consider something far less Pythonesque.
Phil Goff doesn’t actually believe in the right of women not to be sexually harassed and doesn’t really think New Zealanders have the right to know why a Minister of the Crown was bundled out of a job. Phil Goff sat on his fucking hands over whatever allegations have been levelled at Darren Hughes and hoped it would all go away and has no one in his staff who thought “maybe this could fucking backfire on us a tiny bit”.
And now that it has, now that those principled statements have been revealed as waffle, the only possible way to make this not about hypocrisy and cover-ups and double standards is to tell the public Phil Goff has no fucking idea what he’s doing.
That is their idea of “positive” spin.
We are just so fucked.
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.
[This post was originally prepared for The Standard, where it was given a very interesting thumbnail image and a fascinating intro paragraph, and promptly attacked by writers of that site for being anti-male and anti-Labour and why didn’t I just be nice to them since they were so kind to set me up as trollbait for pageviews.]
Chris Trotter’s worst nightmare came true on the weekend of 12-13 March, as 70-odd bloody liberal lefties* came together (phwoar) to figure out how we were going to just ruin Labour’s chances of winning the 2011 election.
In short, they vowed to (whisper it) talk about abortion. Loudly. Publicly. This year.
Put this one on for size: you want to buy a car, so naturally you go to a car dealership. But sorry, says the car dealer, the law says first of all you need to go see this auto mechanic so he can sign off your car ownership.
And once you’ve got your appointment the auto dealer looks at you and says well, technically the law says you aren’t really allowed a car. Nope, not even if your last one got stolen and driven off a cliff. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll just put on the form that you’ll go crazy without a car.
Fine, whatever, you say. Being labelled crazy is worth it to get that car. … You can get a car now, right?
Nope. You’ve got to see another auto mechanic. And maybe they’re actually an hour’s drive away and only take appointments on every second Wednesday, but you need a fucking car, so you do what it takes, you lie to your boss, you put the goldfish in cryofreeze, you get to that appointment. And another auto mechanic says no, sorry, you don’t actually qualify for a car, even though you live in an area with no public transport and are employed as a courier. But hey, they’re charitable, they see a lot of people who really, really need cars, so they’ll just tick the “crazy” box again.
[If you’re lucky. You might not be, and then there’s a fun process of shopping around different auto mechanics hoping one will tell you you’re crazy. Only in months containing a J during full moon, though.]
Finally, you can get your car! Except that you have to wait for an appointment at the car dealer. And they’re not even in your town and while they could theoretically give you a nice, efficient car they actually only stock the ones with shitty suspension and brakes that bruise your tailbone and give you constant whiplash.
And it seems so fucking stupid, because you’re a driver, you can choose to buy a car if you need one, often you can’t actually live without one or your job and finances and emotional and physical health require one, and yet the law makes you jump through hoops to get one – and labels you as infantile and crazy into the bargain.
But quit yer bitching, lads. I mean, you can still get a car, even if sometimes you have to fly to Australia for one, so let’s not ruffle any feathers trying to change the law and get you treated like people deserving of dignity.
You wouldn’t fucking put up with it. We are not fucking putting up with it. We deserve better and we expect more. And when Labour refuses to take a public stand on this and continue to waffle and the feminists their allies don’t just tick their ballots like drones, Chris Trotter, who I feel almost certain has never had to worry about being pregnant, can just go cry into his fucking moustache about it.
The NZ prochoice movement, gents. Come onboard – because whether you do or not, we mean business.
*Left-ness largely assumed but put it this way, no one objected when the conversation veered off into government obligations to put extra funding into healthcare.
Family First NZ* is rejecting calls for a law which treats women like adults with decision-making capabilities from a badass gathering of awesome feminists this weekend.
“I and my boner support a law which forces women in emotionally fraught situations to view unnecessary ultrasounds and be fed bullshit about widdle babbie feets because we think women are fucking idiots. Parental notification should be mandatory because teens are filthy sluts and their daddies need to rule over them,” said Mr McCoskrie.
“While we acknowledge we already have “virtual” decriminalisation we don’t want to acknowledge that women and their doctors will always find a way to get the healthcare they need, because that would take away our ability to chip away at women’s rights.
“Abortion harms women by stopping them from being forced into motherhood for children they don’t want, which helps us keep them poor, uneducated and unable to actual determine the own courses of their lives,” McCoskrie continued. “Men and their boners can determine that for them.”
A University of Otago study showed a lot of women became depressed and anxious after having abortions.
“Obviously we’ve made great progress but we can do more,” said McCoskrie. “Family First wants to take personal responsibility for creating a culture of fear and stigma around abortion, and we will not rest until every woman feels ashamed and terrified of publicly acknowledging that she has taken control of her own fertility.”
“We want to protect unborn children. They’re the best tools we have for keeping the bitches down.”
Family First may be contacted at Bob McCoskrie’s basement. His boner is available for screwing basic human rights and children’s parties.
*Membership: Bob McCoskrie and his boner
Let it stand in history that it was the NACT government who chose to exploit the Canterbury earthquake for political gain.
Gordon Campbell: On Bill English…
The Standard: The Shock Doctrine
No Right Turn: Key commits to WFF cuts.
We. Are. So. Fucked.
[Please note: your humble author has been pretty fucking harsh on WFF in the past, especially on the basis of its discrimination against beneficiaries. The idea that children should be left in fucking poverty to “incentivise” their parents to find mythical jobs is one reason your humble author doesn’t party vote Labour. But as NRT covers, cuts to WFF will screw a lot of people. Not cool.]
Today at 12.51pm many New Zealanders observed a two minutes’ silence for Canterbury.
I was at the park on Lambton Quay outside Astoria. It was lovely and solemn and quiet and some people were holding an NZ flag and it was really eerily quiet, besides the sound of the buses going up and down Lambton Quay (because even being able to leave work at a particular time to stand in a park being silent involves having some privilege).
You decided to fire up your fucking amp with your fucking Twin Peaks-esque backing track and crank out a shitty, “mournful” 4 iterations of Amazing Fucking Grace on your fucking trumpet.
Fuck you for making our observance an opportunity for you to perform.
Fuck you for turning a wonderfully secular moment into Christian-focused schmaltz and fuck you for probably just assuming it would be “respectful” because why the fuck should you, old white man, even fucking consider that non-Christians may have suffered and died in the earthquake, or that non-Christians might be showing their fucking respects to?
Fuck you for not even being a good fucking player and using the social pressure of a silent observance of respect to force people to stand and listen to your utterly shitty near-missing of notes and mangling of timing and melody.
Fuck you for leaving me not moved, and not reverential of the tragedy that has occurred, and not feeling a common bond with other Kiwis, but fucking pissed off because you fucking chose to insert yourself into a community’s poignant ritual.
Fuck you for deciding your loud, intrusive way of “showing respect” – as I’m sure you fucking thought you were doing – trumped everyone else’s fucking right to just have a moment’s fucking silence.
This wasn’t fucking about you. Fuck you.
Things this post is not actually about:
- Maia’s “tone” or “the way she brought this up”
- Deep meaningful conversations about “what constitutes feminism”
- Hating your freedoms
… which is not to rule out any of those things as automatically unimportant or “off the table” or taboo.
This is about:
- A group which calls itself “feminist” is formed
- A post is made to said group about a shop catering to a non-standard body type
- A feminist blogger says such posts should not be made because they’re unfeminist, or that such posts have to be phrased in a way she likes, or that the moderators of the page have to justify why it’s feminist because being posted to a feminist group means it must be relevant to feminism
And I think point 3 is a bit shit, for a lot of reasons, and none of them are those bog-standard derailments about “refusing to take criticism” or “taking things personally” or “misrepresenting what Maia said”.
Because I think point 3 sums up what she said pretty well, given that what she said was:
things which I would normally just be ‘eh’ about really agitate me when they’re done in the name of feminism …
posting anything to a feed of a feminist group is to promote that post as a feminist act …
promoting any particular sized or shaped [body/clothing fitting] is problematic from a feminist perspective …
the way clothes are produced in [NZ] is absolutely the opposite of everything I think feminism stands for…
I object to … promoting clothes shopping (particularly at a specific shop) as something that is going to appeal to a group of women who have nothing in common other than they’re young feminists …
To me a core part of that responsibility [as a contributor in a feminist space] is to never suggest that liking the things I happen to like is part of being feminist …
material presented on the feed should be explicitly feminist…
I think this is a real danger … that women can feel that they can’t be a feminist because they don’t look a certain way and aren’t interested in certain things. And I think the easiest way to avoid that is to make aesthetic/lifestyle/survival choices off the table for feminist discussion. In order to create an environment where anyone feels like they can be feminist it needs to be as unacceptable to promote a particular way of say dressing as to diss a particular way of dressing…
I’m anti feminism being linked with a single aesthetic…
I think I’ve articulated in quite some detail why I think having material which isn’t explicitly feminist in feminist spaces is alienating. Particularly in feminist spaces that present themselves as generally as “The [not even ‘a’] Wellington Feminist Collective.”…
I think feminists should orient themselves critically towards those businesses for the reasons I listed…
I think it’s inappropriate for Coley to post it without explicitly making clear why because she is promoting one particular, inaccessible, aesthetic/lifestyle/Survival strategy as feminist, which I think is alienating…
And while I don’t think I did make a demand of the WYFC – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me doing so. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making demands with institutions/organisations that you’re supposed to be allied with. In fact, I think it’s an important part of building a social movement.
As to who I am? I’m a feminist who has thought about feminism and is prepared to defend her opinions. I think that gives me a right to talk about what feminism is and isn’t. I think that’s all any of us needs. And I think talking about what feminism is and isn’t is really important…
Issue: “promoting a single aesthetic”
As I said at THM, one post about one shop on a page covered in posts about abortion and misogynist radio contests and debunking stereotypes about Muslim feminists does not “promotion of a single aesthetic” make. I get body issues. I get being fat. I get that sinking sense of disappointment when even stores which are advertised as catering to different body shapes invariably do not carry anything near my size. And I saw the post about Emma’s on WYFC and thought “bet she doesn’t go to a size 18”.
But that hardly fucking invalidates the fact that being a fattie who can’t shop at Glassons is hardly the only form of body-policing or body-discrimination in the world and sometimes the size 12 girls with the E cups might like to know where to find dresses that fucking fit. And those girls are going to totally get feminist critiques of fashion and narrow beauty standards. And until every second post on the page is “oh hai here’s another resource explicitly aimed only at straight-sized busty girls” it’s fucking ludicrous to act like this one post represents the WYFC endorsing a single acceptable body shape.
Issue: “get a Marxist analysis or go home”
I think a lot of Marxist feminist analysis is fucking awesome. I’ve been pretty clear about that. But anyone who’s literally going to say that women can’t plug local businesses [at least without a laboured disclaimer about the evils of capitalism] because all business is capitalist and therefore evil can fuck right off.
We live in a capitalist society, we need fucking clothes, and as a fattie who herself and whose many non-standard-body-type friends have a lot of fucking difficulty finding clothes that fit I am actually not willing to self-flagellate because finally being able to buy cute dresses for only-slightly-above-“straight”-size-prices is Buying Into Corporate Doom.
Also? When you’re having a go at something for not explicitly nailing down what “feminism” is defined as, and you’re also saying “it has to be this and this and this and phrased like this and tick all these boxes”, don’t get fucking precious when people tell you you’ve appointed yourself Lady High Mistress of Feminist Lines in The Sand, because you just really did.
Issue: “well this affected me so your argument is invalid”
Do I have a problem with people raising issues that have affected them? No. Do I think there’s a big fucking difference between “this affected me and here’s why and let’s discuss that” and “this affected me so it should never ever happen against because you’re not real feminists”? Yes. See above.
Issue: “but THE! And R18 VENUES!”
Do I have a problem with disagreement and debate? No. Do I think there’s a big fucking difference between “let’s look at why this post is here and what I find problematic about it” and “let’s look at this post and also I want to explicitly say I’m not a member of this group I’m critiquing and also your name is a lie and also your choice of launch venue is discriminatory*”? Just a tiny bit.
Time for a high school analogy, because I feel pretty safe assuming we’ve all been there.
“Regina, I think that thing you said was mean because you reduced Lindsay Lohan’s character down to her country of origin.”
Is “raising something you found problematic”.
“Regina, I think that thing you said, while wearing those totally out-of-style trainers, was mean, and while I’m pointing that out can we also remember that you stole my trike in kindergarten you bitch?”
Is being vindictive and petty and nasty and refusing to just engage with the topic at hand … which hilariously is what Maia keeps accusing her detractors of.
Issue: “everything posted to the Collective page MUST be explicitly feminist!”
This is a biggie for me. For now? Let’s look at those above points where it’s pretty obvious that “feminist” here means “MY kind of feminism which can only discuss things I am comfortable with and MUST involve analysis from THIS point of view”.
That’s not discussion, it’s not a conversation. It’s an ultimatum from a person who doesn’t even go here,** about how a group she isn’t even involved in*** has to be operated to pass her magical test of feministness or she won’t let them call themselves feminist.
As the sweet old lady said to the Mormons, well in that case you can fuck right off.
But there’s a lot more that’s problematic with that statement and that’s going to have to wait for another post.
And finally some comments on the comments to hopefully avoid the same wank-circle that has devoured the THM post on this.
Issue: “waaaa why can’t feminists all be cuddly hug-buddies waaaaa”
Because obviously feminists do disagree. And that’s fine. But as already established, this isn’t about disagreeing and discussing things, this is about one person declaring that feminism has to be done a specific way or she’ll take away our feminist badges and let everyone know we love Sarah Palin. (No, seriously, that’s the “logical” conclusion drawn.)
Issue: “you just hate Maia and think everything she says is wrong”
Nope. I just think it’s fucking horrible to attack an entire group because one post is Doing Feminism Wrong and You Get To Decide That. Like I just said.
*From the Facebook thread
**For some reason this issue is hitting ALL the Mean Girls buttons.
***Oh but she’s seriously excited, honest, she thinks you guys are just the best even if you are wrong and alienating and evil and kicked her dog.