Tagged: fucking Tories

Sex workers also never send me biased surveys, unlike the PM

… but then I guess Prime Minister-ing isn’t a business, so Auckland Council won’t be clutching their pearls over it.

Like many people, I today received a wonderfully personal piece of mail from my local Nat, with a lovely little survey because the National Party are very, very interested in my views, specifically my views as a likely mortgage-holder, given how they spin the Promised Land of Returntosurplus:

Operating in surplus helps keep mortgage rates lower for longer.

Seriously, that’s the first sentence after the heading “Getting back to surplus.”  I guess the old lines about Spending Within Our Means and Running A Country Like A Household were getting old and tired so John Key traded them in for a younger, peppier trophy slogan.

Anyway, the fun bit is obviously the survey.  Clearly in consultation with Larry Baldock Serious Survey Creators they’ve carefully tailored the questions and options given to ensure a fair, unambiguous result.  Like when they ask you to “tick the three issues that are important to you” – because you obviously can’t be focusing on more than three things at a time, peasant – and your options include:

Selling minority shares in four energy SOES and Air New Zealand

Raising achievement and accountability in schools

and my personal favourite

Rolling out ultra-fast broadband and investing in roads and rail

Oh, so sorry, you want kids to do better at school but don’t give a fuck about scaremongering Teacher Unions Eat Babies myths?  Too bad!  You’re maybe okay with a little partial energy privatisation – I mean, Labour is, for fuck’s sake – but you really don’t want to risk a return to ridiculous airfares?  Too bad!

And above all, don’t you fucking dare think that we could maybe look at some basic IT infrastructure without building ROADS.  MORE ROADS FOR STEVE JOYCE! ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOADS andalsosomerail.

You’re then asked about the most important local issue to you – presumably to justify slapping Local Nat MP’s face on the front – and finally, which party you always, or usually, support.  Where your choices include all political parties with at least one MP in Parliament … except Mana.

I guess they just ran out of space.

Ounce of prevention, pound of cure, etc etc

The government (at least, the National and Act parts of it) have signalled they’ll veto Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave on the grounds that it would cost too much.  (May I just say as an aside, GO SUE!)

Zetetic at The Standard has shown that in the first place, compared to such fucking trainwrecks as the “Roads of National Significance” (coming soon to a negative-cost-to-benefit-ratio near you!) extended paid parental leave is fucking chump change.

But I’d like to address a second point:  the rightwingers’ basic lack of understanding as to how this stuff works.

One of the arguments for things like paid parental leave (and early childhood education, and early intervention and rehabilitation of youth offenders, etc etc) is that, beyond just being a sign that your society is caring, compassionate, and supportive of not-traditionally-valued non-income-generating work (piff, socialism), it pays itself off.  No, not in the current financial year, nor even in the current term of government, but within a generation (no long time if you actually care about things beyond your own net wealth balance sheet).

You pay parents to spend more time with their infants now, you get smarter, more connected, more caring, more “productive” adults later.

But the right don’t get that (and to an extent, I might argue Labour doesn’t get it either, given their usual willingness to fight battles on a right-determined field).

And given the right like to make stupid analogies about governmental budgets being like household budgets (wherein households can print their own money) etc, here’s one back at them:

Refusing to extend paid parental leave, ignoring the longterm benefits, on a household scale, is like crying “But I can’t afford to buy flour, sugar, and butter for $10 now!  I have to cut my spending so I can buy a $30 cake on Saturday!”

Of course, to extend the analogy further, on Saturday they’ll no longer be running the household, having fucked off to the Wairarapa for a wine-tasting weekend, so why the fuck do they care if someone else has to buy $30 cake because there’s no ingredients in the cupboard?  That $10 now could get them <5L of petrol!

Election 2011 recommended reading

LudditeJourno has done the hard yards reading (or trying in vain to locate) the different parties’ women’s policies.

Mr Wainscotting has a public service announcement about some of the breathtakingly shitty things current, and probably continuing, National MPs have said about The Gays.

Shit, foeti aren’t actually guppies?

Nothing like being called “evil” to warm my heart on a freezing Wellington night.

But there’s something that keeps cropping up that I need to address.

It’s this notion:

Even women who believe in abortion would know down deep what they’re doing and try to block out that side of it.

Women are in denial, people (or the more common alternative, women don’t realise it’s a Baby(TM)).

Women just don’t know – or pretend not to know – that what’s growing inside them (and using their bodily resources and permanently altering their body and potentially damaging their health or even killing them) is a precious rosy-cheeked infant just waiting to compose symphonies and cure cancer.

Women, you see, are a bit thick.*

Oh, wait.

Maybe women do actually know It’s A Baby.

Maybe that’s why they want a fucking abortion.

Maybe that Baby is the result of rape.  Maybe that Future Beethoven will forever connect her to an abuser and give him another weapon to use – heck, another victim.  Maybe that Precious Life is going to kill her.  Maybe that Gift From God is going to take resources and energy to raise which she can’t give – oh, and fuck off especially on this one, fundies, unless you have honestly never bitched about women getting welfare to raise the children you want to force them to have.

Maybe she really, really wants this child, has planned for this child, has prayed for this child, and there are complications which mean its life will be nasty brutish and short.  Or she gets diagnosed with cancer and if she doesn’t get chemo they’ll both die.  Or she has a family history of illness that she doesn’t want to pass on.  Maybe this is the most fucking heartwrenching horrible decision she has ever made, and yes! Yes, spucwits, maybe she WILL regret it, and feel terrible, and hate herself, and feel like she thoroughly deserves the harsh judgment you so like to pretend you’re not passing out.  And yeah, she probably doesn’t want to think about The Horror She Is Committing.

But she still knows it’s a fucking Baby(TM).  She still knows it would, with time and frankly luck on the health front, be born and become an autonomous human being.  She knows that by having an abortion she will stop that Innocent Potential from ever being fulfilled.

The only thing that is certain, when people start saying “women hide the truth from themselves” and “women need to understand It’s A Life Growing Inside Her [against her will]”?  Is that those people think women are stupid and thus denying them choice is a-okay.

When women seek an abortion, they know they have a Baby(TM) growing inside them.  They’d like it to stop.  That’s why they want an abortion.

~~~

PS.  Chris Trotter seems oddly defensive about me commenting on his post, with that whole “OH I AM SO HONOURED YOUR MAJESTY” shtick (oh man, don’t I qualify as a “Comrade”?).  Dude, you quoted me.  That’s how these Internets work.

And he still doesn’t understand this “numbers without context are meaningless” concept.  Did y’all know that in the past two years my salary has doubled?  Quick Chris!  Draw conclusions about the economy and state of NZ workers’ rights without bothering to find out if it’s because I finished uni and changed jobs, that’d get in the way of soulful rhetorical questions!

Also (dammit woman, get some impulse control) apparently Chris’ post could not possibly contribute to stigmatizing abortion.  This is because Chris is a pansy effeminate bitch, and in saying that I cannot possibly have contributed to societal discourse which devalues the non-masculine because society already does that.

~~~

PPS.  I also love the way some people have reacted entirely predictably to my shits-and-giggles comment.  It’s hard to pick what’s really funny about “abortion images” though;  is it the obviously fake stories attached (the doctor put it in the microwave and drank it through a straw!!!)?  Is it the way that a smudge of jelly really fails to make the antichoicers’ “it’s a BABY!!!! With feet and an appendix!” arguments?  Is it the fact that, in the age of Saw movies, even real-looking gore doesn’t really pack a punch – thus revealing the images’ creators for the out-of-touch privileged old wankers they are?

~~~

*And isn’t it fucking amazing how yet again, the reactionary forces of privilege use the same bloody arguments in every single issue?  See also, “fat people don’t realise they’re fat.”  Because they live in basements, apparently, with no access to mass media.

Dear Righties: DPB edition

Okay, righties.  You’ve got me.

I don’t personally know any young women who have had difficulty accessing abortion in NZ.

I don’t actually know any young women who don’t know about contraception and how to get on the Pill or other forms of contraception.

I don’t know any women who wouldn’t put their foot down about practising safe sex with their partners.

This may, of course, all have something to do with having been raised in a white, middle-class family, in “safe” “well-off” (i.e. white, middle-class) neighbourhoods in Auckland.  Or attending a semi-private school which offered comprehensive sex ed.  Or avoiding the classic student-flat living experience at uni.  Or selecting – and being able to select – a group of likewise knowledgeable, privileged friends.  Or any other number of factors in my white, heterosexual, middle-class, liberal-democracy, privileged upbringing.

I suspect, given your oft-stated opinions, you are much the same as me.

The difference between us is that I don’t pretend that everyone else had the same advantages as me; and I don’t tell myself that the only reason those others lack my privilege is because they’re stupid.

I just have one request:  the next time you want to shit all over beneficiaries and talk about “lifestyle choices”, just try to imagine not having your education, your wealth, your family, your edgy blase cynicism, and being a scared, pregnant teenager, maybe in a small town, maybe a victim of sexual abuse, maybe certain only of your faith in God and belief that life begins at conception.  Try to have a little fucking empathy for someone who did not only not get dealt your royal flush of life but didn’t even get any fucking cards.

And then tell me, even if you still can’t summon up some basic fucking humanity, why that woman’s child should grow up poor and hungry in order to punish her.

Minor breakouts of major gripes

I’d long ago realised that part of the reason I post cussy rants about things that seem like just small issues, not a huge deal, isn’t there something more important to worry about – is because those “small issues” just tap into much bigger problems.

Today, two such small issues reared their annoying heads.

The continuing saga of Oh Noes The Brown Man Said A Mean Word broke out on Red Alert, with Hon Trevor insert-duck-to-water-metaphor-here Mallard chipping in to the debate:

If a Pakeha used the term brown mofos it would be racist.  That standard should apply both ways.

Which actually hits several big Pisses Me Right The Fuck Off buttons.  But to summarise:  using the argument of “the same standard” is so close to “one law for all” they couldn’t legally marry in all 50 states of the US.  It’s “special rights”, it’s “level playing field”, and it’s bullshit.

There isn’t a fucking level playing field when one group of people has been historically shat on by another from orbit.  There isn’t a tabula rasa of race relations where such lovely “can’t we all just be equals and ignore skin colour and historical disenfranchisement and oh we tried to destroy your language and culture” ideas can be writ large.

There is a basic reason why a person of Maori descent can refer to “white motherfuckers stealing our land” which does not hold true for a person of European descent saying “brown motherfuckers stealing our car”.  That reason is privilege.  Learn you some.

Second small issue:  in the continuing if-they-wrote-this-for-TV-no-one-would-believe-it tale of Doug Schmuck and some possibly-dodgy legislative drafting, one quote nicely put its thumb directly on my White Middle Class Bastards Who Just Love Law And Order Until It Applies To Them button.

The 15-year fight for the Opua boat ramp had taken “a hell of a lot of time” and cost Mr Schmuck close to $200,000. “A few objectors can run the costs up so high that it makes things like the Resource Management Act untenable,” he said.

Ah, yes.  You can always spot a WMCBWJLL&OUIATT, by the way they seem completely oblivious of the fact that the law still counts even when it might stop them from doing something they want to do.

The classic example is provided every time there’s a Police crackdown on speeding, possibly by, oh the horrors, using hidden speed cameras.  Now, you might think “well if people don’t want to get speeding tickets they could try not speeding”, but such thoughts do not pass through the brains of White Middle-Class Bastards. No no no, this is just a revenue gathering exercise.

It’s not like their own speeding could cause accidents or cost people their lives or anything.  We all know that speed only kills when it’s those bloody Asian homestay students whose rich daddies send them thirty grand a month to buy Ferraris and meth with, obviously.  The laws of physics are very specific on this.

The other classic, of course, is the killing of Pihema Cameron – where the Your Sensible Is Not Like Our Earth Sensible Sentencing Trust decided that actually, that whole “tough punishment for violent crims is the way to save society” line didn’t so much count when the stabber was a rich white guy and the victim was [insert stereotype about Maori teenage boys here].

And so we have (oh Gods it makes me giggle every time) Doug Schmuck.  Who has been nearly bankrupted, dear readers, by busybodies and that bane of the WMCB, the Resource Management Act.  All because he built a private fucking boat ramp on a fucking public reserve.

It’s almost like some people expect Good Hardworking [White Male] Businessmen to obey the law or something.  Don’t they understand the law is for the little people?

She was lying there with her inbox open and her cellphone pulled up

The Richard Worth resignation/investigation has been fairly comprehensively covered by other Kiwi blogfiends.

And the victim-blaming has begun.

I don’t think the e-mails were actually illegal. Also, I would expect that this woman would have sent a fairly clear and direct response back to Worth when the first e-mail was received. Is there any indication that this actually happened? Otherwise there could be the suggestion that the woman was leading him on for the purpose making some political capital out of it.

Afterall, the behaviour, although disgusting, is not technically illegal, especially if Worth had reason to believe she was a willing party.

We need some sexual-harassment bingo boards, STAT!

First bold: “If the victim didn’t behave in exactly the manner I suggest a victim should have behaved in, she’s obviously not a real victim because she’s not fulfilling the role”.  See also the eternal if you cry you’re hysterical and unreliable, if you’re calm you clearly weren’t really raped dilemma.

I have been sexually harassed at work, and I have had unwelcome come-ons socially. And every time, I have kicked myself afterwards for not reacting the Right Way.  For defaulting to “shocked disbelief, unable to form coherent sentence” or “just be super-polite and hope he just goes away, girl” or “laugh nervously because brain is still processing godawful comment”.

According to tsmithfield and doubtless many, many others, you know what? I have nothing to complain about if my harasser then continues in his unwanted behaviour.  Because I didn’t react the Right Way.  Because power dynamics in work and political relationships don’t exist, because there’s no societal pressure especially on women to be polite and not come across as catty bitches.  Because all sexual harassers go straight to “would you like to fuck me in return for a sweet promotion” rather than starting so small, so just-this-side-of-weird that you question whether they’re really being skeezy or if you’re just overreacting, silly girl.

Bolding the second: “The victim isn’t a Logical Victim of the harasser, so there must be Something Else Going On.”  Because her failure to respond to the very first “Hey how’s it going” email with “STAY AWAY, HARASSING PIGFUCKER” must mean she has some ulterior motive.  Normally, we’d be going for she was flattered by his attention but because this is politics so God forbid we pass up the opportunity to insinuate some nasty conspiracy.  And of course, there’s no feeding into classics like “women using their sex appeal to lead Good Men astray” happening here at all.  Hell, it’s probably worse if she were doing it for political purposes rather than securing a designer-brand-furnishing sugar daddy like good strumpets do.

Bold part III, revenge of the bold: Just as we all know that being too drunk to form multisyllabic words is exactly the same as a signed affidavit affirming “I would like to engage in sexual intercourse with you right now”, it is also true, kiddies, that if you are polite, if you try to continue engaging on a purely professional level, if you redirect a person’s email address straight to your spam folder, if you God forbid try not to piss off someone with significant clout and thus stop short of rigging a Running Man necklace that will explode if they come within a hundred metres of you, your harasser is fully able to believe you are a willing participant.

The fact that all of this comes after the same commenter tries to argue that totally professional and un-sleazy emails could just have been, like, misinterpreted by someone with an axe to grind does nothing to improve my mood.  Dude, if you are sending ambiguous emails to coworkers which they could be reading in a “let’s go fuck now” sense, you’re really bad at writing emails.  And relying on “well, we just have to accept what the sender intended!” as a defence is just a wee bit sad.

But then, tsmithfield strikes me as the kind of person who’d say “I’m sorry you were offended” in all sincerity.

ETA: Let it be known that I love Mary Wilson of Radio New Zealand and wish to construct a small cathedral in her honour.

In other random news: I have to agree with Cactus Kate on this one.  Sorry, Shane-in-the-comment-above, the Herald is a lying, lying liar.  My sinuses are fucked as a general rule so add a headcold to that and I am screaming for the sweet sweet relief of pseudoephedrine, because nothing else allows me to feel vaguely human.

“Rape, not sex” watch: Oh look, yet another journo is capable of using the r-word.  Seems all a woman has to do is be in broad daylight* OR provably unconscious and suddenly, hey, it’s actual rape, not “took advantage of” or “began a sexual relationship with the prepubescent child”.

*And that’s still questionable; plenty of thoroughly-witnessed attacks still fail the victim-blaming game in the media.  I am by NO means interested to check out the complexion and dress sense of the accused in that one, no sirree.

Some recommended reading

Too damn cold to get a good rage up, so some good posts by others:

Your boobs are someone else’s intellectual property at The Hand Mirror.

Tony Veitch police file released – because, you know, he just snapped and it was totally a one-off mistake and abuse isn’t escalating and long term and isn’t the Granny Herald glad now it ran that bullshit story about “ZOMG they’re charging Our Hero with throwing a glass of water, how TRIVIAL”?

Robbing public transport to pay for roads by Russel Norman over at frogblog. Because Steven Joyce is too stupid to understand that the reason Aucklanders poll in favour of public transport but still use cars is because current Auckland public transport is shit and maybe they’d use it if it got some actual investment oh no there I go being logical again.

And Eddie at The Standard basically sums up my feelings on “Punch in the face” dad guilty. Don’t even get me started on the idiot “commentator” on Sunrise this morning who, in response to Ella Henry’s comments about previous horsewhip/electric cord cases said obliviously, “But they got convicted, didn’t they?” NO YOU MORON, THAT’S WHY THE LAW HAD TO BE CHANGED, FUCKING HELL. I would lament that someone that uninformed is being paid to “comment” on issues of the day, but it’s probably part of some masterful Sunrise plan to plumb Henry-esque depths of stupid in an attempt to steal Breakfast viewers.