On this coming Wednesday’s episode of The Vote – our monthly break from the awfulness that I hear is 3rd Degree – a very
angry-making important moot is to be discussed:
Our kids – The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting. Do you agree?
I first heard of this on Twitter, was informed of this, and the fact that one of the “debaters” is to be Bob McCoskrie, on Twitter. Then I visited the webpage for the show and found out who the rest of the debaters are. On the side of “shitting on poor people”:
- Bob McCoskrie
- Hannah Tamaki
- Christine Rankin
On the side of “acknowledging that poverty is a thing”
- Celia Lashlie
- Dr Russell Wills
- Hone Harawira
Oh my god. This is going to be a fucking trainwreck punctuated with occasional moments of beautiful Hone smackdown. This totally calls for live-tweeting.
If you’re not already hanging on my every word on the Twitterz, you can follow #voteWTF. I cannot promise lulz. Only capslock.
If you want to do some homework before the debate, I recommend r0b’s Poverty Watch posts at The Standard.
1. Announce some actual good policy which actually counters the current Government’s entire rhetoric and approach to something.
2. Prime Minister delivers usual “like I even care” response specifically to your announcement.
3. Story about PM’s horrible response is entirely characterised by snappy rebuttal from other, smaller political parties.
Lesson: no one gives a shit about Excalibur when Metiria and Hone are busting out the snappy “la la land” and catchy, going-to-be-a-hit-with-the-new-generation-who-know-just-enough-te-reo-to-think-it’s-cool “full puku”.
And unfortunately, it might just be that Shearer wasn’t even offered a chance to respond to Key’s comments, because he’s so bloody boring – whereas the Greens and Hone Harawira always give good odds on an interesting soundbite.
Welcome to the 40th Down Under Feminists’ Carnival. I am your stunning hostess, Queen of Thorns, “QoT” to my friends and “single-handed destroyer of progressive NZ politics” to my trolls.
I’m entirely enamoured of the fact that 40 in Roman numerals is XL, so I’m putting our plus-size Antipodean bloggers up first:
New study shows correlation between fatness and selling one’s soul to Satan
Definatalie writes about re-learning her love of cycling. sleepydumpling at Fat Heffalump talks about Why I Don’t Diet and Fixing the Relationship with Food. Bri at Fat Lot of Good sees that fat-shaming is now getting aimed at four-year-olds to the extent some are developing a fear of food.
sleepydumpling is on a crusade, people. A crusade for all super-fatties, deathfats, people who just cannot find clothes in their size for love nor money. Warning: utter fuckwittery in the comments. Remember, fatshion is activism. And no, fat acceptance will not in fact kill you.
There’s been discussion lately about the role of the fatosphere on people’s perceptions and lives. Dr Samantha Thomas has done a for-real ivory-tower-shaking academic paper on how the fatosphere proactively challenges fat stigma, and sleepydumpling covers the same topic in Breaking Down Fat Stigma: Shame. Sonya at Lipmag was one of the interviewees for Dr Thomas’ paper.
The body plays a huge (BOOM BOOM!) role in a lot of feminist discussion, and things always get good and heated around one fact in particular: pregnancy and how you are probably Doing It Rong right this minute.
You read a book while pregnant? You’re gonna DIE!!!
Feminethicist posts a quick note about double standards around scars – especially stretch marks. Aussie MP Andrew Laming fights the good fight for homebirths. Bluebec confronts the notion that any particular way of having babies is “unnatural”.
Pregnancy isn’t always wanted or continued, of course, and that’s why apparently I have to keep explaining that the “right to life” movement are a bunch of wanks with the intellectual honesty of a guppy.
And of course once Junior makes it out into the world it’s all downhill for progressive parents, who simply cannot win. Ever.
Buy this Mozart CD or your baby will sprout wings!
Blue milk continues to post on her presentation on feminist parenting. Part 4 covers “what is feminist parenting?” and Part 5 looks at the difficulties with being a feminist parent. She also talks about the idea that some parents are too sexy to breastfeed – and provides a challenge with a follow-up post on glamorous images of breastfeeding. Another post discusses pro-feminist fathers.
Breastfeeding also shows up as a really nifty shorthand for “crazy woman” in the Game of Thrones series, as discussed at Hoyden About Town.
Bee of a Certain Age talks about learning to love after having her children.
Our kids just aren’t getting a break: Lessons to be Learned covers the Toddlers and Tiaras phenomenon and blue milk looks at high fashion’s role in sexualising girls. Feminethicist has been having some fun challenging the heteronormativity when people play joke-matchmaker with babies.
Unsurprisingly, I did not take kindly to Family First’s insinuations that some families are just “obviously” worse than others.
For further reading, Mindy at Hoyden About Town has reviewed The 21st Century Motherhood Movement.
Where does a lot of this crap come from? Our wonderful media, of course.
This just in: reading mainstream media could be the reason you’re really angry all the time
Feminethicist is just thrilled by a camera app that makes your romantic partner look tolerable again. I have a slight issue with bra companies’ media releases being treated as scientific fact, with a sprinkling of obesity panic on top.
LudditeJourno, posting at The Hand Mirror, covers Michael bloody Lhaws’ preference for referring to poor brown people as “feral” and coleytangerina at The Lady Garden gets freaked out by news of a “cougar attack” … then a tad depressed.
Emma at Lip asks where the strong women are in literature. Kate Barker discusses anti-feminist imagery. Cara at Life is a feminist issue talks about our media ban on reporting suicide, and whether that’s really looking all that effective.
MJ at Kiwiana (inked) tells Stuff where they can shove their scare quotes when reporting on domestic violence.
Time for something a bit more positive:
Retrospective: awesome women being awesome
Penguin Unearthed talks about Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir as part of her Travelling Feminist posts – here’s another on Norway. The Hoydens share the news that Sensei Keiko Fukuda has become the only woman ever granted the 10th degree black belt in judo. Double Antandre talks about Nancy Wake.
Another big issue of the past month has been identity, especially given Google’s being douchebags about what’s considered a “real” name (all the more aggravating because it’s based on needing “real” demographics to sell to shitbox marketers).
I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine
Chally talks about the kinds of history that go into building identity. blue milk passes on information on the My Name is Me project created in response to Google+ being douches. Giovanni talks about Google+, identity and cyberpunk.
Where does a lot of identity come from? Our “race”, social construct that it is, and religion, and culture, and all other kinds of pretty touchy issues.
Nothing witty to put here
Mindmadeup asks if Australia is a racist nation. Chally confronts racism at the bus stop. stargazer discusses how the “default is male” concept extends to commentary about Muslims. stargazer also posted about the start of Ramadan.
Queen Emily at Questioning Transphobia asks “When am I trans?” and when trans people are “real”.
Love and Marriage
In happier news, Rachel is getting hitched! Of course, planning a wedding doesn’t get any easier when you’re a feminist so she’s provided a handy Guide to Feminist Wedding Planning. News With Nipples covers some tragi-comic anti-marriage-equality protests. Hayley at Equal Love Equal Rights posts on marriage equality.
Mr Wainscotting is pleased to announce the launch of Legalise Love, a group looking to get some actual marriage equality happening in NZ. Idiot/Savant has been taking an interest in our MPs’ views on the subject: here he is on Hone Harawira and David Parker (and it’s not good news).
As Chally notes, though, we shouldn’t devalue single women.
Then there’s some perennial issues for feminist bloggers:
stargazer helped produce a session on poverty at the Human Rights Commission’s diversity forum and also blogged her speech from the forum on needing an action plan on human rights. Maia at The Hand Mirror dissects a “game” where privileged people get to pretend to be poor for a while and probably learn some Important Moral Lesson.
Deborah Russell discusses welfare in the Dominion Post.
Rape culture / violence
The Naked Philologist deals in two parts with the subject of teaching problematic material – Can you teach Chrétien without talking about rape? and You might be able to teach Chrétien without talking about rape, but I shan’t.
Deborah talks about the gender pay gap and another Deborah’s predictable privileged attitude towards it. Idiot/Savant covers the Greens’ and CTU’s calling of National’s bluff: if people can just ask labour inspectors to check there’s pay parity in their workplace, maybe we should just start doing that all the time.
And finally, a little collection of random items to fill out your reading.
We can’t stop here, this is bat country!
Blue milk on potentially-problematic vulva-themed art. Geek Feminism on social media protest action. Bluebec on trusting people to make their own decisions. Maia at The Hand Mirror on the cost of being a woman in public. Chally’s thoughts on being “born this way”. A guest post on Geek Feminism about encouraging women’s participation in geekiness. Blogger at the Cast Iron Balcony on how to help the Sylvia Creek anti-logging protesters. Bluebec on polyamory and doing it right. Feminaust posts on listening to sex workers.
That’s all she wrote
Thanks to our lovely submitters, especially Chally and Rebecca who made my job a heck of a lot easier!
The 41st edition of the DUFC will be hosted at A Touch of The Crazy. As we still seem to be having issues with blogcarnival, send your submissions directly to stef_thomp [at] hotmail [dot] com. We’re four years in and going strong but we need your help to keep it awesome!
The list of DUFC contributors is woefully out of date, but feel free to peruse it in the meantime while I get some well-earned coffee.
This isn’t directed at anyone specific, but suffice it to say that if National forms the next government, I will swear off alcohol for a month if no one in the lefty Kiwi blogosphere makes a post about how it’s all Mana’s fault and
Ralph Nader Epsom voters RAM Hone Harawira screwed everything up for Labour and if only everyone else on the left / in the social justice movement had stood aside and waited their turn, and at least half the National voters had woken up / paid attention / used their brains / not been so stupid, it would all have been all right.
H/T No Right Turn, who pretty much sums it up:
It’s Monday, so that means it must be time for the regular weekly failure by Phil Goff. This week’s fuck-up? refusing to work with Hone Harawira’s Mana Party
I flatter myself to have been saying this for two and a half fucking years, though it’s not really flattering to admit one’s been bashing one’s head against a brick wall for that length of time and clearly lacks the readership or influence to have got the message through to anyone, but nevertheless:
Dear Phil (and fellow anti-Mana naysayers),
Not all of us on the left are solely motivated by giving you and your mates a pay increase and a shiny Beehive office.
Many of us probably voted either for the Greens or for parties which clearly had no chance of breaking 5% specifically to get this through to you.
Some of us were probably thinking of voting Mana just to re-iterate that message to you given your clear desire to pretend like 2008 was all a bad dream.
Ever wondered if maybe confirming that you’re a racism-pandering centre-soliciting no-hoper focussed entirely on becoming John Key Mk II might not change our minds on that one?
Ever wondered if maybe we might quite like the idea of a leftist party with a practically-guaranteed electorate seat which you just might have to put your big boy panties on and deal with in 2011?
Given your single-minded focus on being PM, I think we can be pretty sure you’ll swallow that dead rat if you have to.
So how’s about you try getting a vision, being an opposition, running a campaign based on actual values and clear, focused key messages which are more than “we’re John Key lite” or “we’re populist and shallow too”, and stop treating the left voters who either switched teams or didn’t even bother turning out last election day like we’re silly little children who don’t understand how you’re just entitled to our votes.
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?
Two Hone Harawira posts in a row. I apologise. It’s Friday (well, technically Saturday at this point) and I’m cranky and in need of beddy-byes, however, so just a quick hit on the continuing saga of Mofo-gate.*
And it’s back to The Standard, where the usual suspects are still trying to act like the writers are a great hivemind of Newspeaking automata despite massive evidence to the contrary, and it’s Marty G, for whom I normally have a lot of respect.
And I don’t so much have any analysis to offer as some snark for this opening paragraph-and-a-bit:
Frankly, I don’t appreciate being called a white motherf**ker, by Buddy Mikaere and Hone Harawira. Before you start, that’s not to deny that Pakeha stole vast amounts of Maori resources despite the treaty signed between the Crown and iwi, and in spite of the Crown’s own laws. …
But none of that justifies calling my whole ethnic group motherf**kers, which is what Harawira did.
Of course, Marty. You’re not denying that Maori have been generally shat on, no, no, not at all, and certainly a post entitled “Harawira offensive & dumb. No excuses” is by no means privileging the icky fee fees of white men, and the phrase “Frankly I don’t appreciate” is by no means centring your experience and trying to claim a headmaster-ish highground in the tone stakes.
Tune in further down for some outraged rejections of rocky’s previously-linked linguistic arguments, hilariously followed by the first instance I’ve seen of someone actually reducing Harawira’s comments to “Goff should be shot”, adorable ellipses notwithstanding; and a nice piece of bullshit “I’m totes worried for him!!!” concern trolling.
All delectable cherries on top of a beautiful WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE FEELINGS OF WHITE MEN, THE NASTY MAN CALLED US NAMES parfait.
*I hereby claim dibs on this coinage, it’s so adorably kitsch.
Soooooooooo Hone Harawira. Here’s a Stuff link which vaguely outlines the situation for any non-Kiwi readers, as I can’t imagine there’s a New Zealander with access to the Internet who hasn’t heard about this.
First recommendation: rocky’s two excellent posts at The Standard on the wider foreshore/seabed issue, and ta, rocky, for the link to NZ History Online’s map showing Maori land loss to the present day. That was a nice sobering hit for a Wednesday evening.
First thought: gee, I wonder if that’s the kind of thing a person, whose ethnic group remains at the bottom of the socio-economic heap, and whose language is apparently so terrifying to the ear that non-Maori will just die if they’re forced to find the mute button hear it, might just be a little pissed off about? (And see Zetetic’s comment below – of course not! Nothing to be angry about here! Just a little diversion from that thing Harawira was totally unapologetic about!)
Second recommendation: the sprout’s post, also at The Standard, on why no, Harawira didn’t actually advocate violence and why yes, this is all just a bunch of privileged white wankers* summoning the spectre of Scary Brown People Who Will Climb In The Windows Of Other New Zealanders At Night**.
Third recommendation: Play bingo with any discussion of this story against the classic Wite-Magik Attax. It may help, but probably not.
And now, my own little bugbear.