“Deliberately barren”

Posted in Politics on July 26th, 2010 by steph – 1 Comment

More on the fact that apparently the most important thing about female politicians is whether or not they have had children:

In Australia, Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan is quoted as questioning whether or not Gillard could fully understand her voters, having chosen not to have children; or, as he put it, being “deliberately barren”. In a later interview, he stood by his statement, saying

“I won’t walk away from that,” he said. “So rude, crude and unattractive as it was … if you’re leader, you’ve got to understand your community.

“One of the great understandings in a community is family and the relationship between mum, dads and a bucket of nappies.”

Right, this old stuff again. Women without children (and it’s always women they focus on, isn’t it?) can’t ever really ‘get’ the needs of their fellow people because the only way to learn empathy and understanding (and the general ability to fire a fucking brain cell or two) is to have children of their own. I loathe how this completely underestimates the ability of people: it basically says we are too stupid to feel empathy and learn about the needs of others on our own. Which is downright insulting.

And what about women who can’t have children? It’s a huge slap in the face to them, because it essentially says “hey, you’re already a weird anomaly because you can’t have children, but on top of that you will never be able to understand other people. Enjoy!”

I’m over this.

(There is also a nice discussion of this over at Blue Milk, talking about how comments like this also hurt people who do have children.)

“I bet he loves women. I mean, his mum’s probably a woman”

Posted in New Zealand, Politics on July 10th, 2010 by steph – 1 Comment

Excellent take-down of Chris Trotter’s ridiculous opinion piece on Abortion Law over at Ideologically Impure. I enjoy how Chris says

I’ve no desire to make it more difficult for New Zealand women to access abortion. My position on this matter was decided many years ago when I asked myself whether, given the responsibility, I was prepared to require a woman to give birth to a child she didn’t want – and decided I was not. Nor, I realised, was I prepared to delegate the power of decision to anyone other than the woman herself

as if to paint himself as being that sensitive guy why ‘really gets’ the plight of women, but then can’t seem to understand why Steve Chadwick would want to re-examine abortion laws now. ¬†Yeah, I guess there aren’t any problem at all with the current system, and asking for it to get better is just being super greedy. If you have no desire to make it harder to access abortion, Chris, and you totally love women and think they should be able to make decisions for themselves, then why not make it easier?

Are you enrolled?

Posted in New Zealand, Politics on July 8th, 2010 by steph – 1 Comment

Just a reminder; you can check here, and you can also make sure your details are correct. If you aren’t, you should enroll: local elections are coming up this year.

Secretly, and in a very nerdy way, I love voting in elections. It always makes me me think ‘fuck yeah, democratic process!’. I love it.