04 March, 2009

Nothing Much Changes

Generation played a key role here. Young women had enjoyed greater personal freedoms during the War and tended to view feminist organizations[sic] as dull and old-fashioned. Former suffrage campaigners, therefore, complained that the young were only interested in personal fulfilment and pleasing men.
Passage taken from Feminism: a short history of a big idea, by June Hannam, Chapter 5 (p110)

This quote is about feminism in the inter-war years. The 1920s. And yet change a couple of words around and it could very easily be applied to feminism today.

Does anything ever really change, or do we just keep going round and round?

02 March, 2009

Paid Maternity Leave and the Australian Public

When I say "Australian Public", I actually only mean the idiot ones. Well, certain idiots anyway, who send letters to the editor about stuff they no very little about. Take maternity leave for example.

As some people may know, the issue of paid maternity/paternity/parental leave was recently reopened by our beloved Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. Add this to the recent closures of ABC Learning Centres, and low and behold! Idiots come out of the woodwork and offer their "enlightened" opinions. These are all paraphrased Letters to the Editor, published in The West Australian. They aren't quoted verbatim because, well, that would mean finding old issues of The West, copywright issues... drama drama drama. Also, it's the ideas I'm adressing, not the people themsleves. It's the same ideas I see repeated in that paper time and time again.

Letter One: Why would we want paid maternity leave? We already have the Baby Bonus! Paid maternity leave only helps working mums, but stay-at-home mums are more important than those women who chose to work.

Letter Two: I'm so glad the ABC Centres are closing! Maybe we'll finally see mothers at the park with their children!

Letter Three: Ever wonder why there's an escalating crime rate in this country? It's because mothers don't look after their children! Instead of teaching them proper morals, they leave them in the care of strangers.

Ok, so there's a few issues here that should be discussed.

Firstly, the whole "stay-at-home mums vs. working mums" dichotomy.
I would like to state that I think it's bullocks. Stay-at-home mums aren't worth more than working mums. Working mums aren't worth more than stay-at-home mums. The idea that you can reduce a woman's worth to how she chooses to raise her children is just unbelieveable! Not to mention the fact that some women don't have children, because they can't, because they don't want to, because of a hundred different reasons.
Reproduction is not the be-all and end-all of womanness.

Second, the choice to send children to childcare centres. Sometimes, yes, it is a choice. And when it is a choice, you damn well better respect that choice! Just the same as you damn well better respect the choice of some mothers who want to stay at home with their children.

But it's not always a choice. Lets look at this logically. Let's say you're a single parent. You are able to take a month off from work, unpaid of course, and more if you ask for it (but no guaruntees they'll hold your job for you). That job is your only source of income. The baby bonus is $5000 dollars, lump sum. With no other income and bills to pay, how the hell can you survive?
Or, say you have a double income, and are relying on that to pay your rent, mortgage, bills...? These aren't the only reasons for putting children into child care, but to be so dismissive of all working mothers is completely obsurd.

Third, what about the fathers? The stigma associated with stay-at-home dads is as big as it is stupid. And, yeah, it's a problem. Because fathers have as much of a right and responsibility as mothers with regards to children. But they aren't the ones accused of sending society spiralling out of control.

And finally, the idea that child care centres are going to turn children into psychopathic murderers and cop bashers is, well, absurd. And as someone currently studying to work in childcare, I'd like to give anyone who suggests that I'll screw their children a great big fuck you. But then I'm biased.

The Rules

Because I like rules (I was a Drill Master in highschool ;) and it's easier than trying to figure out what to post. And hey, I'm limited in what I can write at my parent's house.
  • Godwin has no place here. Seriously, the second I see the word Nazi, your comment will be deleated.
  • The above rule applies to the term "Feminazi" Damn I hate that term.
  • This blog is a hate free zone. I love passionate debates, even when they turn nasty, but please leave personal slurs out of it.
  • I also don't like scare quotes. Depending on the "context" I might allow it. (Yes, that was intentional).
So, that's all I have at the moment. I don't think I need many rules, but it does keep the place more civil.

01 March, 2009

Welcome Message

This is the first blog post ever. I'm still working out the kinks, so this will be up until I have real posts ready.