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Posts Tagged ‘choice’

Which can be found in the article linked here: the Australian MSM is not afraid to call anti-abortion groups by that name.

However, one disappointing similarity: an article about belief in myths about emergency contraception is in the “Life & Style” section. At least it’s in “Wellbeing”, ie health, but then, the top few articles in that section at the moment (other than the EC one) are: diet, diet, winter illnesses spread by food workers, diet, diet, let’s blame women who drink alcohol, adult anorexia (primarily about women) … now tell me, at which gender is this section primarily aimed?

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TRIGGER WARNING: This story sickens me. But can we please have some perspective on who to blame?

I repeat a VERY STRONG TRIGGER WARNING if you’re clicking through. If you’re not, there’s a summary after the jump, and I repeat the TRIGGER WARNING.

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Let’s unpack an interesting social phenomenon, shall we?

Many people alive today live in highly regulated societies. Australia is one such society, so is the UK.

Many regulations are aimed at keeping people safe. Other regulations are ostensibly aimed at keeping people safe, but are either ineffective or have some other purpose.

It is possible to argue that the criminalisation of certain drugs falls into the latter category: many people believe that the fact that a drug is criminalised is an indication is is less safe than a drug that has not been criminalised. This is not necessarily true. The historical reasons for criminalising particular drugs are varied, and not all are to do with safety. It is also an open question whether criminalising a drug that is unsafe is the most effective way of protecting society and/or potential users.

This is important. It means that there is a real possibility that people will assume that a drug that is not criminalised is totally and completely safe, whereas a drug that is criminalised is totally and completely unsafe. The second aspect of that causes problems of its own (such as the fact that if people are sold an absolutist position of any kind, anything which shows that the absolutist position is not entirely true tends to result in people reaching the conclusion that the absolutist position is entirely not true), but this post is about the first aspect.

It’s at work in the reactions and positions described in this article about mephedrone.

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An article in the Sydney Morning Herald today states that a healthy diet will cost a “typical” welfare-dependent family of four approximately 40% of their average income.

This, presumably, is a bad thing, because 40% is a significant proportion. A large chunk of the rest would probably be covering your accommodation. You’re not left with a whole lot more.

There’s not really a lot of analysis about what this means for how less-well-off families might make decisions about purchasing food. Nothing about how the cost of a healthy diet might be reduced.

There is, however, this statement at the end of the article:

The convener of the food and nutrition special interest group of the Public Health Association, Andrea Begley, said she supported a food tax and subsidies for lower-income families, particularly given rising obesity rates among lower socio-economic groups.

Because the solution to high cost of healthy food is to make the other food options even more expensive, in a paternalistic example of social manipulation?

I’m all for assisting people to eat a healthier diet if that’s what they want to do, especially if what’s stopping them is the high cost. So subsidies might be good. However, I’m not in favour of this kind of paternalistic “let’s force them to spend nearly half their income on the food we think they should be eating” attitude. That implies a certain level of judgmentalism, and I’m seriously not in favour of that!

(Oh, and gotta love how they throw in the OBESITY EPIDEMIC BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA at the end.)

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The title of this post says it all. See the SMH’s article for more detail. (By the way, SMH, I fixed that passive-voiced headline for you!)

Look, I’m not pissed off that the Catholic school has suspended the student for shaving her head as a fundraiser for cancer. I’m pissed off that the Catholic school has suspended the student for shaving her head. The school is, essentially, discriminating against her on the basis that she is now not expressing gender “correctly”, in their eyes. That’s basically what “dress code policy” means.

I should add that I’m not making any assumptions or implications about the gender that the student intends to express – I’m pointing out that the school is.

The fact that she’s done it for a good cause just adds a layer of hypocrisy to the stupidity of the Catholic school’s actions. (It also makes it a bit more of a freedom of expression aspect, in the sense of political expression.)

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This post is inspired to some extent by Wildly Parenthetical’s post on sex ed – although I’ve thought for a very long time that sex ed should be a normal part of education generally (from a young age). I don’t know the best way to integrate it (but then, I’m not a teacher). However, I do know that knee-jerk reactions are not the best way to deal with anything much.

This post is essentially my reaction to the knee-jerk reactions displayed in this article here. The gist of which is: the federal government is talking about a national sex ed curriculum for primary and high school.

And the gist of my reaction is: *headdesk* after *headdesk* after *headdesk*.

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Welcome to the 18th Down Under Feminists’ Carnival! (And apologies for the delay.)

This Carnival has an optional caring theme, thanks to Australian Carers’ Week (which was October 18 to October 24). The theme for this year was “Anyone, Anytime, Across Australia”, which I modified to “Anyone, Anytime” for the purposes of the DUFC.

There wasn’t much sent in on theme, so I’ve expanded the DUFC rules just a little.

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