Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Today’s ABC article about the new Primary IVF clinic, open in Melbourne from today, is a little problematic.

Not the broad subject of the article itself: Primary IVF has been operating in Sydney since 2014, has opened from today in Melbourne. It bulk bills and, personally, I think that’s great.

But the tone of the first part of the article, referring to concerns that women might not get the best treatment – with the inference that only those who can pay full freight for private treatment – smells a little off to me. (more…)

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Last year, I wrote a post about the Aboriginal Australian stories I’d had around me when I was growing up (as far as I know, none of the stories I was exposed to were stories of Torres Strait Islanders). I also wrote about Indigenous Australian characters, and an interesting comment thread developed about stories about Indigenous Australian characters and people.

If, like me, you are interested in seeing more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories, you will be delighted to hear that the Belvoir Street Theatre’s [NB: site down at time of writing] collaboration with Big hART to produce Namatjira has resulted in the best play I’ve seen for a long, long time.


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I actually wouldn’t have read this SMH article about the release of the iPad were it not for the quote on the link to the story from the front page, which, as it turns out, is also the headline: “Like a gorgeous woman”. I decided to go looking for context. It was worse than I expected:

James Stuart trekked to Seattle from Canada, where, like Australia, the iPad won’t be on sale for another month – too long, in his mind.

“It’s like a gorgeous woman – you just want to touch it,” he said.

And that, people, is rape culture.

I was expecting “It’s like a gorgeous woman – it’s so beautiful” or something like that. That would have been bad enough, constituting objectification and all.

But no, the concept that a gorgeous woman is just there for you (you being a straight man, of course) to touch – what she wants appears to be irrelevant here – well, people, that’s rape culture. Right there.

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Yet another reason I can’t see myself bringing myself to vote for the Libs at the next NSW election (not that I think I’ll be able to bring myself to vote ALP, either): Barry O’Farrell’s interesting take on the criminal justice system:

If he (Williams) had a criminal record, what’s he doing on the street in the first place?

Bazza, you do know that most people convicted of crimes are not locked up for the rest of their lives?

In any case, his defence of the police chase re responsibility for the crash is weak. The chase “just moments” before the crash. I’m sure that the driver was able to read the minds of the police force and knew absolutely that they weren’t chasing him any more. /sarcasm


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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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The SMH has an article about the inquiry into the awful culture on the HMAS Success. The article is headlined, in part, “HMAS Kinky”.

The ABC has a similar story, headlined “Sailors accused of public sex act: inquiry”.

First of all, let’s get something clear: I have no problem with kink. I also have no problem with public sex, providing it’s done in a place where all who might come across it are (1) warned and (2) have a chance to refuse to consent to watching / hearing / otherwise perceiving / observing the public sex.

I do, however, have a problem with rape.


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Me too, Ariane, me too.

(Although I do think the question is racist, or shows the questioner’s susceptibility to racist culture, or something.)

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… I ran into a charming mansplainer this week.

I have just acquired a new computer for work, so I thought I should go best practice and get some surge protection, too.

I dropped into my local hardware store a couple of weeks ago, and was shocked at the price difference between the top and bottom ends. The specs on these things are not very clear, and so I couldn’t figure out whether it was worth paying extra or not. So I asked someone.

The someone I asked was a big burly bloke who seemed to know what he was talking about. He was absolutely adamant that I needed to buy the surge protector at the top end, and his explanation made some sense. He was a little condescending, but I’m so used to that that I ignore it, as long as the information is useful. But I am always suspicious about people who try to sell me the most expensive item in the store, so I decided to think about it.

I had some time this week, so I went back to the same shop and asked another person. The someone I asked this time was a short burly bloke, maybe 18 or 20 (ie significantly younger than me, and nobody ever thinks I’m younger than I am), who in a blusteringly condescending tone gave me the exact opposite advice the first man had given me – but who couldn’t explain why, just said with a patronising sneer: “you don’t need that”. Let’s call him Condescending Fool.


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