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Posts Tagged ‘privilege’

caitlinate at The Dawn Chorus has a bonza (or something) collection of quotes from Tony Abbott, just to remind you of all the odious things he’s said over the years.

Here’s a sample:

Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy approaching the scale (say) of Aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years less than that of the general community?
– From Tony Abbott’s speech to the Adelaide University Democratic Club ib 16 March 2004 (NB: link is a PDF; quote is at the top of page 6) (NB2: he put it in writing, so it’s not just something he said “in the heat of discussion” – rather, it must be taken to be an “absolutely calm, considered, prepared and scripted” remark!)

I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak
– From Q&A, 19 March 2009

Misogyny, racism, general douchery. What more could you want?

(yep, that’s sarcasm)

Well, even if you don’t think you want more, go read caitlinate’s post to remind yourself of how odious Tony Abbott really is.

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There’s an interesting article in the Guardian today about a report which demonstrates a 17 year gap in the ‘disability-free life expectancy’ of the withs and withouts in the UK. That’s an enormous gap!

This quote caught my eye:

The report says the conditions in which people are born, live, work and age, shape their health; what is needed is a reduction in the iniquities in power and money that benefit the rich from birth.
[emphasis added]

Yes, I would agree that disparities in power and money are iniquitous. I don’t think it’s quite what they meant to say, but it seems appropriate!

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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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Shorter Amy Alkon: I didn’t get to scream in public when I was a child, so neither should anyone else.

SRSLY.

Of course, Ms Alkon is basing this on her recollection. I’m sure that, like most people, she doesn’t remember very much before the ages of 4 or 5, probably not daily events even after those ages, and I’d be fairly surprised if she didn’t do her share of screaming in public at age approximately 2. But even if she’s right and she never did, she clearly doesn’t understand the concepts of “community” and “family” and “parents having a life even when they have small children”.

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There is a homeless guy who sits outside my building every morning. He says g’day to the people he recognises. I always say good morning. I’ve noticed other people sometimes stop to chat at length. He begs. Lately, he’s been getting a bit more insistent on the begging front. I hope he’s doing ok.

This morning, after walking into the building, I got into the lift with an older man who I’ve seen quite a number of times around the building, but who I don’t actually know.

He turned to me, his eyes wide with horror and disgust. “Did you know that man out the front is a drug addict? He doesn’t have schizophrenia or anything … he injects drugs, methadone or something … I’ve just been to the pharmacist and they told me!”

Now, leaving aside the patient confidentiality issues with the pharmacist giving out that kind of information (and I am going to go and have a yell at the pharmacist later about that!), (1) methadone is not injected [ETA: well, I got that wrong – see Robbo’s comment below] (and if he’s on methadone, he doesn’t need money for it and also, it suggests he’s “doing something” about his “problem”, which is what I assume people like my interlocutor want to happen); and (2) poor mental health, homelessness and drug use often go hand in hand. Oh, and (3) who the fuck are we to judge?

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I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in God, nor do I believe there is any inherent supernatural reason not to walk on Uluru.

However, I do believe there are excellent cultural reasons not to walk on Uluru.

I also believe that human rights are important.

However, I don’t believe that your choice to do something as trivial as climb Uluru because it’s there is a human right.

Unlike Kerry van der Jagt and her mates.

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Apologies for the extended silence. It’s been a rather busy couple of months. I’ll try to get back to regular blogging soon.

Anyway, one recent activity that has kept me away from my blog (and from generally participating in the blogosphere) has been supporting a good friend and her husband in the final few days of pregnancy and first few days of their child’s life.

It was an enormous privilege for me, as although I’ve now got a few friends with small children, I’ve never been particularly involved with the process.

My friends live in a city that is not the one where I live, so I’ve been out of town for a little while. This has meant that I’ve needed to explain my absence to a few people. The conversation often goes something like this:

“I’ve been out of town supporting some friends while they had a baby.”
“Awwww. Was it a boy or a girl?”

I’ve had a great deal of trouble with this instant reaction. Is that really the most important thing you could think of to ask?

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