Tag Archives: bigotry
I really haven’t felt like writing lately, but I really wanted to mark on here (because it’s SOOooo widely read!) that Wednesday 13th February 2008 was the day that the Australian Government FINALLY apologised to members of the Stolen Generations.
For those of you not from Australia, or those of you from Australia who somehow still don’t know what happened, I need to ask you to look this up, to do your own research, because the last few days have been really emotional, and I’ve ended up in arguments with people I thought knew better – this is not going to become a forum in which I have to “prove” that the Stolen Generations happened, that they happened at the direction of government agencies, that there was deliberate cruelty and racism involved, or that we owe an apology. If you’re reading this website, if you want to engage with my take on things, then just be warned. My starting point is this:
This country (*as* we know it, *as* the nation of Australia) was built on a violent invasion, a theft of land, an absolutely inhumane view of and treatment of Indigenous occupants. Massacres happened and they happened often, at times at government direction. The level of cruelty and sadism directed at human beings hiding behind the ideas of “civilising” was sickening. We have criticised America and South Africa, but there was apartheid here, there was cruelty, violence and murder at the hands of the State, there were willful attempts at genocide, and later, at eradicating aboriginality by taking children with some white parentage, removing them to be “raised white”, to “assimilate” these children (ie to make them acceptably white)…we owe Indigenous Australia a lot more than one apology, a lot more than a refusal to engage with the idea of compensation, and a fucking shitload more than the backhanded bullshit romanticisation of White Australia that was the speech of the opposition leader Brendan Nelson.
I am so unbelievably angry about his speech, so embarrassed to be in any way associated with it, and so painfully ashamed that so many people apparently regarded it as a reasonable speech to make. It was a horrendously thinly vieled defence of government policy, denial of the insidious cruelty that is a huge feature of our national history since invasion, and a slap in the face to Indigenous listeners by insinuating that then, as (allegedly, and I see no proof of this in the actions staged under the “intervention”) now we do what we do to “protect” children.
For a moment, for one tiny fraction of time, I felt hope as I listened to the Prime Minister – it wasn’t perfect (it denied the idea that compensation is appropriate, and it didn’t acknowledge the extensive kinship ties that meant that cousins, aunts, uncles, and many more people were as devastated as children and parents) but it was genuine and moving, it seemed to hint at a future whereby options were opened, where an ethics of respect, empathy and humanity had a place in government – and I stood rapt, listening to the applause…and then Mr Nelson got up and shat all over it.
If you want to support Mr Nelson feel free to go do it. If you try to antagonise readers here by posting your support I will delete your message without hesitation – this is people’s lives we are talking about, you’ve had your time in the sun with a government who treated Indigenous Australians with contempt and disrespect. I don’t feel bad in not giving you space to spout your bigotry – you have mainstream newspapers, talkback radio, eleven years of Howard policy and any number of redneck arseholes…you don’t need my tiny little blog on which to be a prick as well.
So what’s my point? I dunno. I wanted to mark this, it’s a significant point in history. I have hope for the future. And I’m sick to fucking death of people shitting on about how Indigenous Australians are under achievers, just want a handout, should just get over it. If you read the history, if you heard the stories, if you listened to Indigenous activists and read Indigenous authors, if you paid some fucking attention to all the massive things Indigenous Australians have achieved in the face of such overwhelming odds, in the face of hostility from the Australian government and public, you couldn’t possibly sustain such a stance of hostility and disrespect.
I keep thinking about this blog and what it “achieves” – nothing much really. But these arseholes always bang on about free speech. They get to spout their offensive shit at parties, pubs, in newspapers, websites, blogs, university lectures and tutorials, on talkback radio, at dinner parties and they want MORE free speech – they don’t want free speech, they just don’t want anyone to ARGUE with them. Guess what knobheads? Free speech means you get to SAY that, and I get to call you on your bigotry, I get to argue, I get my website in which I get to advance my opinion (hey, the result of study and listening rather than populist soundbites from government spin) and protect it from your crap since you get the rest of the freaking WORLD in which to advance your ideas…my blog is not perfect, it’s not even great. But it’s one tiny space preserved for talking back to bigotry
Well fuck me rigid masculinity pisses me off sometimes!!!
I’ve been in a bit of a grump about the state of the world all week, so it’s a kind of cumulative rage that possesses me today. But I do get very sick of living in a world that gets defined by men, for men. This morning I woke up, and for some self punishing reason, decided to see what Arsehole de Brito had to say about the world. WHY oh WHY do I do it to myself? Worse still I clicked on the comments section! MMMMMMfuckityfuckityfuckinfuckincunts!
Seriously, it’s such a self serving community of bigoted women-haters…they’d argue with that and say they *love* women. I’d counter that they love access to pussy on the condition it’s not too old, is perfectly groomed and comes attached to a conventionally gorgeous and compliant but perky young woman. Also, said pussy has to be available on demand, but not have too many demands of its own, else it gets labelled a “slut”. And in all of this, who makes the calls on defining women? Men. Men just stating ‘facts’, just ‘observing’ truths.
What was the article about? About a bitch of an old woman having a go at her husband on the beach (oh if ONLY my job was to take one little glimpsed interaction and to spin it out into a full length sound off with no rules about how my article should actually be thoughtful/insightful/a genuine attempt to engage with the issues). The article then touched on male rape in prisons (oh so delightfully referred to as ‘man love’ – love/rape…one of these things is not like the other, right?), concluding that there was none of this happening in the particular prison setting as the guys are 18-21. Clearly then rape would never be an issue.
It was a bit of a diatribe on men needing to grow balls in the face of nagging, gnashing, petty high-strung women. NOW – let me go on the record to say I cannot stand watching two people nag/shout at each other or treat each other poorly in any way. Not defending this behaviour. But an isolated incident turned into a diatribe on Sam’s favourite topic – how men need to grow bigger kahunas in setting boundaries on their women, or their women will run all over them. It’s a bit of a theme for him. Women it appears are quite like children (which is possibly true of the women Sam likes to shag) – if you don’t show them where the limits are they will run riot on a grown up version of the sugar high, and before you know it, your life will be reduced to ruins by a full-scale, adult sized Veruca Salt. Put your foot down Sam, show em whose da boss.
Anyway, whatever right? Just another fuckwit with a keyboard. But what happens every freaking time is that it becomes a hate fest over women and their maniacal, hysterical ways, the fact they’ll screw you within an inch of your lives if you let em, they’re shrews, harridans, they wanna trap you into marriage and babies, take your money and make you miserable. Poor, poor men. Generalisations are flying around so thick and fast that if you aren’t careful you’ll lose an eye. Now. I do not have a problem with someone observing the behaviour of people in public and then examining it. But in order to examine it, you would need to put some genuine thought into what’s going on. These articles are never truly about resolving these issues and making peoples lives happier, they are about tapping into deep seated bitterness and anger towards women, about reinforcing stereotypes in ways that make people feel good for “knowing” stuff about life. So when it results, every freaking time into a disgusting display of bigotry – then I have a problem with it.
I’m so sick of being told not to worry about this – I mean I get it. On the one hand, blah blah, be the bigger person, he’s an idiot, not to worry…but, he has access to publication in a mainstream newspaper’s website, he preaches to the masses and the ‘masses’ lap it up. Bigotry towards women is everywhere in society, in its extreme forms, and in ‘jokes’ and song lyrics and leers and generalisations. Why is it that I should just say “water off a duck’s back”? I’m no duck, I’m a woman, and I live in a world where there is appalling levels of violence and hate directed at women, and I’m supposed to put up and shut up?
Well, no. I mean, yeah, I have my own blog. Big deal though, what twenty ppl read me a day? It’s hardly turning the tables on the Sam de Brito’s of the world. To say ‘ignore it’, to say ‘start your own blog’ is all well and good, except it ignores the fact of the institutionalised nature of discrimination against women. It’s gonna take way more than a blog to redress that. But apparently it ain’t cool for me to say I’m a feminist, to be angry. I’m supposed to say I live in a “post-feminist” world. All cos of Ally McFuckinBeal. I’ll tell you what? You men who say I’ve got ‘no sense of humour’, I’m ‘too angry’, etc…go out and do something yourselves to ensure that women can walk the streets safely, that they will no longer be beaten, that they can choose if and how and when they would like to procreate, that they can make choices about how to support and care for their families, that they can define their desires and sexuality for themselves, that they can access equal incomes and high positions in the workplace. I’ll sit back and observe, and then I will happily talk about our post-feminist world and laugh at every shitty joke you tell me.