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330 responses to “Overflow Thread”

  1. alfred venison

    friday on my mind. 😉 😉 -alf

  2. Linda

    Chris from the previous thread:

    “Abbott also said that criminalisation is not what he wants.”

    Oh well if Abbott said it I suppose it must be true. Seriously.

    Criminalisation is an ongoing process, that he is helping to facilitate by making those statements.

  3. alfred venison

    the criminalising seems to have started a bit sooner than you think.

    Ms Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister, also said there would be no ban, but she echoed language from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in acknowledging public concerns.

    ”I can understand Australians that do find it a bit confronting; it’s a little different on our streets,” she told the Nine Network.

    ”It’s something for people to think about. I don’t think it actually makes a difference trying to ban an article of clothing; I’m not sure that’s what we want to do.”

    and

    Muslim leaders have been divided. Muslim Women’s National Network president Aziza Abdel-Halim endorsed Senator Bernardi’s view as long as Islamic women were still permitted to wear veils and head scarves. But other leaders have accused the Liberals of playing divisive politics before the election.

    the full report (not much) is here:- http://www.theage.com.au/national/rudd-and-gillard-disagree-on-burqa-20100507-uju6.html#ixzz2dyyi0XMz

  4. jules

    Notice how Rudd and Gillard are pretty much in agreement on this in your article but the headline says they aren’t…

    Linda I don’t think what Abbott said contributes to criminalisation. I changed my opinion after reading the whole comment. After saying he found it confronting he said this:

    Frankly, it’s not the sort of attire that I’d like to see widespread in our streets but, this is a free country. Everyone’s entitled to make their choice and if people want to wear a burqa it’s ultimately their business.

    Frankly his opinion is unwarranted wrt to what he wants to see on our streets – that might be a very subtle dog whistle – but there is nothing there to suggest a desire for criminalisation.

    Then nagain he is a master at saying stuff in the hope it will be taken a different way. What he said on Australia day last year was imo deliberately provacative, but he was relying on people to read more into it and create a fuss. i dunno if he expected what happened tho.

  5. alfred venison

    i think the headline is irrelevant. what’s relevant is what they are quoted then & now to have said about burqas.
    tony abbott:-

    whenever I’m asked about the burqa I’ve said that I find it a very confronting form of attire

    julia gillard:-

    I can understand Australians that do find it a bit confronting ; it’s a little different on our streets

    tony abbott:-

    frankly, it’s not the sort of attire that I’d like to see widespread in our streets but this is a free country. Everyone’s entitled to make their choice and if people want to wear a burqa it’s ultimately their business.

    julia gillard:-

    I don’t think it actually makes a difference trying to ban an article of clothing; I’m not sure that’s what we want to do.

    what’s the problem again? -a.v.

  6. jules

    The headline isn’t relevant to this particular discussion,
    i just thought it interesting that even then it was angling for division between Rudd and Gillard.

    There was nothing in that article to suggest Gillard and Rudd disagreed on anything to do with the burqa and the only quotes from either of them seemed to suggest they actually agree with each other and Abbott about not criminalising them.

  7. Nick

    FDB, you lost me @310 with “obligations” vs “choices”.

    jules had it right earlier, as did Helen @314. This is Australia. Not Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

    She is not “obliged” to do anything.

    So her husband beats her if she doesn’t wear it out of the house.

    Another woman’s husband beats her because his footy team lost on the weekend, and she was “obliged” to buy him beer earlier that afternoon and forgot.

    I guarantee you neither race of husband is any more or less dangerous or murderous than the other. If anyone believes that, they’ve been very selectively reading the news.

    Both of those men are criminals, and both women are perfectly free to report them to the police, and take their kids and leave. (Not saying that’s easy, just that they are free to do so.)

    Sticking around in that situation isn’t going to do much for their *identity*, regardless of what they wear. It wouldn’t surprise me if the anglo Australian victim gets told by her husband to ‘cover up’ when she goes out too. You want to argue there’s a substantive difference?

    If she chooses not to leave him in spite of the above, and wants to keep wearing it out of religious devotion, well…that’s plain old religious nutjobbery for you. Not much you can do about it. Hopefully her daughters are less brainwashed, and make a beeline out of there as soon as they start uni.

    Taylor had it kinda right earlier – “progressive gloss” about “identity concealment” dissolves very quickly when we’re talking about *criminal behaviour*.

    If there is no crime, if there’s no threat of violence at all. It’s a choice. Her choice to follow that particular set of norms, and my sympathies are probably better placed elsewhere.

    If there is violence involved, who really cares whether we can “see their eyes” while we’re walking along Sydney Rd or not?

  8. alfred venison

    i agree – despite distractions & faux conflict its a record of unanimity at the top on the issue. in 2010. and apparently abbott hasn’t changed if he’s to be taken on his word on this one & i don’t see why he shouldn’t. i don’t like him but fair’s fair & i don’t think from his words he wants to wreck multiculturalism. -a.v.

  9. paul burns

    In the introduction to her Osman’s Dream. The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923, which I have just begun reading (Islamic history is another one of my things, but mainly the early stuff), Caroline Finkel writes:

    To understand those who are culturally and historically different from us -rather than resorting to such labels as ‘evil empire’, ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘terrorist’ to mask our ignorance- is a matter of urgency. The greatest hubris is to ask why ‘they’ are not like ‘us’; to accept our cultural biases lazily and without question, and to frame the problem in terms of what went wrong.

    Just thought I’d throw that in. 🙂

  10. Val

    Yeah good one Paul. I’d hate to have to wear a burqa or niquaab but on the other hand I don’t like having to see all these bloody larger than life posters of women in their undies like you see in our society. I mean you don’t see actual women in western society walking along the street in their undies so why all the bill boards? It’s weird and creepy.

  11. jungney

    Val: well said! There’s more here than meets the eye.

  12. paul burns

    Val,
    Of course its weird and creepy. Among other things, it’s capitalism.

  13. Linda

    Paul: “Among other things, it’s capitalism.”

    So do you think men are similarly coerced/forced to either cover up or reveal their bodies, in the interests of capitalism?

  14. jules

    Capitalism was “set up” by and for men. So eventually it was bound to end up looking like inside Hugh Hefner’s head.

  15. Graham Bell

    Yeah. Agree. Good one, [email protected]

    Folks:
    What annoys me is the hypocrisy that condemns “Western” men for unreasonable demands against women but that tolerates – even excuses – unreasonable demands against women by “Non-Western” MEN.

    Why not look up those Surahs of al Qur’an itself that relate to the behaviour, modesty and attire of women and see what is actually written there.

    Don’t be surprised If you find a mile-wide gap between messages of The Prophet himself [pbuh]…. and the local practices and tribal customs of those MEN who put themselves and their own habits and prejudices above Islam.

  16. Val

    One lot pressures women to cover up their bodies, one lot pressures women to display their (our*) bodies.
    Weird creepy patriarchy meet weird creepy patriarchy.

    * not mine now, I’m too old – but the principle of sisterhood remains

  17. Graham Bell

    Val @ 10:
    I see what you mean. It is fine if ladies’ underwear is displayed on mannequins in a shop where it is appropriate …. but on a billboard? Same goes for commercial calendars; what the heck does a picture of a half-starved, half-dressed young bimbo with a dopey smile, unnaturally huge boobs and a head on her like a robber’s dog have to do with machinery or fuel or abrasives or hydraulic hoses? If blokes want to put up a picture of a pretty woman in their workshop, why not one of the girlfriend or the missus?

  18. FDB

    In answer to all the questions about what I think should be Done About It…

    Nothing. Other than making it as safe and as easy as we can for women to make their own choices, in situations where they risk being coerced. But let’s not pretend it’s as simple as a woman leaving her husband because he beats her. Which is in any case far from simple.

    Let’s above all not make phoney progressive arguments for the complete concealment of a woman’s identity, or pretend that it isn’t very different to the incomplete concealment of same.

  19. Nick

    Nobody’s forcing her to wear them, FDB.

    Or – if they are – it’s a different story altogether. The clothes become unimportant.

    It’s the *forcing someone to do anything* that becomes important.

  20. alfred venison

    cheer up – its friday! -a.v.

  21. Val

    Ha Graham Bell @ 17 though I have sworn to try to be nice, I don’t really think we are in complete agreement. Calling someone “a bimbo with a dopey smile, unnaturally huge boobs and a head on her like a robber’s dog” – colourful as it is – in the context of a discussion about patriarchy is actually victim blaming. And slut shaming and disrespectful. I was talking about the social conditions (in this case, with a small nod to Paul, western capitalist patriarchy) that pressure some women into doing things like this.
    Calling them names is no better than calling women wearing the bureau names.

  22. Val

    The burqa – damn auto correct!

  23. Linda

    Thanks Val, I had just walked away to make a coffee and count to ten before I responded to Graham’s comment to tell him that in no way was your comment an invitation to denigrate women. I think the point is that men have the power to define all women’s sexuality, across culture, time and place. Women can’t win whether we cover up or reveal our evil bodies.

  24. Nick

    Sage advice, av.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGZDwxnjG1g

    I hope you’re not taking my comments personally, FDB – more importantly, I hope they’re not coming across that way! You know I enjoy an argument, and it’s pretty rare we’ve ever ended up in one. I remember the last time we did though, because LP called it quits a week later! Touch wood. I don’t think you’re 100% wrong btw. As I said, you lost me re choice vs obligation.

  25. Linda

    Nick, I’m genuinely surprised that you didn’t get any arguments in response to the howler that women are somehow “free” to leave violent men. I don’t know that you would have enjoyed that argument so much.

  26. Nick

    Legally free, Linda. As opposed to Afghanistan. I didn’t say it was easy.

  27. paul burns

    Re these lady’s underwear billboards. I haven’t seen one for yonks cause I live in the bush, don’t go out and don’t drive but I do remember years ago there was an organisation called BUGA-UP that used to go round defacing billboards that advertised cigarettes or were sexist. And other reasons that I can’t recall.
    Time to start again perhaps?

  28. Linda

    Nick @26: “Legally free”

    Well, for now.

    Even this is arguable when you take into account the Family Court, social security legislation, Housing NSW, FaCS and the personal values of conservative coppers.

  29. Linda

    I was a young person when the work of Buga Up was commonly seen, Paul, but I don’t recall anything specifically challenging sexism. Maybe instead it’s time for men to start challenging each other at a personal level, when they make sexist statements?

  30. Paul Norton

    Linda @29:

    I was a young person when the work of Buga Up was commonly seen, Paul, but I don’t recall anything specifically challenging sexism. Maybe instead it’s time for men to start challenging each other at a personal level, when they make sexist statements?

    I second the second sentence.

    On the first, I recall a billboard advertising a new car that read “If this car was a lady, she’d [forget the rest but it was sexist crap].” BUGA-UP added the words “If this lady was a car, she’d run you over!”.

  31. paul burns

    In the environs of Armidale BUGA-UP did. I know because one of their main activists here was an anti-smoking feminist who was a good friend of mine. (Going out at night with ladders and spraycans was never my thing.)

  32. Linda

    If Buga up ever were serious about challenging sexist advertising then they failed miserably seeing as it is now illegal to advertise tobacco, yet sexism in advertising is off the richter.

  33. Helen

    What annoys me is the hypocrisy that condemns “Western” men for unreasonable demands against women but that tolerates – even excuses – unreasonable demands against women by “Non-Western” MEN.

    You have it exactly backwards Graham.
    Western feminists engage in criticism of sexism in our own societies, which is completely appropriate because that’s the society we live in, and we get told to shut up because we have it so good compared with all those women in traditionalist societies. For just one of the best known recent examples see Dawkin’s “Dear Muslima” response to women trying to combat the hazing and harassment of women in STEM conferences.

  34. Linda

    Paul Norton @30: “I second the second sentence.”

    So what do you say to Graham @ 17?

  35. Ootz

    Very much on agreement with Paul Burns comment and it is worthwhile to highlight Caroline Finkel’s key sentence again in this discussion here.

    The greatest hubris is to ask why ‘they’ are not like ‘us’; to accept our cultural biases lazily and without question, and to frame the problem in terms of what went wrong.

    This cultural bias may not just apply to the ‘other’ as in foreign cultures such as certain aspects of Middle East culture, it increasingly applies to our culture too. Let me emphasise that is the pov from a participant observer approach. For example Val’s “bloody larger than life posters of women in their undies like you see in our society” includes a host of complexities which are underlying in Val’s sentiment of “weird and creepy”. Not picking on you Val (I am encouraged by and like to reciprocate your ‘sworn to be nice’), GB’s “bimbo” comment is an other puzzlement comment on our culture.

    I’d like to illustrate this puzzlment and struggle with our culture with another topic related to the burqa debate. Recently the online phenomenon of the naked selfie has brought up all sorts of issues which challenge a broad spectrum of parents, policy makers to sociologists. For example, Putting selfies under a feminist lens laments

    So what to do? Our culture is rapidly changing, and it’s unlikely that any parent will simply be able to sit their children down and convince them not to participate in it. Dines argues feminist-based media literacy is key—for boys and for girls.

    “If we’re going to get this genie back in the bottle, the only answer is a mass public-health approach. We need to bring in doctors, educators, psychologists, and then go after this just like we went after drinking and driving. There’s no other way,” Dines said.

    “This is what feminism should be doing,” Dines added, lamenting what she sees as the individualistic, faux-empowerment rhetoric emanating from some of today’s feminist factions. “In many ways feminism has completely capitulated. It’s like Cosmopolitan for the thinking girl.”

    So the next time you pull out your phone for that bathroom selfie, you may want to consider why it is you want to be seen.

    On the other hand, self confessed exhibitionist and supermodel Heidi Klug and others like Luisa Zissman Hits Back At Twitter Haters With Bikini Selfie – Take That Critics!

    Meanwhile, our culture , ever evolving, comes up with it’s own solutions, such as Snapchat.

  36. jules

    Nick and Linda “theoretically free” is a better term isn’t it.

    I reckon one of the reasons berka’s make us uncomfortable is cos the remind people that the same sort of thing happens in our society among “normal looking” western people. Its easy to pile on a symbol than hassle the big thug next door who (probably) beats his missus.

    As far as billboards go, I don’t see any either cos I live in the bush and rarely go anywhere that has them. But I do remember there were some with men in varying states of nakedness too. Those men were always groomed like yuppie wankers, reasonably fit and athletic. I don’t think any ever had tattoos. I’m not trying to draw an equivalence on some level of sexism – but sex sells.

    Those billboards are aimed at peoples attention. They aren’t made simply to project concepts of male dominance onto society, they’re made to quickly grab peoples attention and make barely conscious associations between the product and reproductive success, status and pleasure. (That may be a fine line of difference, I know.) They are distracting and dangerous tho if you’re driving.

  37. Nick

    Yep, you’re right Linda (and jules). Legally free was a silly term to use. You just brought back memories of what my step-sister went through four or five years back. I forgot how much he continued to make life difficult for her afterwards for as long as he could. She was frantic and desperate when she left and took the kids out of NSW back to Victoria to my step-mother’s…that completely stuffed her up. He was basically free to tell as many lies to child services as he wanted after that. Thankfully he eventually tripped himself up by telling one too many, and it all worked out in her favour…but she was lucky. It could have easily gone the other way.

  38. jules

    Graham @ 17 wtf is that?

    If it bothers you so much why don’t you use the same florid descriptions on the people who hang those posters up in the first place.

  39. Paul Norton

    Graham @17, now that it’s been drawn to my attention by Linda, do you really think that there is anything respectful and decent in writing about women the way you’ve done in that post? Is it necessary, or does it serve any useful purpose, to write stuff like that?

  40. Val

    Ootz @ 39
    Can’t say I completely understand what you’re talking about or why I might think you’re picking on me ( quite unsettling when someone says don’t worry I’m not picking on you when you didn’t know they might have been, if you see what I mean), but
    Possibly you have missed the point that I was talking about the social conditions of western capitalist patriarchy and Graham was slagging off “bimbos”?
    Or not?

  41. Val

    Or Ootz, did you possibly (mansplaining stoush alert!! Wee wah wee wah as my grandson says) think that I am so naive that i didn’t understand that my comment was expressing puzzlement about taken for granted assumptions or practices of our culture?

    Man I can get with the language of social theory any time I like but you know, just chatting, hope people might get it

    And there remains a profound difference between my comment on cultural signs in our culture and Graham’s comment on bimbos. The equivalence you seem to see between them is false.

    But if I am getting offended about a misunderstanding, do let me know – seriously. Yours in niceness.

  42. Katz

    According to John Howard in Lazarus Rising, in 2003 in the run up to the Iraq attack, George W. Bush prevailed on Howard to persuade rotating members of the UNSC to vote in favour of Blair’s casus belli.

    Howard was assigned Bertie O’Hearn of Ireland, Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan and Vicente Fox of Mexico. Howard failed miserably. Unremarkably, Bush chose the wrong messenger boy.

    Howard quotes Fox as saying that Australian involvement in the Iraq attack would harm Australian interests. Thankfully, someone was concerned with Australian interests.

    Howard obsessively blames the French for this fiasco, ignoring the fact that the UNSC would have voted down the motion without France being compelled to exercise its veto. Howard is very pragmatic with his use of facts.

    BTW, “Lazarus Rising” is so tedious that the editor has slumbered through Howard’s misreadings and his muttered oaths. Hilarious. I’m listening to it so you don’t have to. (And also as a stimulus to aerobic exercise.)

  43. Ootz

    Val, I made a reference to your comment @10 in regards to “weird and creepy” and not to your @21 response to GB’s “bimbo” comment.

    Unless GB is trolling, then his crude comment reflects his cultural background and fits my argument about his bias with “why are they not like us”, as per Paul Burn’s Caroline Finkle quote @9. It also served as a contrast to your cultural background reflected in your puzzlement in relation to your “weird and creepy” @10. Unfortunately my ‘apology’ to you, to avoid that this contrast maybe perceived as putting your comment on the same discursive level, was back to front. Further, I used the recent phenomen of selfies to illustrate this puzzlement of one’s own culture and the varied responses to it.

    Unfortunately GB has again , as Casey previously eloquently described as “running around in his natural naked state” and displayed a repeated inability for self-consciousness. Perhaps, he is in need of some suggestions of how he could ‘cover up’ in future. If he is trolling, then we all know what the best solution to that is. Hope this helps.

  44. Casey

    Well now Ootz, I didn’t say ‘nekkid’ but it’s a nice touch, I think, given how exposed the poor critter is. Could someone PLEASE tell him the news that Adam bit the apple and everyone has to put clothes on now? Thanks.

  45. Ootz

    Katz, I hear your pain and am grateful for your self sacrifice. Even worse considering we are potentially at the eve of a Howard II ascendancy. Fox’s comment is interesting, considering he is a very astute corporate business man. How does Howard deal with the AWB oil-for-wheat scandal?

  46. Katz

    Haven’t got there yet Ootz. I’m writing progress reports immediately upon removing my Asics.

  47. Val

    Ah Ootz you’re a complex thinker.
    I like to think that I’m a person who can put complex ideas in plain language ( and there’s probably some truth in that) but sometimes I’m just someone who just blurts out whatever I think
    Part of the reason for my short lived career in politics perhaps, but I’ll leave that story for another time

  48. Graham Bell

    Val, Linda, Jules:
    Okay, I’ll own up; I’m the one who caused daylight saving, decimal currency, the end of the British Empire, the extinction of the great auk and the Bourke & Wills tragedy.

    If you would be so kind as to step outside the cloister for a moment, you may, perhaps, notice that the type of language I used was that used by the sort of people who make and market and display demeaning calendars of that type …. or are irony and sarcasm beyond you?

  49. Graham Bell

    Hang on Ootz @ 43, that’s a wild extrapolation if ever there was one.

    And I do hope you are not suggesting that any comment I make must always sound as though it came from “people like us” and must squeeze into a very tight little box from which imagination and lateral thinking and possibility and difference are all rigidly excluded.

  50. Taylor

    Since the burqa issue has come to life again I want to try to clarify my view:

    – everyone agrees that forcing a woman to wear a burqa or niqab is wrong because criminal use of force is generally wrong in our society;

    – many people feel that if no criminal force is involved the practice is immune from criticism, as an expression of individual choice. Some go further and argue that this individual choice is transgressive or progressive in a positive, radical way.

    It seems slightly odd in a blog run by a sociologist that these are regarded as the parameters of the argument.

    Even in a liberal society like Australia the poles of “force/free will” do not account for the ways in which a culture is produced. I think the broader question is whether particular ways of life are conducive to the kind of society we want to create.

    Fundamentalism in my view is a very undesirable ideology. I do not want children raised to be fundamentalists. That doesn’t mean I want to criminalise this way of life in Australia, but I want to do nothing to promote it. Also, it must be susceptible to criticism, satire, unkind jokes, and all the other non-criminal moral sanctions that we use to discourage illiberal views and practices in our society.

    Also, once we move beyond the force/free will dichotomy, I think fundamentalism is better able to be seen in its appropriate context, as an influential global ideology. Then the idea that fundamentalism in Australia is quite separate from that confronting the rest of the world can better be understood as an error.

  51. FDB

    Well said Taylor.

  52. Ootz

    Graham! Mate, I’ll concede to wild extrapolation and throw in the complex thinker including trying to avert a zombie stoush, if you concede to deliberately ‘pulling your pants down’ to upset the ladies.

    In regards to your ‘people like us’ comment, I did emphasise @35 that I was looking at the particular issue ‘under discussion’ from a well known anthropological approach. However, I am happy to move on to different analytical tools, such as social constructionism if you prefer, to elaborate on ‘negotiated’ understandings and how knowledge and social action go together.

  53. Taylor

    Thanks FDB, I think we take the same view on this.

  54. Helen

    Oh fuck off, who said Burqas were immune from criticism?
    They’d be hot, uncomfortable and very annoying if one was trying to do anything, but that’s not what we are talking about. We were discussing whether Abbott was using burquas as a hate magnet. Some say yea, others nay. No one was saying Yay Burqas.

  55. Taylor

    Helen it certainly was mentioned that burqas were transgressive, not only in comments, but in the links referred to.

    Also your own criticism is quite trivial, with respect, in that it simply refers to the clothing being inconvenient. That really supports my point.

    Also, you are wrong about the character of the argument. It was substantially about whether burquas are confronting, as Abbott said, and if so, why.

  56. alfred venison

    “whenever I’m asked about the burqa I’ve said that I find it a very confronting form of attire” – tony abbott, 2013

    “I can understand Australians that do find it a bit confronting ; it’s a little different on our streets” – julia gillard, 2010

    what’s the problem? -a.v.

  57. Linda

    alfred venison, there is a qualitative difference between saying “I find it confronting” and “I understand Australians find it confronting”

    Do you think we’re being a bit unfair picking on poor little Tones?

  58. Su

    What the hell? Transgressive? That just seems like wilful misunderstanding, the link referred to the way in which the way western opposition to the veil tends to have the opposite of the intended effect because that opposition turns the veil into a symbol of resistance to the dictates of the west. From that you understand, yay – the veil is so transgressive?! I suggest you read for meaning. When the first British embassy arrived at the court in Kandahar, the burqa was a marker of high status, it’s meaning is not fixed.

  59. FDB

    Su, I think Taylor is referring to the link which had the burqa as a convenient cover for mischievous and transgressive identity-swapping.

    Think The Parent Trap, but with the two Hayley Millses only needing to be of roughly the same dimensions.

    When the first British embassy arrived at the court in Kandahar, the burqa was a marker of high status

    From what I’ve read that is true – because among men the extent of his wife’s subjugation was itself a status symbol in that time and place.

    The meaning of the burqa may not be fixed, but let’s face it… it is never going to mean “hi everyone, I’m a person with my own shit going on – let’s have a chat!”.

  60. Taylor

    Su the comment at 133 of the last Overflow thread referred to Hussein’s article “The burqa and liberation”. Paragraph 6 states that veiling can be a means of transgression as well as submission. I did not misunderstand at all, let alone wilfully.

  61. Ambigulous

    The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills…..
    ah, those were the days, FDB!

  62. alfred venison

    i hold no brief to defend abbott.
    one says: “I find it a very confronting form of attire”.
    and the other says “I can understand Australians that do find it a bit confronting”.
    i don’t think you’re “being a bit unfair picking on poor little Tones”, i think you’re being hypocritical. -a.v.

  63. Linda

    I feel more threatened by men in blue ties than by women who are veiled, and there is actual evidence to support this.

  64. Linda

    a.v. @ 62 “i hold no brief to defend abbott.
    one says: “I find it a very confronting form of attire”.
    and the other says “I can understand Australians that do find it a bit confronting”.
    i don’t think you’re “being a bit unfair picking on poor little Tones”, i think you’re being hypocritical. -a.v.”

    I have no idea what you are trying to say here. Do you not understand the difference between expressing a personal opinion and acknowledging a popular opinion?

  65. Su

    Oh, sorry I misunderstood your reference Taylor. I know that in oppressive regimes the anonymity of the burqa can be used to advantage by the women, which is not an argument in favour, just an observation about the complexities.

    I’m not familiar with the history of Afghanistan but the book I’m reading talks about the political influence of Shah Shuja’s wife Wa’fa Begum, I think what you say was true in the main, FDB, but then British women were still without a vote at that time, and, like Wa’fa Begum, wealthy or aristocratic women wielded influence at some remove, by virtue of their connections to men in power.

  66. FDB

    “Do you not understand the difference between expressing a personal opinion and acknowledging a popular opinion?”

    When the accusation is of dogwhistling, I rather think your distinction puts the shoe on the other foot Linda.

    “I feel more threatened by men in blue ties than by women who are veiled”

    Of course. Me too. How could a woman whose very identity is veiled (with the attendant prohibitions on even engaging me in conversation) threaten my middle-class, middle-aged white male privelege?

    I guess you’re assuming that finding the burqa “confronting” is due to feeling threatened by it, rather than appalled for the sake of women obliged to wear it. In my case at least, you’re waaaay off the mark here. I concede that Abbott (and for that matter Gillard) may indeed find it threatening to the “way of life” or something, but I’m all too comfortable in mine. A woman with no public identity couldn’t possibly shake my knowledge that I’ve got it easy.

  67. FDB

    the their way of life

  68. Ambigulous

    … although amongst Hayley Mills’ early films I prefer
    Tiger Bay (1959) and
    Whistle Down The Wind (1961, adapted from a novel by her mother).

  69. Nick

    “British women were still without a vote at that time”

    Not to mention, still heavily subjected to corsetry. I know which of the two I’d rather wear.

  70. Linda

    [email protected] I have no idea what you are actually trying to say here, however I do note that historically, men have tried to obfuscate and derail feminist arguments with useless waffle.

  71. FDB

    Charming.

    I don’t know if I can be any clearer, Linda.

    I’m afraid that if I explain my last comment I’ll be accused of patronising you, but as a man I can’t help myself…

    In the first part I was disagreeing with you, because Abbott expressed a personal impression where Gillard invoked popular opinion. It’s a line-ball call, but I think the accusation of dogwhistling better fits the latter. You’re free to disagree.

    In the second part I was agreeing with you that veiled women are utterly unthreatening – to our nation, its culture and most particularly to the patriarchy… and therefore to me, someone very well placed indeed to benefit from the lack of threat.

  72. Graham Bell

    Linda @ 63:
    I feel insulted but not threatened by women in burqas. However, like you, I do feel threatened by men-in-blue-ties – and with good reason.

    Cheers Ootz @ 52. Definitely no intention whatsoever of upsetting the Loaf-kneaders here (nor of upsetting the Loaf-keepers either); my linguistic “mooning” was aimed right at those who demean women.

    Style of discussion doesn’t worry me – but I do go beserk and run amok when I catch the slightest whiff of my right to hold a point of view being infringed …. criticism, error-correction and disagreement are all fine.

    Taylor @ 50: Thanks for your explanation.

    Folks ((a polite informal form of address unrelated to the activities of the TV granny-robbers)):
    I think Abbott’s casual slip of the tongue about burqas was like the rest of his casual slips of the tongue during this election campaign – probably well planned and well rehearsed. Dogwhistle? Was there any doubt?

  73. Katz

    In “Lazarus Rising”, John Howard notes his disdain for President Joseph Estrada of the Philippines who fell asleep during a conversation with John Howard.

    Evidently, however, President Estrada shared this Ratty-induced narcolepsy with the editor of the talking book version of Howard’s memoir. Fnar, fnar.

  74. alfred venison

    Linda i couldn’t care less but i think the difference is irrelevant because what is important is that they both end up saying its a free country where you can where what ever you want. and julia gillard says she understands people’s unease but you say they’re dogs being whistled at. -a.v.

  75. Helen

    Hilarious quote from one of our more excitable mansplainers on the What Have You Done thread (in relation to the construction of masculinity in Tasmania as working in extraction industries rather than tourism)

    See, gender politics pervades everything. Feminism is not the be all and end all of gendered analysis.

    Translation: Now that I’ve discovered that gender analysis does have a point, I’ll assert that gender politics is independent of feminism.

    Feminism has done the grunt work of gender analysis, including pointing out where men get a raw deal too. In the face of personal slurs, mockery and abuse. But then when people realise we have a point they find it necessary to put us down.

  76. jules

    Taylor @ 50

    Fundamentalism in my view is a very undesirable ideology. I do not want children raised to be fundamentalists. That doesn’t mean I want to criminalise this way of life in Australia, but I want to do nothing to promote it. Also, it must be susceptible to criticism, satire, unkind jokes, and all the other non-criminal moral sanctions that we use to discourage illiberal views and practices in our society.

    I can respect that. With one caveat.

    Criticism, unkind jokes, satire and the rest of the things you mentioned were once used against to discourage the acceptance of people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, women, lgtbi people etc etc. My parents marriage made people uncomfortable because one of them was black, one was white. My mother went to uni and studied science 50 years ago, that made people uncomfortable. When she started studying for a phd that made people uncomfortable.

    Right now the treatment of Muslims in the Australian media is disturbing. There are people who say there are no moderate Muslims. Its easy for what you’re talking about to be used to marginalise every Muslim in Australia on the basis that they’re all fundies anyway.

    I don’t like fundamentalism in any form, including from rational fundies like Richard Dawkins. Tho he’s probably the least harmful of the lot of them. Fundy Christians have a disparate level of control over our govts and public debate. if we have “sharia” law of any sort its a Christian version. So the fundies definitely deserve some serious harassment.

    I think we’re more under threat from the Christian fundies than the muslim ones right now and I’d prefer someone apply the red hot poker of satire to them more frequently.

  77. Brian

    To take up tigtog’s urgings, a few comments on Julia Gillard writes on power, purpose and Labor’s future. Gillard not only writes on power and purpose, she writes with power and purpose. It’s intelligent, clear and genuinely moving in the end, not bitter and angry.

    Her comments on climate change and asylum seeker policy were interesting.

    I think she’s wrong in thinking that the LNP have accepted needs based funding along Gonski lines.

    She’s right, of course, that the new caucus rules make it too difficult to dump a dud leader.

    Her statement that her removal “was only done – indeed expressly done – on the basis that Labor might do better at the election” is problematic. Many in caucus saw themselves following her over a cliff, and the notion that she could turn things around as delusional. There was talk in LNP circles of decapitating Labor to kill off the capacity for regeneration. Talking about purpose in a telephone box, as Labor in Qld finds itself, is not much fun.

    Nevertheless her question of what should be done with leakers and destabilisers is a good one. At the beginning of this year when I heard that caucus members were actively seeking out journalists to background against Gillard I thought they should be disendorsed.

    I think Rudd would have preferred to have the election later, to demonstrate a capacity for government, but that would have tested the patience of the electorate and run the risk of having to do further surgery on the budget. There’s no doubt he was caught short in policy development. Did Gillard have more to offer?

    Gillard’s notion of maintaining policy continuity is salutary and timely. Labor did err in distancing itself from the Hawke/Keating legacy.

    On the renewal of purpose, Gillard does express optimism and confidence in today’s generation of Labor members. I sense she’s right. There is a sense of energy and enthusiasm and a new solidarity in the remaining bunch. There is a tendency in the commentariat to emphasise bipartisanship between the newly elected LNP and the defeated Labor. This I think is a dangerous delusion.

    But if we expect the new crop will finally civilise capitalism, or achieve the goals of the French revolution, or cure the embedded pathologies of our culture, than I think we’ll have to wait a while longer.

  78. Guy

    Did not post this directly at LP but here are my thoughts on the end of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd cycle.

    I think politics with purpose is indeed something Labor should be striving for, but I think Julia gets caught up in cross-purposes herself in some of the points that touched on her removal by the caucus.

    I would like to see a good long-format interview with her on some of these issues. For me the essay was a bit long and unwieldy.

  79. PavCat

    Guy, such an interview has indeed been conducted by Anne Summers, just before Gillard was rolled, available in the free online mag Anne Summers Reports. There will also be public events in Melbourne and Sydney on, I think, September 30 and October 1; tickets sold out within hours of going on sale, but I think there are plans for live streaming or whatever.

  80. Val

    Oh well I have done my dash now by going off topic again on the beyond Kevin Julia Kevin thread (after trying to stay silent) so I may as well come here and get back on topic again (is there a penalty for that I wonder? Misusing overflow threads by going back on topic? Only joking, only joking). Also I’ve had two glasses of wine so goddess knows what will happen, but anyway.
    Anyway I quite liked Gillard’s essay – there were aspects of it that I didn’t like, I don’t like the whole me, mine, my government stuff, and she is just wrong wrong wrong on asylum seekers – but I didn’t like like Guy’s (I’m not being disrespectful, I just can’t remember his name and it’s so hard to cross back on a mobile) – I think Casey is spot on, we were just being set up for the yeah but the woman is the cause of the worlds problems thing in the end. (In a minute I will go and tackle that religious guy, because even I, brought up as moreorless a heathen, know that Eve wasn’t considered to be responsible for the Fall because unlike Adam, she wasn’t considered to be a full moral being – I will deal with patriarchal myths later).
    Anyway, wherever i was, the problem remains that all these smart young and middle aged Labor guys and Rudd supporters are telling women ( and fair minded men) ‘you’re wrong, you’re silly, we’re not going to listen to you’ – doesn’t help the left.

  81. Russell

    Val – if you’ve been reading LP for years you would know I don’t exactly qualify as a feminist, but, even I have been amused at the way the debate has gone.

    I liked Mark’s late intervention to repeatedly tell the mainly female side to stop their like/dislike discourse. Yes, even I, thought “Hang on, like/dislike, that’s emotional stuff isn’t it, it’s not like argument and evidence, which presumably is what the other, mainly male, side has been offering us …. is this really what a PhD in sociology is saying on a left-wing blog?”

    Must be a consciousness-raising spell Casey has slipped over me.

  82. Val

    I’m actually a bit of a blow in on LP Russell so I didn’t know that, but you are spot on in your latest incarnation. That was what got me in the end about Adrian’s comments – I think a very large weight of evidence says that Gillard is pretty good to work with, whereas Rudd probably not so much, so the whole let’s just say whatever we feel like saying while accusing people who don’t agree with us of ‘like/ dislike’ reasoning – yes, problematic.
    Also that article that J de M (?) linked to, I don’t know if you read it, but the theme seemed to be a bit of a conspiracy theory that in 2010 “the hate” for Rudd was growing because some malign force (possibly Julia Gillard?) was making it grow, whereas Occam’s Razor might suggest it was because Cabinet members, who actually had to work with him, increasingly hated him.
    I’m trying to do a blog post on my blog on the sexism issue and whether Rudd ( and by association Rudd supporters) can be seen as complicit in it, because it’s a complex question. I think that question, which I’ve raised a few times (and PavCat in a has also), is what’s making some people really uneasy and defensive.
    Anyway good on you and Casey for bringing you over (or at least towards) the witchy side.

  83. jules

    Val, Russ I thought Guy’s whole thread (and the article itself) was a car crash.

    It should have been called Mired in R/G/R. Not just that, to me, a man who probably wouldn’t consider himself feminist (I just appreciate people getting a fair go,) it seemed biased against Gillard in a way that seemed sexist.

    It whitewashed any responsibility for Rudd’s role in Gillards problems in a way that seemed pure stoushbait.

    I actually almost posted a rant about it here. But whats the point?

  84. Val

    Hi Jules, I think there is a point, but I’m going to do a considered analysis on my blog if I can, because I think there’s so much going on here that discussions get fragmented, and then it’s easy for those who want to, to ignore the actual themes that are running through ( whether we think them feminist or simply fair go, either of which would suggest there are some real problems with what happened to Gillard).
    Have you thought about offering to do a post on here? It would be great to see your perspective.

  85. Linda

    [email protected] post grad quals do not automatically ensure an understanding of sex based oppression. I can recall being lectured at by some insufferable academics who were clueless when it came to articulating a feminist position, and I know plenty of online feminists who never went to Uni who would run rings around them if they had the chance.

    The nice men of this country have brought us to a place where we have a person who represents the views and interests of systemic woman-hating, as prime minister. We will see a lot more shooshing of women on left wing blogs by people who in theory should know better, than has gone on here.

  86. duncanm

    Those bastards are still attacking Gillard! By sending the foreign minister to the UN, of all things!

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-16/julie-bishop-waves-a-document-at-julia-gillard/4960088

    Bishop keeps up attack on Gillard
    Updated Mon 16 Sep 2013, 11:04am AEST

    Ms Bishop says she will leave for meetings at the UN in New York on Saturday and will talk to Dr Natalegawa while she is there.

    AAP: Alan Porritt, file image

    For the memory un-holer: here

  87. tigtog

    duncanmm, you have linked to a file image used to illustrate a current story. You can tell it’s not the full story, because there are no archive tags below the image. You can also tell it’s a file image, because it’s a shot of Julie Bishop on the front bench of the House of Representatives, yet Parliament in Canberra is not currently in session. The image credit given as “AAP: Alan Porritt, file image” is also rather a giveaway.

    The full story which that image was chosen to illustrate is this: Coalition won’t be asking for Indonesia’s permission on asylum seeker policies: Bishop

    Occam’s Razor suggests that the title of that file image relates to its previous use on a past story. Isn’t it thrifty of our ABC, to reuse images on file like that?

  88. Val

    Linda @ 85
    Another very concerning thing is that by failing to clearly speak out against sexism, the left (or I would actually say the ALP in this case) enables it. There’s a lot of things Abbott couldn’t so easily do if the broad left, including the ALP, had a clear alternative.

    It’s interesting that there is clear condemnation of Abbott for only having one woman in his cabinet on another thread here, but when it comes to sexism and Gillard, the responses from some of those involved in that discussion are more equivocal. I think it’s because the question of complicity is one they are reluctant to confront.

    Just briefly also wanted to respond to Baraholka, who on the earlier thread said Casey was wrong on the genesis myth because it was Adam, not Eve, who was held responsible for the Fall. As I said before that’s an easy one – it’s because she was not seen as a full moral being ( she was made from Adam’s rib, after all). She was of course seen as the occasion of sin though – she tempted Adam. This it seems to me is similar to the way some on here insist that Gillard was also responsible for Rudd’s failures eg she made him back down on carbon pricing. It’s an interesting theme I have noticed more than once – when G made mistakes, it was a sign of her incompetence, when R made mistakes, it was because G made him do it.

    The other thing that I wanted to mention about the patriarchal myths though is the interesting way they appropriate birth, like Eve coming from Adam’s rib. I think it was Marilyn Lake (discussed in previous thread) who wrote a piece on how Australian men ‘gave birth to’ the nation at Gallipoli.

  89. Chris

    Occam’s Razor suggests that the title of that file image relates to its previous use on a past story. Isn’t it thrifty of our ABC, to reuse images on file like that?

    It certainly looks that way, though I think the ABC should fix their CMS because its pretty misleading to have the caption for the photo belonging to one story and what looks like the description for another (though it appears that the description is just the caption for the new story).

  90. jules

    it was Adam, not Eve, who was held responsible for the Fall. As I said before that’s an easy one – it’s because she was not seen as a full moral being

    When I was a kid I saw some old comic/magazine for kids, I can’t remember which one, but it was printed either just before or just after ww2, probably English in origin.

    There was one stand out story I remember. in it some girl was complaining that original sin was not her fault just cos of Eve years ago, and how she couldn’t control her curiosity. So anyway the girl was in a situation where she wasn’t sposed to look at something, but she did, and the moral was – see you and all girls are just as bad as Eve. So original sin is your fault.

    I was a kid, it was Tassie in the 70s, and I’d never heard of feminism, (tho my parents were both ground breaking in their own ways, mum got a phd in botany – i think she’s the first woman to get one there, but not sure about that). Even then that story seemed a bit unfair, and I still remember it today. It was clearly blaming Eve and every woman since for all the problems with humans sinning.

  91. tigtog

    Chris, totally agree that the CMS should be better organised than that. It’s interesting that the name of the link for the picture is purely descriptive (julie-bishop-waves-a-document-at-julia-gillard) which is exactly how it should be, yet how that picture is displayed on its image-attachment-page is pulling in two separate captions from two separate stories instead of just the image description and the date the photo was taken, which would be more useful information for a picture that may be reused on many occasions.

  92. Casey

    Re: Eden somewhere on this blog there has been a discussion about this. But I can’t find it. For a feminist take, Pav has been very instructive in the uses of the Eden story by the Patriarchy, however what Bara was suggesting was also correcto. Most mainstream Christian churches would sheet the blame home to Adam who ate the apple with his eyes open whereas Eve was the one who was tempted and deceived by the snake. The apple represents power – Godlike power and God doesn’t want to share that. He gets quite jealous about his Godhead in the old testament.

    However, that doesn’t mean that culture hasn’t decided the sin is a sexual one, and that Adam was tempted by Eve and that this interpretation has not filtered down and become embedded in culture’s dominant narratives (sorry pav) and you will be aware how far and wide this goes after I illustrated its present in Guy’s post. (Thank you for being so circumspect about my 250 comments Guy, I appreciated that you appreciated my efforts).

    It also doesn’t mean that the Jews don’t also have their own interpretations, Bara (no original sin and therefore no need for Jesus to die on the cross), and the Midrash which provides explanatory content to the Eden story including the story of Adam’s first wife Lilith who was teh naughteh! and was banished and became the undead. Which makes her my kind of gal.

    Also the bible is is text, ancient text. In the Genesis story two stories are tacked together. One is very old, one more modern and within the story there are two different discourses if you ask me.

    Also this: Eve’s curse is “Your desire shall be for your husband but he shall rule over you”.

    Feminist theologians have interpreted this as: You shall put in the place of God your husband who will rule over you.

    Do you see that patriarchy is a curse? A curse which needs to be overcome, Christians, now free yourselves from the Jensens and Pells and other Valdemorts who are holding you down.

  93. duncanm

    Tigtog, Chris,

    you’re right.. that is a very bizarre CMS.

    Original story here:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-26/julie-bishop-waves-a-document-at-julia-gillard/4392968

  94. Mark Bahnisch

    the Jensens

    One piece of good news was the end of the reign of the Jensens in Sydney.

  95. Casey

    I don’t know, Mark.

    Moore College is still run by Philip Jensen who has ensured that there are enough neo-Calvinist young bloods to keep the legacy alive for a while yet.

    I do think it is true, however, that Glen Davies is not a culture warrior who
    sees it as God’s calling upon his life to resist gay marriage and women’s emancipation the way Jensen did, and perhaps he might move the other Jensen on at that.

  96. Mark Bahnisch

    I don’t follow it closely, Casey, but I did see Julia Baird’s Synod article. I was pleased that there was a pushback against the ecclesiastical politics of personal smear.

    Now, if only Pope Francis sends us a very different type of Bishop after Cardinal Pell retires!

  97. Casey

    Sorry, what I mean to say about the apple and the tree is that they represent knowledge and therefore power and omniscience, the inference being that the humans “would become like one of us”, said God.

    The use of the collective ‘us’ has been of some interest to theologians, of course. Christians posit that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are there with God. Jews may well think it is the angels, from memory (don’t quote me I don’t quite remember).

    I was reading a book on the origins of Christianity just last night (it is good to keep up with the competition I say) and apparently Judaism did not start out monotheistically but was rather monolatry which meant it ignored the pantheon of gods which were in the ancient world in preference for the Jewish God.

    I found this rather interesting.

  98. Casey

    a pushback against the ecclesiastical politics of personal smear

    Philip Jensen circulated an email about Glenn Davies that was not very nice and it got in the SMH from memory. As it was, Rick Cannon, the preferred Jensen candidate did not even get past the first round of voting which meant both the laity and the ministry preferred Glenn Davies.

    However, it should be noted that Rick Cannon wanted to pray for the incoming Bishop when it became apparent he was trounced, which was very nice I am told, and then they had a good evening all round, I am told.

  99. Mark Bahnisch

    I read that Dean Jensen (which one is that?) was posting vituperation on his blog and then printing it out as samizdat or something, but got shamed.

  100. Casey

    *Cannon Rick Smith, I should say

  101. Casey

    I think you mean Philip Jensen, Dean of St Andrews or something etc.

    He was the one, it got all rather angsty for them. The Jensens have built and accrued power in the Sydney diocese. They themselves were acolytes of Broughton Knox who started all the trouble in Sydney. Why can’t they just be harmless inoffensive Anglicans like everywhere else in the world. No, they have to be all Calvintown, shits me.

  102. Mark Bahnisch

    Judaism did not start out monotheistically but was rather monolatry which meant it ignored the pantheon of gods which were in the ancient world in preference for the Jewish God.

    That’s right. Also, the ‘prophetic’ movements within Judaism (ancient that is) were trying to stop the worship of (among others) the traditional semitic trio of Gods/Goddesses. The text of the Jewish Bible has been heavily redacted by the winning side.

  103. Mark Bahnisch

    Yep, that’s him.

  104. Mark Bahnisch

    Calvintown

    Ha!

  105. PavCat

    Also the bible is is text, ancient text. In the Genesis story two stories are tacked together. One is very old, one more modern and within the story there are two different discourses if you ask me.

    Also this: Eve’s curse is “Your desire shall be for your husband but he shall rule over you”.

    Feminist theologians have interpreted this as: You shall put in the place of God your husband who will rule over you.

    Reinforced by Paradise Lost, which has served over the last couple of centuries as a vessel of cultural memory, on the subject of Adam and Eve: ‘He for God only, she for God in him.’

  106. Brian

    PC @ 105, I think that’s right but needs a bit more elaboration. According to Joanna Bourke the pinnacle of the Great Chain of Being under God and other angelic beings, was not male as such, rather it was European, noble male. She says that the 18th century physiognomist Johann Kaspar Lavater saw the noble European male, not as a reflection of God, rather as an expression of God.

    Women were typified in various uncomplimentary ways. She makes a big case that they did not have the same rights as animals for much of the 19th century. Also one public commentator saw them as separate, non-human beings whose role was to bring humans into being.

    She also identifies a range of other categories below the noble European male – other races, Jews, slaves, children generally and the disabled, especially mutes.

    From other evidence the essential problem may well be structural social and cultural inequalities that are introduced when tribal societies move to herding and farming. This gave rise to larger social and political structures and inequalities based on property. Usually a warrior class developed where male attributes became celebrated and admired.

    Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking, provisionally.

  107. Val

    Hey Brian and everybody that’s all fascinating but also what about the appropriation of birth in patriarchal myths – is anyone interested in that? (I think it is Mary O’Brien in particular who has written about birth and patriarchy). I find that even talking about this stuff in some circles gets you labelled as an essentialist, but perhaps because I also studied psychology once upon a time and because my MA was a history of maternity as experience, policy and discourse in twentieth century Australia, I am always interested in the role that birth (or procreation more generally), plays in our cultural and political understandings of the world.
    Engels of course if I remember rightly said that it was men wanting to know they were the father of their children and could pass on their property (once they lived in settled societies) that is the origin of patriarchy. Some feminists dismiss that, also but I think as a 19th C male explanation, it’s far more advanced than many others eg Weber who just seemed to think it was natural that men would fight over ‘women, slaves and land’.

  108. PavCat

    Brian at #106 — I was just quoting Milton, who was a massive influence on our English-speaking ancestors, to make the point that literature influences how we see things even via the trickle-down effect, much less directly. I have no idea what the actual theology of it is.

  109. Mark Bahnisch

    Engels is certainly an interesting case.

    A lot of the impetus for positing originally matriarchal social formations (and I don’t know that we can talk about societies in the sociological sense of that word) was finding what appeared to be mother Goddess figurines. There’s also a line of argument about the shift from hunter-gatherer economies to agricultural ones. But I think most of the literature now is far less ready to impose grand theory on very limited evidence. We simply can’t know on the basis of archaeology alone, in the absence of text.

    Having said that, I think myth is being revalued and rediscovered as a source of fruitful speculation about pre-literate history. That’s a useful corrective to 19th century rationalism, but again, really, short of time travel, the evidence will always lend itself to a variety of interpretations (though not to an infinite number). Myth is a good indicator of cultural values, though, and indeed a key carrier of cultural value.

  110. Val

    Mark @ 109
    In looking at Max Weber’s views I was very interested to find that his wife, Marianne, was at one time involved in public discussions about the Matriarchate, and whether it had been some kind of utopia. Apparently in the end Marianne didn’t commit to the Matriarchate camp (possibly persuaded by Max?). There was a discussion by Allen in The American Historical Review 104(4): 1085-1113 about this.
    Certainly a lot of this is about the way we imagine or understand society, rather than whether we can ever decide that there were such societies (I don’t quite get your reluctance to use this term?) on the basis of evidence, but there are certainly a lot of people now seriously positing hunter gatherer societies as in some ways a model for sustainable living, including Bill Gammadge’s ‘The biggest estate on earth’ about Aboriginal management of Australia – which has so much detail that I haven’t been able to read it all! – but fascinating.

  111. Val

    I guess that part of Gammadge’s thesis would be that hunter gatherer is too limited a term for Aboriginal societies anyway.

  112. Val

    Jarrod Diamond on the other hand seems to say that Aboriginal society was sustainable but that we (contemporary society) wouldn’t be able to accept it because it didn’t change. I think maybe it’s an over statement, but interesting idea.
    will stop for a while and do some boring data analysis now, thanks for interesting conversation!

  113. Mark Bahnisch

    Val, yes, there’s a well founded suspicion (I suspect!) that ideas of a “Golden Age” or “Earthly Paradise” derived from hunter gatherer formations (I agree it’s too limited a term generally, not just because usually there’s overlap between nomadic and settled social groups). Many years ago, the anthropologist Marshall Sahlin calculated the time effort ration involved in the various transitions humanity has gone through – I forget the figures, but “hunter gatherers” only needed about 3 hours a day to ensure they had their daily bread. So culture in the sense of story telling, myth, religion flourished through what was effectively leisure. Hence, I suspect (though I don’t know whether he was aware of it), Marx’s utopia of 2 or 3 hours a day work.

    It is interesting that these sorts of societies are being revalued in terms of sustainability, though obviously so many contexts are different.

    Thanks for the info about Marianne Weber – I didn’t know that and it’s very interesting. If I ever have any time not devoted to marking essays, I’ll follow up the reference 🙂

  114. Mark Bahnisch

    Thank you in turn for the interesting conversation 🙂

  115. Mark Bahnisch

    In a sense then, the original sin was agriculture (and climate change) 😉

    Normally, it seems, when people had the opportunity not to settle in one place, they took it. The straight line between nomadic and settlement is a wrong construct.

  116. Brian

    PC, yes to the power of literature, and oral traditions of myths, legends and songs etc before that.

    Val and Mark, I’ve been looking at bits and pieces, got some from David Anthony’s book on the horse, wheel etc (post in preparation). Also Ronald Wright and Charles Mann (?) on pre-European Americas. Currently I’m reading Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday, specifically the section on child-birthing and raising. He’s quoting from personal observation but also from observations and studies by anthropologists. There’s real data, like one tribe where a crying child was never left more than 5-10 seconds, how many different adults would handle a child in an average hour etc.

    There’s no romanticisation. Piraha women are expected to give birth alone and unassisted. He describes how one young woman suffered a breach birth on the sand within earshot of the tribe. Her screams and cries gradually became weaker. She was allowed to die, because she wasn’t strong enough to live.

    OTOH when the Agta in the Philippines give birth the whole village is in the room shouting encouragement and giving helpful advice to the mother and midwife.

    IMHO we can learn most from these societies in child-raising practices. I think young children are the most short-changed of any group, and in many cases the rich suffer more neglect and brutalisation than the poor.

    As a result we all suffer to some extent from PTSD, but now you’ll probably think it’s just me who’s mad!

    BTW the Five Nations peoples in NE America had a neat system where the the political superstructure was governed by 50 ‘chiefs’ who were always men. However, they were effectively delegates of the clan heads, who were invariably women. Seemed to work pretty well in a civilisation that actually had agriculture.

    But by and large, as Mark says, agriculture and the accumulation of possessions and divisions of labour was the wrong turn we took that our previous evolution had not prepared us for. Climate change was always a driver.

  117. Mark Bahnisch

    Brian, I have qualms about the common anthropological practice of inferring something about pre-literate historical social formations from modern ones. It’s problematic, I reckon, and ignores the degree of cultural and environmental change at work. It’s a bit like the mentality which leads to post-Mabo views that Indigenous people ought to have been frozen in time, but if they’re not, then they can’t have land rights.

  118. Su

    Val @88, if you’re interested, you could do worse than revisit this thread; http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2010/07/carbon-price-now/, ostensibly on carbon pricing, but just watch how it devolves into calls to preference Abbott in 2010 and paranoid fantasies about how Gillard was put in power purely to kill action on climate change.

    Now somebody on another thread is lecturing me on the threat Abbott poses to women now he’s in power. Hilarious in a kind of gut wrenching way.

  119. Liz

    That was an interesting trip down memory lane, Su. All these outraged blokes arguing that Abbott couldn’t be any worse than Gillard. Changed their tune now.

  120. zorronsky

    Damn! I almost threw my hard earned can at the TV screen. Amanda Vanstone, on the Drum, said that all the Labor Government’s Women were worth was a good slap in the face. How the glee is overflowing into outright hatred was expressed for all to hear.

  121. Val

    Su @ 118
    Thanks Su that was really interesting.

    I would really like to ask those who commented on that thread to consider the judgement of history. The thing that struck me the most was not just the ‘Julia Gillard as climate change denier and enemy of carbon pricing’ theme – I believe that Gillard was, as she said, determined to put a price on carbon, but there’s no doubt the Greens pushed her into doing so earlier than she had thought possible – but the ‘Julia Gillard as enemy of education funding reform and architect of the “running sore” of BER’ theme, in this article from Mark Bahnisch which was linked in that thread: http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/07/nicholas-stuarts-rudds-way-and-the-spectre-of-kevin07.html.

    Given that education funding reform was Gillard’s proudest achievement and that there is no case for suggesting that anyone pushed her into it, and that the BER was a successful scheme and an effective stimulus, there is a clear case for Mark to answer on this.

    Note that also Mark apparently uncritically accepted the statement that Peter Garrett needed to be closely supervised by Kevin Rudd. Given that we now know that Garrett had warned Rudd about the risks of the household insulation scheme, and that Rudd dropped Garrett in it when things looked bad (even though, sadly, the rate of workplace deaths in the household insulation scheme was actually no higher than the normal rate), surely Mark (and other Rudd supporters) should now admit that as evidence that goes to Rudd’s character.

    Returning to the issue of Gillard’s record on education funding reform and the BER, I believe that Mark should show some leadership on this blog, and admit that he was too ready to believe bad things about Gillard, and give serious consideration to the possible role of unconscious sexism in this. Perhaps that might lead others on this blog to reflect also on their exaggerated bagging of Gillard, whether unconscious sexism played a part in this, and whether they might have thereby assisted the Abbott victory.

    (PS I’ve liked a lot of the stuff Fran Barlow has written in other places, so I was pretty dismayed about some of the stuff she was writing on that thread, including her views about the apparent non- existence of unconscious sexism. You would think an educator might understand how bias works!)

  122. Linda

    Val @”I think it’s because the question of complicity is one they are reluctant to confront.”

    Well yeah, they have demonstrated this pretty consistently for many centuries now. It’s like the mother of all zombie stoushes, and ultimately they behave in ways that are consistent with principles of homeostasis to ensure the survival of the group, with male privilege intact. This is why I said previously (on which thread I do not recall), that some of us have accepted that to keep repeating the same polite conversations around this, is effectively getting us nowhere. How many more generations do we want to perservere with a circular strategy that is non- evidence based?

  123. Val

    Linda @ 122
    So what do you think we should do?

  124. Val

    Linda – Actually it’s pretty funny you apparently seeing me as someone who keeps having “polite” conversations, seeing as how I recently told someone to F off on another thread ( rather to my own embarrassment in fact). But I presume you are not advocating rude conversations either – which would only end up getting me banned from the site, anyway.

  125. jungney

    Liz @ 119:

    All these outraged blokes arguing that Abbott couldn’t be any worse than Gillard…

    Where? Can you name some of them? When and what did they say, these traitors to the cause? Report them to the Politbureau now, I insist!

  126. Val

    Well I can’t let this chance go by. Jungney, Linda has been accusing me of having too many polite conversations. Could you speak in my defence?

  127. Linda

    Val @ 124 “Linda – Actually it’s pretty funny you apparently seeing me as someone who keeps having “polite” conversations, seeing as how I recently told someone to F off on another thread ( rather to my own embarrassment in fact). But I presume you are not advocating rude conversations either – which would only end up getting me banned from the site, anyway.”

    No, actually I meant the “polite conversations” reference as an historical point, and I do love your impoliteness, like really really.

    I’m just trying to advance a radical feminist perspective on a blog that has traditionally nurtured a radical male supremacist perspective.

    I am not advocating anything other than we stop and acknowledge the actual evidence.

  128. Val

    Linda, so it’s interesting you think this blog has traditionally nurtured a radical male supremacist perspective – that’s pretty strong. You’ve probably been here longer than me, but I just thought it was mainly unconscious sexism (except for some who seem to be agent provocateurs from mars, mentioning no names, not a thousand miles away).
    How would you see it from a radical feminist perspective? would be really interested to see you analyse it from that viewpoint.

  129. Brian

    Liz @ 119:

    All these outraged blokes arguing that Abbott couldn’t be any worse than Gillard.

    I’ve spent a bit of time on this tonight. I counted five up to @ 108 when you complained about “progressive men willing to throw women under the bus by advocating a vote for Abbott.”

    One was definitely not progressive, one was a woman and one was of indeterminate gender, but probably a man.

    There were several meetings between December and April. Rudd dithered, Gillard it seems was steadfastly against going to a DD and in favour of waiting until consensus could be achieved with the LNP at least from January. Rudd then took the decision to defer the CPRS and wait until international consensus was achieved.

    Mark was carefully, IMO, following the information available at the time. There was conflict between the accounts of Lenore Taylor and those of Hartcher and Stuart. This has not been resolved by later accounts I know of. Read Mark’s comment here, which was entirely justified at the time.

    On several threads lately there has been a dogged unwillingness to accept uncertainty and a reversal of the onus of proof. That is, Rudd is held guilty of leaking until he proves his innocence. The threads have closed before I could say all that was needed to be said. I’m not going to do it now. There is a determination to see Rudd as wholly motivated by revenge from the day he was rolled, reckless of the effects on the Party, the country and his friends. That’s what K-A Walsh says in her summing up.

    To me it conflicts with what we know. There is another account which suits the facts better and the inconvenient phenomenon that many sensible colleagues, including Maxine McKew who worked for Gillard, thought highly of Rudd and supported him. The three wise men did not say they knew who leaked, nor did Combet or Smith. Emerson’s rant was garbled and I suspect irrelevant. But when Linda @ 127 calls LP “a blog that has traditionally nurtured a radical male supremacist perspective” I for one will no longer engage.

  130. Su

    You are applying a criminal law standard in a place where it does not belong, politics, Brian, “onus of proof”, beyond reasonable doubt. A balance of probabilities is all we need to draw reasonable conclusions. This burden of proof stuff never applied here prior to this, it certainly wasn’t required when people were commenting about Gillard, that’s for sure. Combet did say that the leaks emanated from Rudd, when he responded to Jones probing with “evidently”. Balance of probabilities.

    Mark said that “it was clear” that Gillard had been the chief urger for dropping the ETS, in was in response to that claim, a claim you will note, of certainty, that I quoted Lenore Taylor, now you are quoting Mark as if it was I who was expressing certainty. That is a total misrepresentation of the exchange, something that has happened a lot lately. I’d like you to acknowledge the true context, because I have had enough of this kind of sly misrepresentation of my arguments.

  131. Liz

    Brian, Su has made the argument I’d want to in a much more articulate manner than I would. So, I won’t add much. Except to repeat that Combet explicitly stated it was Rudd who leaked. And that your ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard of evidence which you insist must be used when criticising Rudd, was never used when criticising Gillard.

    My point was more to look at the irony of people being so appalled at the awfulness of Gillard in 2010, that they would wish Abbott on us. And now they have to cope with Abbott after Gillard doing a not too bad job at all. And she put a price on carbon. Shock! Horror! And implemented other worthwhile policies that weren’t even on the horizon then.

  132. Su

    Oh bugger it, if a job wants doing;
    Mark: The ultimate decision was Rudd’s but it’s very clear that Gillard was the strongest proponent of abandoning the ETS in the government, with Swan a close second.

    Me:With respect Mark, that is a rewriting of history. On June 5th Lenore Taylor wrote:

    Treasurer Wayne Swan argued that since a delay was inevitable the government had to be clear about it, because it had big ramifications for the budget…
    In the end Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard agreed with Swan. Tanner, according to sources, did not. Rudd remained torn but finally agreed it should be removed from the budget, a decision that meant it was deferred for at least another three years.

    Mark:@su, that’s contradicted by Hartcher and Stuart.

    The point’s been made before that none of this can be known for certain, and in either event, Gillard is on what I regard as the wrong side of this issue, whether or not the impetus first came from her or Swan.

    Me:If you are talking about Hartcher’s most recent article, the one linked above, he is almost silent on Swan’s role. I don’t know whether his account is correct but it certainly rewrites the version of events that was current prior to June 24.

    So Mark was very certain, then admitted he couldn’t be certain and said that in either case Gillard stood on the wrong side, which is true, because although we don’t know beyond reasonable doubt exactly what happened, the balance of probabilities is that she convinced Rudd to drop it with the additional urging of Swan, whatever their respective roles in that process. We don’t need her fracking signed confession.

  133. Su

    Crossed with Liz again! Must remember to refresh.

  134. PavCat

    But when Linda @ 127 calls LP “a blog that has traditionally nurtured a radical male supremacist perspective” I for one will no longer engage.

    Fair do’s. I’ve been reading and commenting here since 2004, and while I have been repeatedly gobsmacked and increasingly distressed during any gender-based discussion by the pattern of (1) obliviousness, (2) resistance, (3) denial and (4) sulking that emerges, watching most of the male commenters and bloggers move this way and that in an inchoate, shifting mass, like krill, following the currents of 1-4 above — while all of that is true and has sometimes driven me to drink, if Liz thinks LP nurtures a radical male supremacist perspective then I think she needs to get out more. Maybe check out Stormfront, meet a few bikies, that sort of thing.

  135. PavCat

    Ack, sorry, not Liz — Linda. Apologies!

  136. PavCat

    Wotthehell archy, all you sheilas look the same to me.

  137. Brian

    Two points. A balance of probabilities approach IMO leads one to a different conclusion from the one you’ve been propagating. Even then unless you have a ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ situation it is not admissible to claim such unless that’s how the evidence sits. It doesn’t. K-A Walsh claims certainty, as do many caucus members. They have no warrant for this, nor does Cassidy. In my view the probabilities point elsewhere, but all I’m insisting on is uncertainty.

    I can’t remember reading the 2010 thread at the time, but was deeply disappointed with Gillard’s response to the three issues she nominated as critical in Labor ‘losing it’s way’. Whether she personally believed in urgent action on climate change took a long time to establish, way beyond the conclusion of the ETS with the Greens and indies, which on face value could have been political expediency. She did appear to be on the wrong side of the issue back then.

    At the time Mark thought Gillard’s attaining of power was an offence to democratic process. Her solutions to the issues she claimed as justification were amateurish at best, so a severe judgement on her performance as a political leader as deeply disappointing would be no surprise. Mark may have a different view of his position at the time which he’ll comment on, if he wants to.

    My account of the Rudd/Gillard actions on climate change is here, written in June 2011. I think it’s fair, not dissimilar to Hartcher’s account on the facts, which has more detail about the earlier interactions. I would have been more sympathetic and less censorious about the interpretation.

    But really the notion that all this, however you argue the positions, amounts to evidence of “nurturing a radical male supremacist perspective” is absurd. I want to spend my time elsewhere.

  138. Liz

    I’d also add that I wouldn’t trust anything Hartcher has to say. He was plainly on the drip from Rudd and was one of the chief shit stirrers in Rudd’s campaign to get his job back.

  139. Mark Bahnisch

    Su, I see you’ve mentioned stuff I said years ago. I am simply not that interested at the moment in what went on then, so I won’t be revisiting it. I think it would be unproductive.

  140. Liz

    That’s right Brian. Multiple Cabinet members (not Caucus members) say it’s Rudd. But, you say, on the balance of probabilities the evidence points elsewhere. So, what’s the evidence to which you’re referring?

  141. paul burns

    I just checked out Stormfront, which thanks be to God, does not appear to have a branch in Australia. The rest of you, don’t bother to satisfy your curiosity. I fell sick in the stomach just reading the Wikipedia account.
    Linda, none of the blokes on this site, even the RWDBS, are anything like that lot.

  142. Val

    Brian @ 129
    Brian I haven’t commented on the leaking issue because I don’t know the facts. I’d suggest Occam’s Razor again however, it was someone who wanted to undermine Gillard. Please note I am not saying more than that.

    For a long time I thought much of the leadership stuff was media beat up – ultimately I realised it could not all be. I read Kerry Anne Walsh carefully, I don’t accept all she said but on the whole I found it persuasive because there is just so much evidence. As to the type of evidence, I refer you to what PavCat has said several times.

    The problem that has been going on here is that there are a number of people, including most of the women commenting, who feel that Kevin Rudd behaved badly. I also believe and I think others believe, that sexism played a part in Gillard’s loss of popularity, that it was used as a weapon against her by the right, and that the actions of Rudd and his supporters benefited from this – that they were complicit.

    I have been have repeatedly misrepresented and at times ridiculed for saying this, but almost no Rudd supporters have honestly engaged with it. Both yourself and Mark B, while not being overtly rude, have patronised myself and others on this site by saying or suggesting that we are just biased and that it’s all about who we “like”. The possibility that you may be biased does not seem to enter your minds.

    Re the Gillard made Rudd do it argument – what happened to the convention that a leader takes responsibility for his own decisions? My father used to blame my mother for a poor decision he took in his life – in his old age, after she was dead, I spoke to him about this and he agreed it was wrong and that he should take responsibility for his own choices. Pity it took so long, but he did in the end – pity the Rudd supporters here can’t do that, but have to continue the old ‘the woman made me do it’ line. You have been treated to a brilliant exposition of this tradition by Casey – why not learn from this?

    You may choose not to engage with Linda for suggesting a radical male supremacist perspective, but I’ve had worse than that said about me here. I’ve been thinking about what Linda said a bit, because it did surprise me, and I’m not necessarily sure she meant it in the way you think – however perhaps we should wait for her explanation.

    In the meantime you have once again not engaged with my questions. You are keen on the verdict of history Brian, and there are some things we know now that were not known at the time when that thread was written.

    For one thing, the Gillard government introduced a carbon price and supporting mechanisms, such as the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which I think may be equally or more important than the carbon price. As I’ve said, I believe Gillard was committed to putting a price on carbon, as she said. I also believe that she saw building a community consensus as the best way of getting there. Who’s now to say she wasn’t right, given that it now seems all that has been achieved may be undone by Abbott? The wish to build a consensus fits with what I know of her as a person. It may look odd or weak to some, but that is partly because we have thousands of years of adversarial patriarchal politics influencing our views.

    Whatever the finer points, surely you must agree that the statements about Gillard being a denier and as bad as Abbott have been shown to be wrong and exaggerated? As I said, however, I also know that she was pushed into acting earlier than she planned on carbon price by the Greens and that the associated mechanisms were particularly advocated by the Greens, so I chose not to make that the main point of my argument above.

    Where you can clearly see bias and unfair judgements is in Mark’s discussion (on The Drum, linked from the thread in question) of the Rudd biographer’s book. in this article Mark made, or uncritically accepted, claims or suggestions that Gillard was weak on, and potentially undermining, education funding reform and that the BER was a “running sore”. History, as I said, has conclusively proved those claims to be wrong, and that is why I am challenging Mark to reflect on his views and consider whether bias and unconscious sexism may have affected them.

    The action on climate change which was taken by the Gillard government, as part of an ALP-Greens agreement, was in my view the first serious step taken by an Australian government to address climate change. It looks to the future of our children and grandchildren, as does education funding reform. Similarly, the apology to the stolen generation, for which I give Kevin Rudd full credit, looked to heal some of the wounds of our past.

    The difference with the climate change measures however is that we now look set to lose them. It makes my heart sink. I have been saying for a long time to people like those on the thread in question, stop the mindless bagging of Gillard because it will only contribute to an Abbott victory, and it did. I am not happy to be right.

    If I could see it, why couldn’t they? Why were they compelled to do this exaggerated and unfounded bagging of Gillard, even though it was damaging their own cause?

    Finally I return to my challenge: the LNP drew on sexism in its portrayal of the Gillard government as incompetent and untrustworthy. Rudd and his supporters contributed to the perception of incompetence by constant talk of, as well as actual, leadership challenges. These two factors in my view – sexism and the undermining by Rudd – had a synergistic effect, contributing to a loss of support for Gillard and the government. Once her position became bad enough, Rudd took over – thereby benefiting from sexism. I hold Rudd and his supporters partly responsible for the fact that we now have an Abbott government ( I won’t even talk about the male domination in it, because it’s so obvious) and are likely to lose all the progress we have made on climate change.

    I challenge you to engage with that, and I challenge you to reflect whether you have been influenced by unconscious sexism, or at the very least complicit with sexism in Australian politics.

  143. Su

    Stop bringing Linda into this, Brian, you are deliberately trying to mashup your responses to me so as to make it seem like I take Linda’s stance, I do not.

    Your first para is a little confused, I am claiming that you can’t dismiss multiple sources from within the party and the gallery, that a balance of probabilities suggests those sources have a point. You haven’t actually advanced any source in rebuttal, except yet another anonymous one who hasn’t even published that view, it is your hearsay. What has McKew got to do with anything? She may have liked Rudd, Rudd may be a very personable fellow, I would not know, has she published some evidence? You want to set Smith, Combet & Emerson against McKew in some contest of reliability. Good luck with that.

    They have no warrant for this

    Again with the assertions of certainty where there is none, just like Mark. You do not know what warrant the three have for saying what they have, a balance of probabilities suggests they have some basis for their assertions.

    I am taking your acknowledgement that you misrepresented my exchange with Mark as read, because I sure as hell know by now not to expect a respectful, explicit acknowledgement.

  144. Su

    Mark, Brian quoted your comment to me and I responded. My original comment didn’t refer to you but the more head asplodey commenters of the time who saw a big coal conspiracy in Gillard’s ascension and Lovell et al who was all, “wot, who cares about RU486 etc., Abbott would be fine at least he has a CC policy.”.

  145. Val

    Ok Paul @ 141, I haven’t looked at the link and I don’t want to, but I take it back that I’ve been called worse things than that here. Being accused of ‘sounding like’ a haughty middle class woman who wants to put other women down doesn’t quite cut it, I suppose.

    However I do think that Linda may not have meant this phrase in the way you are interpreting it, so perhaps we should give her a chance to explain.

  146. paul burns

    As we speak/write Tony Abbott is disbanding/or has just disbanded the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
    Anybody jumping up and down about that?

  147. paul burns

    Val @ 145,
    I just italicised it. I didn’t link it. No worries; you haven’t been coming to LP long enough to realise I very very rarely link to ultra-right wing sites. People can look ’em up if they want to. But I ain’t gonna help them find the shite.

  148. Val

    Paul @ 146
    Yes Paul I am jumping up and down about the loss of the GEFC and I will continue to do so, sad of heart though I am about the way this cause has been undermined by stupid mindless anti Gillard rhetoric.
    Read what I said above and what I said just before the election http://fairgreenplanet.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/wepublichealth-lnp-fails-us-all-on.html

    Re @ 147 the “link” yeah sorry I realised that after I’d pressed post – and of course you are right not to link to such sites.

  149. paul burns

    Apart from which, apart from Iron Man, which is about 100 years old, and rather silly, and that blackshirted Single Fathers’ Group of which John Howard is the patron and which I only know from TV, I wouldn’t have a clue what male supremacist sites, organisations etc, are about nowadays and nor am I the slightest bit interested in them. If I turned up at one they’d probably beat me up and leave me bleeding in the gutter.
    I only know about Stormfront because PavCat mentioned it.

  150. paul burns

    Val @ 148,
    Checked your blog. (Which I follow when you link to it.)
    David Suzuki was brilliant in this morning’s Herald.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-will-doom-future-generations-if-he-ditches-carbon-tax-20130917-2tx0j.html

  151. PavCat

    Linda may not have meant this phrase in the way you are interpreting it

    Val, c’mon. You must know by now where my sympathies lie in this debate, but my first loyalty is to language. ‘Radical male supremacist’ means what it means.

  152. Paul Norton

    Yes, I’ve considered the possibility that Linda was engaging in a form of irony with that comment, but on the balance of probabilities, if not beyond reasonable doubt, I believe the plain meaning of the words to be what was intended, at least until Linda advises otherwise.

  153. adrian

    I found it quite interesting reading through that thread from 2010.

    Maybe I am guilty of unconscious sexism, but I saw a lot of hurt and disillusioned people who believed that the PM for whom they voted had not only been removed for no good reason, but actually to the detriment of progressive politics.
    If say Swan had replaced Rudd the hurt and opposition would have been similar in my opinion FWIW.

    As events transpired both ‘sides’ can claim some vindication and it may be a while, if ever, until the ‘facts’ can be reasonably established.

    I think that most of the people who were so vehement in their opposition to Gillard are now focusing on the common enemy, and the undoubted destruction that they will inflict upon this country.

    To those who believe that what happened to Gillard was due mainly to misogyny in the Australian community in general, and misogyny from Labor supporters in particular, nothing I or anyone else will say will make a scrap of difference.

    However it’s an enduring pity that the effective combination of Rudd/Gillard could not have been tested in an election.
    As it was, both were fundamentally unsuited to the roles that they were ‘given’ in 2010, and look what we have ended up with as a result.

    More in sorrow than anger etc…

  154. Brian

    Liz, @ 140, if I return to the issue I’ll do it later in a more comprehensive post. But this is shorthand. There was only one leak that made a difference, that was the ‘old Julia’ leak. I think it made little difference in the 2010 election result, which Gillard comprehensively won in NSW, Vic, Tas and SA. She dropped two seats in WA, one in NT and nine in Qld. The overwhelming factor here was the flatlining of the Qld economy which was underperforming, for once, the other Australian states.

    However, as Anne Summers said, the leak affected the personal standing of Gillard and played into later sexist attacks from the media, which were comprehensive and vile. In effect the leak had more impact of later events than the 2010 election.

    That leak came from cabinet, not the ‘gang of four’ as asserted by Emerson.

    As to the source, the likeliest are someone from Rudd’s office, a public servant from his department (PMC), or the same via another cabinet minister. Rudd’s office was disbanded. It’s unlikely the leaker consulted Rudd beforehand, so he probably had no control. He may subsequently know who did it, and I think that is actually likely.

    Then you have to get into Rudd’s motivation, then and later, in seeking to reclaim the PMship. Not even Walsh claims he did much if anything before mid-2011 when she started her diary. At that time the polls were Labor/LNP 39/61 at Nielsen and 41/59 at Newspoll. The polls are at ABC election site, I’m in a rush now). Things had gone to shit. Rudd at this time could reasonably have felt that he could do a better job and in the interests of the party and the country he should.

    That’s it briefly. After that it gets complicated, so I’ll leave that until another day, if I get around to it.

  155. Liz

    In a little bit of good news, Mirabella has conceded Indi. Interestingly, on the same day the Vic government has stepped in to replace the local council with administrators. Apparently, the behaviour of that council has been one of the issues that impacted on Mirabella’s vote in a negative way. I’ve been told she involved herself in very unhelpful ways. All politics are local.

  156. Liz

    Hang on, Brian. You’ve just asserted who the leaker maybe. You haven’t provided any evidence to back up that assertion.

  157. Val

    PavCat @ 151 and Paul N @ 152
    No I just meant that Linda may not have understood the dominant usage of that term. I don’t know Linda, but not everyone is an academic.

  158. PavCat

    As we speak/write Tony Abbott is disbanding/or has just disbanded the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
    Anybody jumping up and down about that?

    Paul at #146, this is exactly, but exactly, the kind of thing that strikes despair into the hearts of the women who are still brave or silly enough to try to participate here. Can’t you see what you are doing? What your comment appears to be saying is “I’m bored with this trivial conversation about sexism and gender, so I’m going to change the subject, despite the fact that the topic I’m proposing instead has been discussed and will continue to be discussed in plenty of other available threads, and while I’m at it I will trivialise these women’s concerns by calling their comments ‘jumping up and down’.”

    And please, please don’t reply by saying that teh wimminz are being nasty to you again.

  159. jungney

    Yes Adrian. I reread that thread as well and don’t resile from anything I wrote at the time under another name. I wasn’t paying close attention at the time of Rudd’s sacking; I knew he was in trouble, in my own view, and that was based on his ineptitude in backing down from the carbon trading scheme and as well in failing to seek and get broad community and party support for the MRRT. The latter ought to have been straightforward given the Henry tax report. Despite this, his replacement by Gillard was a surprise to me, to say the least. Hopefully replacing a successful, election winning first term PM will remain a unique event.

    As to sexism in the Australian community at large, agreed, it is a serious and ongoing problem for democracy. As for the sexism of respondents and writers here: how about the accusation be leveled when there is clear and incontrovertible evidence of same in the use of language or otherwise derogatory attitudes. Otherwise it remains an unpleasant insinuation and not much else.

  160. Paul Norton

    Adrian @153:

    To those who believe that what happened to Gillard was due mainly to misogyny in the Australian community in general, and misogyny from Labor supporters in particular, nothing I or anyone else will say will make a scrap of difference.

    Well I for one don’t believe it’s as simple as misogyny being either wholly or mainly to blame, or not at all or only slightly to blame, and I don’t think many participants in these discussions would attempt to argue either side of that ledger. What I think can be, and has been, argued is that misogyny was a significant factor, and that by the time of the leadership struggles of the first half of 2013 it had been rendered practically impossible to have a position pro- or anti-Gillard – whatever one’s reasons for doing so – on those events that did not have consequences one way or another for the status of women in Australian public life and for the legitimisation, or otherwise, of sexism and misogyny. I also think that it is possible to make this argument even if one subscribes to a benign interpretation of Rudd’s role in the whole affair.

  161. PavCat

    To those who believe that what happened to Gillard was due mainly to misogyny in the Australian community in general, and misogyny from Labor supporters in particular, nothing I or anyone else will say will make a scrap of difference.

    And clearly, Adrian, the same is true of you in reverse. The difference is that the concrete evidence for the misogyny case is overwhelming.

  162. Paul Norton

    What I think also must be said, as a matter of fairness, is that there were people who were fully cognisant of the adverse consequences for women and gender politics in this country of Gillard being deposed as leader in the circumstances in which she was, yet who honestly believed that things had reached a pass where this price had to be paid to purchase the chance of averting the greater evil (including, and perhaps especially, for women and gender politics) of an Abbott Coalition government with possible control of the Senate. I believe that this position, or something like it, was/is held by some protagonists at this blog, and that the discussion would be improved if they could state lucidly whether this was/is indeed their position.

  163. Helen

    Was just about to jump in to say that Mirabella’s conceded in Indi, but Liz got there before me… Congratulations Cathy McGowan.

  164. Val

    Adrian @ 153
    Thanks for your comment.

    I don’t think anyone likes to be thought a pedant, but as PavCat says, words are important, and I used my words very carefully. I am talking about “sexism” being used by the LNP, and “unconscious sexism” or “complicity” by Rudd supporters, and the latter “partly” contributing to an LNP victory.

    That’s my argument and those words are important. I thought much of your comment was reasonable and I understand what you are saying, but I think talking about “misogyny” amongst the community and ALP supporters being “mainly” responsible for the LNP victory, is certainly a misrepresentation of what I was saying and thereby exempts people from having to respond to what I was saying.

    At least the misrepresentation I’m seeing now isn’t contemptuous, as it has been sometimes in past threads, so that’s a step forward. However, I think it’s pretty obvious that there is still a lot of evasion happening here, not least from Mark. I know it’s not easy to respond to this kind of critique, but I think people should try. Without acknowledging the mistakes of the past you can’t go forward. Surely left wing people know that?

  165. Val

    Ha interesting PavCat has responded differently!
    So just to clarify, I’m happy to say misogyny contributed to the LNP win, it’s just that I carefully didn’t accuse Rudd supporters on this site of all being misogynists, because I don’t think that’s true.

  166. Val

    Congratulations to Cathy McGowan also, that is good news.

  167. Mark Bahnisch

    However, I think it’s pretty obvious that there is still a lot of evasion happening here, not least from Mark.

    Well, Val:

    (1) I think it’s more productive to analyse misogyny in politics separately from personalities and the ins and outs of the leadership stuff;
    (2) I’m busy! I teach five days a week this semester. So what might look like “evasion” might be lack of time. I also don’t know that I’m bound to participate in this discussion if I don’t choose to.

  168. Mark Bahnisch

    Can I just point out a few things?

    We do have a comments policy and it applies to this thread as much as anywhere else.

    It specifically precludes attribution of motives or discussion of motivations of commenters, it specifically precludes meta, and it specifically precludes claims that commenters are motivated by a group identity.

    I really would like people to take note of this.

    If folks want to talk about Gillard/Rudd ad infinitum, that’s your choice. But it’s really not open to you to cast aspersions on those who don’t so choose, or to claim some sort of intent behind that choice. And you need, whatever the topic, to comply with the comments policy.

    Thanks.

  169. Val

    Paul @ 162
    Your comment goes to my point about complicity and I’ve thought about that. I would think that some Rudd supporters just didn’t care and they are complicit, but others may have faced a genuine moral dilemma. However
    – I’m saying that what got Gillard to that point was (at least in part) the synergistic effects of a sexist campaign by the LNP and the undermining by Rudd) – your point doesn’t respond to that
    And
    – even if there were a genuine moral dilemma, there still should be a acknowledgement and apology now

    It’s like if you had a really bad boss (eg the australian people) who was giving your team leader a hard time for sexist reasons. You felt it was important to put yourself forward as team leader because the job your team was doing was important. You’re still complicit, and you should acknowledge it.

  170. Chris

    In a little bit of good news, Mirabella has conceded Indi.

    Good news and Mirabella has earned some respect in my eyes. Rather than going to the courts and persisting on pushing it through a recount she has conceded and publicly accepted responsibility for the result. Unlike Palmer who has started stoking conspiracy theories of a corrupt AEC.

  171. Helen

    Pav @158: A left wing person who I very much respect just posted along similar lines on Facebook yesterday – i.e. should we REALLY be paying so much attention to the dearth of women in the Liberal cabinet? don’t we have more Important things to worry about?

    Honestly, I don’t know why even reasonable people are so taken with the idea that we can marginalise 51% of the adult population, expecially given that that 51% are reliably outdoing the other 49% in school and university. And people think this isn’t important. It’s huge, people.

  172. Val

    Ok Mark, fair enough point about time, sorry. I hope you will respond when you have time.

    You can’t analyse misogyny without talking about people and cases. Sorry but that is – can’t think of polite way of putting way of putting it! Evasion?

  173. Mindy

    @Helen – that position has been clarified somewhat today and isn’t actually saying that we have more important things to worry about – thankfully. More that why is everyone pretending to be or even genuinely surprised at Abbott being Abbott.

  174. adrian

    And clearly, Adrian, the same is true of you in reverse. The difference is that the concrete evidence for the misogyny case is overwhelming.

    To be clear, I think that there was a large element of misogyny in what happened to Gillard and the electorate and particularly the media’s reaction to her. That this country has a deep seated problem in this area is undoubted.
    But I think that there were other, possibly more significant contributing reasons, and maybe as Mark suggests it’s better to look at the whole problem separate from the Rudd/Gillard prism.

    Val, if I misrepresented what you were saying it was a result of faulty speed reading/doing three things at once etc etc, so it was certainly not intentional.

  175. Helen

    Good news and Mirabella has earned some respect in my eyes. Rather than going to the courts and persisting on pushing it through a recount she has conceded and publicly accepted responsibility for the result. Unlike Palmer

    It shows what a low bar it is for the Liberals, though, when we’re pleasantly surprised when they show a bit ot basic common decency. Surely “unlike Palmer” is a given for any rational human 😀

  176. Mark Bahnisch

    Val, yes, I agree.

    But I’m a sociologist so I like to go from the particular from the general 😉

    I also think there’s some value in letting dust settle before doing the work of analysis.

  177. Mindy

    @Val – Linda knows her stuff.

    @Mark – I just cannot believe that you put earning a living above talking about Rudd v Gillard. Seriously man where are your priorities! [do I need a sarcasm tag?]

  178. Helen

    Point taken Mindy – don’t Facebook during the day so I’ll check tomoz probably (same problem as Mark – too busy!)

  179. Mark Bahnisch

    don’t we have more Important things to worry about?

    Interesting to see the pushback against Abbott in the Fin Review from biz today. He just hasn’t noticed that the corporate world has moved (not far enough) on from the sorts of bullshit arguments he uses to justify the dearth of women in the ministry. He’s in the Canberra bubble, despite all this populism.

    Though I still think the guy is being deliberate, pandering to the boofy bloke vote, #boltcommenters, etc, and it accords with his skewed view of the world.

  180. Val

    Erm Paul @ 162, Sorry I think my comment @ 169 may have suggested that you held the position you’re describing, which I don’t think is the case?

    My comment still applies to the position you’ve described as such though.

  181. Mark Bahnisch

    Mindy, I wish I had the leisure! 😉 I’m mostly earning the living of several banks to whom I owe money…

  182. Mindy

    Bloody banks, the Government should do something!

  183. paul burns

    Helen @ 171,
    The problem here is that Abbott has form in putting up sexism as a means of distracting the Left from whatever other dastardly deeds he might be doing at the time. He did it consistently during the election and because of his intentional “sexist gaffes” taking up the attention of the media, avoided much-needed scrutiny of other policies, eg environmental, social welfare, and, it would appear Aboriginal from what came out yesterday about his proposed welfare cuts there. Abbott is using the disparagement of womens’ political aspirations (even the way he did it – the “they can knock on the door” stuff) as a means of distraction to remain unexamined in many other areas And we should not fall for it.
    Its not a question of peopler like me trivialising or putting up distractions about conversations about sexism, the role of women in politics etc. Its what Abbott is doing about using those issues to distract from equally important issues. And we’re falling for it. And its my bet he is going to keep on doing all through his term of office, especially when there is something coming up he doesn’t want people to notice.

  184. Val

    Mark ( when you have time, and I am not trying to be meta) I think an overly literal interpretation of the guidelines about not imputing motivation could preclude any discussion of sexism. If I say that people made exaggerated criticisms of Gillard and may have been influenced by unconscious sexism, I could be said to be talking about motivation. However given that sexism is predominantly an unconscious form of bias, there is pretty well no other way to talk about it.

  185. Russell

    Adrian writes: “If say Swan had replaced Rudd the hurt and opposition would have been similar in my opinion FWIW”

    and Jungney wrote: “As for the sexism of respondents and writers here: how about the accusation be leveled when there is clear and incontrovertible evidence of same in the use of language ”

    I did a quick search of the LP archive and found myself on July 2011:

    “But take for example a recent thread here where someone called Gillard an ideolgical hooker (and I don’t recall any objections to it), which is a bit like Abbott saying that “Julia is faking it” on refugee policy.

    Why are blokes using this sexual language to talk about her, dismiss her? Blokes calling a male politician a whore isn’t quite the same thing is it? Men know that only women are really hookers, whores – only women really belong in that role, the role that has the quality of cheap, trashy, valueless, disposable.

    A woman has made it to a symbolically powerful position – this language is one way to bring her right down. It helps men regain power in their own minds. I reckon that before Gillard became PM any use of this kind of language about her would have been picked up and denounced on blogs like this one. Didn’t happen.”

    So, no, I don’t think Swan would have been called a whore, and I’m sure there are plenty of other comments in that archive that showed quite a sexist response to Gillard becoming PM.

  186. Mark Bahnisch

    Val, sure, that may be fair enough.

    I just don’t want to see flat accusations made against others (and to my mind, comments about “teh wimminz” are just as bad!).

    I think everyone just needs to strike a balance and remember to engage interlocutors with respect.

  187. Russell

    Careless typing – that comment of mine was July 11, 2010

  188. Chris

    What I think also must be said, as a matter of fairness, is that there were people who were fully cognisant of the adverse consequences for women and gender politics in this country of Gillard being deposed as leader in the circumstances in which she was, yet who honestly believed that things had reached a pass where this price had to be paid to purchase the chance of averting the greater evil (including, and perhaps especially, for women and gender politics) of an Abbott Coalition government with possible control of the Senate.

    I think towards the end it was reasonably clear that (for whatever reasons) the general public had stopped listening to what the ALP and Gillard were saying. Both Abbott and Gillard were polling better when they weren’t around (eg the ALP bump over Christmas, or Abbott’s improvements when he travelled overseas).

    Even if Rudd has somehow left government without triggering a bi-election, with polling showing a primary vote in the 20s the media would have just started on the Shorten vs Gillard rumours. As soon as Rudd’s numbers were looking good after becoming PM again – the media started up the Turnbull vs Abbott leadership.

    The ALP needed a circuit breaker of some kind – whether it was Shorten, Plibersek, Albanese or Rudd who took over didn’t really matter and I think all of them would have got a significant temporary bump in the polls, enough to avoid Abbott getting a majority in the Senate which was looking like a real possibility. Rudd was the most expendable of potential leaders though.

    Was it worth the cost in the end? I don’t think we’ll ever really be able to tell – I think though an Abbott goverment with a large majority and senate control would act very differently to one with a much smaller majority and that has not negotiate.

    Interesting to see the pushback against Abbott in the Fin Review from biz today. He just hasn’t noticed that the corporate world has moved (not far enough) on from the sorts of bullshit arguments he uses to justify the dearth of women in the ministry. He’s in the Canberra bubble, despite all this populism.

    When you even a post on Catallaxy arguing that its not a good look you know something is up 🙂 I’ll put in a bit of a defence for Canberra though – it is a bubble – but a rather progressive one! And contrary to its reputation really quite a nice place to live (esp for those with young kids or like the outdoors stuff).

  189. Val

    And historians are also taught to always look at what people don’t talk about, as well as what they do. Good rule.

    So I will shut up for while, give you all a break – recognising also that my poor old university is actually investing some money in me doing my PhD. This discussion is kind of relevant and it does help me to understand the discourse and clarify my thoughts but – I’ll do something on my own blog.

  190. Mark Bahnisch

    Chris, I didn’t mean to include Canberra as a city in the bubble! Just the pollies, staffers and press pack!

  191. Val

    Sorry my comment @ 189 about what people don’t talk about was meant for Mark @ 167 in particular, as well as a general comment on people avoiding questions.

  192. Chris

    It shows what a low bar it is for the Liberals, though, when we’re pleasantly surprised when they show a bit ot basic common decency. Surely “unlike Palmer” is a given for any rational human

    Sure it’s a low bar, but we’ve had MPs from the ALP and LNP give a bit of a spray when they’ve lost their seat. It was good to see a farily high profile MP not do that and reinforce some public confidence in the AEC as well.

    I used to think Palmer was “mostly harmless” and perhaps a bit of a thorn in the side of the LNP because he has enough money to challenge Murdoch support. But from what I’ve seen post election he’s a bit a conspiracy theorist nut and I think we could well do without him in politics. I’d rather the LNP work out how to filter his “interesting” ideas.

  193. Chris

    Chris, I didn’t mean to include Canberra as a city in the bubble! Just the pollies, staffers and press pack!

    Heh, perhaps then they are the bubble within the bubble 🙂

  194. paul burns
  195. Su

    Russell @185, Casey was clearly extremely tardy with the investiture, you’ve been coven-worthy for yonks.

  196. Russell

    Unfortunately Sue, there are might be a few other comments in those archives (did I say the GG was mutton dressed as lamb, or only think it?) but if even I was seeing sexism in the comments about Gillard then it must have been sticking out a mile!

  197. PavCat

    We do have a comments policy … It specifically precludes attribution of motives or discussion of motivations of commenters, it specifically precludes meta … If folks want to talk about Gillard/Rudd ad infinitum, that’s your choice. But it’s really not open to you to cast aspersions on those who don’t so choose, or to claim some sort of intent behind that choice … I just don’t want to see flat accusations made against others (and to my mind, comments about “teh wimminz” are just as bad!).

    ‘Crushed again!’*

    *(Gilbert and Sullivan)

  198. Mindy

    Evil Pundit lives! and comments on this article. At least I am assuming it is him. (sorrynotsorry for the abuse of punctuation)

  199. Mark Bahnisch

    I’m afraid I don’t understand, PavCat. Can you enlighten me?

  200. adrian

    Just want to say that the new Neko Case album album is wonderful, but don’t ask me to type out the title.

  201. adrian

    The album by itself is wonderful also.

  202. PavCat

    ‘Crushed again!’ is a line well-known, almost to the point of panto catch-cry (as in ‘He’s behind you!’ and other audience lines), from G&S’s Patience, uttered by Lady Jane when told by Sir Joseph to shut up, and subsequently resorted to by G&S fans including characters in popular literature, notably Sir Peter Wimsey, when they find themselves in similar circs. Considering that my complaint was about the repeated silencing by whatever means of women on this thread and others, it seemed to me quite wonderfully meta in itself.

  203. Mark Bahnisch

    Well, I’m wholly ignorant of Gilbert and Sullivan. Not to my taste, really. Perhaps that’s my loss. I don’t know.

    You talk about ‘silencing’. All I am asking is that you (and everyone else) avoid imputing motives to others, avoid stereotyping others as part of a group, and avoid meta. I would appreciate it if that were respected. By everyone. Thanks.

  204. paul burns

    Found this on Facebook. Best Sopghie Mirabella comment I’ve seen. And its not nasty.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q71/1239443_10151869398805801_354180431_n.jpg

  205. Liz

    Abbott is now officially Minister for the Status of Women. He really is trolling us, isn’t he?

  206. Mark Bahnisch

    Really? Fark!

  207. paul burns

    Well, being Minister for Status of Women is one way to make sure nothing is done about it. And keep those few pesky women in the Liberal Party who might be prone to complain way way disempowered.

  208. Liz

    And Arts is part of the AG’s department. Because there’s never a clash of interests between art and censorship.

  209. Chris

    Abbott is now officially Minister for the Status of Women. He really is trolling us, isn’t he?

    Like a few other portfolios (Science!) its essentially been absorbed/abolished. There is however still a “Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women”.

  210. paul burns

    I’d just seen that, Liz. I wonder if we’re going back to the bad old days of R. G. Menzies, where every year Menzies would go through all the applicants for the then Commonwealth Literary Fund, and cross off anyone who ASIO had advised him was left wing. Frightening.

  211. Val

    There is a petition on Change.org re the Clean Energy Finance Corporation http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-australian-liberal-party-don-t-axe-the-clean-energy-finance-corporation

    Given the way Turnbull reacted to the huge NBN petition, I don’t know if this will achieve anything, but still worth signing

  212. Liz

    Yes Paul. All the signs are there.

  213. paul burns

    Signed it, Val. Fat lot of good it will do this bunch of Morlocks.

  214. Casey

    Abbott is now officially Minister for the Status of Women. He really is trolling us, isn’t he?

    This can’t be fucken real. All jokes aside, I find this move disturbing.

  215. paul burns

    Casey, I think its the Office for the Status of Women within the PM’s Office.
    I’ve had a look at the Ministry list, and there is no Minister for Women’s Affairs or anything analogous mentioned.

  216. Paul Norton

    This smacks of male student politicians nominating as candidates for student union Women’s Officer positions, and displays a similar degree of immaturity.

  217. Liz

    It’s incredibly immature. It’s Abbott saying, “What can I do to really shit those lefties?”

    There’s a good article by Tim Dunlop on The Drum, pointing out that Abbott is far more right wing than the Oz population. He may just push people too far.

  218. Sam

    This smacks of male student politicians nominating as candidates for student union Women’s Officer positions

    As I said yesterday in another thread, Abbott still thinks its 1978 and he is baiting the Left at Sydney University.

  219. jungney

    I think Abbott as Minister for the Status of women is a fantastic move. Really, what is there to complain about? He has daughters, and a wife, and he has had experience of women prior to his family. So, you know, they’re interesting and definitely something you need to know about. So, what better way than to appoint yourself Minister for them.

    But seriously, this is shaping up as fun. Murdoch will have to back Abbott the way that Berlusconi backed himself. We need Brechtians for this; or Fo.

    dada

  220. adrian

    Yes, I think the key to this is to take Abbott about as seriously as he takes himself.

  221. paul burns

    The Office for the Status of Women has traditionally been with the PMs Office and has been in it for quite a while. Not, sofar as Abbott is concerned, that means anything or that its likely to be as it was with past PMs. [except Howard?] e.g.
    Aboriginal Affairs has a special office in the PMs Office under Abbott. And the first thing he’s done is cut all those Aborigines living in places where there is no possibility of work, off the dole so theywill go and look for work even though there’s no work. Now, if there’s anybody out there can follow the logic of that last little bit, better thingies than Gunga-Din and so on.

  222. Ootz

    Speaking of Berlusconi, Silvio is about to get his ultimate upcommance. Berlusconi Impeachment Vote Looms
    Let’s not forget, the push back originated from ordinary women who came to the piazzas to say “enough is enough”.
    Or should’t I give you ideas?

  223. Chris

    Paul @ 221 – yea under Hawke/Keating/Howard it was within the PM’s office. Rudd moved into its own ministry and Gillard kept it there.

  224. Brian

    Liz @ 156

    Hang on, Brian. You’ve just asserted who the leaker maybe. You haven’t provided any evidence to back up that assertion.

    The leak was from cabinet. You have to look at the situation, the opportunity and motivation. I said I was doing it shorthand.

  225. Brian

    The Minister assisting the PM for Women is Senator Michaelia Cash. The pic is from this article.

  226. Helen

    Paul @183, with respect, this is just the Old Left redux. You pay lip (or finger) service to equality of women as an important issue, but say that it shouldn’t distract from other issues. We never get this with other issues – people are either happy to discuss, or they stay out of the discussion. I’m not going “Sure Coal may be with us forever, but isn’t that a distraction from other Important Issues such as car manufacture and renewable energy development?” (And note that these things are linked. The marginalisation of 51% of the population is linked to many other things, too.)

    The marginalisation of 51% of the population is a very important issue. It is not a “distraction from other issues”, in fact, the potential engineer who might solve the problem of nuclear waste disposal might be sitting in physics class right now, wondering whether it’s worth all the harassment and blokey hazing she’s getting and planning to drop out and study something else instead so she can make a living and not be discriminated against. I make no apology for prosecuting this in my own blog and on LP.

  227. paul burns

    Helen, I can see how you get that interpretation from what I said. But what I said, I think re-reading it, though perhaps not as crisply as I could’ve, is that Abbott was deliberately using charges of provocative sexism etc as a distraction for the Left, so we didn’t notice what else he was doing.
    I agree with what you say at 226.

  228. Paul Norton

    Val @180, no problems. In cases of potentially ambiguous online communications I always err on the side of the more benign interpretation, which is usually the correct one.

    At @169 you wrote:

    – I’m saying that what got Gillard to that point was (at least in part) the synergistic effects of a sexist campaign by the LNP and the undermining by Rudd) – your point doesn’t respond to that

    My point @162 doesn’t respond to it because I generally agree with it, and my post @162 was basically attempting to say the same thing another way.

  229. Moz of Yarramulla

    Helen, while I agree with you on the endless campaign to marginalise feminism on this blog, I wonder whether your broader point is correct. I admit that I deal with green circles rather than the left[1], but in my experience there is a great deal of “shut up about X, it’s just divisive and we know the argument will never stop”. Nuclear power, Palestine and marriage equality are examples. In most cases there’s an irrational committment to the cause from one side and a great deal of “don’t set them off” from the other, even while everyone agrees that they are important issues. Marriage equality is (IMO) an issue where there are several sides, a broad agreement to an incrementalist approach, some real opposition within the green, and a rabid opposition from outside it.

    Mark has made it very clear, repeatedly, that challenging his behaviour is absolutely forbidden, so I’m not sure where we can go from here. In a way I think he’s right – there is no point arguing with him and the men like him because… well, as the saying goes “trying to teach a pig to sing wastes your time and annoys the pig”.

    [1] in itself an example of often-pointless hair-splitting, but from my green perspective there’s an awful lot of left politics that are anything from don’t care to actively brown (Martin Ferguson, for example)

  230. jungney

    Helen, I’d be interested to know if there is still a voting gender gap and how this reflects on women’s electoral marginalisation.

  231. jules

    We should be outraghed at everything Abbott is doing that is dodgy, including the cheap trolling.

    We need to troll the fucker back, somehow.

  232. Val

    Russell @ 196:

    “Unfortunately Sue, there are might be a few other comments in those archives (did I say the GG was mutton dressed as lamb, or only think it?) … ”

    I first encountered the GG-to-be at a conference on human rights many many years ago (I think she was something like the Equal Opportunity commissioner, can’t remember her exact title). I was somewhat surprised by the fashionability and high heeledness of her attire, I must admit (nothing to do with her age, just because such fashionability was a bit unusual for feminists). However when I later asked a question about breastfeeding as a ground of discrimination in EO legislation, with a focus on extended breastfeeding, and was being put in my place by the (female) speaker for the Business Council for raising trivial issues etc, etc, the GG-to-be came to my defence and dispatched the BCA woman very briskly. (Breastfeeding has subsequently become a ground in EO legislation).
    So I have loved her ever since and she can wear what she likes!

  233. Paul Norton

    Moz @229:

    Mark has made it very clear, repeatedly, that challenging his behaviour is absolutely forbidden, so I’m not sure where we can go from here. In a way I think he’s right – there is no point arguing with him and the men like him because… well, as the saying goes “trying to teach a pig to sing wastes your time and annoys the pig”.

    While Mark has made some decisions and taken some positions recently on which I generally agree with the feminist critics of those decisions and positions, I think that this paragraph does a serious injustice to his general character and outlook.

  234. Val

    Oops sorry small correction to my comment @ 232 – I think we were actually talking about maternity leave when the BCA woman said I was being trivial and it was Quentin Bryce who raised the possibility of breastfeeding as a ground for discrimination claims (ie making it possible under the legislation to claim that you were discriminated against because you were breastfeeding). So even more kudos to her.

    (Insistence on getting details from some 20 years ago right is some kind of affliction of person trained in history)

  235. Paul Norton

    Moz @229:

    Helen, while I agree with you on the endless campaign to marginalise feminism on this blog, I wonder whether your broader point is correct. I admit that I deal with green circles rather than the left[1], but in my experience there is a great deal of “shut up about X, it’s just divisive and we know the argument will never stop”. Nuclear power, Palestine and marriage equality are examples. In most cases there’s an irrational committment to the cause from one side and a great deal of “don’t set them off” from the other, even while everyone agrees that they are important issues. Marriage equality is (IMO) an issue where there are several sides, a broad agreement to an incrementalist approach, some real opposition within the green, and a rabid opposition from outside it.

    Here there are a few issues to unpack – bearing in mind, too, that a green context and a Greens context aren’t one and the same.

    One is that the three issues cited are examples of issues which protagonists tend to approach in an absolute way that can led to very emotional and often bad-tempered discussions. This, while unfortunate, does not in itself detract from their importance as issues to be discussed and addressed.

    Another is that the need to discuss and address them would seem to depend on the context. In a green (as well as a Greens) context it seems to me difficult to avoid discussion of nuclear-related issues, especially in relation to climate and energy futures. The other two issues may not be issues that a small-g green group needs to take a stand on a lot of the time, but are ultimately unavoidable in a Greens context. That said, the absolutism and emotion that pertains to some of these issues (of which I’m my directly familiar with the Israel/Palestine example) can be very unpleasant for those who don’t have a strong commitment to the issue and/or those (like myself on Israel/Palestine) who have a strong commitment to a position at odds with the absolutists on both sides.

  236. Su

    Val, Russell is showing off now; ability to see glaring sexism AND a preparedness to admit past errors. And yet he still lives.

  237. Val

    Paul Norton @ 233 (re Moz @ 229)

    “Mark has made it very clear, repeatedly, that challenging his behaviour is absolutely forbidden, …”

    Possibly an overstatement from frustration – but understandable.

    As I suggested before, Mark’s response to my questions, along the lines of ‘I don’t have to talk about that if I don’t feel like it’ has a meaning in itself, and raises the question: why don’t you want to talk about that particular issue? Listen to the silences, as Stuart McIntyre and other historians used to say.

    Sorry Mark I feel like I’m picking on you, but this stuff is real and does raise real questions.

  238. Moz of Yarramulla

    Paul: at the risk of offending Mark’s rules, he has made it clear that discussing his behaviour and especially his motives is not allowed, and he’s acted on that. My statement is strong, yes, but I think it’s justified. It’s become clear that feminist analysis is risky here but criticism of feminists and feminist postings is allowed with very few restrictions. Even idiocy like persistent misattribution of comments is permitted provided the commenter is criticising feminists. I’m reluctant to say more for fear of having this post removed, and no, I don’t want to continue this as a “discussion of moderation” in email.

    This is why I’m advocating external criticism of LP, and for people here to just keep it to incessant low-level reminders that women and feminists exist. That will hopefully avoid Mark taking up the ban-hammer.

  239. Moz of Yarramulla

    [email protected]:

    there are a few issues to unpack – bearing in mind, too, that a green context and a Greens context aren’t one and the same.

    Absoluetly. The existance of the “Save The Planet” party in Victoria should make that obvious (their platform is that global warming is the major issue facing Australia).

    protagonists tend to approach in an absolute way… This, does not detract from their importance as issues

    Exactly. Trying to find a way to discuss them is difficult, however, and not least because it’s rare to hear a new argument. So generally all sides know the issue, understand the arguments, and “merely” (cough) disagree on the relative importance of the arguments.

    With nukes, one relatively recent (but predicted) change has been in the relative cost of renewables vs legacy generators. Since we’re in the transition phase where newer renewable technologies (wind and PV especially, but also CST) are becoming cheaper than coal for stationary energy that particular argument is becoming less meaningful. It also means the pro-nuke side is becoming much more aggressive about eliminating the indirect costs of nuclear from consideration.

  240. Moz of Yarramulla

    One thing that will probably become more obviously enforced with a Liberal government is “who is allowed to be angry”.

    We’ve gained a bunch of angry white men in government, and I predict that we will see a much more overt “ignore the angry minority” vibe. Most obviously with women right now, there’s a game being played where first they make the women angry, then belittle them for losing their cool and/or dismiss them for being hysterical. Strangely this doesn’t happen when Alan Jones starts foaming at the mouth.

    I’m curious to see what will happen with Palmer. Will he continue to lose the plot, or will he be seen as justifiably angry once he’s accepted as necessary to the Liberals?

  241. paul burns

    Moz @ 240,
    It might be women right now being depicted as angry by the Abbott Government, but after today I suspect they will be joined by environmentalists. Within a while, after Abbott blocks the same sex marriage bill in the ACT, it will be the gay lobby. For the moment he has a couple of tame indigenous leaders keeping the lid on Aboriginal issues, but that won’t last for long. I’m sure there are Aboriginal leaders out there who aren’t in Abbot’s pocket, and they will speak out. The unions are already suspicious and the universities are offside, as are the pro-refugee movement.
    Diplomacy is a time-bomb waiting to explode with Indonesia and if that sounds like I’m parroting Labor propaganda I agree with Matt Thistletwaite’s comments made earlier this morning.
    Let the Games begin.

  242. Moz of Yarramulla

    focus on the big issues comic for the day.

    Big issues here being the government of adults, the budget emergency and stop the boats! Quiet, you in the cheap seats.

  243. Moz of Yarramulla

    pb: join the back of a very long queue?

    I’m hoping like anything that one of the Abbott “alright looking” daughters does something exciting and gets caught. Not boring “had sex” stuff, but comes out as quiltbag or marries an atheist 🙂

  244. paul burns

    Moz of Y,
    I think they’d be watched in a hawk-like fashion. Neither of them shows much sign of rebelling. And to his credit, and this may be part of Abbott’s appeal to the general electorate, they seem like a very normal sane family, despite their father.
    You’ll be waiting a long time, I reckon.
    Also, though the family were used shamelessly in the campaign, its time we left them out of it and concentrated on the politicians,

  245. Mark Bahnisch

    I’m sorry, folks, but the comments policy is really clear:

    Imputing ideas or motives to others or stereotyping them because of perceived group membership or ideological affiliation.

    I can’t see how I can read some of the comments directed at me as anything other than imputing motives to me! I really am distressed and unhappy about this, because I’ve said very little other than that I would like to see the comments policy observed, and people treated with respect, including me.

    I’ve also pointed out that discussion of moderation/meta is not encouraged.

    I really have no problem with any position people are coming from. But we used to be very strict in removing comments which attributed motives to “feminist hiveminds” or to “lefties” or whatever from right wingers. It may well be that the comments policy has not been enforced, but I really think it needs to be. Perhaps there has been provocation, I don’t know – I haven’t been around. It should not have been allowed, and as far as I am concerned, will not be in future.

    I honestly don’t think that there can be a reasonable expectation that I should be among those maintaining a blog where people constantly take what I regard as hurtful and stress-inducing potshots at me. And I am afraid I am not going to do that. Not least because I suffer from depression, and this stuff frankly does not help. It hurts and harms. Please consider how you would feel if you hosted a space on the web where people constantly suggested you were acting from bad intent. It goes beyond unpleasant to being a real contributor to illness for me.

    Note that I am not attributing motives to anyone, but setting out the impact on me and also reiterating the rules we expect everyone to follow to maintain respectful discourse here.

    So please, please, please desist. Please also note the sanctions in the comments policy.

    Thanks, Paul Norton, for the support.

  246. Mark Bahnisch

    The comments policy is here:

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/comments-policy/

  247. paul burns

    Deeply regret the psychological and emotional damage some commentators here have done to you Mark. I do hope you won’t retreat because of them. Not only is it your blog, but your contributions are of great value.
    I won’t say any more because I’ll just be attacked for pointing out how hurtful some people here have become.

  248. Russell

    ” …ability to see glaring sexism AND a preparedness to admit past errors” and an unfortunate tendency to tease. I learned that bad habit from my older sister, it’s her fault. She started it.

  249. Mark Bahnisch

    Thanks, paul burns.

    I am not blaming anyone; I’m just asking people to think about the harm to individuals as well as to civil discourse that can be caused.

  250. Liz

    I know I’ve been critical about some of Mark’s positions. But, I think you guys really are pushing it too far. And please remember it’s his blog. He actually doesn’t have to talk about anything in particular.

  251. Mark Bahnisch

    Thanks, Liz. I appreciate that.

    It just reminds me of back in the day, when we were all in trouble from RWDBs for not condemning this, that and the other. Silences might be meaningful, but they’re also hard to interpret, particularly if you don’t know the person concerned.

  252. Ambigulous

    Mark,

    I very much appreciate the efforts of those who post here, especially in recent months Brian and you. I agree with the supportive comments from Paul Norton, Paul Burns and Liz.

    I’m sorry to hear of your travails.

  253. Terangeree

    Mark,

    Add my mostly-silent voice to the chorus of appreciation. LP is often an oasis of reason in the wider media and internetted landscape.

    On another note, I think I’ve found the perfect subject for a zombie stoush.

  254. Su

    Mark, I’m sorry to hear of your depression.

    There have been hurtful personal comments made about others here, Val was called a bigot, I was accused of personal sledging, both accusations without any foundation whatsoever.

  255. Mark Bahnisch

    Thanks, Su.

    As I said, I haven’t been around and haven’t seen those comments you refer to. But they are also totally out of order and should not be made. I hope we can all do better from now on.

  256. Su

    Agreed : ) Although, I hope a little mutual sarcasm is still permissible, within limits, infantile I know, but I always enjoy a bit of the banal sarcasms.

  257. Mark Bahnisch

    Yeah, that never goes astray 😉

  258. Casey

    I am sure lots of people have depression but don’t speak of it, even on this blog, commenters and bloggers alike. To all of the commenters who have depression, as well as Mark, I wish you well.

    Now as for feminists being suss for being stylish and wearing heels. I will zap you if you think that again, Val.

    I am very stylish. Just ask Anna Winter, she’s seen pictures of me and she should know.

    I wear stilettos and I love them. I use them to pierce men’s brains to let some air in on the odd occasion but my humanitarian tendencies are neither here nor there. It’s the look that matters. The look and the fact I am a terrifying feminist.

  259. Mark Bahnisch

    Thanks, Casey, Terangeree, Ambigulous.

  260. Russell

    “I wear stilettos and I love them”

    Having worked in female dominated (is there another word?) workplaces most of my life, I have listened to endless conversations about shoes. If you have this interest, you might enjoy this interview

  261. Casey

    Moz of Y,
    I think they’d be watched in a hawk-like fashion. Neither of them shows much sign of rebelling.

    Moz and Paul. Not that we want to turn this place into gossip central either, but one of them, the one that was absent during the campaign, lives with her partner o/s. I read that in a reputable newspaper.

    I don’t think the Abbott daughters go to church either. I think Tony said that.

    “Gay churchy loser” I believe was the the consensus for the Abbott daughters, back in the day. Tony, again.

  262. paul burns

    Casey @ 261,
    His daughters said he was gay!?. OMG!

  263. Mark Bahnisch

    Casey, the partner’s name is Stefano. I read.

    I do not know if it is the same Stefano who appears in Days of Our Lives.

  264. Su

    Hang it, how did I miss the evolution of QUILTBAG?! That’s brilliant. Must get out more.

  265. Casey

    Not that I know this, but the actor who played Stefano in DOL also played Mossimo in Bold and the Beautiful. Of course, this may have been Massimo with an American accent, you know those Americans. Speaking of fashion, who will be telling Forrester Creations that the 80s are over and that taffeta balloon skirts is not.on. anymore?

    No, no, more importantly, who will be telling Brooke that she is now 70 and no way was she pregnant to her sister’s husband Bill the Bastard last week? Before she thinks she lost the baby that wasn’t actually there?

    Not that BAB got me through the PhD and now I can’t stop watching it, but who will tell them it’s not 1982 anymore? Anyone?

  266. Katz

    So Abbott returns administration of the status of women to where it was before Rudd created a separate ministry.

    1. To what extent was Rudd a force for good in relation to women’s issues? Didn’t several zombie threads hack into Rudd’s qualifications in that matter?

    2. If Abbott had preserved a separate ministry, would that have improved his standing as a champion of women’s interests? Be careful of enemies pretending to be friends. They are more dangerous than open enemies.

    Abbott is a culture warrior. He wants to crush his enemies. For Abbott’s enemies, the question isn’t whether there should be a war, but rather how it should be fought.

  267. Russell

    “Rudd created a separate ministry”

    I believe that was known as an “announceable”.

  268. Val

    I’ve been writing my blog, which has turned out to be about has Abbott really got a mandate on the carbon price and what does this mean for climate and health (ie actually related to my thesis) http://fairgreenplanet.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/election-reflections-has-tony-abbott.html

    – but I still want to look at gender and morality of politics next time.

    Anyway so I hadn’t seen your post Mark @ 245 – sorry my posts upset you (it sounds like they did) – I knew I was being a bit of a terrier on this, that’s why I said I wasn’t meaning to pick on you.

    I get depressed sometimes too (as well as angry sometimes but let’s not go there right now!). If you are (as I am) the kind of person who gets angry and says what you think though, you may get into trouble but you are probably less likely to get seriously depressed I think – so – apologies again.

    But it does make me feel depressed (as well as angry) when I feel that my views are being ignored or marginalised – I think that’s true for a lot of women. Somehow I think we need to deal with this stuff, but definitely for me at present writing on my blog is a better way, and it has the added benefit that I won’t be a terrier snapping at your heels – it will definitely not be directed against you in person!

    Casey – the issue you raise about fashion and shoes is just too big! I have quite a few shoes – very few high heels, but two pairs of cherry (dark) red boots (of different heights) – just the right amount really.

  269. Val

    Mark @ 245
    Also Mark I have never thought that you have bad intent and I’m sorry if I said anything that gave that impression. I think this is a great blog, that’s why I’m so hooked on it. (It started when I broke my ankle and had to lie around a lot, and now it’s an addiction – better than painkillers though)

  270. Mark Bahnisch

    Cheers, Val, appreciated.

    Just to clarify though, when I say “depression”, I mean clinical depression, not a passing mood.

  271. Katz

    My sympathy, Mark.

  272. Val

    Mark @ 270
    Oh I’m so sorry to hear that Mark. In spite of my levity, I have been genuinely depressed at times in my life, but reactive depression, not clinical depression, no. I just wish you the very best.

  273. paul burns

    Mark,
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  274. Linda

    Ok I should probably make this my last comment, now that the election is over. Sorry for the ruckus but all I meant was that this is a male supremacist world and therefore male hegemony permeates all discourse including on this site. I was a bit annoyed that my main point, that having conversations with men around patriarchy and women’s oppression is clearly not working for us, was completely ignored in favour of quibbling over what was admittedly a very poor choice of words for this environment. I am also confused by the comparison to Stormfront, a white supremacist group, when I clearly referred to male supremacy.

    PavCat, I understand your snipe about getting out more to be just a way to dismiss a view that is socially unacceptable to you, and to smack me down as simply ignorant or uninformed, but I found it a bit rude and
    personal, and a little ableist.

  275. Val

    And another thing, I don’t know if you will be interested Mark, but the time I was most depressed was when I got sacked from my job with the Labor party, and it was then rolled into another position and given to a man at a higher pay level (he later went on to become a fairly undistinguished MP). It was reactive depression, because it was clearly related to something that happened to me, and I did get over it in the end ( after two years of legal action amongst other things). But I hope that helps you to see where some of my hurt and anger about the way Julia Gillard was treated comes from and that it isn’t about you personally.

    But a lot of women have had experiences like this, so there is a lot of hurt and anger around, and again, it’s not necessarily intended for the individual man who experiences it.

  276. zorronsky

    Any belief that the ABC is anything other than yet another arm of the friends of the coalition can be put to rest. Leigh Sales has totally succumbed to the Abbott wish to remove investigative journalism and replace it with ‘bread and games ‘ by her insightful interview of …Usain Bolt… the symbolism astounds!

  277. PavCat

    Linda at #274: I mentioned Stormfront and bikies as they are most certainly radical-male-supremacist as well as the other horrid shit and they were the most extreme example of that that came to mind.

    I thought your comment was quite extreme, far beyond being merely ‘not socially acceptable’, and probably more insulting to the blokes here than anything I have said to you, and so I was making a joke about it, which you may have found in poor taste. ‘S/he should get out more’ is a very common line and, I believe, usually signals that a joke is being made. As for “ableist” — do you mean that you personally are confined in some way (I don’t know anything about you beyond what you have said here), in which case I humbly beg your pardon, or are you just ticking me off for not being correct-line?

  278. Adrian

    Just caught up with this thread. All the best Mark, you deserve some sort of medal for running this blog with such patience and consideration.

  279. Brian

    Val @ 237 I need to comment on your notion of listening to the silences. In the case of Mark, he’s already said that he feels it’s best to consider the sexism issue outside the personality politics context, and also that it may be best to let the dust settle for a bit.

    I think at the very least we need a substantive post to analyse and lay out the issues. We are haven’t been able to offer that at LP so far. What each author writes is up to them. I wouldn’t consider myself qualified. Perhaps Anne Summers or Gillard herself may write something after the interviews which PC drew to our attention.

    As to attributing meaning to silences, I think that is fraught. For example, about the time you went overseas I found myself in a situation where I should have responded to four or five statements where I had been at the very least misunderstood, and to the extent where I would suffer reputational damage. Yet I felt my only option was to let the statements stand.

    The reason was that my sleep was being interrupted to the extent that my ordinary daily tasks were becoming difficult. At the time I was scheduled to help a man 11 years older than myself (ie. 84) cut out some invasive regrowth on acreage. This involved me with chainsaw in hand, him with a bottle of poison and brush to swab the cuts, scrambling through high grass, logs and undergrowth on steepish slopes. We work closely together when we do this. At times you have to inject your body into the bushes and stuff with me pointing to the cuts I have just made.

    You have to be on top of your game mentally to avoid stumbling or inadvertently cutting an arm or a leg. I’ve also had my partner in crime pull a branch of lantana across my face.

    That task was accomplished, but the price was simply saying nothing on the blog. Frankly I didn’t want to share the reasons because there had been mocking of someone who was obviously fragile. I’m apprehensive now of being accused of seeking sympathy on the back of Mark’s plight. I mention it not to seek sympathy, rather to point out that we can’t know the circumstances of our interlocutors or guess why they may be silent. The reasons could be quite unusual or quite mundane.

    I did almost walk away from the blog at that point. Again don’t ask me or infer why I didn’t. I really don’t know.

  280. Anna Winter

    “I am very stylish. Just ask Anna Winter, she’s seen pictures of me and she should know.”

    This is very true, and I wouldn’t go around saying ridiculous things within ten feet of Casey’s stilettoes.

  281. Brian

    Lest my silence be given meaning I need to say that I found the second paragraph of Moz @ 229 offensive.

    Mark hasn’t asked for it, but, Moz, I think an apology would be appreciated as an indicator of good faith in accepting the requirements of civility and respectfulness* in dialogue here, rather than just the desire to escape being moderated.

    That said the suggestion @ 238 of an external evaluation of LP, if anyone thought it worth their time and trouble, is a good one, IMO. To some extent we have evaluation being done in comments thread by partisans in a stoush.

    * I’m saying respectful as a minimum requirement rather than respect. For myself, I welcome my missteps being pointed out as long as it is done respectfully and with civility.

  282. Moz of Yarramulla

    [email protected]: much as I’d like to stay out of this, I’ve been tossing it up much of the day and I feel I have to weigh in with a dose of mansplaining. I think the “radical male supremacist perspective” is justifiable, and to some extent accurate. I hope that a lot of what I’m writing is blindingly obvious and you’ll all be saying “well, duh, get to the point”.

    Many strands of feminism take the position that we live in a patriarchal society. That is, a society that is male dominated by intention, in other words it is male supremacist. I hope that most politically progressive people agree with that analysis, perhaps with caveats, but agree that on the whole it’s true.

    Within the political left there’s a significant number of people who I think would be comfortable describing themselves as opposed to third wave feminism. Perhaps only if that was phrased as “against identity politics”, but nonetheless actively against it. These are the people whose catch-cry is “focus on the important issues”, and who specifically do not want to talk about their own sexism, racism, homophobia or any similar issue. “we’re left, dammit, class politics is what it’s all about”. They are actively trying to change a political movement in the direction of male supremacy. Radically so, to some, in that they’re trying to roll back somewhere between 30 and 150 years of feminist activism.

    I think it’s quite possible to conclude that some or all of the opposing group I’ve described above have a “radical male supremacist perspective”.

    I’m not sure that I agree with it, but I think that’s a fair construction. And I think the assumption of charity does require us to have a go at seeing other perspectives. I know I’m struggling with that right now on LP, which is why I’m trying to stay out of this thread in particular.

  283. Moz of Yarramulla

    [email protected]: I can’t in good faith apologise. I have been thinking about this, and it’s one reason why I’m still awake at 1am. I would like to be able to say “I was wrong and I’m sorry”, but I can’t yet do so. #238 explains everything I feel I can get away with in regards to my reasons for the earlier post. See also #168, #245, #246.

    I appreciate your distinction between respect and respectful language, but suspect that rewording my statement would only serve to further inflame the situation.

    I like LP, I think the site as a whole has succeeded in creating a worthwhile space for left-ish people to discuss politics. Unfortunately I think we need to add feminism to the list of things we can’t productively discuss here, along with Palestine and recent ALP prime ministers.

  284. Casey

    Ding Ding Ding

    Ding.

    Congratulations, Moz, you have been appointed an honorary witch for services to the supernatural for 2013.

    Please make your way to the Elise Fashion in Newtown, where you can collect your medal and pick up that nice floral wisp of a dress I’ve put on layby. Further instructions to follow shortly.

    (So many honorary witchez, I may as well put them to use as my minions. No more democracy. I rule.).

  285. Val

    Brian @ 279
    Hi Brian. “Listening to the silences” is a well known part of the analysis of discourse, it’s not anything more sinister. I’ve repeated my questions a lot, but just once more:
    Could people who supported Rudd have been (even if inadvertently) complicit in the sexism that was used against Gillard?
    Could some of the harsh criticisms that were made of Gillard (eg on this blog) have been influenced by sexism (even if unconsciously)?
    No one has to talk about those questions, but refusing to do so does have meaning. It’s not ‘guilty till proven innocent’, it’s that there was a pattern of sexism and refusing to look at one’s own views and actions in relation to this context is a choice. When people state their views in public forums, they can be questioned about them later – something I guess we should all be aware of.
    Anyway, as others have said, there is no point in pursuing these questions here at the moment, and I will follow them up elsewhere. Please be aware though that deciding not to talk about sexism is not like deciding not to talk about nuclear power, or deciding not to talk about Palestine and Israel. It’s not a topic on which people can have opposing but well intentioned views. ‘Sexism is ok’ vs ‘sexism is not ok’ isn’t an argument we could have in good faith. So that’s why I think it’s with great sadness that people have decided we can’t, on this blog, discuss the issue of sexism in left wing politics, because it’s a great blog, and we value the work that you and Mark and everyone else does in providing it.

  286. Val

    Brian @ 279
    I would hope that if I stated on my blog opinions about someone that were later shown to be wrong, and someone asked me about them, I would answer as best I could. I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad by saying that, it’s just what I think would be right to do.

  287. Val

    Re my last comment @ 286: sorry if that sounds obscure, I was thinking about some statements that have been made here, but I’m not going into details because it would just exacerbate things.

  288. zorronsky

    Listening to the Friday pair on News24 this morning reporting the growing calls for extending and or raising the GST. one thing that isn’t mentioned is the effect that will have on the less well off and self-funded retirees. The argument that it would catch people who otherwise don’t pay tax? Funny if it wasn’t serious. Colin Barnett’s bleating after refusing Gonski money and support for the anti-mining tax lobby is typical of WA’s “give us support until we’re ready to secede” attitude that bobs up frequently. This is all within the right-wing MO, ambit calls for a year or two and then bring in what they had in mind in the first place.
    Maybe the people least able to afford this effort to further open the widening gap between the haves and havenots can use the voice available with social media now to fight it. Waiting for an election doesn’t work which is why these things are brought in early in a parliamentary term.

  289. GregM

    The two questions you want answered are loaded questions:

    Could people who supported Rudd have been (even if inadvertently) complicit in the sexism that was used against Gillard?

    The word “could”suggests possibility only. Anyhing is possible so the only available answer must be yes. However just because something is possible does not make it a fact. There may be, and no doubt were, people of good faith who supported Rudd for reasons which had nothing to do with his gender or Gillard’s gender and formed and articulated their views on those premises. Those people are not complicit (even advertently) in sexism against Julia Gillard. To say they are is guilt by association and that that is a morally downward path.

    Could some of the harsh criticisms that were made of Gillard (eg on this blog) have been influenced by sexism (even if unconsciously)?

    Again the word “could”. This time qualified by “some” and then by the further qualification “even unconsciously”
    Of course that could be true of some comments. That does not, as a matter of logic, make it true of all or even most comments.
    And “unconsciously”? How can one know of something that by its very meaning one has no knowledge of? The High Court addressed this very point in Board of Bendigo TAFE V Barclay
    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2012/32.html
    Read the High Court’s decision to see how deficient that is in serious argument.

    No one has to talk about those questions, but refusing to do so does have meaning. It’s not ‘guilty till proven innocent’, it’s that there was a pattern of sexism and refusing to look at one’s own views and actions in relation to this context is a choice.

    Refusing to engage with those questions does have meaning, but only to the person who does so. It may be that they do so, as I have done until now, because they considered the questions as being so loaded and ill-conceived that they are not worth engaging.

    It may be that they have made the decision that they have other things to which they want to apply themselves.

    They may draw the conclusion, well supported from the flaming that has occurred on this and other threads on this topic, that it would be prudent to steer clear of the discussion so as to avoid being accused of things they do not believe and did not say on the basis, for example, that they have “unconscious” beliefs and motivations, of which they cannot have any knowledge (but their accuser is magically informed of) which underpin their beliefs and comments.

  290. desipis

    It’s not a topic on which people can have opposing but well intentioned views.

    I doesn’t matter what the topic, if people come to a discussion with this attitude, it’s no surprise that things don’t proceed productively.

  291. Val

    GregM @ 289
    I’ve framed the questions in lots of different ways, trying to get an honest answer. I don’t think this is, I think it’s patronising. i also agree with others that it is probably useless trying to discuss sexism on LP at present.

    However since you have taken the time to reply, i will take the time to respond. I’m not a lawyer but I know a lot about equal opportunity law and the limitations of using burden of proof hurdles on claims of discrimination. That’s why the law in Victoria had to be amended so that eg not having equal opportunity policies and procedures can be used as evidence. Laws that are set up on the basis that we are all equal are not adequate to deal with systemic discrimination. Similarly, requiring overt displays of sexism before acknowledging that it exists is ridiculous given that there is a wealth of evidence that sexism commonly operates through unconscious bias.

    When I say ‘could …’ I am quite obviously saying ‘consider whether it might have been’ not ‘is it possible that it could happen’. That’s really obvious and i feel that it’s insulting to me to suggest otherwise. It is just a courteous way of putting the question, but I do wonder whether it’s worth trying to be polite sometimes, when I get responses like this. If you’re prepared to look at my questions honestly, then good. If not, then I won’t waste time discussing it here and I will focus on my own blog.

    I haven’t read your link, I will do so later, but on the basis of what you’ve argued I don’t think it’s likely to be relevant.

  292. PavCat

    I doesn’t matter what the topic, if people come to a discussion with this attitude, it’s no surprise that things don’t proceed productively.

    Desipis, given the context of the quotation, ie the sentence immediately after the one you quote — ‘It’s not a topic on which people can have opposing but well intentioned views. ‘Sexism is ok’ vs ‘sexism is not ok’ isn’t an argument we could have in good faith’ — the only possible conclusion to be made from your statement is that you think ‘sexism is ok’ is, or could be, a well-intentioned view.

    Is that what you think?

  293. Val

    GregM @ 289
    Also I would also have thought it obvious that saying some people supported Rudd for reasons that had nothing to do with gender, does not rule out the alternative. Of course there may have been, but there may also be others whose response to Gillard was influenced by sexism, which is one of the points I am trying to discuss.

    You may not have intended to talk to me as if I was a fool Greg, and you certainly didn’t explicitly call me a fool, but nevertheless that is how your remarks sound to me.

  294. paul burns

    They may draw the conclusion, well supported from the flaming that has occurred on this and other threads on this topic, that it would be prudent to steer clear of the discussion so as to avoid being accused of things they do not believe and did not say on the basis, for example, that they have “unconscious” beliefs and motivations, of which they cannot have any knowledge (but their accuser is magically informed of) which underpin their beliefs and comments.

    Yep.

  295. desipis

    No. The better conclusion would be that I see that attitude as more pervasive than in its original context. Hence why I didn’t include the surrounding text or identify [redacted] the author.

    … only possible conclusion …

    Has the notion of an “open mind” gone out of fashion?

  296. Mark Bahnisch

    Val, I don’t think “unconscious” is sufficient – “unconscious because culturally and socially shaped” expresses it better. My answers would be “yes” and “yes” to your questions.

    There’s never been doubt in my mind that sexism is pervasive in a patriarchal culture, that it’s not ok, and that all of us need to reflect on how we are being influenced by the culture to the degree that we are able to. (It’s not really possible to find an Archimedean point outside any given culture).

  297. Mark Bahnisch

    Anyway, gotta work. Be kind to each other, folks 🙂

  298. Val

    I think the point PavCat is making @ 292 is also important in a broader sense.

    Some commenters here seem to respond to what they think feminists are saying without taking the time to read what we are actually saying. Whether it’s ill-intentioned or not ( and I have thought on some occasions it is), I think it is a large part of the reason these discussions are so difficult.

  299. Val

    Mark @ 295
    Well thanks Mark. I am sure we could discuss the finer points of ‘unconscious’ in more detail, but I appreciate your comment.

    I hope you have a good productive day so you get some free time on the weekend.

  300. Mark Bahnisch

    Cheers, Val… no rest for the wicked. Papers to mark and modules to design on the weekend 🙁

    I think it is a large part of the reason these discussions are so difficult.

    It may well be, but I’ve felt at times as if a whole lot of anti-Rudd angst was projected on me no matter what I was actually writing. It’s just good practice, ethically and critically, to listen carefully to what others are saying and not make unfounded inferences.

  301. Val

    And also further to Desipsis @ 290 and several other commenters-

    of course we can in good faith and with good intentions debate about whether certain attitudes and behaviour were sexist or not – that’s precisely what I am trying to do.

    Saying ‘we can’t in good faith debate whether sexism is ok or not’
    is not the same as saying ‘we can’t discuss whether certain attitudes or behaviour or sexist or not’. If people honestly don’t understand what I’m saying, I’m happy to explain it further, but you could try reading it first. (Mild sarcasm is ok remember everybody!)

  302. Su

    Wow, this is the same dynamic we saw on that other thread, Brian, demands for apologies selectively applied to pro-feminists, while Jungney can let rip with drunken sprays about “schoolmarms”, Bell can call Val a bigot and the comments stand and no moderator steps in to suggest an apology is in order.

    When someone reveals a distressing aspect of their personal circumstances the only proper response is to acknowledge it in a respectful manner, but that only seems to happen when it is a male commenter doing the disclosure, the rest of us can expect silence at best and an attack at worst.

    I agree that there seems little point in pursuing it further because stonewalling is all we get, but the double standard applied to Gillard, and that was never more obvious than the truly bizarre shift in attittude over asylum seekers, is echoed in the double standard here, where the accusation that commenters who are pursuing a recognition of the gendered nature of the discourse around Gillard on this blog, represent a “cancer” seems to have been embraced and acted upon.

  303. Mark Bahnisch

    Su, if you’d be kind enough to link to what you see as the inappropriate comments, I’d be happy to moderate them. I do want to see a consistent standard applied. I only have time to look at threads intermittently, so I’m sorry if I missed something. I’m sure other mods have the same issue – time! Certainly, if those comments are as reported, sanctions and an apology would be in order.

  304. Su
  305. Mark Bahnisch

    Thanks, Su.

    Both comments are totally unacceptable. I will take appropriate action when I have a break.

  306. Val

    Su @ 301
    Don’t worry about the comment about me by Graham Bell, Su, there has been a moderation compromise over that already. However if GB or anyone else makes wild accusations about me in future, I will report them.

  307. Val

    Sorry my post crossed with yours Mark. GB had also made some wild claims about me before that, but I’d also lost my temper with both him and Jungney earlier and sworn at Jungney, so I was prepared to put it down to experience. In fact I took a few days out to cool down. However obviously your decision.

  308. zorronsky

    So the Press Council have realised Fairfax’s ‘editor at large’ Mark Baker was lying during the daily campaign against Julia Gillard.
    http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/media-2/press-council-finds-fairfax-fabricated-awu-gillard-stories/

  309. Mark Bahnisch

    Val, I think Graham later apologised?

    I’m about to redact the comment by jungney, and warn him. It is completely unacceptable, and I sincerely apologise for not picking it up.

    We may look at one of those commenting plugins that allow people to report inappropriate comments. The problem, often, has been that the mods are really busy with other stuff.

  310. Brian

    Su @ 301, I did not demand an apology @ 281, and quite intentionally used language short of that. Moz @ 281 is reflecting on it which is all I would reasonably ask.

    Su, my rule is in general not to comment unless I’ve read the whole thread and that happens typically when the action has moved on. So I’m reluctant to stir old coals. Hence my commenting is selective. I also see stuff I don’t like but haven’t had time to read the whole thread. So that also goes unremarked. I’m sorry if that leads to an apparent bias, but in this case the priority was to give Mark some support, which I hope you can understand.

    I’ve been distressed at what happened to Val, but haven’t been able to come up with a solution that would serve. Things got into quite a muddle from the moderation point of view. I have the impression that a delete button was inadvertently pressed on one of her comments (I could be wrong) and there is no way back from that. I was thinking of emailing her separately to express sympathy without stirring things up again, but I’m not sure that would have been a good idea for other reasons.

    Some blogs have an “alert the moderator” facility, and I’ve wondered whether that would help.

  311. Mark Bahnisch
  312. zorronsky

    Could a mod please remove the appalling typo?

    [Done ~tt]

  313. Katz

    When I say ‘could …’ I am quite obviously saying ‘consider whether it might have been’ not ‘is it possible that it could happen’.

    The first formulation is historical.

    The second formulation is expressive of a notion of logical possibility.

    It is possible for some individuals in the past to have behaved in the ways AND from the motives described. It is the responsibility of the person making the observation to make as thorough a case as possible based on evidence to justify the assertion. Certain groups, i.e., men, Aborigines, Collingwood supporters, or whoever, are commonly asserted to behave in certain ways in pursuit of certain ends. Yet, even if those generalisations are found to have some statistical validity, still it is illogical to ascribe behaviour and motive to an individual member of a group on the basis only of her membership of that group.

    It is necessary to have some evidence about that individual.

  314. Val

    Katz @ 312
    I have written chapter and verse on this stuff on LP, including both evidence and argument. If you haven’t read it, ok, but please don’t assume I haven’t done it. As I said to to GregM, your comment sounds as if you think I’m a fool.
    I am going to write a post on this on my blog, so I won’t say any more now.

  315. Val

    Desipsis @ 295
    You are doing the same thing again – taking both what I said, and what PavCat said, out of context in an attempt to make us look wrong. Seriously, something needs to be done about this stuff.

  316. desipis

    [email protected], I appreciate the point you make with your comment @301. I wasn’t trying to make you look wrong. I was trying to add a further perspective to your point, which to me seemed a little bit too rigid. Perhaps I could have made my point clearer, but I didn’t have the time earlier and conversations move on quickly around here.

    My later comment was in response to @ 292 and how it essentially put the words “Sexism is OK” into my mouth on the basis of it being the “only possible conclusion”. It seems unfavourable interpretation is a problem in both directions. The extent of the assumptions required to make this leap seem like they would be problematic to the goal of productive discussion about the topic. It’s not something that bothers me so much, but it does make me inclined to return to the view that discussing sexism on LP is not a productive endeavour. This is something you might want to take into consideration when doing discourse analysis on lack of response (along with the potential impact of moderation on the absence of comments).

    For the record, I think that “sexism is not OK”. The statement does seem to be a little too vague to provide much of an insight into my views though.

  317. Su

    It is the responsibility of the person making the observation to make as thorough a case as possible based on evidence to justify the assertion

    “Consider whether it might have been” is not an observation or an assertion, Katz, it is an invitation to self reflection, an invitation that has not been taken up in any explicit or obvious way, but has been met with ” prove it” and strong indications that reflections upon past conversations are considered unproductive. At this point the best that can be hoped is that self reflection has been occurring or will occur in private.

    I derailed things into a discussion of the morality of specific comments, my apologies, the larger point is far more important.

  318. Val

    GregM @ 289
    So Greg I have had a look at the case you linked. No doubt you are referring to statements that you can’t “peer” into someone’s mind, so I also refer you to other statements that a simple assertion that something isn’t the case is not sufficient defence against it, and there is also a need to look at the facts.

    So – when Tony Abbott appoints a cabinet with only one woman in it, I don’t need to “peer” into his mind to see sexism operating, nor do I need to accept an assertion from him that it isn’t. I can judge on the facts.

    As far as putting an argument with evidence about the Labor party, Rudd supporters etc, as I said, I’ll do that on my blog.

  319. Val

    Desipsis @ 316

    PavCat wasn’t putting words in your mouth, she was talking about the logical conclusion of what you said. (Apols PC I’m sure you can explain this much better than I can but anyway …)

    Could I suggest you read the whole exchange again and hopefully it will make sense? (I’m not being rude.)

    With all due respect to Mark @ 300, it does appear that feminist comments are disproportionately likely to be misread or misrepresented on LP.

  320. Mark Bahnisch

    Maybe the best way to go is with a (relatively) clean slate? Discuss something substantive?

  321. Moz of Yarramulla

    [email protected]:

    Congratulations, Moz, you have been appointed an honorary witch for services to the supernatural for 2013.

    This is too subtle for my poor brain, I can’t work out whether you’re being sarcastic or not. Either seems reasonable. But I do hope this is an approving response to my labored mainsplaining.

    The temptation to leap on my trusty treadly and whip down to Newtown to see if there really is a frock waiting for me is strong. I like the idea of being a fashionablly frocked Newtown witchy hipster. If I was, could I be de-frocked? Then I’d be a formerly fashionable de-frocked former hipster decamped from Newtown. So to speak.

  322. Casey

    Oh these poor men, they cannot understand a supernatural honour from a stiletto puncture to the brain.

    My dear Moz, as I explained to Russell, (who seems to be responding to his honorary witchhood by confessing to every sin he’s ever committed against red jackets on the blog), the coven which meets on another plane on the internet got together and decided you wuz one of the good ones.

    By which I mean to say, I don’t feel you need to apologise. I think your contributions have been really interesting and insightful. Why I voted Green cause of you and your ‘Casey don’t be a nong, you have to vote for someone, what a nong’ schtick.

    Just one thing: You’ve misunderstood your instructions (Why do I have to teach these minions everything, I don’t know). The dress if for ME, you don’t get to wear it, don’t even think of putting it on, I will know if you do.

    You hold the dress (and I mean hold it in your hands) until I issue further instructions.

  323. Russell

    Yes, brilliant Casey … even though we all know about cats and witches, and that men are like dogs, it still works: snap at a dog and it’ll snap back. Throw it a schmacko/imaginary honour and it will trot obediently along behind you, hoping for further rewards.

  324. Val

    Russell @ 323
    Wot? Are you trying to suggest getting cross doesn’t work?

  325. Val

    Dammit

  326. Moz of Yarramulla

    Does this mean I get biscuits? Biscuit?

  327. Russell

    “Are you trying to suggest getting cross doesn’t work?”

    Not falling for that: telling women not to get angry; not while my mind is fixed on schmackos.

  328. Russell

    Funny how simple minds work … all this talk of schmackos … I had to get up and go get myself a TimTam.

  329. Val

    Well anyway it’s not my fault – I was just up on the thread, chatting about sexism, as you do, and suddenly I found I was arguing a case in the High Court. It’s enough to make anyone grumpy.

  330. jungney

    Yairs, well, sorry if I offended anyone with comments on another thread. Truly sorry. Redact away, Mark, if it seems appropriate.

    I’ve been away for a few days, up the bush, and am refreshed enough to note Casey’s comment to Moz @ 322:

    My dear Moz… the coven which meets on another plane on the internet got together and decided you wuz one of the good ones.

    Which goes some way to explaining my confusion, the other day on another thread, about respondent’s identity because, as is now apparent, there actually is a monolithic view about what constitutes acceptable opinion in relation to women and feminism. It is clear that this bloc derives from caucusing “on another plane on the internet” about who is a “good” man or not. No wonder I couldn’t tell one person from another!

    Moz @ 283 writes:

    Unfortunately I think we need to add feminism to the list of things we can’t productively discuss here, along with Palestine and recent ALP prime ministers.

    To which Casey dings away @ 284 in praise of the fact that Moz has proposed that feminism is not a fit subject for discussion here on LP.

    Some cultural revolution, comrades.