oppression

All posts tagged oppression

Gay in School

Published May 4, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Gay in School

This episode of Insight explored the topic of “more and more kids are coming out in their teens. What does it mean for students, parents and teachers?”  There is the usual gaggle of passionate, naive and ignorant people expressing simplistic views on a complex topic. I avoid these types of shows because I become so frustrated when people attempt to argue a point often lost in the pain of their own story. Alternately, you have those less enlightened among us argue from a position informed by dogma over reason.

The topics

Homophobia (working definition only) – is more about society ensuring people comply with Heteronormativity as the default. It violently dehumanizes, alienates and marginalizes any who offer a threat to the norm through their thoughts and actions. The most obvious targets are the LGBT communities and we do take this issue personally, because homophobia questions our very existence and is a physical danger. Therefore, for the LGBT communities homophobia is about survival and not some academic argument around inequality. However, it is this very point that limits our ability to engage in any debate to address this without becoming somewhat emotionally overwhelmed and defensive.

In this context, homophobia is about ensuring compliance from all teens to the rules of Heteronormativity. It is a whole of community issue not one solely for the LGBT communities to address. The reasoning behind this position is the institutionalisation of homophobia, even in the face of recent progressive reforms. We as a society discriminate against the other because they are not the same, in doing so deny the diverse nature of humanity.

 Bullying – is often a manifestation of homophobia in addressing the later the former would readily be resolved. If we accepted social diversity or that people interact in a myriad of legitimate ways then there would be no need for a moral policeman like bullying to enforce compliance to a narrow set of dysfunctional cultural conventions.

Identity – Personal conception and expression – the psychological & social   

Sex (biological) , gender (social) , sexual orientation identity , Sexual orientation

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex

The issue here seems to be more about how the existences of people, who do not confirm with cultural convention, challenge the status quo. It seems throughout the ages the LGBT communities find themselves fighting everyday to challenge the ignorance of Heteronormativity .  Heterosexism a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favour of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships, which in affect institutionalises homophobia legitimises violence and marginalises the other. How to challenge this situation question the norm, challenge the status quo and reject sameness.

diversity is the reality of the human condition

Coming out can be an event or process for the individual in disclosing aspects of their identity, like all of life’s developmental milestones it comes with its challenges. There is no arbitrary age when somebody becomes aware of sexual orientation rather it is all normal until somebody tells him or her differently.  We know about the social sanctions, which enforces a level of compliance with societal norms. Sometimes we feel compelled to comply, reject and ignore with each decision adding an additional layer of guilt around not being normal.. What we ask of the people who love us is unconditional support if we choose to come out.

The Arab Spring

Published April 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

It seems strange I have chosen at this time to write on what some call The Arab Spring, a series of protest in Africa and the Middle East nations against authoritarian rulers. A people’s movement featuring various forms of civil disobedience for example rallies, marches and strikes sometimes met with open violence by authorises. These events have seen increasing civil unrest across the region as the democratic tsunami rolled from Tunisia through Egypt and beyond. It has resulted in regime change, with the legislative/policy change, sacking of several governments, heads of state resigning, and even civil war. The people voice demands for political reform to end decades of authoritarian rule, which is unprecedented in the region.

Including

Tunisian Revolution , 2011 Egyptian Revolution , 2011 Libyan civil war

2010–2011 Algerian protests, 2011 Bahraini protests, 2011 Djiboutian protests

2011 Iranian protests, 2011 Iraqi protests, 2011 Jordanian protests

2011 Moroccan protests, 2011 Omani protests, 2011 Syrian protests

2011 Yemeni protests, and others

What inspires me about these events is the civil passion to challenge the violent authority of aging dictators and seek to reinvigorate their nations. While I see, the calls for democracy in simple terms as a people demanding change to improve their lives. Some have described this social change movement as a youth movement. However, in these protests I have seen people from across the lifespan standing up and demanding social justice.

It is not about

Debates based on competing political philosophiesAmerican Imperial, Capitalism  and Socialism

Islamist threats verse Western interests around securing oil supplies

The power of social mediaTwitter, Facebook and the blogger sphere theses are tools they are not feet on the ground

Traditional relations between the West & Arab people – as those being ousted are mainly Western puppets

However equally it may be about some and/or all of the above

All I can say is let the passions of the people reinforce their resolve in seeking to write their own destiny and defeat those who seek to expunge the flame of justice.

Labor lost this election

Published August 22, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

It seems the trend for hung parliaments or minority governments continues, Australia faces this situation for the first time in 60 odd years. While Labor obviously lost this election, the conservative should not take any solace from this outcome because they did not win either. The puppeteer master of the mad monk has not delivered anything near a majority, instead it seems the Greens and independents will be kingmakers. The games start now with the question which party has the skills to negotiate a real coalition and not some simple marriage of political necessity because they come from the same church.

Labor

It is time to vacate the centre ground and return to their socialist roots, to mount a truly red oppositional position and not some insipid shade of blue.  People look for an alternative and if you put a policy agenda forward, that is identical to your opponents then whom are you running against. The right wing has no place in Labor its 30 year reign needs to be ended, let the bloodletting begin make the axe sharp and the aim accurate dispatch the NSW right to the pages of history.

Greens

It is time your time to start acting like a real political party and negotiate, cease the eternal antics of take the false high moral ground of our way or no way. If you continue in the vane of previous years, you too will find yourself in the same dustbin as the democrats a spent force. The flames of power are bright and enticing but beware, as Meg Lees found out its burn can prove fatal.

When our romance with Liberal-democracy ends is the day democracy will be born a new without the spectre of feudalism like a phoenix from the ashes.

Feeling left out

Published August 16, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

At the official launch of Labor’s 2010 campaign Bob ‘the right wing patsy’ Hawke promoted as the esteemed father of modern Australian Labor, a faded image of its historical self. One could argue Hawke is the architect of processes that has seen Labor swing from a social change agenda towards reinforcing the mundane status quo of the centre-right. However, he cannot take all the credit successive Labor leaders have blindly facilitated these processes in turning a socialist force into a party of insipid lawyers, academics and right wing union stooges. Their only goal to retain political power for its own sake with no ambition to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged or address other social justice issues. Rather, the opposite seems to be the case in mounting a laundry list of middle class welfare responses to endear themselves to the aspirational voting blocs.

This may explain why it seem at the present there are no visionary political leaders,  rather the opposite with the performances of Gillard and Abbott during this campaign. Even today Gillard sort to invoke Obama with her ‘Yes we will mantra’, while the mad monk shopkeeper could only offer another round of criticisms. Some commentators argued it is an attempt by Labor to make a distinct contrast between them and the Coalition, the question then is what these differences are.

  • LaborSocialistcentre-right – a mob  of insipid lawyers, academics and right wing union stooges
  • Liberalsliberalist – conservative – voice of business and private enterprise with a culture of  shopkeepers, lawyers and doctors
  • Nationals – conservative voice of regional, rural and remote Australia –  whinging landowners who rarely look beyond the next harvest and complain bitterly about anything especially, how hard life is and how poor they are.

Do not look here for fire in the belly politics advocating social change.

Queer and Asking

Published July 27, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

While watching the ABC’s Q&A or #qanda tonight (Monday 26 July, 2010) what came to mind was this the debate that we needed to have not just over 24hrs ago.

The panel covered a wide range of issues including climate change, immigration, leadership, and same-sex marriage among others. It was jovial high-spirited entertaining and even feisty at times more than can be said about the Great Mass debate, oh the Leadership debate.

3 things stand out

Not sure whether Malcolm Turnbull is Liberal, Labor or Green he is such a little rainbow

Richo is as feisty as he has ever been he backed Penny on her fight for Gay/Lesbian equality in government & within the party

Penny while mainly adhering to the Party line showed some good leadership qualities and never backed down from her position.

Christine sadly sounded more like a whining Librarian

The other person was some right wing moron who made up the numbers

The Great #Massdebate of 2010

Published July 26, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The Leaders Debate 2010

Gillard won for the following reasons

  • She gave a polished professional performance
  • Backed up her answers with credible qualifications including a broad knowledge base on specific topic
  • Kept to script in so much as the narrative she is telling

Abbott lost for the following reasons

  • He invoked Howard not an original idea in his head
  • He looked confused at times and out of his dept
  • He continuously read from his notes
  • Spin Spin Spin

Sky News gave it to Abbot, not clear on how they came to that conclusion, other than some sort of editorial commentary.  In the main it was called a line ball, with neither side truly advancing their case but simply playing it safe.

My wife and I

During the ‘Great Dull Leader’s Debate’, only one thing stands out Abbott introducing his wife Margaret (I have a spouse & you do not). Then today she appears side-by-side with him for the first time on the campaign trail, at a Brisbane childcare centre. Gillard is a single woman, but does have a partner Tim Mathieson and obviously, this situation does not fit the vanilla 1950’s narrative. It seems no matter how sophisticated the world becomes the dominant narrative breaks through, where the wife of the candidate is no more than a political accessory. Gillard does not fit this stereotype, she then becomes an obvious target for the venomous barbs of the media, a bit like comments about hairstyles and fashion in minimising the contribution women make.

My wife & I

Kev 07Thérèse Rein

Lil Johnny –  Janette Howard

Vote for the GreenSenator Bob Brown

Queers United: Word of the Gay: “Hundred and Seventy Fiver”

Published August 14, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Queers United: Word of the Gay: “Hundred and Seventy Fiver”

The inverted pink triangle, originally intended as a badge of shame, has become an international symbol of gay pride and the gay rights movement.

the Nazi amendments to Paragraph 175, which turned homosexuality from a minor offence into a felony, remained intact  until 1969.

In 2002, the German government issued an official apology to the gay community for this discriminatory policy.

Law

Published August 2, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Rainbow Legal – Australian Legal Links of interest to LGBTIQ (practical & reform)

GayLawNet – comprehensive resource

Australian Human Rights Commission – Complaints: 1300 656 419

Parliament of Australia – Know & lobby your local Federal member

Australian Law

Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department

Australian Law Online

National Association of Community Legal Centres

NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby

Department of Justice and Attorney-General

Legal aid Queensland

Women’s Legal Service

Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby

Gay and Lesbian Equality (WA) Inc

Darwin Community Legal Services

Australian Coalition for Equality

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group

Take from it what you may and your always welcome to add to the list or ask for the links to be updated

Will there ever be a ‘Post-Racial’ Society?

Published July 27, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Will America Ever Be A ‘Post-Racial’ Society? | NEWS JUNKIE POST

By Gilbert Mercier

The article gives some commentary on race relations in the US after the arrest of an African American academic Henry Louis Gates in his home by a White police officer. What resulted from this incident were claims of racial profiling and subsequent comments by the President, which caused a political whirlwind.

Points of interest

  • Racial divide did not magically end because of Obama’s election
  • ” racial politics” in America are far from over.
  • African-American & Latino experience, racial profiling by police
  • Minority status makes people automatically potential suspects.

America has come a long way from its ugly past as far as race relations, but we still have a long way to go.

Additional Information

African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968)

International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination

Commentary

In the past 40 – 50 years there have been significant advance in civil rights however the old hate has not disappeared, discrimination has just become more sophisticated. This is but one example of Institutional racism, whereby is

“the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin”.

In this case, the police acted on a report that two black men were trying to break into a house, in fact they where however one was the owner of the home Mr Gates.

Further Story by Womenmusing

Black Men and Crime What’s The Story?

Unity Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Published July 21, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

DavidMixner.com – Live From Turkey Hollow

Part One “Oh Lord Not Now!”

Part Two: Learning from History

Part Three: Picking Our Issues

Part Four: What Now?

I will let Mixner’s words speak for themselves, the key points here are the themes he explores and question he asks.  The article speaks to what seems to be human nature that ‘we don’t learn from the past’ and for whatever reason generation after generation seeks to reinvent the square wheel. His target the self-appointed and self-styled ‘New Gay Civil Right Movement’ (US) it seems a network of vanilla mainstream Gay/Lesbian civil rights organisations. When reflecting on historical successes of liberation movements he makes the following point

“People with clearly defined values and principles are the best agents of change. Those who are willing to negotiate or compromise beyond those values and principles often find that they merely face more demands for them to compromise again…. Individuals who know ‘the line in the sand’ and refuse to compromise are often instigators of great change.”

It seems Mixner calls for us to draw a ‘line in the sand’, a position based on our principles that we will not make a compromise on. He reflects on the 200-year campaign by African Americans to gain freedom and some sense of qualified equality. He indentifies the work of Dr King, and attempts to draw some connections between African Americans journey and our own. However, we were there too, campaigning for equality and observance of our civil rights it seems that all those oppressed by the cultural elite demanded equality at that time.

If we are serious about a civil rights movement, we need to start answering a range of questions.

Who are we? The Rainbow Nation or Vanilla wafer

What is the underpinning ideology? Socialism or Liberal Democratic individualism

What are our shared or community vision, values and beliefs?

Where do we come from? rural, regional, suburban or cosmopolitan

When do we start addressing these issues? Strategic or ad hoc

How do we unify such a diverse community? Collaborative or elitist

Why do we need to undertake this task? Aims & objectives? Goal?