All posts tagged women

Gender, lifestyle and politics

Published July 28, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

You know when political critics are desperate they start making personal attacks, this seems to be the case now with Gillard.

Brown ‘disgusted’ by attacks on Gillard

The question then becomes how significant is lifestyle choices in this campaign or is gender the real elephant in the room. Gillard is a single woman and currently lives in a common law or de facto relationship possibly perceived by some as a threat to the patriarchal social order. While Abbott packaged as a real fair dinkum bloke with a happy family reinforced recently through the strategic roll out of his wife and family on the campaign trail exemplifying the patriarchal ideal. One could then argue this situation has little to do with the policy positions these politicians represent, and they would be right because it is more about mounting an ideal or playing to the electorate’s perceptions about what should be.

Further to this point, one could equally argue this to be an example of political ‘Othering’?

How significant is gender and personality politics in this campaign?

The vanilla 1950’s narrative

Published July 26, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The origins of modern Australia heavily shape its institutions, traditions and worldview. This timely narrative has its roots in an Anglo-Celtic English speaking Christian tradition whose ancestors settled/invaded this great southern land. A perspective grounded in heterosexism and reinforced through an adherence to a conservative sexist misogynistic functionalist dogma. This sees the primary social unit as a married couple and their offspring living in apolitical suburbia. Men perform the role of provider through outside employment, women as unpaid family carer in maintaining the home and caring for the family. While increasingly, women have careers and undertake outside employment often as an addendum to their traditional role. The total sum of the family’s efforts goes towards the fulfilment of the Australian dream and hence a contribution towards the maintenance of society.

Kev 07 Has Moved to the Backbench

Published July 9, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Two weeks seems a lifetime in politics on the 24 June 2010, Kevin Rudd fell on his political sword for the sake of the party. Some may argue a man of honour who saw the writing on the wall, the Caucus elected Julia Gillard to the position of federal leader of the Australian Labor Party and therefore the 27th Prime Minister of Australia. Ms Gillard also became our first women to hold the second highest office in the land as head of government.  This was not without a dash of shock and awe besides the goings of the faction bosses, a party dumped a first term PM. The reasoning for this action a laundry list of both policy and program failures:

Where did Rudd Fail?

  • Consulting widely then ignoring the advice
  • .in pursuing the news cycle rather than managing it
  • Policy on the run without consideration of reasonable checks and balances
  • Keeping your friends close and ignoring everybody else

You could nominate all of the above plus others.

Rudd’s failure is symptomatic of how Labor traded its core values and beliefs for political convenience in becoming another insipid conservative party.

Gillard seemingly is not fairing much better than her predecessor did with little gains in the polls and more knee jerk policies

Ms Gilard righ wing puppet?

Our galah of the week:AMA president Dr Andrew Pesce says gay people should not have IVF

Published August 5, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

AMA head Dr Andrew Pesce in IVF row | Herald Sun

by Eleni Hale August 02, 2009 12:00am

The new AMA (Australian Medical Association) President Dr Andrew Pesce decided to share his informed views on In vitro fertilisation treatment (IVF).

His view

“Fertility treatment is there to treat diseases that cause infertility, it shouldn’t be there as a lifestyle choice,”

My view

The good doctor just stuck both feet in his mother, IVF may be useful in treating infertility however, where does the lifestyle choice tag factor into this equation.The view expressed by the good doctor smacks of 1950’s patriarchy,  although I may be wrong? I have seen too many child safety cases to say that having a child is some universal right it is not. Although, I do admire women who commit themselves to undergoing this treatment because of the impact on every dimension of their being.

He went on and qualified his position

His view

“For example, single women (who choose IVF) don’t have a disease, they just don’t have a partner. Same-sex couples, they don’t have disease but they are using an option that gets around the natural order of things.”

My view

Who says it was a prerequisite for the woman to be infertile or “have a disease”?  Just in clarifying single women cannot receive treatment because they do not have a partner and same-sex couples cannot receive treatment because it is something about getting around the “natural order of things”. Who determined this natural order and what is it precisely.

The inference taken here is that

  • IVF , does not involve using a med8ical 0proceedure to get around the arbitrary acts of biology
  • eligibility the key criteria being applied here is that women can only have treatment if they have a man as a partner?
  • A Single woman and/or a woman who identifies as a Lesbian do not experience fertility issues

In conclusion, it is not only the Law that is an Ass but some in the medical profession also share this distinction.

Sonia Sotomayor – First Hispanic US Supreme Court Associate Justice

Published July 29, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Supreme Court nomination announced for associate justice 26/05/09

Submitted to Senate 01/95/09

Senate confirmation hearings commenced 13/07/09

Record in Constitutional Cases

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – Sonia Sotomayor – Questionnaire

Confirmed By Senate Judiciary Committee 29/07/09

Senate opens Sotomayor confirmation debate 05/08/09

Senate confirmes Sotomayor as the 111th justice of the
Supreme Court by a vote of 68-31. first
Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the court. 06/08/09

Sotomayor takes oath from Chief Justice Roberts  AP 08/08/09

US Supreme Court

Drowning in the Shallow End: Third Wave Feminism

Published July 28, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Drowning in the Shallow End: Third Wave Feminism

by Heather Tirado Gilligan

In the 1990s, a new generation of women heralded the dawn of a new feminist era. But does declaring a “new wave” – particularly one that equates individual lifestyle choices with activism, consumer power with feminism, and diversity with racial equality – make for a feminist social movement?

Heather Tirado Gilligan explores this issue through interviews with feminist scholar Jane Elliott, Colorlines managing editor Daisy Hernandez, lesbian filmmaker Aishah Simmons, and Chicana feminist Cherrie Moraga. Gilligan proposes feminists drop the wave metaphor and organize around the less socially palatable but more pressing goal of addressing inequities.

This article comes to an interesting conclusion in that the author argues

“Our rights, such as they are, were won by the tireless work of earlier generations of feminists, and obligate us to correct the inequality that continues to structure women’s lives, starting right now.”