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The Left Has Been Hijacked

By Dr Matthew Mitchell

The left has been hijacked by unwitting servants of the neo-liberal agenda.

I was talking to a friend the other day explaining how I always considered myself left wing, but now apparently I wasn’t. I explained why and she declared that the left has been hijacked.

And it struck me: she is right, it totally has. Remember when the left was about worker’s rights? It was about preventing the rich giving themselves privileges whilst denying ordinary people both rights and access to resources. It was, in large part, about protecting people and the environment from the rapacious appetites of the elite rich. In short, the left was about ensuring that everyone had a level of human dignity and the ability to raise a healthy, happy and educated family.

So what is the left now? I tell you it is no longer about these things. I know this because I am being told that am I no longer left wing, but alt right wing. I tell you why I find this strange. For many years I have written, spoken publicly and protested against: TPP trade agreements; GMO’s; fracking; homelessness; and the destruction of the environment. I am, and have been involved in environmental groups for over a decade. I have been a union branch committee member for nearly 10 years, I have gone on strike while colleagues kept working. I have gone on union marches. But I am informed, by other supposedly left wing people, that I am now right wing, even though I continue to do all these things. It gets worse … not only am I being told I am right wing, but I have also recently been categorised with Incels. Why? To be honest, I don’t fully understand the logic, but it seems it has lot to do with not agreeing that there is a “Patriarchy”, and accepting the whole gamut of complaints and grievances based around this concept.

It seems now that you are not left wing if you fight for worker’s rights, you must largely forget that and fight now for trans-rights, for same-sex marriage rights, you must denounce the Patriarchy and acknowledge it as the source of all humanties problems. This is NOT what the left wing used to be about.

Thus the left wing has been highjacked. And I argue that it has been highjacked by – perhaps unwitting – servants of everything the left wing used to stand against. The left has been highjacked by agents of the neo-liberal system.

We do not see in our papers headlines decrying the excesses of the rich, we do see headlines about global warming – but only because it can no longer be ignored. But where is people’s energy going? It is going into false battles about same-sex marriage, about supposed Patriarchy – which sets women against men – causing much damage and pain. Meanwhile – hidden behind this smoke screen – the rich get richer, the earth dies, common people bicker and argue about Patriarchy and marriage rights while everything burns around us. And all the while the press declares this as progress and trumpets changes in laws about marriage, and discriminating for women (and against men) as signs of progress. The world is being destroyed, families are being destroyed, debt is growing, congestion is growing, the environment is being destroyed, and men are being pushed out of work, becoming more and more sidelined in society. Families are falling apart and people becoming more frustrated, more angry and more violent. Yet amongst all this discord it is declared that there are signs of social progress. What a bloody mess! And who can we turn to now? The union movement has almost been crushed by neo-liberal forces, or sold out to growth, and it too has been directing resources into the new ‘left’ agenda.

Where do we turn? It seems the neo-liberals have finally won at last. I guess we will all go down fighting and bickering about the various ways men have oppressed women thoughout history, and still do today, as the rich appropriate the remaining resources on the planet then party as they watch it, and all us, die.

This article was originally published on (We) can do better.


162 comments

  1. Ricardo209

    mm A bit pessimistic I think. After all it is possible for those who might agree with the broad sentiments to walk and chew gum at the same time.

  2. Yvonne Robertson

    Is that you Mark Latham?????

  3. Alpo

    “Patriarchy”?…. Oh my gosh, that’s so 1968…. Who are those guys you are talking to?

    But I don’t think that the left is dead. There are new issues that 40 years ago were still emerging, such as environmental sustainability. Now that’s a mainstream concern, but it’s not a “latte-sipping issue”, it’s actually rather important. Gender minority issues (including same-sex marriage)? Well, that’s an issue about discrimination (which includes racism, ethnocentrism, etc.). Discrimination is a very important problem to be solved in a full Democracy and decreasing discrimination is an important objective of the “left”, especially now that we have so much movement of people of different races and ethnic background around the world.

    Workers’ rights? They are not dead as a central concern of the left. Just look at the recent marches organised by the ACTU!… and also look at the alternative economic plan of the ALP as compared with the Neoliberal plan of the Coalition.

    Now, having said all that we must distinguish. Not all views of the “left” are the same. For instance, there is a Socialist-Marxist left (as represented by the Socialist Alliance, for instance), but there is also a Social Democratic left (as represented by the ALP) and there is a Greens left. What do the voters think about those different expressions of the “left”?
    ALP primary vote: 34.73% (2016 Fed. election)
    Greens: 10.23%
    Socialist Alliance: 0.03%

    There you go. That’s the distribution of voters’ support across the spectrum of alternatives within the left.

  4. Frida

    Shame you feel like that, but personally I don’t see that at all.
    Maybe my age, gender, location & circumstances affect my view, but there’s no way I relate to anything associated with the right/neo-liberals. I’m a proud Lefty & have been for nearly 45 years.

  5. Andrew Smith

    Disagree, too many view politics, society etc through very old prism of left vs right when many of the old left hold strong nativist and/or culturally conservative views; does not excuse numerous old skip Labour types working for IPA, banks etc.

    Further, as evidenced by the UK Labour Party’s Momentum insurgency, radical left youth following old ideas precluding EU access for future generations under the guise of opposing ‘globalisation’, ‘supranational structures’ etc. mirroring old conservative swivel eye loon nativism.

    Too much astro turfing of views or ideas that masquerade as left but mask deeply nativist economics, class system and ecology. This is manifested by old fossil fuels and related oligarchs having their ‘sustainability’, ‘limits to growth’ etc. constructs to appear ‘liberal and environmental’ but are nothing of the sort.

    The give away for rebranded eugenics movement are obsessions about identity, ‘immigration’, zero population growth, with the economics of Malthus, Ricardo and Smith, eg. ecological economics of Herman Daly’s zero growth economy; great for the top 1% to preserve their privilege but not society.

  6. David Stakes

    I am very much at 68 of the Socialist Alliance stance and proud of it, I dont want these Bastards get away with what they are trying to do.. At times it is very hard to try and convince people what is right.

  7. diannaart

    How, exactly, have the Neo-Libs won?

    We (well, at least the Left I believe in) are still having to fight for the environment, for free public education, for public transport, for liveable incomes (both minimal and welfare), transition to sustainable technology, science, for unions, for equity without exception (this includes minority groups such as LGBTIQT or First Nation people or even women who remain under-represented in every public sphere).

    The left I believe in remain against further mining of fossil fuels, the power of monopolies over government, against the interference of church into state, against torturing refugees and much more.

    I am not seeing what the Neo-libs have won apart from getting the left to destroy itself. Prime example being, whenever anyone mentions that it might be a good idea for the left to unite and work together against neo-liberalism, people are vilified and told in no uncertain terms that Labor is the only way and the Greens and everyone else go get forked.

    … and what Frida, Yvonne, Alpo and Andrew said, while I was trying to pull words together …

  8. Matt

    Ricardo209,

    People can walk and chew gum if they wish, but I what object to is when they call chewing gum walking. Lets leave left wing as one set of issues, and feminism and its related LGBT issues as another. That way if I sign up for one, I am not somehow later finding out I am signing up to one or more other things that may, and are, morphing over time with no clear direction. The left has a clear purpose, which has been supported and fought for over a long time, it has included both men and women equally – both have endured the suffering during strikes – it has never set one gender against another by claiming oppression on gender grounds. Nor has it ever traditionally said that one gender is more responsible for our problems than the other. That is not the left. That is something new, dangerous, divisive and counter productive to the aims of the traditional (true) left.

  9. Don A Kelly

    These days every politician tells us that we must Balance the Budget. That alone tells me that the neo-liberals have won.

  10. diannaart

    The traditional (true) left

    the one that never changes, evolves or becomes more inclusive of all people – that ‘true’ left?

  11. @RosemaryJ36

    Many people in the older part of the population have grown up believing that most issues involve a dichotomy: right or wrong, (right or left!), up or down, female or male, black or white, digital or analogue, citizen or alien – this list could go on forever.
    But 50 Shades of Grey (the concept, not necessarily the artistic representation!), autism and the issue of same sex marriage have a common feature – they highlight that there is often a spectrum of possibilities between the extremes.
    Politics at present is one which deserves close examination in this context because, in an attempt to insist that you must be supporting either the conservative right wing or the Labor oriented left wing, there is no effort made to explore possible compromises.
    My childhood in England (I was 3 when WWII broke out) was spent with shortages, because of rationing not poverty, the necessary loss of many freedoms and parents at opposite ends of the political spectrum. My mother was a fierce Tory supporter while my father followed the British Labour party.
    I sat on the fence, seeing plusses and minuses in both extremes and wishing they could see how they actually agreed on so many of the really important issues.
    I had a good education, in no way limited because I was a girl, and the stand-outs for me, in terms of their value for a more mature understanding, were science – in all its forms – and the study of comparative religion. (I can now, much later in life, also appreciate the value of studying law.)
    Can you believe that, in the middle of the twentieth century, a Church of England secondary school could appreciate the value of encouraging its more mature students to be able to appreciate the extent to which the world’s major religions hold so much in common? And how unimportant are so many of their differences?
    We spend so much time and effort arguing over those petty differences, that we overlook the ways in which we share the same basic goals and need to reach a reasonable compromise over how to achieve them.

  12. Matt

    @diannart

    The left has always been inclusive of all people – who are not the neo-liberal elite.

    @RosemaryJ36

    The changes that are taking place are not just petty differences – they are fundamental differences. They are causing much more than petty arguments – they causing a rift in society, and to be quite frank – they are very harmful – and I strongly suspect so called justice movements like #metoo are contributing to male suicide – don’t ask me for evidence – it is too early for that yet. But I believe the evidence will come, on the damage in that respect and others, not to mention assaulting legal principles that came around through workers fighting for rights over centuries that now might be removed. I mean the right to be judged by your peers and to be innocent until guilty. If not formally, informally, through social media. Make no mistake these are very serious rifts with the traditional left and what it fought for since the Magna Carta – it is not petty differences – it is a completely different direction!

  13. clarelhdm

    This piece seems to be a thinly veiled attack on feminism, ‘me too’ and various associated women’s movements under the banner of ‘the hijacked left’. Dr Mitchell, if you want to complain about these things, go ahead and do it, but don’t try to hang it on some broader agenda of a dying left. As others have commented, the left is alive and well. It is perhaps less cohesive, but maybe that is a good thing. I don’t agree with, nor devote my energy to, every cause under the left banner. Some of them I agree with passionately, some of them I disagree with. I think a fair critique would be to say that with an expanded leftist agenda there has to be an acceptance that not everyone will agree with everything that is loosely categorised under that banner. Unfortunately party politics doesn’t work that way, and very often people become fundamentalist in their positions and expect total committment to an idealogy. I think that is where things go west very quickly

  14. Matt

    @clarelhdm

    Oh it is not thinly veiled at all! If people want to pursue these agendas, fine they are entitled to. If you disagree fine, but do not call these things traditional left.

    If the left is alive and well why are we losing penalty rates? Why are we following a ponzi growth agenda that will be bad for all future Australians – because we already see where it has taken us – to congested suburbs, to ‘gig’ economy jobs and wages, big business is booming, and the best the little man can hope for is a franchise – which as we see in the press, is just a new form of oppression under the guise of ownership. We are losing badly.

    Matt

  15. clarelhdm

    Well Matt, ideas develop and become more complex. Unless of course they are just ideologies which resist change and become brittle and broken. A few people above (Alpo, diannart) have argued that traditional leftist ideals are embedded in these broader issues. Whether you want to call them non-traditional leftist ideas or something else is up to you.

    I still think you actually want to have a very big gripe about women and me too and feminism et al, and it would be more honest if you just did that. Though it is like what every second man on the internet is currently doing right now. Suddenly they have all discovered that life is not always fair and just and you can be accused of something you didn’t do, and might have to fight through the courts for justice.
    Which is just not news for any woman anywhere who has honestly reported sexual abuse, and then has found her character assassinated by a defense lawyer who wants to claim that this ‘slut who was asking for it’ was the reason for some guy’s appalling behaviour.

  16. Kaye Lee

    “Remember when the left was about worker’s rights?”

    Remember when women had to resign if they got married?
    Remember when women were not allowed to vote?
    Remember when women could not get bank loans?
    Remember when women were not allowed to enter public bars or be members of clubs?
    Remember when women had to promise to obey their husband?
    Remember when there was no such thing as paid maternity/parental leave?
    Remember when women did not get equal pay for equal work?
    Remember when men thought it was ok to objectify women?
    Remember when homosexuality was a criminal offence?

    There was a time when the left, like everything else, was just about white men’s squabbles. Thankfully we have made some progress but, as this article shows, we still have a long way to go.

    And no, fighting against discrimination does not stop me from fighting to save the environment or fighting against the threat that inequality poses to social cohesion.

    Women and gays do not want to take over, they just want to participate as equals, judged by their actions, not by their looks or their sexual orientation.

  17. Kerry F

    Matt I know where you are coming from. Anyone can see that the political left has been hijacked by personal greed, making it not really “left” anymore.Watch how all politicians in Australia are only safeguarding their high paid jobs and rorts. They don’t care about anyone but themselves, surely this is a sign of the successful neo-liberal?

    I just saw our ex PM Julia Gillard interview the odious Neo-Liberal Hilary Clinton. As a left leaning person I am supposed to automatically support HC. But I just don’t trust her. There is a huge push in our media to make a false equivalence between US Democrats and Australian labor. If they are equivalent then we are in very big trouble because the Neo-liberal-Neo-cons hijacked the Dems in the US a very long time ago.

    I used to sign every Change.org or Aavaz (silly me for believing they aren’t political) petition that came into my inbox, trusting the issues were all about social justice or ending war etc etc. Then at some point I became aware that petitions can be and are hijacked for political purposes. I’ve seen many questionable agendas lurking behind the innocent facades of petitions. Obviously this is not the majority but there is a steady stream of influence and fundraising flying under the social justice banner that has no accountability and that can target our country from anywhere in the world.I believe this is a much bigger deal than it appears to be.

    Identity politics gone mad has taken us into strange new territory and if we resist or question an issue we are called “right wing nut jobs” or “Putin apologists”

    I support the Greens most of the time and it irks me that Labor cannot bring themselves to co-operate with the Greens. What does this say about how truly “left” Labor actually is?

    I don’t think that Neo Liberalism (or neo-conservatism ) has won but i do think they have long since subverted the two party system in the west.

    Personally I would love to end the two party system and have only independents representing electorates.

  18. paul walter

    Thanks, Dr. Mathew Mitchell

    Your words are a balm for fellow lefties also long persecuted for being left for the same reasons as yourself…our failure to subscribe quickly enough to self-absorbed identity politics ahead of the reality of situational politics.

    I so endorse your comments and distance myself from misleading comments of the type presented by Kaye Lee, who I thought understood reality better.

    I’m tired of me too stuff while the West Asia burns and even capitalism is retrograded back to feudalism… see if the world cares about naughty words when whats left of twentieth century social democracy is gobbled up by a few Murdochian oligarchs.

    Forget the sooking and get back to critique to remember the big picture.

  19. Matters Not

    Seems to me that the (relatively undefined) Left was once about X and is now about X plus Y – with the Y currently enjoying a staring (but perhaps temporary) role on centre stage. But to suggest that X is now in the historical dustbin seems a stretch.

    To put such developments down only to neo-liberalism also seems a stretch. Perhaps such developments might be better explained in terms of righting past wrongs, philosophically speaking – and that we can also chew gum and walk at the same time. Thus a ‘left’ that is more principled, more aware and ….

    That might be the new bigger (and better) picture.

  20. Kaye Lee

    “misleading comments of the type presented by Kaye Lee, who I thought understood reality better.”

    Perhaps you can enlighten me as to how my comments were misleading? Is it YOUR reality I am supposed to embrace?

    “Forget the sooking and get back to critique to remember the big picture.”

    Oh gee…how remiss of me. It’s not like I ever write about anything important, being a girl and all that.

    Some of us are capable of thinking about more than one thing at a time.

    Major eye roll.

    It really surprises me that some people cannot see that equal opportunity for all is important, regardless of gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, religion or socio-economic status.

  21. paul walter

    Totally.

  22. Matters Not

    It would seem there’s only one reality. But to date no-one’s provided a link to same.

    Until then, most people will carry on as normal. Constructing a reality … etc

  23. paul walter

    You are welcome to yours. Hopefully, reality doesn’t intrude.

  24. paul walter

    Mum, can we go home now?

  25. wam

    A very pleasant read .

    Reminds me of the treatment negus got when bullshitting thatcher.

    So who said that, ‘you weren’t left wing’ how many, where and when?’

    Beauty, Kaye!!

    Do jewish, christian and muslim women believe equality is important or even possible?

    Wow kerry when it is not ‘most of the time’ do you think labor could trust dibransimkims??
    As for independents, I was lucky to see a council of independents operate. The decisions were argued from the floor not in a party room. Sadly a lovely man died and the by-election put in a loonie. The next election put in two greens, a couple of labor and libs and ‘party positions’ seem the order of the day???? However that was 13 people not 150 with the calibre of katter, brandt and sharkie wandering in the shadow of wilkie and mcgowan.

  26. Trevor

    The “left” of political discourse in Australia and the “right” are but two wings of the same bird.
    The “altright” is a new term for the same rump of conservative politics that throws up all over itself, in its designation of who is the “left” and what the “left” may stand for, or not stand for more to the point.
    The right wing politic in Australia has always been about co-opting popular movements and designating “not left & left” in its desire to create a public face that the “right” knows what is needed for society.
    But in fact the history of the “right” shows that the right is populated with crass, opportunistic, godless power mongers who hold a belief that they are the natural leaders.
    In believing they have unconferred rights as leaders, the “right” always has to shout about how “ right” it is. It is just another of the falsehoods that separate the “right” from the rest.
    Historically the “right” has represented the holders of capital and the “left” the plight of the workers whose labour is their only bargaining tool.

  27. johno

    Dr Mitchell, Don’t agree with you at all.

  28. bobrafto

    When Rudd came to power I felt to a certain degree that there wasn’t that much difference between LNP and Labor and that they were sucking up to the big end of town and it didn’t get much better when Gillard took over.

  29. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    Look you can find plenty of evidence of oppression in the past – for both women and men- in response to your list:

    Remember when a men and women had to get permission from the the rich to get married?
    Remember when when men and women worked like dogs improving land owned by the rich, only to be removed and left with nothing?
    Remember when the Countess of Sutherland insisted all men join her army or she would turn out their families, and then they returned from war to find their families gone and their villages destroyed anyway?
    Remember when common people worked their own land, did not care about riches, but instead about being good people? (until the land was taken from them and they were offered sex and drugs and other substandard pleasures in place of simple living)
    Remember when society was about both men and women working together, and taking responsibility and action, and not blaming each other, but rather working together to create the society they wanted?

    In case you don’t know about these things, why not try a dose of humility and extend your historal knowledge, here are some extracts:

    “The young Highland men of Sutherland (the few that were left) produced the following statement when called to service:

    “We have no country to fight for, as our glens and straths are laid desolate, and we have no wives or children to defend as we are forbidden to have them. We are not allowed to marry without consent of the factor, the ground officer being always ready to report every case of marriage, and the result would be banishment from the county. Our lands have been taken from us and given to sheep farmers, and we are denied any portion of them, and when we apply for such, or even the site of a house, we are told that we should leave the country. For these wrongs and oppressions, as well for others which we have long and patiently endured, we are resolved that there will be no volunteers or recruits from Sutherlandshire. Yet we assert we are as ready as our forefathers were to peril life and limb in defence of Queen and country were our wrongs and long endured oppression redressed, wrongs which will be remembered in Sutherlandshire by every true Highlander as long as grass grows and water runs””

    And evidence that they just wanted to be good people:

    “The ambition of the people at that time was not to improve the soil, but to reform the church […] to tread down the Whore of Babylon, and the Man of Sin”. (William Aiton, General View of the Agriculture of the County of Ayr, 1811).

    See more how, about how the common Scot was dispossed of everything here: http://candobetter.net/node/5495 It is the same model used globally, INCLUDING TODAY – IF WE DO NOT STAND TOGETHER WE WILL ALL FALL – that has ALWAYS been the creed of the true left – lets not forget it and allow the elites to destroy their opposition.

  30. Kaye Lee

    I am not sure what the history of Scotland has to do with the discussion which I thought was about feminists and gays hijacking the political left in this country.

    “why not try a dose of humility”

    I am not sure what you are implying there. Am I expected to agree with you that women should just shut up and accept your view that feminism is a bad thing?

    “It is going into false battles about same-sex marriage, about supposed Patriarchy – which sets women against men – causing much damage and pain.”

    Marriage equality was not a “false battle”. Nor is feminism. I completely disagree that feminism sets women against men. Quite the contrary. Women are asking to be equal partners with men, to work together, to be allowed to contribute more than just being brood mares, domestic servants or eye candy.

  31. Andreas Bimba

    I agree with Don A Kelly that as long as progressive people and parties call for balanced federal government budgets then neoliberalism is winning.

    Restoring the progressively scaled taxation system, preventing tax evasion and removing wasteful tax concessions that predominately benefit the wealthy will not suffice to deliver full employment, a robust sustainable economy and an adequate social welfare system.

    Greater federal government deficits (without the unnecessary $ for $ issuance of government bonds) and a job guarantee scheme, along with the rest of the progressive and environmentally sustainable agenda, are the only practical solutions.

  32. townsvilleblog

    The Left was always about the progress of ordinary working people in Australia. There are still millions of shop assistants, clerks, stores people, gardeners and others who draw either the minimum wage or only slightly above for whom the Left provides the only chance of a decent life. These days though it seems that the Left has largely turned away from our fellow Australians and have become involved in theory rather than practice. This, in my humble opinion is why many have turned away from the ALP and are searching for a political party that can represent their aspirations.

  33. Andrew Smith

    While unions take a kicking in media, this ignores how the same unions and media have largely ignored changes in demography and occupations.

    Many Australians are discouraged in the corporate or private sector from becoming union members to make life easier for management while burgeoning casualised workforces in sectors such as cleaning, hospitality, security, health/medical, education, IT etc. are ignored?

    Have observed an odd resonance between old working class and old conservatives in media and politics where we are supposed to worship white working class in traditional and often declining industries, wearing hard hats, work boots and fluorescent vests for media optics or imagery to influence the influential upper median age vote.

  34. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    The article doesn’t say anything about feminism being a bad thing or not – it says it is different thing to the left. And Scottish history has everything to do with how people are dispossessed, then degraded so that they fall into base lusts as the only form of joy and pleasure left (apart from the decadent rich, who have always had this problem). Harassment is certainly a problem – and I don’t think women should have to put up with it. What I object to is the mis-identification of the causes – the common Scottish people as they lived traditionally would never have had need for #metoo movement – they would have respected and treated their women much better. What has us led us (in Western societies – I don’t know about other cultures) to such a sad state is neo-liberalism – and it is that that I am arguing we need to fight – and we need to do it together. Then we can really address the source of all these problems.

  35. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, your comment at 1018 is disingenuous- you know damned well what Matt is saying.

    To stoop to Corry tricks has something of redolence to it but highlights the flaws in self-preoccupied Identity politics against true critique.

  36. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    As further evidence of the relevance of the Scottish example – the neo-liberals(ruling elite) have always tried to set those they oppress against each other – a well known strategy of theirs is to use one minority and set it against another -eg: they used Scotts to oppress the Irish, and then the Irish (who carried a grudge) to oppress the Scotts. Of course, there were also sold-out Scotts, who were quite happy to oppress their own people.

    But the aim is the same – direct anger not to the true oppressors, but to the Irish (or vice versa, the Scottish) – see in that the benefit to them setting common women against common men, or any other oppressed group against each other.

    Matt

  37. diannaart

    I enjoy being enlightened – not so much having suspicions confirmed – but ignorance is not bliss – have always prefered to be as informed as possible.

    @Paul Walter

    About bloody time your revealed your trad old-school point of view – I knew it.

    @Matt

    I do not know you – but it has been interesting, particularly your claims that Labor has ALWAYS included the rights of women along with men

    No, Labor has been dragged into supporting women, very slowly and still not quite there yet.

    BTW just saying something does not make it true, by which I mean your dismal reply to a reasonable number of questions I placed above, this being:

    The left has always been inclusive of all people – who are not the neo-liberal elite.

    No it has not, it has not always welcomed people of difference race, colour, gender or creed until (mostly from needing to bolster numbers) it decides to open the doors a smidgeon.

    As for your throwaway line “who are not the neo-liberal elite” – What does that even mean? That unless a person fits exactly within your narrow definition of a leftie then, by default, that person must be a “neo-liberal”?

    Binary thinking, Matt.

  38. Matt

    @diannart

    A few references I think are needed for these claims. Also perhaps a tad of sensitivity to context and circumstances. It is true that unions in Australia in the early days were against immigrants from the neighbouring islands (and this is in some part what sits behind the white Australia policy). They had seen what happened with the slave trade in America, and they knew that such Islanders, if bought in, would be without the family and social support of workers in Australia – i.e they new Islanders would be exploited as low-wage labour force – dragging down Australian conditions. Remember the sheep shearers in the 1800’s went on strike – one leader was shot (this was aroiund the time Banjo coined his “Watzing Matilda” tale – the men on strike went hungry in the fight against greedy squatters). We know they were greedy, because cheap Australian wool was what made sheep farming in Scotland unprofitable (the very sheep that displaced the Highland Scots I refered to above – another failure of short-term neo-liberal exploitation). Anyway it was cheaper to buy wool shipped from Australia than from Scotland. We see the same exploitation of foreign workers now with 457 visas etc – non-local workers are vulnerable – and it is such workers that form essentially slave labour forces, even in qutie developed countries. The old unionists were way ahead of the modern ones on that count.

    It was also the exploitation of women (and children) in the emerging factories in England that led to the destruction of old industries and whole communities. So I would be very careful about laying blanket charges of sexist and racism in a complex economic situation.

    In relation to exploitation of foreign workers see for examples:

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/21/malaysia-forced-labour-casts-dark-shadow-over-electronics-industry

    Extract:

    Malaysia: forced labour casts dark shadow over electronics industry

    Migrant workers are the fuel driving the electronics boom, yet some face exploitation, poor living conditions, curtailed freedom and harassment

    As to who the neo-liberal elite are – I think you are splitting hairs. This has always been those who and control capital – these days mostly those running or behind mulit-nationals. Please do not try and pick fights where they do not exist. A little charity please.

  39. Matters Not

    Re:

    against immigrants from the neighbouring islands

    But the Asian mainlands mostly. Try China as an example if you want to understand the root cause of the White Australia policy.

    The anti-Chinese laws of the late 1870s and 1880s, and the White Australia Policy of 1901, were declarations that Chinese people were a threat to mainstream Australia; For individual Chinese people, this could mean violence, wrongful arrest, commitment to a “lunatic asylum”, forced vaccination, eviction from the farms they’d built up, or being refused permission to re-enter Australia.

    The largely uncontested explanation of Australia’s anti-Chinese history is that it was based on fear of Chinese competition, because they provided cheap labour, in the gold rushes and later the labour market.

    Violence, strikes, marches, protests and riots, eventually forced an unwilling ruling class, to legislate against Chinese immigration. In the course of this struggle the labour movement won over most of the other classes in society so that by 1901, the White Australia policy could be adopted with virtually unanimous support.

    http://www.goldrushcolony.com.au/australian-gold-history-culture-info/chinese-australian-gold-fields/anti-chinese-racism

    A visit to any historic goldfield site will reveal the extent of the extreme discrimination – that didn’t even end with death. Separate cemeteries etc. Many became market gardeners by necessity not choice.

  40. diannaart

    Matt

    I know there remains a great deal of misogyny from the left towards women, I know this because I am both well-read and,… wait for it … a woman of the left – I’m experienced if ya know wot I mean …

    I am not going to be sidelined into arguments that are not really directly pertinent to what I, Kaye Lee, and many others have been trying to explain:

    Not all sexism against women is perpetrated by right-wing males.

    A good example is the following:

    …when “progressive” men are called out on their sexism they often seem gutted: like their very identity has been challenged.

    Indulge me for a second. Think of your dad not doing the dishes in the 70s. Maybe mum challenged him and called him a lazy sh*t, he laughed, picked up a tea towel and waited for his standing ovation.

    Think of the contemporary progressive dad. All the research shows he’s probably still not doing the dishes (metaphor, big picture) but challenge him on this inequality and there’s a good chance he’ll feel that the very idea of who he is has come into question: but I’m one of the good guys, I’m trying so hard, I’m a feminist goddamn it!

    This leads to the absurd and head-scrambling situation where progressive men – in both the public and private spheres – are arguably harder to call out on their sexism than a Sam Newman.

    I know for sure this can be true of progressive male comedians and it certainly seems to be true of their journalist and commentator mates.

    So, I’m asking my brothers this: how about, if and when you’re accused of sexism or even misogyny, imagine you’re not involved and it’s someone else. Imagine Eddie McGuire has called Adam Goodes an ape again, or Mark Latham has trolled Annabelle Crabbe or Pauline Hanson has asked for an enquiry into Halal.

    Now hear their defences: it’s only a joke, people are too politically correct these days, you’re attacking me and it’s NOT FAIR.

    And before you bite back or issue an apology-non-apology that implies the recipient/s of your sexism were too easily offended or “sensitive”, at least consider that it’s you. That it just might be you.

    That would be actual progress.

    https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/12/why-do-left-wing-men-fail-to-see-their-own-misogyny/

    or there’s:

    I believe the Labour leadership team do want to fight for equality for women but they think it is a happy byproduct of the cause, something that will trickle down without actually being campaigned for. And because of this they could potentially turn a blind eye to terrible misogyny in some of the causes they support. What worries me about this is that good feminists might turn a blind eye too, for the sake of their man.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/07/misogyny-feminism-stop-the-war-jeremy-corbyn

    My reason for including the Guardian article is to point out many women (of the left) aid and abet the patriarchy as well.

  41. Kaye Lee

    “Kaye Lee, your comment at 1018 is disingenuous- you know damned well what Matt is saying.”

    Yes, unfortunately I do know what Matt is saying.

    “The left has been highjacked by agents of the neo-liberal system – It seems now that you are not left wing if you fight for worker’s rights, you must largely forget that and fight now for trans-rights, for same-sex marriage rights, you must denounce the Patriarchy and acknowledge it as the source of all humanties problems. This is NOT what the left wing used to be about.”

    I fail to see how feminists and gay rights activists can be called “agents of the neo-liberal system”. Fighting for equality has absolutely nothing to do with neo-liberalism. The implication is that we, either unwittingly or knowingly, are just a distraction from the important stuff. The implication is that the fight for equality has eclipsed everything else and we women and gays aren’t pulling our weight in fighting for workers’ rights and to protect the environment. The implication is that we don’t care about inequality. Those are implications I totally, and sincerely, reject.

    Matt seems upset about comments made to him on the internet.

    Belatedly pretending the article is about oppression of the poor is what is really disingenuous.

    PS Thanks for those quotes diannaart.

  42. paul walter

    You see Matt, so much of Identity politics is actually conservative smear dressed as postmodernism.

    The most fatuous claim of all refers to early trade unionism as “racist”, but wasn’t is a far harsher world in those times, when dirt poor workers fought against offshore labour being recruited by bosses to crush union resistance.

    Funny how history is repeated a century and a half on, people on the dole these days have to live on $38 a day because the union movement has been so weakened by a flood of imported labour.

    I wonder what conditions we would be living under now if people like Diannart and Julia Banks had had their way back then instead of the unions in worse times.

    Never mind, when things reach the stage of being impossible to change; CAN’T be changed, THEN we will see what the sheep bleat.

  43. Kaye Lee

    paul,

    “if people like Diannart and Julia Banks had had their way back then”

    What the hell is that supposed to mean? Tell me the similarities between what diannaart has said and what Julia Banks has said. Oh that’s right, they are both women. You accuse us of being “sheep” with absolutely no idea of the battles we have fought, and continue to fight, and then wonder why we get pissed off.

  44. paul walter

    Ahh..missed your fresh comment, Kaye Lee.

    You DID offer a way out of sorts suggesting somewhere that false binaries can, with some mindfulness be resolved. I read that and thought it offered me an opportunity for further comment, because there is, of course, no contradiction in helping gays or many women, since they of the working or oppressed class also. Socialist feminism recognized this back forty years ago, but as I recall, this essay is most of all about liberal feminism as antithesis to social feminism.

    Do I want funding restored for women’s shelters closed down so sleek middle-class people mainly obsessing about their bodies on TV or the press could have yet more tax cuts?

    Yes.

    Of course.

    Narcissistic selfishness and feminism are surely antithetical, I would have thought. It is THIS cleavage that Matt has drawn attention too and rightly so.

  45. Kaye Lee

    I don’t consider expecting equality to be narcissistic though I do understand that many white heterosexual men think that way. How dare we draw attention to ourselves when we should be concentrating all our efforts into the causes those men think are most important.

  46. paul walter

    Gee, you must not have read my last posting.

    Please go back and reposition your thoughts to an accurate conclusion after your read.

  47. paul walter

    As for Banks and Diannart, both appear to welcome the consequences of a deregulated labor market, so what’s the problem?

    Of course, it might have been a good alternative that Wall St and City of London had avoided spending trillions pounding the Mideast to rubble for the most selfish of reasons masked as a “Civilisational War”, investing in the Third World so that workers there did not need to leave home. Perhaps a bit lateral, I know.

    Better be quiet now. Wouldnt want to be seen as “racist” because I don’t want to end up in the gutter as well.

  48. Kaye Lee

    I am trying to do what diannaart suggested and read from the other person’s perspective.

    I can understand the frustration at the time taken away from other issues by the marriage equality debate. It didn’t have to be that way. They could have just quietly voted in parliament so we could get on with other things. But they wouldn’t. It took loud noise from the public to make them do it.

    I can understand the resentment felt about positive discrimination and female quotas. I wish we were to a time were that wasn’t necessary. We will get there, even without deliberate actions, when home duties and child rearing and caring for older or disabled people is truly a shared responsibility. We will get there when the right women are promoted rather than, as is too often the case now, the women who repeat what the men tell them to say. We will get there when workplaces provide flexibility and when society supports individual choice. We can annoy you by whinging for a long time to make something slowly happen by tiny increments or we can be proactive to crack the dam.

    I can understand the perception of #metoo as a train with people wanting to jump on board. Speak to any woman you know. We have all endured sexual harassment (or worse for some). Some of us had the support, the strength, the confidence, and most importantly, the economic independence, to tell men to f*ck off (in one way or another). For too many others, that sort of resistance got them beaten down. And yes Matt, that happens to some men too.

    I agree there are other challenges we must be addressing. As was said early in the comments, we must be able to multi-task.

    The left is still fighting for all the things Matt spoke about. We fight together.

  49. diannaart

    I am being placed into the box of “self-entitled privilege” with Julia Banks??

    Is there something I don’t know? Have I won a massive lottery jackpot, become instantly wealthy and, therefore, in spite of my lifetime of experience of hard work and struggle, am now in favour of a deregulated labour market AND believe Newstart should not be increased?

    WTF?

    Nah, I am still on a Disability Pension due to a combination of workplace injury and illness, I was on Newstart and run up debt just trying to survive – I have mentioned this on AIM before.

    These are difficult times, sometimes I cannot always be sure I am being understood.

    But not today, Paul.

    I have not stated here or anywhere else the claims you have made about me.

    You are lying deliberately – to provoke a response?

    I don’t know. Don’t really care, Paul – your opinion of me is not on my list of great concerns.

    All you have achieved, thus far, is to further the division between people who should be trying to find cohesion and work towards ridding the control the far-right have achieved in this country.

    Confusing times, indeed.

  50. Andrew Smith

    Conservative &/or nativist media and communications strategy has been successful in confusing and/or sidetracking old left with non core cultural issues, mostly about their old culturally specific culture, at the expense of good policy development in areas for the benefit of broader society.

    No surprise Australian politicians, media and related influencers can avoid addressing the future with other nostalgic sentiments to obsess about; Australia has some of the most consolidated, narrow and shallow media in the world feeding social narratives.

  51. Andrew Smith

    By coincidence, beware of long term consequences of appealing to ageing white men and women for short term political gain; changing demographics may force change:

    ‘Public pressure should also be brought to bear on Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the co-chairmen of 21st Century Fox, which owns Fox News. Many of Trump’s policy decisions and tweets track whatever his favorite Fox News commentators say on any given day. In the long run, though, kleptocrats tend to make prey of plutocrats. If the Murdochs care about their long-term fortunes, their best move may be to have their network tell the president: “You gave it a good try, but you’re tired and clearly unhappy in the job, so why not just quit and go play golf, for the sake of your health?”’

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-end-of-republican-party-by-j–bradford-delong-2018-05

    Heard the expression many years ago regarding conservatives of both old left and right venting about identity, immigration, equality, globalisation etc. (helped along or reinforced by our Murdoch style media), ‘ last wank of the skip(ocracy)’; for now our media has us locked into looking through our sepia tinted rear view mirror. One day it will change…

  52. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    You often do this – it is a really bad thing to do – I do not say what you are thinking (inferred without evidence, and in fact to the contrary of what I have expressly said and other evidence) – it is as bad as any neo-liberal trickery – it is disingenous and works to stir up dissent and resentment.

    You say:

    “Matt seems upset about comments made to him on the internet.

    Belatedly pretending the article is about oppression of the poor is what is really disingenuous.”

    I can tell you I do not give a damn comments made to me on the internet – if there are any that are upsetting!

    To accuse me of not caring about the poor is absolutely atrocious – I can accuse you of anything, but you do this despite my having written for years about Occupy Wall St, Homelesness, having being involved in initiatives in my own area regarding these issue.

    And you come along and state BASIC LIES (i,e bearing false witness) to try and discredit me and make your arguments look correct. What an absolute excess of pride, no wonder we are in such mess, when people act in such selfish ways!

    I have made my position clear – in posts and articles I have written over many years – and you have seen them! People can disagree with I don’t mind, bit don’t fall this level!

    https://theinvisibleworld.weebly.com/
    http://candobetter.net/blog/315
    https://independentaustralia.net/profile-on/dr-matthew-mitchell,197

    Here is my position:

    Same sex marriage and transgender morphing is not something I support – i think these people are ill – and I know because I speak from personal experience! NEED I SAY MORE ON THAT – for everyone who thinks I am bigotted – I come from a position of loving and caring.
    I DO CARE about women and them being harassed – I think it is a shocking state of society, and it was bad enough in the 70’s and has gotten no better despite years of activism around the in appropriate objectivation of women – if anything the objectivation of women has gotten worse – and when you have so-called feminists dressing as sluts and saying that is empowering for women – I know there is something wrong!
    Who drives the sexualisation of culture? The rich- and those seeking to be rich – with their sexualised women in their moves – even worse than the 70’s – with their pushing of porn – so that young men – and women – end up addicted to sex – no wonder there is a problem – the surprising thing is that it is not worse!
    A bunch of rich actresses – in an industry that makes money from sex complain about sexual harrassment. YEARS after it happened, once they are rich and famous – leaving others vulnerable – then complain THAT NO ONE did anything to protect them! What hypocricy!!! They were in the best position to do something – yes, there was risk or personal sacrifice – that is what selfishness is all about – putting yourself and your own interests above others. It is not bloody rocket science.
    Further example of the hypocrisy: You have people like Jane Fonda – who presented the most sexualised images ever put to screen then complaining – once she is rich and famous – about the sexualisation of women!! Good Grief!! It would be fine if there was enough self reflection and humility for her to admit her own role in all this.

    But I by now I have made my position on everything pretty clear – I don’t care what ‘comments’ people make about me – I expect not everyone will agree – but I DO NOT EXPECT character assassination by made up assumptions!!! It is legally, and morally wrong what you are doing KAYE LEE.

    Matt

  53. Kaye Lee

    “To accuse me of not caring about the poor is absolutely atrocious”

    I did no such thing. I said the article is not about oppression of the poor. I do note, however, that you accuse feminists and gay rights activists of being “agents of the neo-liberal system” – a premise I strongly disagree with.

    I will not ever be going to the site candobetter so don’t bother linking to it. Aside from my computer blocking it as dangerous, it is full of complete crackpot stories like Israeli agents carrying out the Port Arthur massacre.

    And now we get to the actual crux of the matter

    “Same sex marriage and transgender morphing is not something I support – i think these people are ill.” Your homophobia is writ large Matt.

    “when you have so-called feminists dressing as sluts” This is dangerously close to victim blaming Matt.

    I have not mentioned your character at any stage Matt but you are doing a damn fine job of sullying it yourself with comments like that.

  54. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    I think we understand each other Kaye, and I think your comments are NOT IN GOOD FAITH – I am not sure what your agenda is, but I am looking for solutions – you it seems to me are not engaging with that objective in mind..

    Matt

  55. Trish Corry

    What the hell have I just read? This article reads like the author has serious women and homophobia issues and has absolutely no coherent argument or evidence to back up what he is trying to say. Back later.

  56. Kaye Lee

    I am more than happy to discuss solutions. We just have some different ideas about what the problems are.

    I have no agenda whatsoever. I am just adding my opinion about the topic at hand.

    I strongly believe that the left is still about worker’s rights, lessening inequality, protecting the vulnerable and the environment, and providing equal opportunity for all or, as you put it, “ensuring that everyone had a level of human dignity and the ability to raise a healthy, happy and educated family” (I don’t find the raising family part essential but I agree with your summation)

    But you tell us the left is “no longer about these things” and the reason you give for that is “I know this because I am being told that am I no longer left wing, but alt right wing.”

    The point I have been trying to make is that women’s rights and gay rights are just part of this same fight for dignity. There will always be people who go too far in things they say, there will always be disagreement within the left about priorities, but we are all on the same side. People are passionate about different issues but we need that passion.

  57. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    Ok, well if you can leave out the insinuating assumptions – then I am quite prepared to engage with you. I am happy to accept this point of view you just put above – and indeed I think that your perspective has merit – I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on all issues – but my primary point is the one I made in the article: that we will have no rights worth having once we have been dispossessed of everything. That to me is the first and foremost thing, and that should be the priority.

    Matt

  58. Elizabeth

    I’m a woman, a feminist, a lefty and a single mother dependent on Centrelink and causal low paying work. I agree with this article and it voices many of my concerns I’ve had for a few years now. Metoo is turning into revenge not justice and I’m appalled by the energy being poured in that brand of feminism while the issues of poverty and disadvantaged experienced by thousands of women Are ignored. Modern gender and identity politics seem to have become a sexy distraction From the mental illness crisis, poverty and growing disadvantaged.

  59. Kaye Lee

    Elizabeth,

    The #metoo movement has brought the issue of sexual harassment into the spotlight. It has made employers think about workplace safety for women. It has made men think about gratuitous advances to female work colleagues. These are not “sexy distractions”. These are real issues that women face in their everyday working life. It is often high-profile cases that bring about change.

    I absolutely agree that poverty, disadvantage, homelessness, domestic violence and a host of other issues too many women face must be addressed as a matter of urgency. I disagree that the left have abandoned those battles.

    I do agree that politicians exploit populist issues but that does not detract from the ongoing battle being waged by so many people to offer support and protection to workers, the disadvantaged,and the environment. Labor’s policies are a step in the right direction, with much more work to be done.

    The media chooses what to report on. That does not mean other campaigns have stopped.

  60. paul walter

    Clear cut comment from Elizabeth.

    Stop trying to fudge it, some of the rest of you.

  61. Kaye Lee

    Fudge what?

    I am not sure why identity politics is considered a bad thing. People band together because of shared concern about an issue rather than because of allegiance to party politics.

  62. paul walter

    Fudged completely then?

  63. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    I get your point, and I think your comments are well intended – but you are missing precisely the point I am making – for all the talk and bluster about #metoo – nothing is improving! It is one thing to clamp down on sexual harrasment, but it does not address the cause. I doubt it will stop women getting raped, nor – unless we are to completely abandon legal principles – will it prevent them having to give unpleasant testimony about what happened. We already have laws against all these things, in that regard not much can change – the only thing #metoo can change is the penalties and maybe the mode of justice – but it will reduce rape? I suspect not. Will it prevent people harassing – or more to the point – having a desire to harrass – even if they dare not act on it? Having a bunch of closet harrassers out there is not really a great solution.

    The root problem is damaged and messed up people – these people are coming out of our damaged and messed up families and society – they are messed up because it is messed up – it is becoming totally disfunctional, and I am arguing that much of this disfunction can be traced back to dislocated people, unhappy people seeking solace in porn, exploitative people seeking to promote porn, and violence (either real – as in terms of wars, or virtual as in terms of games etc). The films that I hope my children don’t see, that depict women as primarily sexual objects, not to mention the foul music videos that are produced. This is the bad bread and circuses used to sedate and pacify us and as a substitute for the more meaningful joy Indigenous communities got from their attachment to the land, to producing from the land and from being with each other and supporting each other (and the Scottish were one such community – thus I use that as an example, even Western society had its Indigenous culture, and it was nothing like the neo-liberal one we see today).

  64. benway

    Anyone who thinks the patriarchal system is not in full control should read this comments section. There are near textbook examples of tactics continually used online. Obfuscate, misinterpret, falsely accuse, cast aspersions upon character, and finally, outright accusations of falsehood.

    Extremely misleading title, from a very dubious site. However, it does highlight how the ‘alt-right’ gains ground through appeals to emotion, and the extreme lengths some will go to in order to justify their emotional view. I suppose it’s self-delusion, they so want their opinion to be fact that they clothe it in an ill-fitting garment of historical references to imbue it with the appearance of fact. It doesn’t work, but certainly reveals how an emotional attachment trumps all facts in politics.

  65. Matt

    Ah – Benway – you have provided very exactly evidence of the charge laid in the article – I stand here accused by you of being ‘alt-right’.

    Matt

  66. paul walter

    Matt, they don’t get that lib feminism is actually a conservative diversion, something that encourages self absorption and fatalism.

    While lib feminist faux concerns fill MSM issues like the Tory assault on social infrastructure, a manifestation of neoliberalism that oppresses women most, remains sidelined in the shadows.

  67. paul walter

    Yes Matt, that is the magnitude, the extent breadth and depth of misconceptions induced by conservatism masked as divisive faux lib feminist mythology; they cant tell black from white, or who the real enemy is.

  68. Kaye Lee

    How you can say that crap paul when you have read so many of the thousands of articles I have written about a huge range of topics, many including the conservative assault on our society, is beyond me. I am actually capable of thinking about many things.

    You guys seem inordinately threatened by feminism. Don’t worry, we will still fight your battles too.

  69. Matt

    An example of neo-liberal forces at work – disfiguring our living spaces:

    “People have lost control of their city to the development industry and government acting on behalf of vested interests instead of the voter,” he said this week.

    “It’s been incredibly disappointing to see how public policy has been subverted toward achieving private gain at the public expense.

    “It’s terribly hard to interrupt that process when the property industry has such incredible power.”

    He often spoke about the need to increase the density of development in a way that respected heritage and rejected high-rise towers.

    “I’ve never met anyone — outside of the construction industry — that likes what’s happening to our city,” he said. ”

    https://www.domain.com.au/news/respected-melbourne-planning-expert-michael-buxton-retires-from-rmit-20180512-h0zwq1/

  70. Matt

    Thanks for your support Paul, I think you are pulling out some salient points.

    Matt

  71. Andrew Smith

    benway: I agree, and further I recognise names on the website of nativist and/or conservative activist types masquerading as left or progressive when in fact more alt right astro turfing.

  72. Rhonda

    OMFG! Paul and Matt – mutual wank fest, more like.

  73. Matt

    Andrew,

    Whose names? I certainly expect people like benyway – and perhaps Andrew yourself – to call me alt right – that is exactly what I am complaining about. Benway (or perhaps Andrew) what is your definition of someone who is left wing?

    Rhonda,

    Rather foul language I think (but maybe some will claim I am showing signs of conservatism by that too!) It would be more useful if you expressed why you think that, if you really want to participate meaningfully.

    Matt

  74. paul walter

    None so blind as those who will not see.

    Never mind, I’ll take a trained academic mind over the rest of you, anytime.

  75. diannaart

    AIMN thank you for existing.

    I can read the astute, thoughtful and well researched articles from a variety of people, and there’s more, finally put aside the (many) accommodations I have been making for Paul Walter over many years – rather than listening to my inner “old-white-man” alert I have taken into my consideration Paul’s often expressed adoration for the writings of Jennifer Wilson, a woman I hold in great esteem (see here at: https://noplaceforsheep.com/ ) – even though I would write in simpatico with Jennifer on matters of sexual politics, Paul would never attack her as he did me – I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. In fact after a particularly nasty trolling by Paul Walter and a few other regulars to Jennifer’s blog, I decided to leave well alone.

    I was doing something wrong – despite Jennifer’s support of my comments – clearly she was saying something that did not offend the old men, whereas I was (apparently) rocking the boat. Therefore, I have shut-the-f*ck-up about my concerns for children being exposed to extreme types of porn. I do not consider myself one of those uber-Christian conservative shills such as Miranda Devine, of which which Paul et al claimed I was a member. His linking me to Julia Banks yesterday, brought it all back – I am so far removed from those screeching conservative women of the right as to the very thought being laughable,

    The Left I support is a movement which supports everyone – be they female, male, LGBQTI, black, brown and even white (not all whites are privileged). While I consider climate change humanity’s very highest priority, that does not mean I can ignore injustice, even if the type of injustice does not directly effect me – because I do know if we allow bigotry free rein sooner or later it will come for us – just a bit of a paraphrase on the truism “they come for the Jews… and I did nothing…” (please google if the dear reader does not understand).

    Inequality, injustice, inequity, authoritarianism (from either the right or left) has consequences.

    Just because someone claims they are “of the left” does not mean they receive carte blanche when expressing hate for women’s rights or the simple right of equal marriage.

    And calling people from the gay community “sick” is hate speech.

    Having had more than what I consider my share of #metoo moments, I applaud women and men finally getting to talk out loud about their experiences and being taken seriously – except for a few who do not accept anything which deviates from their rigid ideas of sexual identity.

    As the saying goes, “better out than in”.

    😉

  76. paul walter

    In recollection of “Brave New World”, where the mob turns on the hero when he tries to get them to throw away their soma.

    So be it.

  77. diannaart

    Paul Walter

    Never mind, I’ll take a trained academic mind over the rest of you, anytime.

    A trained academic mind such as?

    Dr Stewart Hase is a registered psychologist and has a doctorate in organisational behaviour as well as a BA, Diploma of Psychology, and a Master of Arts (Hons) in psychology.

    Men just don’t get it

    This blog is not about the appalling behaviour of Donald Trump and the way he unashamedly treats women as if they were just lumps of meat. It is about the failure of just ordinary Australian men, in this case, senior members of a volunteer, not for profit organisation, to understand what sexual harassment means to women and the effect it has on victims. It is also about a failure of leadership when even ordinary, not even great, leadership would make a profound difference. And, to indulge myself perhaps, it is about what can happen when you become an advocate for victims in a tribe that has no empathy with the victims: when you become a pariah …

    What is clear to me is that men just don’t get it. They don’t understand how women feel and the impact on them when they are sexually harassed and, I suspect, this might be extrapolated to sexual abuse. And when they are offered the opportunity to learn, to acknowledge clear wrong doing, be given expert advice about what sexual harassment means, when it is clear that people are experiencing significant emotional distress, they don’t act. They shuffle away and protect their mates. A massive moral and leadership failure. Leaders stand up when it matters.

    I’d like to think that this is an isolated case, but I know it’s not. At a cultural level we have a long way to go. The attitude that ‘boys will be boys’, ‘he’s just being naughty’, that making unwanted sexual comments to women is just ‘messing around’, and that women need to get a sense of humour when they find jokes that sexually denigrate women, still exists. And sometimes, as I found, some women in powerful positions think this too. I suspect it is just too hard….

    https://noplaceforsheep.com/2018/05/01/this-is-not-about-trumps-treatment-of-women-its-about-ordinary-australian-men/

  78. Matt

    Diannart,

    “What is clear to me is that men just don’t get it.” – that is not the issue. I get – and I admit many times above – that there IS a problem with the way women are treated. The issue is HOW BEST TO DEAL with it, and I do not see what you raise above as the fight. If you want to argue about the best way to tackle it -go ahead, but don’t pick fights that are not there. I also decry the porn that we see.

    Anyway, the issue of mental illness or otherwise is not the main point of the article, although if you want a trained academic mind on this, why not look at what the President of the American College of Pediatricians has to say:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s57T27M1ZXk&t=20s

    But I am not talking about that now – that was only raised in relation to accusations by Kaye-Lee, which we have since sorted through I believe.

    Matt

  79. Kaye Lee

    What accusations? That calling same sex attracted people “ill” is homophobic? That saying women dress like “sluts” is victim blaming?

    We certainly haven’t sorted through that at all. I find those comments abhorrent.

    As for the best way to deal with it, I think a good start is to call people out on their words and behaviour which is exactly what the #metoo movement is doing.

  80. paul walter

    Well, the direction this thread has taken is really summed up in the last genderist spray from
    Diannaart… “men don’t get it”.

    Who else would someone be who “doesn’t get it”, but a man?

    Someone like this “fighting my battles” for me- I’d have been dead long ago.

  81. diannaart

    Paul

    I did not say “men don’t get it”

    Dr Stewart Hase did.

    If you had bothered to read my responses, followed my links, perhaps you may have learned something – that women have valid issues and are entitled to talk about them AND be heard.

  82. Matt

    Kay-Lee,

    You are making my point exactly – you can all me out, but that does not change my mind or behaviour – and I suspect that the #metoo movement is having very much the same effect – it silences, but underneath the surface the attitudes it aims to address are still there, because the same causes are still there. It does not deal with root causes. I don’t deny that women are allowed to voice their concerns and be heard – absolutely they can, but that is not what #metoo is doing – it is not talking about a general problem – it is targeting individuals, and in a way that risks justice.

    Your interpretion of ‘homophobic” is obnoxious to me, as it is based on complete assumption – again – just like I called you out on before – that you know my heart and that you can judge my attitude to homosexuals – completely wrong and innappropriate – I cannot believe you are doing this yet again! It really does make one want to stop engaging with you. If there is anything hateful about this, it is your willingness to judge me and my thoughts and feelings.

    Similarly, decrying the ‘slut walk’ is NOT victim blaming nor is decying #metoo – learn to separate issues – another problem with the ‘new left’ it seems people cannot do this – I do not say these women asked for deserved what happened they absolutely did not – what I am criticising is the response – and we can talk about that, and disagree about that, but it is not ‘victim blaming’ and it is not hate speech.

    Sorry, I have no more time for this forum, and I think I have said all there is to say – and if anything this whole conversation has just proved my point about how much energy and time gets put into internal bickering, over misunderstood issues, with claim and counter claim, while the most important problems are left forgotten.

    Matt

  83. Kaye Lee

    It is obvious nothing will change your views Matt but what we can do is continually decry those who would label homosexuals as ill and women as sluts and, if all it does is silence you, then it gives our next generation a chance to grow up free from these disgusting archaic judgemental fundamentalist bigoted views.

  84. Kronomex

    Kaye Lee and diannart, I think it might be best for you stop letting what are more than obviously a pair of trolls get at you. As they say, stop feeding them and maybe they’ll just go away and pick on their next chosen victim in a never ending search for vicarious thrills.

    Matt (@8.28 AM) – “Same sex marriage and transgender morphing is not something I support – i think these people are ill – and I know because I speak from personal experience! NEED I SAY MORE ON THAT – for everyone who thinks I am…”

    What an idiotic statement. Regarding “NEED I SAY MORE ON THAT” Yes, if you want people to take you a little more seriously otherwise it’s just just a sentence that signifies nothing and means nothing. I look forward to your or Paul’s, no doubt, devastating replies and rebuttals with bated breath.

  85. paul walter

    So? He offered a personal view before getting back to the issue.

    He didn’t say he would ban these things, just that were personally not his cup of tea.

  86. diannaart

    Kronomex

    I know nothing much about Matt and care even less.

    However, I have known Paul (in a blogging sense) for quite a while and am feeling rather justified right now – I have always suspected him of being less than sincerely supportive of women’s equality and, finally, he has shown his true colours. Not just his jibes at yours truly but his comments to Kaye Lee which are as much complete rubbish as is his linking me to various ultra-conservative women.

    All been rather therapeutic.

    Nothing like opening one’s mouth or hitting that keyboard and removing all doubt.

    Cheers

    🙂

  87. paul walter

    Diannaart, your smear tactics nauseate me.

    Are you ever capable of uttering any true word?

  88. DrakeN

    A thought which I posted on the Guardian comments re. a similar topic:

    “Often, the moulds into which women are forced to conform are those created by women themselves; the popular magazines are clear evidence of that.
    My own background is one where ‘sassy’ women ruled the roost: The men made the majority of the community decisions, but lord help them if they did so without talking everything over with their wives and sticking to the decisions made around the kitchen table.
    Celtic, rural and typically Welsh (at least when I was growing up).
    The ‘dux’ on my Engineering Uni course was a typical autonomous woman; my high school mathematics wizz of a teacher was a woman; my highly disciplined and hugely capable chemistry teacher was a woman etc.
    Welsh people were often derided by the “Yffern saison” ( trans: English devils) for being weak in allowing their womenfolk to have equality in decision making and community leadership.
    So, in my experience, it is more of an Anglosaxon/Norman problem than an actual gender problem; aided and abetted by a Roman initiated Christian set of societal rules.
    For my own part, sex and gender are irrelevant to function except in reference to the biological impositions of ‘mother’ nature.”

    To which another person replied:

    “Check out Hywels Law. In the 10th century Hywel Dda codified Welsh Law and this confered inheritance rights to women, who were also entitled to divorce. His laws were abolished following the conquest of Wales and it took effectively 1,000 years for England to catch up.”

    Not all things are as they seem, nor as they are reported.

    Remember the old adage that: “Behind every great man there is an even greater woman.”?

    I have a very working class background; one in which the worker, usually a man, placed his pay packet on the table, unopened, for the woman of the house to apply to the family’s needs.

    Quite a few of the highly opiniated, self proclaimed feminists are of the genre of Emily Pankhurst et al – well heeled middle class with neither understanding of nor regard for the hoi poloi.
    She and her cohorts were in no way interested in promoting universal sufferage across the lower classes.

    Let’s just work towards the ideal of “fair go” and move away from social politics which serve to ‘divide and conquer’ to the advantage of those who continue to skim the cream off the common weal for their own aggrandisement and affluence.

    That’s what the “left” should be doing, but which it has so often failed to achieve through bitter infighting over idiological differences.

  89. Kronomex

    Diannaart, it’s not worth the hassle replying to Paul, he’s trying to needle you into responding so he can continue his now petty trolling.

    “We are all Janus.”

  90. Matters Not

    If Matt and Paul encapsulate the modern day left, then count me out. Thankfully, they don’t. Hopefully, the left survives in spite of the aforementioned.

  91. Kaye Lee

    The really sad part about it all is that it doesn’t make me angry because I am so used to this discussion. When I was 17, I gave a speech and the headline in the local paper the next day was “Schoolgirl pours scorn on sex bias”. That was 43 years ago, 1975, the first International Women’s Year. And here I am at age 60 STILL trying to patiently explain that I’m not trying to take over the world.

  92. Matters Not

    Re:

    that you know my heart and that you can judge my attitude to homosexuals

    Re judge my attitude to homosexuals: Perhaps one should use your own words as evidence: .. I think these people are ill …

    Perhaps you are using ill in some non-pejorative sense? If so, then please explain..

  93. Matters Not

    Re Janus – for some it’s about looking forward and looking back – beginnings and endings – both the past and the future. For other, it’s simply about being two faced.

  94. helvityni

    DrakeN, my experiences in Finland were similar to yours; all schools were co-ed, no one was against having female President..

    I never really understood the fuss been made about Germaine Greer’s book…

    Dutch born hubby , whose family came here in the Fifties tells me that when attending neighbour barbies, the women congregated in the kitchen, the men around the barbecue… When he preferred the female guests, he was called a poofter or a sissy…WOW

    As for Paul, I have been frequenting at least two other blogs were he was also a commenter, he was never a trouble maker or a troll…
    I wish I could say the same about some other bloggers…

  95. paul walter

    Thanks, Helvi.

    Having just watched the last of 4 Corners on Mega Bank HBSB and dealings involving trillions of dollars that goes to the heart of how global politics is arranged, information that travels way beneath the radars of a public drowning in sleazy identity politics involving media and press, I am more comfortable than ever to be associated with Dr Matt Mitchell.

    Anyway, enough for now…back to neo-lib funding cuts for public broadcasting on Media Watch. As I said above, we will see soon enough the consequences of fixation on more self-indulgent stuff when media dumbing down is completed and what rights we have left are long gone.

  96. Kaye Lee

    I see having “Dr” in front of a name immediately earns your respect paul. Perhaps you could enlighten us to the qualifications, expertise and experience of the “trained academic mind” you are “comfortable to associate” yourself with.

    One wonders if that training included religious indoctrination.

    Update: Never mind….

    “Dr Matthew Mitchell (Swinburne University of Technology) is a technology critic, former organic shop owner, bee keeper, back-yard farmer and serving committee member for the Friends of Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Inc.”

    All admirable pursuits….

  97. paul walter

    Kronomex, do you have anything to offer on the thread topic itself?

  98. Matters Not

    Re:

    I’ll take a trained academic mind over the rest of you, anytime.

    There’s training and then there’s education. Given a choice, most academics would probably choose the education label. But at a deeper and more significant level, there is the fundamental problem of outsourcing the personal responsibility of choosing. A metaphorical stamp on the forehead of the other can’t absolve that.

    Perhaps all will be resolved when I discover the existence of God? Then – all responsibility can be outsourced. (Perhaps to-morrow?)

  99. helvityni

    …someone here referred to Dr Stuart Hase… Did Stuart get IT because he is ‘ Dr Hase’, or what ? My father got IT and he was a farmer…(He saw men and women as equals)…

    So why is it OK here to refer to Dr Hase, but not to Dr Mitchell…?

  100. Kaye Lee

    If you are going to quote an “academic” then one would expect them to have expertise in the area under discussion. Dr Stewart Hase is a registered psychologist and has a doctorate in organisational behaviour as well as a BA, Diploma of Psychology, and a Master of Arts (Hons) in psychology.

    He was only brought up because paul said he would rather trust a “trained academic mind” over the rest of us. It was Matt who provided his bio in an earlier link he posted. Personally, I don’t think it requires academic qualifications to take part in this discussion as it is lived experience for us all. Perhaps you could take that up with paul.

  101. Jane T

    I am a retired union official and I have been a member of the ALP since 1975.

    I find it very hard at times to maintain my ALP membership. For me, the problem of modern politics in Australia is that it no longer has a philosophical base. For those who have been in the ALP a long time it was the “Socialist Objective” which I fought against being dropped. With no all encompassing philosophical base, the ALP is reduced to tribalism called “factions” and we have these little groups running around in ever decreasing circles, preoccupied with ensuring that the rank and file should pursue the decision of a meeting at some point in time.

    My point is that many members of the left faction (in the ALP) have no commitment to any philosophy. It is, as if by accident they went through this door marked “left” rather than that door marked “right”. I have asked members of the Left why they are members of the left, and the overwhelming majority cannot give a reason, and at best say they are “progressives”, but what does that really mean?

    I am looking forward to the day when the ALP reintroduces a “non-neo-liberal” philosophical base to build a party platform that is based on principles of caring for the community and the environment, and not a “neo-liberal economy”. We have a long way to go.

  102. diannaart

    @ Kaye Lee

    Thank you for timely intervention into another (attempted) misdirection of fact, specifically why the eminently qualified Dr Hase was brought into the discussion.

    @ Helvityni

    Perhaps you could contact Jennifer Wilson yourself to clarify/remind who caused trouble for whom on her blogsite.

    @ Jane T

    Appreciate your thoughts on the topic – the Left has always been a broad church – just that some of its congregation tend to be forgotten.

    For example, you want the ALP to introduce a “non-neo-liberal” philosophical base into its platform.

    On the surface, I agree with your sentiments. However, I have been accused of being a neo-liberal and, consequently, fed up with labels applied to anyone. We are all different – some of the Left remain pre 21st Century, others are ready to embrace change and move towards a broader, inclusive philosophy.

    We have been accustomed to a vertical power structure which is no longer meeting the needs of most people – as has been demonstrated on this thread – the people (men and women) who disagreed with the author were subjected to false claims to authority, twisting of comments made, innuendo and insult.

    We are facing a very real threat from the LNP coalition. Every day there is further tightening of our freedom and right to privacy, yet there are those among us who would rather cast scorn than listen to an alternative point of view.

    We are not getting any younger, we have trashed our environment for the next generation to clean up, we have watched as privatisation took the onus of service for the people to profits for the shareholder and we cannot even agree on something as straight forward as Equal Marriage.

    🙁

  103. paul walter

    Helvi already knows it was who caused trouble at “Sheep”.

  104. Elizabeth

    I made a comment a few days ago and have sat back and observed the the trajectory of this discussion.
    I’m not going to pretend that I can weigh in on the political intricacies of this discussion in the way the better educated members of this group can. What I can say is how things are looking from where I stand as a lefty feminist. While metoo# is having an impact for some women in regards to sexual harassment there is a huge amount of discrimination happening to a lot of women in the workplace that had nothing to do with those issues and everything to do with being a woman. Women who have been in part time work with no superannuation, a causal work force that can hire and fire at will, unaffordable housing, single mothers, the list goes on and on. So many of the feminist services available to women in my position are based on being a victim of domestic violence or some form of male violence. They are wonderful and doing their best with limited funding but the issue is that this is not every woman’s experience or explanation as to why they are struggling. Many if the issues i and my friends face are due to a economic and labor environment that is smothering our ability to dignified self reliance. And from my point of view that is what the left and feminism is all about.

  105. Kaye Lee

    Elizabeth,

    I absolutely agree that economic independence is a real issue for women. We face discrimination in the workplace and our traditional role as primary carers means we often give up careers and take whatever work we can to fit in with our family duties and end up with very little to show for our years of domestic, part-time and casual work.

    I have tried in the past to, for myself, list what my priorities are for what the government should be doing. I have found the task impossible because there are so many things that are all important. I most definitely do not see #metoo as solving all the problems women face. For me, it isn’t the most important issue by any means. But I do see it as serving a purpose to help cultural change.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that every little bit helps but we have a very long way to go in dealing with poverty and homelessness and the role of women in the workforce and society in general. I think we harm our cause when we say your problem is not as important as mine. Marriage equality and #metoo have been two recent high profile campaigns but I disagree that they have eclipsed all other issues. We have much to do. But I don’t think describing homosexuals as ill and women as sluts is in any way helpful.

  106. Jack

    Well said Elizabeth. All anybody wants (man, woman or beast) is a ‘dignified self reliance’.

    It intrigues me that an article that makes the reader ask questions of themselves can cause the most amount of comments. Whereas the articles pandering to the crowd, get the usual back slapping responses.
    More articles like this please AIMN

  107. jimhaz

    I agree completely with the author.

    Identity politics has become the entire focus of the female left and female minded males. The SMH and Guardian, my long term rags of choice, are becoming unreadable (too irritating) – everyday there are multiple whines from newfound social justice warriors making a crust by complaining about white men or societies constantly. It is not just white men that dislike this, but the bulk of not overly ambitious females or older females as well.

    It is like being married to a pack of princesses. One disengages. One does not want an association with them as all you’ll get is grief.

    IT IS TOO MUCH. The left is becoming turned off, even hated, as a result by those who would otherwise actively or potentially be supportive of socialist economic issues. The left has become too distant from the ordinary working person at a time where these minds are subject to massive right wing propaganda as the rich obtain more and more disposable wealth to spend on negating the best ideals of the masses.

    If the left and ALP cannot even manage to lift Newstart to a more reasonable level (and I’ve never been unemployed myself) what use are they?

    Personally I think the ALP ministry is too wealthy to represent workers – none of them will risk their position. Although Shorten cant be dumped, I’d try and replace the useless Plibersek with Macmanus.

  108. paul walter

    I suspect Elizabeth maybe the Elizabeth who has often commented at “Sheep” in the past. If so my guess as to this person being a better writer more in tune with issues is confirmed and feel she has found a middle ground lacking thus far.

    I did mention earlier that situational politics (pol economics class, capitalism) is important for an understanding for our simulacra world with its artificially induced crises brought about by unjust fund cutting and wilful waste on oppressive programs, particularly involving the sort of governments now in control of the USA, Britain and Australia.

    Gaining the understanding of how global poverty and war is necessary for the survival and prosperity of the Oligarchy as well as local media and education dumbing down ought to explain why many leftists see the more self-indulgent forms of identity politics as inherently conservative-friendly and diversionary.

  109. Kaye Lee

    “Identity politics has become the entire focus of the female left and female minded males.”

    I’m guessing that you would put Van Badham in your basket of loud annoying feminists?

    Her last article was “It’s a neoliberal budget when we no longer believe in neoliberalism”

    “The latest federal budget takes a kicking to traditional Liberal-National targets like Tafe, universities, migrants, foreign aid, corporate regulation and the ABC. But that’s hardly news.

    What’s news is Scott Morrison’s budget centrepiece of old-school, rightwing whackadoo – tax flattening. A plan to homogenise the majority of Australians into the one tax bracket by 2024 is a paradigm-shaking upward distribution of wealth so extreme that the economists at Per Capita have denounced it as “the most radical attack on Australia’s progressive income tax scales in living memory.” The Australia Institute calculated that someone on $200,000 a year who already earns five times as much as someone on $40,000 will now be gifted 16 times the tax benefit, too.”

    Before that she wrote “Seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse”

    “Neoliberalism’s sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised “efficiency” and “flexibility” to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar yet the philosophy’s entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources that one of its megaphones once declared its triumph “the end of history”.”

    Then there was her article “Meet the homeless protesters who are taking on tax breaks for the rich”

    “There are 25,000 homeless people in Victoria and 80,000 empty homes. Protesters for public housing in Melbourne are taking matters into their own hands”

    My point is that, while Van is fighting the feminist fight, she is not confined to or by it.

    Identity politics is something everyone engages in (or at least everyone interested enough to care). All it means is that individuals band together over a shared concern rather than political affiliation. There is nothing wrong with that.

  110. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, I hope you are not attributing that comment to me.

    Wait up, Jimhaz.

    I agree with much of what you say Jimhaz, but don’t fall into the trap of confusing the relevant issues raised by minorities with the crass treatment of these from news and current affairs as entertainment and distraction.
    Besides, the Guardian has been silenced as to news coverage by Fifield and a dirty deal he did with Xenophon, which leads on also from earlier repressive legislation involving data retention, “national security”, whistleblowers etc, which compromises the ability of broadsheet press and tv to tell the truth about the world.

    The muting of the ABC and SBS should be seen as complementary to it, which we had Greg Sheridan last night on the Drum to lecture us about Gaza rather than someone who would have known what they were talking about.

    Our mistake has been to not be careful enough in specifying who and what we are really criticising and some identity groups have wrongly taken what we say as somehow essentialist personal criticism when we are talking about the system.

    Don’t forget, there are important things like the Royal
    Wedding coming up, enough of gloomy stuff about the neglected Les Miserables of our world, of both situational and identity.

    Ps, dont mind Badham, she can write good current affairs but is driven to feminist tokenism by current strictures

  111. Elizabeth

    I’m another Elizabeth

  112. paul walter

    But still a smart one.

  113. diannaart

    Being a part of a minority group is too difficult for many people on both sides of the political spectrum.

    The largest “minority”, women, are regularly treated to contempt should they dare to disagree with some (the same) men all of the time. Naughty girls.

    The author wrote he believed “the Left has been hijacked by unwitting servants of the neo-liberal agenda”

    I disagree with his sentiments (in case anyone was not sure). However, I would posit that Labor may well have too much of the “neo-liberal” in their dominant faction,

    A particular point in case is the refusal to close off-shore detention centres for people fleeing persecution. Being a member of a minority group has always been fraught even in Western Democracies and not being heterosexual is an even bigger danger for many:

    No one knows how many gay, transgender or bisexual refugees live on Manus, but what is clear is that the suffering they experienced in their countries has been repeated on Manus in a disastrous way. Fear, humiliation, threat, banishment, rape – these are all concepts and experiences lived daily by these men. Gay, transgender and bisexual men here have experienced even greater torment than other refugees.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/16/the-gay-transgender-and-bisexual-men-on-manus-are-forced-into-silence

    A refugee policy, begun under Labor, continues under the LNP.

    Will Bill make and keep a promise for a Royal Commission into Australia’s human rights abuses?

  114. Kaye Lee

    We could also talk about Aboriginal disadvantage and their thwarted attempts to gain some sort of recognition and self-determination. But that is another identity politics issue. As is the Lock the Gate movement which sees people from every demographic and political persuasion banding together over something they feel passionate about. Those who campaign against Adani and those who are trying to protect the reef could also be accused of identity politics. The unemployed, our youth, those with a disability, the aged and single parents also face specific problems. Do we still call it identity politics? Because that is what it is. And it is great that people from all political persuasions join together to campaign to do something about it.

    I know people get sick of in-your-face campaigns and that it often feels like we are not seeing to the important things. I share the frustration but probably for different reasons. I think it is politicians that are making things hard, particularly, but not exclusively, conservative ones. I think we are too fixated on numbers on a spread sheet rather than how to best help all the individuals in our society and how to best protect our home and all the plants and animals that share it.

    Workers’ rights are also important. Everyone is important.

  115. diannaart

    Everyone is important.

    Even people we don’t like.

    😉

  116. paul walter

    Obviously, aboriginal issues are working class issues. Can’t be botoxed away, unlike middle-class issues.

  117. paul walter

    You must not have read my comment to Jimhaz re media as the problem. I already distinguished between real issues and faux media ones.

    If you doubt me, have a quick visit to the Guardian, supposedly the best of the mass sites and see how inherently conservative it has come and how, when you consider the type of articles it now runs. See if the one about “should I apologize for having sex after my condom fell off” then see how pitiful the coverage of Gaza, say, is for example. Lots of royal weddings but not much as to the real world.

  118. corvus boreus

    The ‘issue’ of ‘same-sex marriage’ only became a (temporary) public focus due to parliamentarians abrogating their responsibilities and pushing the question into the centre of the public sphere by insisting on an expensive voluntary non-binding postal opinion poll.
    Thanks to overwhelming public support, non-hetero Australians now have the right to marry.
    Most people I know would now consider the subject as closed, or, at most, a peripheral issue.
    In saying this, I acknowledge that a few homophobic bigots and religious zealots seem to be retaining a resentful fixation upon the personal relationships status of others.

  119. johno

    I voted yes and I did not feel hijacked.

  120. paul walter

    I had no problem with it beyond feeling it should never have been an issue in the first place.

    My problem derived of the slimy way the government dealt with it through obfuscation and a cynical employ of it for dog whistling purposes culminating in a costly exercise of buck-passing when a simple parliamentary vote could have sorted it in the first place.

    The real issue was the mulish response of conservatism.

  121. johno

    Yes. It was a complete rip-off / farce by our government to waste 120 million, and we had no choice left but to say yes or no or not even participate.

  122. jimhaz

    Often it is not so much the social arguments being raised by far left writers like Badham, that become distasteful but the bandwagon effect and the frequency of such articles. Combined with all other forms of media it starts to feel like just one long tirade of people wanting more and more and expecting it right now, even though some issues will take decades to resolve (or will never be) because they involve the deepest mental and physical levels of what it is to be a male or female. Everything new now seems to be about the promotion of ambitious or attention seeking western women as if they represent all women. Most of the excessive PCism is being driven by women.

    The speed of technological change, corporate change and social change all merge into a miasma, and people start to think Well if it is going be like that, if I am going to be attacked for being me, then I might as well adopt more of the dog eat dog attitude and vote conservative or utterly stupidly as an act of revenge (Hanson and Trump).

    When Dutton said “the left is dead to me” don’t think of it as just an isolated viewpoint – it is a growing one. Right wingers have long now learnt they can ignore everything emanating from the left- perhaps because too much is being asked by too many separate lobby groups. It’s a bit like charity fatigue. I’d say it is the standard problem of being successful and the left have been very very successful in the social progression domain for decades now – but not in the economics domain where much has gone backwards.

    The formula for growth is not infinite, the Wheel Turns. With success negatives start to creep in and irrational actions start to occur such as expectations and entitlements becoming excessive. Conservatives have been winning the economic distribution power struggle because there is not enough force behind the left to counter it as the power of change relies on having the middle ground on your side. The activist left is distracted far too much with equality as if equality was some sort of god given right – it is not and never will be. As we have lost the substantial power of unions we can’t afford too much emphasis on social progression as it does seem to come at the cost of economic distribution.

  123. paul walter

    Jimhaz, my theory is that government and corporate censorship has driven the media and press to have to use fill in stuff, also people can’t or won’t cope with real-world stuff anymore (conditioning?) A lot of this applies within the context of the two-speed economy, where big business gets on with its looting uninterrupted while we prisoners organise or quarrel over barracks swaps of used bedding amongst ourselves.

    As for Van Badham, I think she is actually one of the better columnists. A bit broad brush, but well enough informed, she can do current affairs, not just identity stuff and calls a spade a spade also on the Drum. But to be a successful media identity sadly there also has to be a bit of Schtick and so you take it into account and decide whether they are relatively sincere and informed or not. I mean, who would you believe out of Badham and Greg Sheridan or Andrew Bolt, say?

    I find her better than many who pretend to write about issues but are actually beating up for themselves and won’t go near the grainer stuff involving, say, closure of women’s dv shelters and government funding cuts that bring this about because of very base reasoning.

    How Tory politicians can call for more cuts to welfare and social infrastructure yet offer tax cuts to rich people and corporations, most of whom pay minimal tax anyway, is to me the great unrecognised contradiction of our era.

  124. jimhaz

    Hi Paul. I am not in disagreement with anything you say above.

    [I mean, who would you believe out of Badham and Greg Sheridan or Andrew Bolt, say?]

    Badham is at least honest, they are not. This not to say that I think Sheridan or Bolt are wrong about everything they write or talk about – just the bulk of things (ie enough to make them dishonourable and meriting a dubious viewpoint).

  125. paul walter

    Fwiw, the Guardian disappointed me today..they really need to lift their game there.

  126. Kaye Lee

    I am not sure what you want from the Guardian.

    A few of the articles you can read for free today….

    “Only the support of the people can save the ABC now – Commercial media organisations are baying for the ABC’s blood, and the government is more than happy to help ”

    “Asylum seekers ‘face destitution’ as income support and housing cut off – Refugee advocates describe cuts, which will affect up to 100 people, as ‘calculated cruelty to vulnerable people’”

    “Labor considers tougher environmental laws as branches call for new agency – Tony Burke says Labor isn’t afraid to strengthen laws as grassroots campaign calls for more proactive protections”

    “Have you heard the one about the treasurer predicting wage growth? – Wages growth data released on Wednesday is not good news for workers – or for the projected budget surplus”

    “Centrelink rule change jeopardises disability pension for thousands of inmates – Plan to drastically cut pension’s suspension time to affect 2,200 people, even if they are not found guilty”

    “Live export company directors to face up to 10 years in jail under Coalition’s changes – Space allocated to sheep on live export ships to the Middle East will be increased by up to 39%”

    “Life on the breadline: It’s a relentless daily struggle to not feel bad about yourself – The little things that make life bearable are denied to people like me on welfare, but others think that if you live in poverty you have no right to comfort ”

    Which brings me back to this article which claims “It seems now that you are not left wing if you fight for worker’s rights, you must largely forget that and fight now for trans-rights, for same-sex marriage rights, you must denounce the Patriarchy and acknowledge it as the source of all humanties problems. This is NOT what the left wing used to be about.”

    I disagree. The selection of articles from the Guardian, and from this site and many others, shows we are capable of doing more than one thing at a time.

  127. paul walter

    Hence the muddle?

  128. Kaye Lee

    I give up paul. You agree the left has been hijacked by feminists and gays. I point out that the left are talking about many issues. You call that a muddle. Perhaps we need a list of what you guys think the left is allowed to talk about now?

  129. paul walter

    And yes, I give up as to you, too.

  130. Kaye Lee

    You don’t think we have been reporting on Dutton’s power grab? Then you haven’t been listening.

  131. corvus boreus

    Ironically, Kaye Lee recently posted an informational article entirely devoted to highlighting serious concerns about Home Affairs minister Dutton’s disturbing behaviors and the dangers in his accumulation of unprecedented powers.
    The commentary section was subsequently hi-jacked by an insecure man making groundless accusations alleging that a cabal of females were conducting a conspiracy against him.
    Obsessive angst over ‘gender issues’ is not the exclusive domain of ‘radical feminists’.

  132. Stephen

    Wow when I read the article I had an opinion which I’m almost scared to express considering the amount of shit fighting this has caused between names I see quite regularly on this site?!
    First off the rank would have to be Kay Lee if only because of time limitations and she started it?! BTW I find you to be an excellent if slightly one eyed writer of opinion pieces (I really liked your piece on Kenny). I too think, not unlike a few voices raised here, that you either innocently or deliberately (??) miss interpretted the author. I have noticed that you have a bit of a hair trigger when gender issues are brought into a discussion. The problem it creates is; people are scared to criticise: the Israeli Army for shooting teenagers who throw rocks because they are accused of being anti-semetic; males of any age, race or ethnic background cannot criticise feminism because thay are portrayed as mysoginists; criticise putting inocent refugees into tropical gulags and you’re a bleeding heart lefty; object to school caplancy programs and you’re part of the Marxist cultural relativist agenda seeking to sweep away the precious and wholely specious Judeo Christian foundation of our society.
    I really don’t think he, unlike some others (AND WE ALL KNOW WHO THEY ARE!! :)) expressed any opinion as to the worth of the same sex marriage debate or questions of gender identity. All he was trying to do was point out that central mission of the left was to level the playing field so that the rich did not rule all of us and in doing so control our societies social and moral compass. I read that he was dismayed that his fellow lefties had either succumbed to years of media brain washing or had accepted the reality of neo-conservative orthodoxy. He saw evidence of this in that these core values were no longer being pursued as actively as issues he thought were a sideline to genuine change, issues like patriachy and gender identity.
    My underastanding of the standard rule book of lefty asperations was that if “we” managed to bring down the rich then many of their dearly held conservative moral views would come tumbling down. LIkewise the Patriachy issue would loose a lot of it’s heat if the mega wealthy white men were relieved of their dominant social position by the removal and distribution of their wealth to the rest of our society. I would hope that we are all fighting for the establishment of a caring and reflexive society that supports all peoples choices and respects their difference.
    So in conclusion I think you were picking a fight where there was none!
    It did however flush Matt out of the closet…so to speak?!
    ha ha

  133. Kaye Lee

    Stephen,

    All I did was express my opinion that women’s and gay rights are important battles for the left and I disagreed that the left has given up the fight on other things. If that is misinterpreting the author then perhaps you can enlighten me as to what the article was about because that’s how I read it.

    That opinion unleashed a torrent of disagreement where I was told my comments were misleading and disingenuous, that I was deliberately stirring up dissent and resentment, that I should stop sooking and get a dose of humility and stop my excess of pride, that I was bearing false witness and engaging in character assassination, that my comments were legally and morally wrong and not in good faith, that I was making insinuating assumptions and fudging it.

    I wasn’t “picking a fight”, just defending my opinion.

    It would be nice to think that issues of discrimination would disappear if wealth was redistributed. Somehow, I doubt it.

  134. johno

    @Kaye
    I agree with your assessment of the article Kaye. Seems like a storm in a tea cup. The author says.. ‘ But where is people’s energy going? ‘
    To give one example, today many of us in South Oz are heading to the beaches to protest against oil drilling in the bight.

  135. diannaart

    @ Johnno

    Power to you.

    In Victoria, the Labor State Government has recommenced drilling for gas in Bass Strait. Maybe this is what the article could have meant by “unwitting servants of the neo-liberal agenda”, instead of attacking minority groups for their ‘uppity’ struggle for equal rights.

    Regarding the Andrew Daniels state government – I do not and will not be voting for the LNP in the upcoming state election – but who do I vote for?

    I want to vote for a party which sees transitioning to renewable technology as both a source of increased employment and revenue as well as mitigating some of our environmental damage. A government which which also supports its most vulnerable people – a government that governs for the people, by the people and for the future.

  136. Matt

    Johno, Stephen and others,

    Now that I have a few minutes – let me add something to the discussion.

    Firstly I want to make clear that article was not about gender issues etc – whatever happens with these happens – I was saying that whatever rights you think you might gain will all be lost when we are dispossessed of everything and living in a seriously impoverished environment.

    John, it is good that you are protesting mining the Bight – but there have many such protests in the past. There have been some victories, but really the enslaught continues. We really have to stand up on mass, against everything everything that is happening. We really need the whole nation to move to the equivalent of a war footing – i.e we need the same level of mobilisation as we rallied for the world wars. There are couple of things I think we need to aim for in the very short term:

    a) Weaning off fossil fuels – ASAP – even if that means moving people out of the cities on-mass – I don’t suggest they should be forced, but we should be offering assistance for people to get out and set up in the country.
    We need these new communities to depend as little on fossil fuels as possible. As they succeed they should attract more people. This is better than putting our resources into more infrastructure for the cities, which are unsustainable, therefore will not be sustained by definition.

    b) As part of this we should move towards a system that guarantees everyone a place to live and access to land on which to subsist. The place to live must be theirs – i.e an unalienable right for everyone to have a place of their own. No more homelessness. In relation to the land to subsist – this could be attached to the home area (but only what is needed for substance – no more) or it could be rights to use common land, or a combination of both (probably the later is best). This how sustainable farming communities have survived for eons. We can still do that in Australia – many other places cannot.

    This is going to be a massive decoupling from the global system. Global neighbours may see this as weakness and try and invade, the US will probably try and stop this – we must try non-the-less, as the alternative is certain destruction.

    That urgency was the point of the article.

    The other point – completely personal, but relevant in terms of what we are being distracted with is this. I grew up amongst a degree of violence – at home, at school, on the streets, at scouts etc. Then on top of this there is the constant bagging of men and maleness – whether it is intended this way or not, it has that effect. I came to resent myself, and thought that men must just be inherently evil and hateful. This is the effect of all this gender fighting. I am convinced it is contributing to male suicide – which is much higher than female suicide. I think men may respond to this barrage in different ways. Some may hate women and society for it, and lash out others like myself might try and find a way out through attempted self-reinvention (eg. trans genderism) but this was leading me very close to suicide – I was on the verge – no one knew I suspect, if I had done it it would have been a shock. I didn’t even want to do it, but I could see no other path. This bagging of maleness leaves you no-where to go. There is no redemption. We are – the message is – violent, lustful and responsible for all the worlds ills. Women on the other hand, are sweetness and goodness, and just victims of men. What saved me was Christianity – and it wasn’t really that I was seeking out Christianity – I was grabbed by the neck (so to speak) and hauled out of an abyss. The explanation it offered set me completely free – and now I am very happy, no hatred or resentment of anyone, no anger. – but just concern for others who I suspect are on the same path of self destruction. That is why I am against normalising trans-genderism.

    What was the explanation that Christianity offered – it is this: we all have in us both evil and good. For men that evil shows often in lust or violence. In women, it shows in other ways, you can figure these out yourself. But it allowed me to accept that I was – in large part – evil. So is everyone else. That was liberating. No more self-denial. But that is not the end, the good thing is it offers a way out. That is the message of redemption: yes you are evil, but you don’t have to stay that way. Thus I am not keen on criticising the evil of others – as Chesterton says – I am happy if I can keep one criminal in control – the one under my own hat. That said, we need to call out evil, and then try and help those who are caught by it to escape. If the perptrators cannot be helped, then yes, jail or whatever is certainly necessary. But what would be best is if we cna bring all the rich elite with us into a new system. I think if that system offers security and freedom from basic fears (ie. a guaranteed subsistance and someone around to care for you when you need it) then we can easily tempt many from the current global psychopathy.

  137. Kaye Lee

    Matt,

    I am sorry to hear about your personal struggle and glad that you have found contentment. But I disagree with the idea that we are all evil. I remember the nuns talking about the black spot of sin inside us all. I struggle with that concept. There are very few truly evil people, we are just imperfect human beings with most of us just doing the best we can.

    I do not hate men. I love and respect the men in my family and my many male friends. I definitely do not want to make men feel inadequate, I just want them to recognise that we are all in this together. I remember my husband looking at me quizzically when I was on a rant about something trivial. He said, hey, we are on the same team here. He was right and I was grateful to him for reminding me. I also think feminism has helped men in breaking down stereotypical expectations of what a man must be.

    I agree with most of what you wrote in your last comment. We are not adversaries Matt. We are people who largely want the same thing.

    I wish you well.

  138. helvityni

    …look what people power has achieved in Armenia. In US the powerful gun lobby keeps the school- shootings happening, and more and more kids are dying.

    Australia might benefit by choosing better role-models; talk/writing is not enough, action is needed.

    When it comes to obesity, we have even stopped the talking: no sugar-tax in sight for Oz…same thing has happened when it comes asylum seeker issues

  139. Matt

    Well thank you Kaye-Lee,

    I appreciate that – but that is not a message that comes through very often in the media and from our institutions. The view we get is very unbalanced, and very negative to men. Don’t think this is not having an impact on the mental health of boys and men.

    I put up a little video on this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g58bc1kwEhM

    In general though people have both good and evil in them, even the best.

    Matt

  140. Kaye Lee

    That’s the trouble with religion. It makes people believe there is something wrong with them. It judges people. It makes people believe that entirely natural things are sinful. It refuses to ever question if enforced celibacy or the exclusion of women from the hierarchy is part of the problem. It wants to dictate what love is. Religion is the ultimate patriarchy. It even says in the bible “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” Well sorry bible, this woman refuses to be silenced.

  141. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    I could not have replied with such kindness towards Matt as you have.

    Matt

    That said, I am sorry to hear of your troubles Matt, remember that you are not alone in this, we have all experienced our times which appear impossible to bear – only the ridiculously lucky have led lives free of sorrow.

    I am also saddened that you take the Christian view of people as being both good and evil – my experience has shown that people are not so simply described in such terms.

    About your link to YouTube – Magnum is not exactly a science and evidence based producer of videos. Magnum is a mish mash of nonsense interspersed with real events to make it appear valid.

    You could’ve looked at recent weather events by researching https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/earth_climate/severe_weather/ or even Australia’s BOM (http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/stormarchive/)

    Helvityni

    Yes, Australia would do far better than follow in the USA’s footsteps. Thank you for pointing that out.

  142. Matt

    Diannart,

    Thanks for your reply. And for the better link – I am not familiar with Magnum as a channel – and perhaps it was a poor choice.

    Matt

  143. Kaye Lee

    I use skepticalscience all the time. It is a wonderful site. It gives different levels of explanation and always links to the scientific documents to support their summary. They also have answers for every argument the deniers and sceptics bring up, all of which have been proven wrong. I also find Desmogblog useful for finding out about vested interests, financial inducements, and history.

  144. Kaye Lee

    diannaart,

    It is obvious that we all have our own very firmly held beliefs and opinions. But there is common ground and the only way to expand that common ground is starting from it.

    I would be overjoyed if the only result from this conversation was for Matt to stop thinking that homosexual and transgender people are ill. Some may experience mental illness just like we all do. They are certainly more vulnerable because of the lack of acceptance in society. They are told by some that their feelings and/or actions are sinful or the result of an illness and told that this judgement comes from a place of love.

    No it doesn’t. We are all different and that is ok. Love and kindness and generosity, tolerance and respect and acceptance – surely this is what we should try to show each other regardless of what categories we lie in.

  145. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    I am happy that I was finally able to have a little chat with Matt.

    … and I am invigorated by people such as yourself.

    🙂

  146. Kaye Lee

    diannaart,

    I think that is the great value of the AIMN. The articles are a kick-off point but it is the discussions that are invigorating. It relieves such a burden to know others are also fighting for our society, in whatever way they can. We can disagree about priorities but I don’t see that as harmful. We can’t rely on the same few people to fight all battles. All hands on deck.

  147. Kaye Lee

    I have to say, this has also made me chuckle in a way. The headline when I was 17 was “Schoolgirl pours scorn on sex bias”. Today that would read “60 year old pours scorn on sex bias.” And they say I have a hair trigger? How long will it take?

  148. johno

    Matt … you say . ‘John, it is good that you are protesting mining the Bight – but there have many such protests in the past. There have been some victories, but really the enslaught continues.’

    Could you please tell me something I don’t know.

    Thankyou for your story about yourself and I am glad you eventually worked through your issues of insecurity about maleness. It is a dreadful thing that anyone has to grow up with violence. I did not experience violence growing up and luckily did not suffer from bullies at school or workplace and am grateful for that. To see that those kids go at the autistic kid recently was terrible. Schools need to be safe places and that is a joke with the American situation.

  149. corvus boreus

    I agree that, alongside global war, the escalating decline in the health of the biosphere and corresponding destabilisation of the planetary climate is the probably the most critical threat to the future of most life on Earth (humanity included).
    I also think that a large part of the problematic paradigm preventing societies from accepting this reality and adapting our responses is the entrenched predomination of Abrahamic derived religions.
    By fabricating a god crafted in the image of the human male, we created a spiritual segregation of the genders and arrogantly elevated our own species’ contextual importance, whilst simultaneously abrogating responsibility over the collective ability to significantly influence our own destinies.
    In facing issues ranging from acceptance of personal gender preference through to the potential of human activities to engineer our own extinction, rational consideration has been retarded by generational indoctrination into primitive superstitions.
    It is hard to work towards a happy ending when most of the players are following a script that inevitably ends in apocalypse.

  150. Matt

    Corvus boreus,

    Well I don’t know if Christianity can be blamed for all the horrible things done in its name. Lots of horrible things are done in the name of Freedom, and we do not blame freedom for that. But I do know that Christianity can be credited with saving at least one life – my own.

    Matt

  151. corvus boreus

    Matt,
    Decades ago, the substandard quality of a round in batch of bullets I bought (combined with my own piss-poor weapon maintenance) resulted in a chance misfire that most certainly saved my life.
    Although I harbour a certain gratitude to the indifferent quality of workmanship in Chinese munitions factories, I do worship such or allow it to dictate my prejudices against others.

    As for Christ and his creed, according to some reports within a collection of writings, Jesus sometimes made some reasonably sensible and compassionate statements.
    According to other reports within the same collection of writings, the god he worshiped is a murderous dick.who condones human atrocities like child slavery, and already has the doomsday of armageddon all planned out.

  152. Matt

    Corvus boreus,

    I didn’t write the article to convince people of the truth of Christianity, I know from previous discussions that there is no traction with some people here on that issue.

    But I did think we might, at least here in Australia, be able to make what is inevitably coming perhaps a little more pleasant, and start to set up a sustainable model for the future, given that those who are ruling and ruining the world don’t seem to care:

    https://therealnews.com/stories/the-rich-have-escape-plan

    You say that God planned an armagedon – it is clear that it is people who are doing that, and us who have implemented child slavery – which by the way still exists! But I do believe we have freewill – and if we want to change things we can. We humans create the problems, we can fix them – if we so wish, and are willing to make the sacrifices for others (and in the end ourselves) or we can just going as we are.

    Matt

  153. johno

    The rich sure are a sneaky bunch.

  154. diannaart

    A point I did not get to make because I was defending the right to express an opinion:

    Identity Politics

    The problem arises when an “identity” is chosen by the most powerful, an excellent example being explained clearly and succinctly by ecomuse in the following extract:

    The colonial jurisprudence of imposing identity

    The UNDRIP Article 33(1) states: Indigenous Peoples have the right to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their customs and traditions. Yet settler-colonial nations insist on exercising – or abusing – the power to define colonised peoples. This is not some legacy of a bygone era. It is a continuation of the philosophy, law, and actions – the jurisprudence – of the British invasion, attempted genocides, and forced assimilation.

    To illustrate, many Australians are familiar with the Stolen Generations, but possibly without having contemplated the jurisprudence of colonisation. The Stolen Generations are made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families as children, and their descendants. This is formally known as ‘assimilation’. It is informally known as ‘breeding out the colour’, which is a eugenics program, as signified by the word ‘breeding’.

    Forced assimilation in turn rests on widespread belief in scientific racism, an obnoxious and discredited but (not yet eradicated) school of thought that provided the philosophical foundation for Aboriginal Protection Acts and Aboriginal Protection Boards. These are laws and institutions of executive government. Finally, officers of those agencies, as well as police and missionaries authorised by the same laws, took children from their families, by force, on the basis of their Aboriginality.

    This is how philosophy, law and practice operate together under the rubric of colonial jurisprudence. The rubric can be applied to all the ways colonial powers were directed towards First Peoples: from formal acts of dispossession like the First Charter of Justice to the earliest criminal prosecutions against Aboriginal men (see R v Murrell and Bummaree [1836] NSWSupC 35), from segregation in cinemas and public pools well into the 20th century, to the disproportionately high rates of incarceration, police brutality, and forced child removal to this day.

    In all these cases and many more, governments and the laws they pass operate in concert with the academy, cultural institutions and society, to maintain dominance over colonised peoples…

    https://imatthewsblog.com/2018/03/02/indigenous-peoples-have-the-right-to-determine-their-own-identity/#like-963

    Now “identity politics” may appear to be of nuisance value to those who are not fighting for equal rights – especially when applied to women. Therefore, I chose the above article to clarify what self-determined identity means to First Nation people.

  155. corvus boreus

    Matt,
    I do not claim that god condones human slavery and plans to destroy the Earth, the ‘holy bible’ does.
    I view the bible as factually questionable at best, and a litany of atrocious bullshit at worst, but acknowledge that others view that collective tome as the infallible gospel of absolute truth.
    Hades, In some cases, it even defines and dictates views on how ‘people’ should treat ‘their women’.

  156. Matt

    This is relevant to my argument above:

    “The terrible fraud of ‘transgender medicine”

    “A physician who was in the Johns Hopkins Univ. Hospital group where “transgender medicine” was developed describes the lies, bad medicine, and fraud behind that movement. Quentin Van Meter, MD, FCP is a pediatric endocrinologist. He is a Fellow of the American College of Pediatricians and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mtQ1geeD_c

    This is in addition to what the President of the American College of Pediatricians has to say (as I linked earlier above):

    “TFP Student Action interviews Dr. Michelle Cretella, M.D., president of the American College of Pediatricians. She debunks the lies behind transgender ideology with sound science and denounces the new wave of child abuse caused by the transgender movement.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s57T27M1ZXk&t=20s

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