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Vote No Because I Don’t Want To Shave My Legs!

Now I’ve spent a number of years in schools and one of the things I most admire about the young mind is its capacity for heroically battling against all logic when trying to mount a case. Anyway who’s ever dealt with a teenager will know what I mean. “I should be allowed to leave class whenever I like because you let Basil go to the nurse last week!” Pointing out that Basil was bleeding profusely at the time won’t help. It’s unfair and a complete double standard. At least in that example, there’s a vague relationship between the two things. Perhaps a better example would be when Kevin argues that he should be allowed to play basketball because Peta was allowed to play on her computer when she’d finished her work. Pointing out to Kevin that he hasn’t finished his work won’t end the discussion. Neither will pointing out that Peta wasn’t disturbing anyone else, but that dribbling a basketball inside a classroom tends to create the sort of atmosphere which prevents others from concentrating. Kevin will continue to argue even if he has to change the subject and bring up something totally irrelevant like the fact that you marked him late when he was only five minutes late! And anyway, Mrs Baxter is a much better teacher because she let’s him play basketball in PE. The only way to end the discussion is to point out that you have confiscated the basketball and if he wants it back at lunchtime, he needs to sit and complete his work.

I can’t help but be reminded of the teenage mind whenever I hear the arguments for the “no” case in the upcoming plebiscite opinion survey. Ok, the Liberal logic that they can’t simply have a Parliamentary vote because they promised to have a plebiscite before any vote, but now some of the issue is threatening the stability of Malcolm Turnbull they’ve decided that they can have one after a non-compulsory, non-binding survey costing $120 million – which is more than Tony Abbott’s travel claims – even though this would appear to also be a breaking of the their promise, is bad enough, but did you see the ad urging you to vote “no”?

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m sure that there are sane people out there with good sound, logical reasons for their decision to vote “no”. It’s just that I haven’t heard any of them speak yet. Probably too intimidated by the fact that it would just raise the whole tone of the debate. No, I’ve heard plenty of arguments along the “if this, then that” line, but I’m yet to hear a single rational argument against voting “Yes”. There was an article in the paper the other day from a woman whose main argument was that she was voting no and she didn’t have a strong, religious upbringing, but that was about the closest I’ve seen. Although the idea that “I’m doing this, you should too” is hardly something that regularly convinces me. (There was a bit of hatchet job done on the woman, where someone delved into her past and pointed out that, not only was her father a lay preacher, but that she herself had run church services to help out. Not that this disqualifies her from a point of view; it merely condemns her to Hell for lying about her upbringing!)

Anyway, to sum up briefly the arguments presented by the ad in question:

1. One woman is upset that her son was told “he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it”. So is this already happening and do we need an extra question about banning men wearing dresses. And where do kilts fit in? Will the Scots complain that they’re being oppressed? Aw, let’s add a question about banning the burqa too, while we’re at it. Might as well get value out of $120 million.
2. A second woman tells us: “When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas this type of program become widespread and compulsory”. Wearing dresses? Does that mean I’ll have to shave my legs? I’m outraged.
3. A caption tells us: “In countries with gay marriage, parents have lost their rights to choose”. It’s not clear to me exactly what they’ve lost their right to choose but maybe I was still too concerned about shaving my legs to pay attention at this point to pay complete attention.
4. A third woman expresses concern that “kids in Year 7 are being asked to role play being a same-sex relationship”. As with Argument 1, if this is already happening perhaps we need to add an extra question. Something along the lines of raising the age at which students can be asked to role play a same-sex relationship. Or possibly ensuring that students only role play heterosexual relationships in their classes. But then perhaps the person wasn’t concerned about the same-sex relationship part. Maybe they had some sort of moral objection to the whole notion of role play itself. Acting was banned as un-Christian during the Puritan era

Whatever, I think you’ll notice that not one of these arguments addresses the fundamental question of marriage equality itself. Most arguments I’ve heard are rather like arguing that the High Court must exclude Barn-boy Joyce from Parliament because if they don’t, then everybody who has a New Zealander as a parent will be Deputy PM.

I’ve heard a number of times that children need a mother and father, so gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Given that there’s no suggestion that at any point in the future, we’ll be passing laws that require gay people and single parents to relinquish children to heterosexual couples, I fail to see this as a strong case for voting no. To illustrate, instead of talking about the former and concentrating on the latter, imagine the absurdity of the following proposition: “Children have a right to a mother AND a father, so I’m proposing changing the marriage act to disqualify single parents from marrying.”

So I’ve decided that the “No” campaign needs some help. In the interest of a fair go, I’m offering my services. Here’s my suggestion for an ad:

“If you vote YES, in the coming postal vote, you will be telling Parliament that it’s all right for them to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. Then some gay people will get married. This will lead to them entering into legally binding relationships which protect them and give them the same sort of rights that other people have. Statistics show that children raised by people in a gay relationship are more likely to grow up tolerant of different lifestyles. Unless you have no problem with those different from you having the same rights, you must vote NO.”

Mm, yep. I can see their problem. It really is very hard to actually mount any sort of campaign by sticking to the actual subject.

Maybe it’d be easier to mount a campaign for the extension of the welfare card. I’d like to see the following question asked in Question Time:

“Minister, given the successful trial of the welfare card, can we have it extended to MPs who have a history of getting drunk and missing votes?”

Yeah, not going to happen. And speaking of things that I thought wouldn’t happen, Adani have announced that they’re starting the mine in October. Strange that we didn’t hear any announcement about them getting finance. Last I read, none of the banks would touch it because not only is the price of coal a concern, India have announced that they’re phasing out coal imports. Adani have disputed this and said that not only is the Indian government wrong about what it’s going to do, but that coal is the way of the future. Still you would have thought that something like Adani getting finance would have been worth a mention. Ah well, perhaps they’re just going to start digging and hope that someone comes along and says, “Here take this. It’s money. You look like you need it because you’re trying to start a coal mine with two shovels and a pick.”

I’d better stop. The absurdity of the teenage mind is looking more rational by the second! If I don’t stop trying to make sense of the world, I’ll be handing the ball back to Kevin and telling him that his argument is one of the best I’ve heard in quite a while.


36 comments

  1. paul walter

    It is the type of mind tabloid media seeks to impose as a compulsory universal trait.

    Morning TV, exhibit A.

  2. diannaart

    Nailed it, Rossleigh; where there exists no argument against a matter, then make up anything that sounds vaguely disapproving if not shattering world peace and all of humanity.

    Yep, the Australian Christian Lobby could do no worse than hire a teenager or Trump, whatever.

  3. Möbius Ecko

    Just heard that as this campaign doesn’t come under the electoral act nor consumer law, campaigners can state any untruth they want with no consequences.

    Just another thing you screwed up Turnbull. No wonder he’s waffling on about energy at the moment.

  4. David Bruce

    I can see it now, headlines in 2030, “We need to change the laws again so I can marry my pet”…

  5. Rossleigh

    Well, David, if you have a pet that can give informed consent, I say go for it!
    But thanks for totally destroying all my arguments that centre on arguing that it’s only by talking about something other than people of the same sex marrying here and now that there’s any argument against marriage equality.
    Boy, do I feel silly reading those headlines from 2030! You’ve certainly put me in my place. I feel embarrased and silly for suggesting that nobody could come up with a sane and rational argument. Particularly against someone who has the gift of prophecy…

  6. Carol Taylor

    Rossleigh, I always considered it a problem that if Fred wants to marry his labrador, then how does he get her to sign the Register? Repeating the marriage vows might pose a problem as well. Then there’s the issue of her age. I suppose that if your labrador is over the age of 18 years then it’s fine, otherwise you’ll have to obtain written parental consent..or do dog years count?

  7. Kyran

    Wait a minute. If I vote no, does that mean I never have to shave my legs again? Or does that just mean I only have to shave my legs if I get married again? What will ever happen to this proposition if I have to take the surname of my partner when we wed? Will the world end?
    Oh, my word. If I have to shave my legs and change my name just to be wed, I’ll be just like so many women, who have been doing this for centuries.
    My bad. I have testicles. Does that mean I only have to shave when it suits me, or that I get to say when everyone else should shave? Us poor old white fellows are terribly misunderstood.
    It’s just so confusing when we demand that everyone lives by our rules, but we only want to share a few of them.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane and commenters. I’m of to dither with a razor. That’s as sane and as rational an argument as I can make. Take care

  8. Zoltan Balint

    Dear Rossleigh please do not shave you legs it will not help you. If you are comming out as a lesbian I suggest you move to Tasmania where they do not shave anyway. On the issue of children should have a mother and father should a law be introduced where the female is forbidden from waring the pants in the family as it screws up the kids mind development. Kilts … they should shave their legs … and get treatment but If the way they declare what they are … trans gender … they will definitely vote yes.

  9. Carol Taylor

    Möbius, you are absolutely correct. As the postal survey is being conducted by the Bureau of Statistics, the Bureau has no powers to vet or control the information/misinformation as would the AEC. However, latest seems to be that the postal survey won’t go ahead as funding may be disallowed by the High Court on the grounds that there is nothing “urgent or unforeseen” about needing the money.

  10. jimhaz

    I was once forced to wear a dress. It was horrible.

    I think we might need to ban Safe Hospitals.

    If they make me wear one in aged care, I’ll run away. Flee to the church.
    No wait, I cant go there they made me wear a dress as an altar boy.

  11. Gordon Comisari

    If you don’t know, vote NO. Easy! She’ll be right mate!

  12. Johno

    jimhaz…. I have worn similar items to a skirt and find them entirely comfortable. The kilt and sarong.

  13. Zathras

    In the parody-driven Church of the Subgenius, members can be “married” to their wallets or their keys and at weekend mass gatherings everybody is married to everybody else for the duration of the event – thereby making anything and everything they do to each other officially sanctified and “legal”.

    It’s no sillier than the ACL stance and the typical Christian obsession with alleged religious repression and martyrdom we see them drag out at every opportunity.

    If they were sincere they would be constantly campaigning against the religiously banned practice of divorce.

    Also, somebody should tell them children are already being raised by same-sex couples and that will not change.

  14. helvityni

    jimhaz & Johno, Hubby had to wear one of those hospital gowns that has ties at back; that was years ago, and he still talks about feeling humiliated for having to bare his back side to other patients.

    To add to his humiliation, he found the wristband said his name was Mary Wilson…. years of teasing by friends and family members followed…

    He certainly did not have a pretty girly face to justify the mistake.

  15. Barry

    helvityni
    It has always intrigued me why hospital gowns tie at the back. What is back there that medical staff might need easy access to in case of an emergency?

  16. Terry2

    helvityni

    I had the humiliation of being asked to dress up in a paper open-at-the-back gown, paper bloomers and a paper shower cap : then they asked me if I was allergic to anything.

    I told them that I was definitely allergic to dressing up in silly and humiliating garb : they were not amused !

  17. havanaliedown

    Was this before or after he was conned into wearing a pink cardigan? The poor man.

  18. havanaliedown

    And yet here’s a lovely poster encouraging young boys to don a female uniform. What jolly japes they have in schools nowadays:

    https://minus18.org.au/index.php/schools/gender-is-not-uniform

    Download, print, cut out and keep fun for years K-12-… sanctioned by their partners:

    Funding Providers
    The City of Melbourne
    The Victorian Government Office for Youth
    The Victorian Government Department of Health

    Organisation Partners
    Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Center

    Event Partners
    The Reach Foundation
    The GH Hotel
    The Victorian Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers

    Project Partners
    The HEY Project
    Safe Schools Coalition Victoria
    Rainbow Network Victoria
    WayOUT!
    Zoe Belle Gender Center

  19. Mark Needham

    ” Statistics show that children raised by people in a gay relationship are more likely to grow up tolerant of different lifestyles. ”

    All Yes Voters grew up in a ‘same sex family ‘.?

    “tchet job done on the woman, where someone delved into her past and pointed out that, not only was her father a lay preacher, but that she herself had run church services to help out.”

    All No Voters have a religious background.?

    Black and White,
    Mark Needham

  20. helvityni

    Havana, it was much later, men like to conform…oh well, I got to wear it, it looked good on me. Just because some yobbo yells to you: are an effing poofter, no reason to give up on beautiful colours…..

    Barry, strange, as men can hardly tie anything at the front…

    Terry2, I had to wear those paper gowns for my lung ex-rays. The rough nurse/helper/torturer kept turning me this way and that, I was afraid she’ll rip the delicate outfit…

  21. diannaart

    Good riposte, Helvityni.

    On the shaving of legs – professional cyclists shave their legs – I know I used to date one – I am not going to mention the issue of sand-papery leg stubble, oops I just did.

    Men wearing skirts: we have already had mention of kilts, sarongs, to which we can add Roman Centurion soldiers – I thought Russell Crow looked most fetching…

  22. havanaliedown

    This country is full of zincalume-erecting, pink-cardigan-phobic yobbos. What do you think their voting patterns might be?

  23. Michael Taylor

    This country is full of zincalume-erecting, pink-cardigan-phobic yobbos.

    I’m yet to see one and I’ve probably been around more of this country than most. Obviously, I mix with different people than you do.

    You need to get out more. Or stop hanging around all those zincalume-erecting, pink-cardigan-phobic yobbos.

  24. Möbius Ecko

    Damn, and I see Best & Lest, Target and all the other clothing retail stores are selling pants for schoolgirls.

    How dare they encourage females to wear male clothing.

  25. John

    And speaking of things that I thought wouldn’t happen, “Two of India’s leading public sector banks are at risk of losing a “significant proportion” of US$7.4 billion loaned over three years to private power producers for financially disastrous projects, according to a damning audit report released recently by India’s Comptroller and Auditor General. Most of the projects which either defaulted on their loan payments or were deemed “non-performing” loans were for major coal projects.”
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/indian-auditor-general-finds-public-banks-us1-8bn-risk-dud-coal-plants-35528/

  26. silkworm

    Wearing dresses make underpants inspections easier for the teacher.

  27. Deanna Jones

    Children are not inherently illogical any more than adults are, although it is common for teachers to construct them that way. It’s oppressive. I work with children and young people and they can demonstrate great insight into complex problems, often more so than the adults involved.

    Anyway, I’m glad this whole human rights debate is such a big joke for straight people. How jolly for you all.

  28. diannaart

    Deanna,

    Making silly jokes does not necessarily mean no-one is taking this human rights issue seriously. OK, maybe there are some… they tend to post small snide remarks across all the board at AIMN.

    As for the rest, I cannot speak for them, only myself and I get that wrong quite frequently.

    I will paraphrase Magda Szubanski, a woman I am both a fan of and admire. I am straight in so far as my life experience has revealed to me that I am straight, straight, straight, straight, gay, straight, straight, gay, straight, straight, asexual… I can get away with the slight deviation, because people I have explained this to, expect that I am really just straight – this makes me acceptable to most people. Therefore, I do not experience that bigotry many obviously LGBTIQ people have to deal with every day.

    I do know what it is to adore someone and know they will never feel the same way about me, because they are straight, straight, straight, straight, straight, straight, straight…

    I loathe, revile and totally disrespect a government that forces a majority of people to judge a minority on a simple human right, to marry if they so choose. It is such a simple request, it does not bear asking. But our leaders are not reasonable people; many of those who claim to be supporting the “‘YES’ vote, have been known, in the past, to claim marriage is only for a het man to a het woman. They say they have changed their mind, if questioned. I think they are just playing politics and don’t really care at all.

    Anyway, I do not always feel happy at some of the sexist joking that goes on here, some people claim that means I am lacking a sense of humour – well, not me directly, just indirect little comments. Yet, I return, because I have not found anywhere much better than AIMN, where at least I can post my point of view without being banned. If you wanna waste time see how long you can last on an extreme right site.

    Deanna, I don’t know if what I have written above will be of any benefit to you. All I want to say is, don’t give up, I enjoy your comments and would miss you.

  29. Michael Taylor

    Deanna, Dianna is right.

    And you’ll find that most people here who make jokes are also able to laugh at themselves.

  30. Zoltan Balint

    Silkworm – underpants inspection ??? Is there a Royal commission into this.

  31. Harquebus

    diannaart
    “where at least I can post my point of view without being banned.”
    Lucky you.

    I am going to vote ‘no’ because, I don’t like the way this issue is being used as a distraction from more serious matters.

  32. diannaart

    Harquebus

    You have been clearly advised by AIMN’s moderator exactly why you have been banned, perhaps you should reflect upon this – additionally you are not banned permanently.

    The postal survey for marriage equality is indeed a distraction, playing for time and typical of the capricious nature of the far right.

    Voting “no” in this case, is not a principled stance, as a “no” vote will simply play into the hands of the capricious right.

    I guess “seriousness” is on the part of the beholder; if you wanted to marry your SSP you would think this issue very serious.

    It is possible to chew gum and walk; there is no reason why we cannot deal with issues such as climate change and human rights at the same time.

    Cheers

  33. diannaart

    PS

    I would posit that action on climate change and human rights are not mutually exclusive.

  34. Harquebus

    diannaart
    Thanks for that and thanks to theAIMN.
    It is still my intention and for the reason stated.
    Avagoodwun.

  35. Michael Taylor

    Correct, Dianna.

    The number of authors, commenters and readers who want Harquebus banned is overwhelming.

    And indeed … he does need to reflect upon this.

  36. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    I am not surprised to hear that.
    I ask again, if the moderator or author disapproves of my comment, please, just delete it and no hard feelings. Okay?
    I disagree with a lot of people on a lot of things. That is all.

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