Monday, November 24, 2014

Why left feminists don't like kids

"Biffo" (Former ALP leader Mark Latham) has a go below. There have been shrieks of protest from feminists over this article  but I think he is pretty right.  I am impressed by and agree with his child-orientation --  and his past as a Leftist leader should earn his words serious consideration among Leftists.  He is a perpetually angry man but I think that, at the end of the day, he does have a heart.  I think he is a man I would like to meet.  I am sure his wife never has a dull moment with Mark around

I love a social experiment, so last Saturday, I broke the habit of a lifetime and read the agony-aunt pages of The Sydney Morning Herald. I should have done so years ago, as an exercise in political awareness.

It nearly knocked me off my chair, as I confronted the core arguments of left-feminism. The inner-Sydney writer Lisa Pryor said the only way in which she can cope with "raising two small children while studying medicine full-time" is through "caffeine and anti-depressants".

Apparently, this is her standard answer whenever anyone asks: "How do you do it all?"

I felt depressed myself, at the thought of a Fairfax columnist describing one of life's great responsibilities, the raising of infant children, as requiring "neurochemical assistance".

Why do people like this have children in the first place? How will the children feel when they grow up and learn that they pushed their mother onto anti-depressants?

The sadness of these circumstances is aggravated by a broader political point. A major part of left feminist campaigning has involved the demonisation of children.

You know the refrain: men have rigged the rules of society by dominating the workforce, while women are left with the agony of domestic duties, the nightmare of raising kids.

Women in western Sydney with no neuroses

It's widely assumed that home-based life is pathetically menial. So much so, in Pryor's case, that only a cocktail of little red pills and caffeine-overload can ease the burden.

Yet, in truth, this is a political hoax. Women I speak to in western Sydney, who have no neuroses or ideological agenda to push, regard child-rearing as a joy. Financially, if they can avoid work, that's their preference.

Home life gives them the freedom to pursue their recreational interests and bond with the most important people in their lives, their children.

Other than for money, why would anyone want to commute and toil long hours for businesspeople?

With only 2 per cent of Australian men serving as the primary carers of their children, the left-feminist orthodoxy has been allowed to dominate the political debate. Men have been sucked into thinking that work life is inherently superior to a life raising children. From a male perspective, alternative views have not been aired.

So let me explain another experiment. What happens when an opposition leader quits politics, decides that he hates the prospect of working for other people and becomes the primary carer of his three children?

In my case, the results, for nearly a decade now, have been splendid. Sure, there's the odd hiccup and flash of frustration in full-on parenting, but the rewards are immense.

Left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder

My lifestyle has never been more satisfying. Whether it's my daughter's smile, my eldest son's Aussie irreverence or the belly laughter of my youngest son - these are my anti-depressants, every hour, every day. What is Pryor going on about?

I'm sure I'm just as busy as her: looking after a huge native garden at home, cooking gourmet meals for my family, pursuing a few business interests, writing books and The Australian Financial Review columns and, most crucially, preserving time for my children's homework, conversation and love. When I explain this reality to my male friends, they are incredibly envious. Each of them wants to swap places.

But the inner-city feminists know little of this. They spend a lot of time complaining, ostensibly on behalf of other women, yet their real priority is themselves. More often than not, they don't like children and don't want to be with them. They use political feminism as a release valve, trying to free themselves from nature's way.

Thus left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder: externalising personal feelings of distress and deficiency into the demonisation of children.

This is why people in the suburbs, especially women, distrust the likes of Pryor. Their political agenda is seen as unrepresentative and self-serving. At a personal level, it's also cowardly: popping pills as an easy way out, instead of facing up to the responsibilities of adulthood.


Vic Labor to review homosexual adoption

SAME sex adoption could be on the cards if Labor wins next Saturday's Victorian state election.

OPPOSITION leader Daniel Andrews says legislation that unfairly discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Victorians will be identified and changed under a proposal to put equality at the heart of the government's agenda.

Adoption laws will be reviewed with a view to allowing same sex adoption, while laws that facilitate employers to discriminate based on sexuality will also be amended, Mr Andrews said.

"When one person faces discrimination, it lessens us all," he said. "This is a problem we must face together.

"I'll never tolerate homophobia in my party room and I'll never water down our laws to allow discrimination."

Mr Andrews said a dedicated cabinet role would be introduced as well as a government ministerial advisory committee.

"Equality will be back on the agenda under Labor, so Victoria can be prouder, fairer and safer," Mr Andrews said.


Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens asks if it's too hard to hire and fire workers

BUSINESS groups have backed suggestions by Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens that it is too hard to sack workers.

But the Coalition Government, still smarting over the backlash to John Howard's Work Choices laws, refused to be drawn into the issue.

In a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia this week, Mr Stevens admitted his comments might get him into trouble.  "I think these questions are increasingly being asked and it's about whether our overall business environment is conducive enough to risk taking and innovation," he said.

"Whether we are doing enough to develop the relevant competencies and capabilities for the modern world.

"The question might include ones like, how easy is it to start a business if the business fails, as many do, particularly small ones? Is it easier enough to try again?

"How easy it is to hire employees, and I know I'll get in trouble for saying this, but how easy it is also to let the employees go if those don't work?  " Because if it's too hard to let them go then it's too hard to hire them to begin with," Mr Stevens said.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland spokesman Nick Behrens said the Reserve Bank Governor had hit the nail on the head.

"Queensland employers are actively steering clear of employing individuals because of the difficulty in terminating employment," he said.  "In short the Fair Work Act is now holding back employment because businesses are just not prepared to take the risk of hiring someone who turns out to be wrong person for that organisation.

"Some businesses are also citing that if they are uncertain about a person and it's a lineball decision then they will use the end of probation period to separate ways.

"That is because it is so difficult to get rid of an employee after their end of probation duration they err on the side of caution and do not proceed with the employee. It's just not worth the risk.

"If you have the likes of Glenn Stevens now weighing in to the debate on workplace relations, a person who never comments publicly on these types of issues, we know that we have serious problem on our hands."

The Government refused to comment yesterday.  But Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor leapt on the comments, trying to tie the message to the Coalition's deeply unpopular WorkChoices campaign, launched about eight years ago.

"Before the election, Tony Abbott promised he wouldn't touch workers' conditions.  "Instead, we have seen this Government returning to the dark days of WorkChoices with its plans to attack penalty rates, wages and workplace safety.  "The Abbott Government would like to see a rise in precarious employment, Labor does not."

The Productivity Commission is reviewing workplace laws - including penalty rates and unfair dismissal - but pledged any changes would be introduced in its second term.


Human Rights Commission chief Gillian Triggs drowning in her own evidence

Lying old bag covered up for the Labor Party on boat arrivals before the Federal election

THE future of Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs is under a cloud after a disastrous appearance before a Senate committee, during which she contradicted her evidence about the political considerations of delaying an inquiry into children in detention. Under questioning, Professor Triggs revealed she had decided an inquiry was necessary early last year but did not act until after the federal election because she feared it would be "highly -politicised" and "very destructive".

And after denying she raised the matter with Labor before the election, she later admitted discussing it with two former immigration ministers, Chris Bowen and Tony Burke. It is understood the Abbott government and the minister who oversees the -commission, Attorney-General George Brandis, have lost faith in Professor Triggs.

Her position appears untenable. She is less than halfway through a five-year term and under the commission's act can only be dismissed for "mis-behaviour" or serious breaches of standards.

She has promised to release a "detailed chronology of events". The "facts and evidence will speak for themselves," she said in a statement.

In February, the commission came under fire from the government for announcing an -inquiry into children in detention four months after the election of the Coalition - and after people-smuggling boats had started to abate.

More than 800 boats, 50,000 asylum-seekers and 8000 children had arrived in the six years under Labor. The commission had previously investigated the issue in 2001 - under the Howard government.

When questioned about the new inquiry's timing, during the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday, Professor Triggs's explanation was exposed as changeable and contradictory.

Professor Triggs claimed that after her -appointment in mid-2012 she -focused on the issue of children in detention and, as the arrivals continued, had decided to hold a fresh inquiry by February last year.

But she didn't - and she has now justified that delay with electoral considerations. "The fact that an election was imminent had been announced by the prime minister in I think about March," she said, "so we knew it was going to be very soon, and of course we didn't know exactly when."

Yet in an unusual step, on January 30 last year, then prime minister Julia Gillard had announced the election date for September 14 - so at the time there was no speculation.

Professor Triggs told the hearing it would have been "very destructive" to hold the inquiry in the middle of the election year. "Well, it would have been very destructive to the then government," interjected Liberal senator Ian Macdonald

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has challenged Professor Triggs's justification.

"For a position which is supposed to be free of political influence," he said, "it was puzzling to see Professor Triggs justify not holding an inquiry in mid-2013 as `we were moving into an election -period', yet described this issue as having caused `serious concerns' in December 2012, well before any election was called."

Further committee exchanges about her consultation with both the Labor government and the incoming Coalition government were also revealing.

Liberal senator Barry O'Sullivan pressed her on whether she briefed Labor about her intentions for an inquiry. "I certainly did not discuss that as far as I recall with the minister," she said.  But as questioning continued her answers changed to "I don't recall" and then that her "discussions with the minister are private".

Then, under sustained interrogation, she revealed she had in fact spoken to two Labor immigration ministers.  "I have discussed the possibility of an inquiry with minister Chris Bowen and with minister (Tony) Burke," she revealed.

Professor Triggs initially said the discussion with Mr Burke had occurred during the election caretaker period but later retracted. After the election Professor Triggs did not raise the matter in discussions with the Coalition or mention it in a letter outlining her agenda. The government was informed of the inquiry four months later via a letter from Professor Triggs.

"Australians will form their own judgment about just how fair Professor Triggs has been," Mr Morrison said.


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