emma_in_dream: (Brookes)
Yesterday we went to an indoor playground but had to leave early because two boys kept following my kids around and pushing them.

The boys were bullies who did not stop even after I spoke to them in front of their fathers (who did not reinforce me but sat in complete silence).

But what is so much worse is those boys were swimming around in rape culture. They called the girls a series of very odd names which I suspect were all the bad names they knew – 'sexy girl', 'penis' and 'poobomb'.

I feel so sad that the girls have encountered this, especially as all the techniques I had to teach them proved not to work. There’s no point in confronting them, just move to another part of the play ground. Avoid them. Speak to authority figures. Talk to a trusted adult.

I feel so much worse when I think that it will only get worse for them as they get older. All the creepy groping on public transport and being followed down the street, etc, etc.

Ray of sunshine: After we left one of the staff ran out and gave us free passes to come back because she said she could see we were being harassed by those naughty boys. She said she had also spoken to them about pushing and also abusing the toys by disassembling them but they had ignored her. Their parents = total fails but at least we got backdoor support from the staff.


Oct. 13th, 2016 05:10 pm
emma_in_dream: (alexa)
Congratulations to the Upper House of NSW which has unanimously called Donald Trump a ‘revolting slug’ unfit for public office.

‘It is clear that all reasonable and decent people find Donald Trump’s behaviour obnoxious and that the world is hoping American voters reject his politics of hate.’
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
for all you international women.
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
Things I attempted to buy yesterday but failed to buy because the shops did not stock them:

· A rashi for a child aged seven. There were plenty of child-sized bikinis at Target but not a single sensible swimming option for a child her age. K Mart did not have a single rashi left in stock for a child aged between four and twelve. I had exactly the same problem last year. You would think this might provide a hint about what people want to buy – so why keep stocking items that don’t sell? What kind of person chooses the stock who prioritises sexualising little girls over, you know, selling stuff? Hint, if there are racks of unsold bikinis and no rashis, it is because people want to dress their daughters in rashis.
· A pair of large size bather bottoms for me. But no, only thin people swim.
· A section in K Mart marked ‘Girls Active Wear’ to match the ‘Boys Active Wear’ section. Apparently girls are inactive.
· A Star Wars figurine that wasn’t of a white man. Technically, there were several that met this criteria – Chewbacca, some Storm Troopers who could have been any race under their armour, and Poe. But despite the massive banner showing Poe, Ray and Finn, the options were Darth Vader, Han, Luke, Chewbacca, Storm Trooper and Poe in a non-removable helmet.

I cannot help but feel that someone else’s ideas about gender are imposing on my ability to shop. Express myself. Live my life.


Nov. 3rd, 2015 06:25 pm
emma_in_dream: (otp)
Apparently the V&A has turned down the offer of a collection of Maggie Thatcher’s clothes.

While I will hate her til my dying day, I think this could be a mistake in that her collection is of particular interest in that it demonstrates the evolution of women’s corporate wear in the late 20th century. To this day there is no standardised power dress for women in the way the suit and tie is the default for male leaders. Look at the hassles Clinton receives over her pantsuits. Thatcher’s navy twin set and pearls was her solution to the problem, and one which became a cliché.


Sep. 8th, 2015 05:50 pm
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
My favourite thing mentioned on our union training was that in 1822 James Straighter, a convict shepherd, was sentenced to 500 lashes and a month of solitary confinement and an additional 5 years of penal servitude for ‘inciting his Master’s servants to combine for the purpose of obliging him to raise the wages and increase their rations’. Go you, James Straighter!
emma_in_dream: (alexa)
I've now done the first two days of my union delegate training.

Feel now slightly better equipped to represent people.


May. 27th, 2015 04:25 pm
emma_in_dream: (Highlander)
or the benefit of those living out of Western Australia, there’s a move to defund services to remote Indigenous communities. The Government is pointing out that it is impossible to provide adequate services to people so far away from anyone else. As a bureaucrat myself, I do have some sympathy with this argument, but there are elements to their argument that are definitely not ‘reality based’.

There’s a talking point which says that the average size of the communities being shut down/having services removed is 5. This may be true, but it also includes those with larger populations.

Kiwirrkurra with 165 people, Warralong with 155, Burringurrah with 150, Jameson/Mantamaru with 115, Karalundi with 106, and Tjuntjuntjara with 102. This list seems really concentrated in the central deserts – looks like it will wipe out even the ‘big’ communities in the Western Desert. That means no one living between, say Balgo and Laverton and the border, which is fairly much all an area with a strong cultural connection to the land. The people in the Western Desert did not come off their land til the 1950s and 60s when the Laverton mission made a concerted effort to bring them in. One family just decided not to follow and stayed out there, on their own, til the 1980s. People began leaving the missions and going back to the lands pretty much as soon as it became legal for them to do so (when their movements were no longer controlled by the Department of Native Affairs in the early 1970s).

I don’t know what the solution is to this. There is never going to be a massive employment boom in the central deserts and it will always be expensive to provide electricity, water, housing, education. But it is important to people to live on their own land. And I can bet that if there were a community of 165 white people in the middle of nowhere, the Government would find a way to fund it. Look at what happened at Wittenoom – the town was shut down in 1966 (because it was an asbestos mine) but those residents who chose to stay kept getting services like water, electricity, etc until 2006.

I am trying to be fair handed in my comments, but I cannot help but suspect that part of the motivation to remove people from the central desert is a hope that one day it will be possible to mine the vast reserves of uranium under there. Breaking cultural contact with the land would mean no native title over it, which would make it easier for future miners. Anyway, that is speculation.

What I can say with confidence is that the average of 5 people talking point is rubbish.


Dec. 15th, 2014 06:33 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Hollow bitter laughter as Tony Abbot defends his chief of staff against the sexism of Parliament.
emma_in_dream: (pic#)
The Greens: 'Children shouldn’t have to conform to gender stereotypes. Boys might be interested in toys that are marketed as for girls and vice versa. This isn’t about some toys being off limits. It’s about children being free to play with whatever toys interest them without fear of being judged or bullied.'

Tony Abbot: 'I certainly don’t believe in that kind of political correctness. Let boys be boys, let girls be girls – that’s always been my philosophy.'

So, letting children choose what kind of toys they want to play with = political correctness.

Enforcing a rigid gender division = apparently a natural, inherent, apolitical act. Not political at all.

Good News

Aug. 26th, 2014 08:01 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
The WA Story Books are produced by Indigenous people, highlighting positive stories of community and individual development. The latest to come out is the Kimberley edition: http://healthbulletin.org.au/articles/the-west-australian-indigenous-storybook-celebrating-and-sharing-good-news-stories-the-kimberley-edition/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AustralianIndigenousHealthbulletin+%28Australian+Indigenous+HealthBulletin%29

Read it – It’s so nice to read good news stories for a change.
emma_in_dream: (kate bunce)
he ABC ran an article which included this quote:
‘Deloitte superannuation partner Stephen Hubbert says men need a minimum $340,000 to live a modest retirement and women slightly more.

"Currently, the average amount of money people have when they retire is $190,000, and for women it's almost half of that," he observed.

I sound like a boring old feminist, but seriously the spokesperson’s comments are gibberish because it is impossible to tell whether he has included women in the category of people. If women are people, then men must have more than $190,000 so as to counter-balance the lower savings of women. Or maybe by ‘people’ he means ‘men’ have about $190,000 and women have less.

My take away is that: people don’t have enough superannuation. Women may or may not be people.

* I am a shimmering star in the Hollywood firmament.

emma_in_dream: (bobby)
Like every other person who is not a sociopath, I am appalled by the Abbott evil budget. Have no words, really, about such items as the proposal to make people aged under 30 live on air for six months before they can get benefits. Astonishing.

I note, too, that while increasing fees for university students and twirling his villain’s moustache, Abbott was pleased to have his daughter get a ‘scholarship’ worth $60,000 donated by a personal friend and Liberal party donor. Not that it was actually a scholarship, since there was no competition and it existed only for the years she was at the college at the chair’s discretion. Typical politicians.

I have no coherent arguments to make as Ruby and Pearl are continuing on their six month poor sleeping streak. Cannot go on much longer.

On a bright note, I am rereading one of Patrick O’Brian’s novels and have just got to one of my favourite lines: ‘Jack, you have debauched my sloth!’ (Jack had got the sloth drunk, not, you know, hanky panky). Also, I laughed out loud when Jack explained that the rat was dead when he ate it. (Stores were running low.) Stephen relied ‘It would have been a strangely hasty, agitated meal, had he ate it before.'
emma_in_dream: (white collar)
Last week’s budget was so hideous as to be virtually unspeakable. I couldn’t get to the rally on the weekend because of my bourgeois need to get Pearl’s sixth birthday party organized. However, I did some brief number crunching.

According to the ABS, the mean disposable household income per week in the 2011-12 financial year was $346 for the bottom quintile (20%) and $581 for the second quintile (next 20%). People are a lot poorer than it seems. The average full-time wage is quite high, but so many people work part-time or are unemployed or retired or disabled that the mean incomes are much, much lower than you imagine.

I have listed the percentage of household weekly income which is represented by the proposed $7 fee to see a doctor. As you can see, it ranges from 2% for the poor down to 0.3% for the top earners. This would be the very definition of a regressive tax. Which, by the way, is bad.

Lowest - $346 - 2%
Second lowest -$581 - 1.2%
Average - $793 - 0.8%
Second highest - $1,057 - 0.6%
Highest - $1,814 - 0.3%


Apr. 15th, 2014 05:36 pm
emma_in_dream: (Alice Liddell)
I am very proud of Pearl. On election day she was marching about the house chanting ‘Free the refugees!’ I said she was being too loud and she spontaneously ran off and found some paper and pens to produce a small banner reading ‘Free the refuoogs’. She decorated it beautifully with a picture of people on an island and brought it with us to the polling station.

Once there she marched up and down holding up her banner, while various Liberal and Labor camp followers tried to figure out how to tactfully move her without looking like bullies stifling a very cute, Shirley Templesque child. The Greens guy was thrilled to see her, promising to prominently display her poster.

I was so thrilled to see her big heart.

The Hobbit

Jan. 6th, 2014 08:45 pm
emma_in_dream: (cameron)
I enjoyed *The Hobbit*, which will be my only movie for 2014. Last year I saw the Trek reboot. The year before the first part of *The Hobbit*. So, going to the movies was a big deal for me.

Read more... )
emma_in_dream: (Kandinsky)
Emma Barry's Politics and the Romance Novel - http://authoremmabarry.com/2013/05/28/politics-and-the-romance-novel/

Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO's United Nations International Women's Day speech - http://www.army.gov.au/Our-work/Speeches-and-transcripts/United-Nations-International-Womens-Day-Conference

Brent Staples' Black Men and Public Spaces - http://facstaff.uww.edu/carlberj/Journal3.htm


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