I Can’t Keep Quiet

A couple of things making me think.

  1. Friend comments that I really should start blogging again (thanks Nick!)
  2. Red wine.
  3. This:


So here is something that I truly believe. In these dangerous times, if you have an ounce of creative instinct in you, it is unethical not to create. Make good art.

This joy in protest, in the face of ugliness, this beautiful resistance. This harmony in the face of being torn apart. Personally this is my favourite act of protest that I have seen. What could be greater, what could be more glorious than this?

(There’s something ancient and undeniable in song. When you open your mouth and your throat and your everything and it comes pouring out like the purest fucking thing you’ve ever experienced)

What if this is opportunity? There’s a crack in everything, and that’s how the light gets in. What if this could be how the light gets in?

How dare I stop writing? Even for a moment. You have to write like you’re running out of time, because what if you are? Hard times require furious dancing.

And what if it happens here, what if this insane wave of neo-liberal-fascism comes to my country? It’s already stirring. If it can happen in America it can so just as easily happen here (let alone all the places around the world that are in even greater suffering), and the planet these days is just one big place, anyway, what’s an ocean or two in separation?

I gave up on this stuff for a while, I burnt out, I thought we got what we deserved, I stayed (relatively) quiet. Fuck you Tony Abbott.

… You know what? No.

No one deserves this.

That’s not good enough. Try harder.

We (earth, people, us, the pale blue dot) are better than this.

Time to re-ignite.

~

Cause I can’t keep quiet,
a one-woman riot.
I can’t keep quiet
for anyone.
No. Not any more.

 

#LoveWins

Except, no, love doesn’t win.

Love gets gunned down by a fanatic with a gun. Love dies screaming. Love bleeds out on the pavement. Love sends desperate text messages before falling silent. Love is killed. Love dies, and dies, and dies.

And even if it doesn’t die, it is scarred. Love is rushed to the hospital, pocked with bullets. Love loses blood. Love loses limbs. Love has nightmares about hiding under dead bodies. Love has PTSD. Love loses people.

Love’s legs are broken, and even though they’ll walk again the bones will never set quite right, they will always ache in the cold.

Love was just going about its business and trying to have a good time, to be kind, to get through life without causing too much harm. Love is not good enough for some people. Love does not convince people who are already so far gone they think that violent hate is the answer.

Love is mocked by our politicians and our political institutions. Love is lied to with platitudes and then stabbed in the back by conservative political donations and back-room deals. Love is dismissed and ignored by the powerful. Love is picked on in the playground. Love is called names. Love is hated by those who are blinded by their faith. Love gets fucked over again, and again, and again. Love cries itself to sleep at night because it feels like nothing is changing.

Love has to live in a world where Trump is an American presidential candidate and Cory Bernardi is an Australian Senator.

Love, quite frankly, is tired of this bullshit. And so am I.


I’m sick of people pretending that religion has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

Almost all major religious texts preach homophobia. It doesn’t matter if you are religious person with humanist ethics who dismisses the parts of their Bible/Qu’ran that they don’t like. Your faith is no more or less valid than the people who read the same book and decide to blow up a building full of Filthy Heathens, or bomb an abortion clinic. Faith by definition has no basis in rationalism or reality, and there is nothing to stop it spiralling out of control. Faith does not and cannot stop radicalisation; only logical human morality can.

I’m sick of people pretending that homophobia has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

Queer people are still, in the 21st-goddamn-century, treated unequally by our political and social institutions. If you’re a casual homophobe, congratulations, fuckwit, you helped Orlando happen. You are a bad person and you should feel bad.

I’m sick of people pretending that inadequate mental health care has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

Logically, the majority of the world’s population follows a religion of some description, and yet the majority of the world’s population are not psychotic mass-murderers. If you hear voices in your head, you need psychological help, even if the voice calls itself ‘God’ and convinces you that eternal glory awaits you in the afterlife. (Hint: it doesn’t. You’ll just be dead. Sorry.)

I’m sick of people pretending that gun control has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

This one’s just incredibly fucking obvious to most of the world.
WAKE UP, AMERICA. 


I know why people say that love wins. Love wins because in spite of everything done to it, love keeps on loving. It just keeps on doing what it does.

Is that going to be enough, though?

Normally I am inspired by solidarity, but tonight I feel like it’s just a hollow hash tag. There’s no glory here. Love doesn’t win. Love gets massacred.

Why the anti-gay-marriage agenda should make feminists uncomfortable

The title of this post may be a little misleading: there are MANY reasons why the anti-gay-marriage agenda should make feminists unconfortable. Partly there’s the simple fact that feminists are human beings who believe in equality, so there’s that. But I feel it’s also something more specific.

More and more these days I am hearing people trying to disassociate themselves from homophobic bigots by saying something along these lines: “I totally respect gay people and absolutely believe that they should have equal rights, but the definition of ‘marriage’ is a relationship between a man and a woman, centred on procreation. Gay partnerships should be recognised as equal, but they shouldn’t be called ‘marriage’.”

As a human being who is capable of smelling bullshit, but also specifically as a feminist, I find this statement almost more disturbing than the out and out tin-foil-hat-wearing loonies screaming about how Teh Gayz want to brainwash your children. I mean… at least the blatant homophobes are honest about where they’re coming from, you know?

The “I believe in equality, BUT” people are making some extremely disturbing conclusions that they probably don’t even consciously realise.

They are saying that we are all basically just walking uteruses (uterii?) and penises. They are saying that love does not matter. They are saying that infertile couples should not get married. They are saying that my entire purpose in life and love is to squeeze a baby out of my nether regions, because that’s all that’s important.

Heaven forbid you are a woman who doesn’t want to have children. (And you’d  better not be gender-queer in any way, because we don’t even acknowledge that you people exist!)

Everyone knows that Traditional Marriage is the only REAL marriage! You know, when your dad sells you for the price of a few goats to a man you’ve never seen before where you become his property and can legally be raped or abused whenever he feels like it. Yeah! Traditional Marriage is the best! Oh and also you’d better make sure you and your husband have matching levels of pigment in your skin, otherwise you’re going to get lynched. BECAUSE TRADITION.

Ugh. The argument from tradition is the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard. Probably even stupider than the argument from religion. Technically no one knows God’s divine opinion on these things, but we KNOW that human beings have done some fucking stupid things in the name of tradition (genocide, slavery, etc) and yet some people STILL persist in pretending it’s the valid basis for an argument. If “But it’s always been this way!” is the best that you can come up with, you need to sit the hell down and shut the hell up, you puffed-up failure of an intellectual peon.

I’m more than a walking uterus. People are not property. Love actually matters.

GOOD GRIEF.

That is all.

Australian Labor continues its slow slide into oblivion

I do love how many conservatives are ‘thanking’ Ms Gillard for ‘saving lives’ that would have been lost at sea with her new solution. I guess when refugees die violently in their own countries, unable to escape or seek asylum, it doesn’t bother us as much. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Better assasinated in Afghanistan than drowned in Australian waters. (… Better for whom, exactly, Ms. Gillard?)

She’s also agreed to be the keynote speaker for a meeting of the Australian Christian Lobby.

Fuck you, Ms. Gillard. Fuck you upside down and sideways.

That is all.

‘Doctors’ for the ‘Family’

Would you trust your doctor to administer healthcare to you if they were incapable of acknowledging or understanding a peer-reviewed, scientific consensus?

If the answer is any variation of “Um, hell no”, as I rather suspect it would be, you should probably check that your family doctor doesn’t belong to the Australian group called ‘Doctors for the Family’. (Everyone knows that the word ‘Family’ in any group name should immediately set off loud warning sirens and red flashing lights.)

Doctors for the Family have recently presented a submission to the Senate Committee against any changes to the existing Marriage Act. Their reasoning can basically be summed up as “Won’t somebody think of the children!!1!

They have stated that children of gay parents are somehow worse-off than children of straight parents. In doing so they have blithely ignored the plethora of scientific evidence surrounding the wellbeing of children with non-hetero parents, and have instead substituted a whole lot of non-peer reviewed, Australian-Christian-Lobby-funded garbage in place of actual science, in order to support their religiously inspired bigotry and their desire to impose it on the rest of the country. There is a good analysis on The Conversation here and here.

Don’t you just love it when people try to use the respectability and legitimacy of [fake] science to support their prejudice?

The submission (with the names of all doctors involved) can be downloaded from this government page (it’s number 229). I recommend checking to make sure that your doctor is not on the list. If they are, I recommend ditching them as fast as possible, and letting them know in no uncertain terms why you are doing so.

The thought that there are practising doctors out there who don’t understand medical science (or at least, who refuse to acknowledge it when it contradicts their personal bias) is a little bit scary.

“Utter nonsense”

In recent news, Kevin Rudd’s sister has quit the Australian Labor Party because she “couldn’t work for a party that had endorsed homosexuals marrying”.

(For some reason the political opinions of a sibling of an ex-Prime Minister are newsworthy? Whatevs.)

She seems to be a little misinformed, since endorsing gay marriage is exactly what the majority of Australians want a political party to do, and it’s not what the Labor party has done. There’s a big difference between ‘endorsement’ and ‘allowing a conscience vote so that politicians can indulge in their prejudice’.

Isn’t it fantastic, though, the way she uses the word ‘homosexuals’? How you can practically hear the disgust dripping from her voice? You could imagine a version of her 50 years ago talking about ‘blacks’ or ‘Jews’ in the same sort of tone.

Ick.

I actually posted this link for the amusement factor of the extreme irony in her comments:

“I don’t believe gay marriage is good for the community,” she said.

“Homosexuals should be loved and treated right and they should not be  discriminated against.

“It is a horrible thing for them to be discriminated against and that’s why  my brother introduced laws so they are not discriminated against.

“But to make that huge leap from their rights to breaking a commandment of  Moses, to say homosexuals’ relationships is marriage, is utter nonsense.”

Utter nonsense?? Utter nonsense is making statements like “I don’t believe gay marriage is good for the community” while ignoring all evidence that points out that gay marriages and children of gay parents are perfectly well adjusted, and ignoring the fact that this ‘community’ that she claims to care so much about actually supports gay marriage.

‘Utter nonsense’ is waffling on about how homosexuals should be loved and not discriminated against, while at the same time denying them a basic right.

And finally, the most utterly nonsensical thing of all is to base your prejudiced view of other individual’s rights on, of all things, “a commandment of Moses.

… Do these people ever stop and listen to themselves and think, Hmm, who is this insane person babbling about crazy things? OH WAIT IT’S ME.

The Commandments Of Jennifer state that All Loves Were Created Are Equal, and should be treated as such. And I’m pretty sure my commandments, as a real-life citizen of the 21st century, should be considered a heck of a lot more valid than some random fictitious guy from a couple millenia ago.

You know there’s something wrong with your democracy when…

You know there’s something wrong with your democracy when an issue which is supported by two thirds of your country’s population cannot gain any traction with either one of the country’s major political parties.

Recent polling has consistently shown that around two thirds of Australian voters support the legalisation of gay marriage (62% at the last count). So why aren’t our politicians merrily jumping on to this very nice bandwagon that we’ve so kindly provided for them?

I’ve struggled to understand this for quite a while, and the only conclusion I can come to is that the system is broken. If we truly have a representative democracy, then why is no one willing to represent the majority on this issue?

I suppose it comes down to two things: money, and religious influence. (I think I’m going to smack the next person who tries to tell me that religion doesn’t have a negative influence on society). Jim Wallace and the Australian Christian Lobby spring to mind. There must be a financial reason why politicians are in bed with the ACL. I’ve never even met a single Christian who agreed with the ACL agenda , let alone a regular, non-religious member of society. So why does it wield so much power? How much cash is it slipping into the pockets of our politicians?

From the article linked above:

‎”As a salve to religious groups, [federal minister] Mr Butler said any law change would have to include protections for the churches and other religious groups from anti-discrimination laws suits should they refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies because it contravenes their doctrine.”

You know that there is something wrong with your organisation when you require special exceptions to anti-discrimination laws. Most normal people understand that discrimination is a Bad Thing. Churches are so happy to embrace it that they even want laws in place to protect them from the repercussions of discrimination. If I was a Church-goer myself, I know that I’d feel so embarrassed and ashamed to read this about my own organisation. However, I’d be happy with religious marriages doing things their own icky way as long as secular weddings were unaffected and non-discriminatory.

Julia Gillard’s recent statements about gay marriage have been disappointing as always – more so because, as an atheist, there is absolutely no logical reason to prevent couples who happen to be gay from marrying. And as a female Prime Minister, it seems rather ludicrous of her to use “tradition” as her cop-out excuse.

”My position flows from my strong conviction that the institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation and that should continue unchanged,” she says.

If you really mean that, Ms. Gillard, get out of Parliament House and get back in the kitchen where you ‘traditionally’ belong.

The power of tradition only comes from people believing in it and upholding it. The majority of Australians no longer uphold the belief that marriage should be limited to male/female relationships. The fact that gay people are legally prevented from marrying has no decent excuse and it’s not even a legitimate ‘tradition’ any more; it’s just an ugly old relic, and religious groups are clinging to the buzzword of ‘tradition’ like rats on a sinking ship.

I can’t wait until they all metaphorically drown.