Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's too early in the morning for me to write a lengthy post about this, and too early for me to really grasp why I am so offended/annoyed by this article.

But I am, so here it is. Discuss away.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Well, I'm offended because it's so badly written.

Pepsi said...

The article is a piss take isnt it? Shes cant be serious?

Puss In Boots said...

No, she's serious. She also wrote a book called The Sex Diaries which basically said that in order for a marriage to last, a woman should just lie back and think of England, and have sex whenever the husband wanted it.

squib said...

A tiny reproductive window? Maybe she is thinking of the female mayfly? But wait, she's not thinking AT ALL

Pepsi said...

Well Puss, obviously that idea is going to do alot for keeping a marriage alive isnt it (wtf??)

Who is she anyway, John Howard in disguise?

Got caught up in the comments, most are outraged as expected but this one @ 8.38am had me in stitches

Its her policies and actions which need to be considered:

- Pro abortion.
- Pro Gay marriage.
- Non-breeder

Wake up Australia shes nothing but bad news for our country.

I wonder what country this guy thinks he is in, cause it aint this one.

Anonymous said...

and too early for me to really grasp why I am so offended/annoyed by this article.

Can I have a go?

It looks to me as if the author has taken a bunch of ideas and tried to link them together with some rather bullshit logic. At the heart of it, I'm guessing that she's wanting to talk about women who are searching for an ideal situation in which to have children, but end up settling for something else. Okay, that seems fair enough. But then she seems to have coupled the premise with an argument that marriage is some sort of magic wand that instantly produces a perfect child-rearing environment. Huh? How? We get a few census figures showing that cohabitation is on the rise, but the only evidence she gives to support her marriage argument is

"David de Vaus, a sociology professor from La Trobe University, found cohabiting couples who have children are more like to break up than married parents, increasing their risk of the negative impacts of family breakdown."

and the even more vague

"With other countries showing similar shifts, many social scientists studying this trend conclude marriage lite is not a change for the better."

But in order to really confuse matters, It seems to me that she's decided to try and make the article topical by constructing some overarching narrative about Julia Gillard being a poor role model because she's a prominent and successful woman with no husband and no children. But if the key issue here is that the women who want children can't form suitable relationships, how is this even relevant?

Actually, now that I look at it, I think "What?!" is as good a summation of the article as you're likely to get, Puss. Erm, sorry for wasting everyone's time.

Melba said...

I was going to mention that too, squib. Tiny reproductive window? Physically, it's about 30 years? Socially, make it 25.

Bettina Arndt has been shitting me for a long time. When I was younger, I seem to remember she was a lot more progressive (might be a false memory) and somewhere along the way she turned into a conservative dragon who seems particularly fond of defending masculine rights (because they are so hard done by.)

Sorry boys, but do you need a mummy-spokeswoman to make sure you're all okay? Emotionally, physically, sexually, socially? She's taken up the male cause, because obviously the job is done for women.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Bettina Arndt wouldn't be the first baby-boomer to shuffle crab-like from the authoritarian left to the authoritarian right, Melbs.

Squib - Jules has announced on radio that she "doesn't believe in God".

squib said...

I'm so glad, Ramon. That's has taken away the nasty taste left by that Bettina article

Anonymous said...

She also wrote a book called The Sex Diaries which basically said that in order for a marriage to last, a woman should just lie back and think of England, and have sex whenever the husband wanted it.

Is that the same person? I didn't read the book, but I did see some of the promotional stuff she did. As I recall, what she said was something more along the lines of: Women who become disinterested in sex but force themselves to have it anyway, often find that they end up enjoying it and wanting more. Supposedly, this creates a virtuous cycle that benefits both parties in the relationship.

Make of that what you will.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Alex, what I make of all this is that Bettina Arndt is a dickhead.

squib said...

Bettina said if women don't feel like sex they should just put the canoe in the water and start paddling

patchouligirl said...

I've been disappointed this week by the number of sexist comments that have been made about Julia Gillard. They range from how having a woman run a country is 'a joke', 'un-Australian' and how 'Muslim countries will perceive us a 'weak' (disregarding all historical precedents) to a savage dissection of her hair, clothes and sexuality and personal life choices.

None of this has anything to do with how she will run the country. As for her appearance, I hope I look that good at 49.

Puss In Boots said...

Yeah, I think that's pretty much it, Alex. When I first read it, I nearly spat my tea all over the monitor in disgust. It just bothers me, and I'm not even the sort who would call myself a feminist, or who sees sexism in any little thing. But that article really pissed me off.

patchouligirl said...

judging by the comments, no one else thought much of it either.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Hey Puss, the temperature down here hasn't risen above eight degrees all day, it's raining, the wind is blowing straight off the South Pole and I think my nose has frozen.

Winter in Melbourne ROCKS!

Puss In Boots said...

Ramon, just reading that made me feel cold!

It's currently 21.3 degrees in my office, and I am freezing.

Anonymous said...

Thank's Squib. I don't know how I managed to forget that turn of phrase.

catlick said...

Bettina gave sex advice in that 70s mag, Forum, and since then had been doing the conference circuit and some regular TV to keep her wizened head above water. When she's not opining that "no" means "maybe or yes" she's pushing the line that men's sexual needs are not sufficiently enunciated in their relationships with the bold and selfish harpies that have trapped them in a sexless marriage, (the wives should do him even when they don't want to, wifely duty) or the other one, that the marriage certificate is magic glue and de facto is Latin for slut. She is a despicable old cunt and I say that without any malice, just horror that she still gets a run.

eat my shorts said...

Arndt says: Most women want to have children...

*Some* women want to have children. So do *some* men.

People often drift into living together...

Has she got any evidence for that? What data has she got that tells us this is the case?

And where's her evidence for this? It is often assumed these children will provide the glue to keep de facto relationships together, but sadly this is not so.

You can't just make an inference like that and pass it off as fact.

A lifestyle suited to her particular needs may be riskier for many women and their children.

I might admire Gillard as a woman and a politician, but that doesn't mean I'm going to copy every aspect of her lifestyle. I'd be willing to wager that a woman's decision to participate in a de facto relationship as opposed to a marriage is down to a number of different factors, and of all those factors, I'm betting that "Julia Gillard does it, so it's ok" ranks rather low on the scale. Of course, I haven't got the evidence to back that up, but unlike Arndt, I'm not going around saying: "Often, a woman's decision...", or "Most women..."

As a Labor politician, Gillard is hardly likely to spell this out.

Well then, Bettina, I suppose that just means you'll have to continue playing guessing games & making ill-informed generalisations, won't you?

Christ. If this was written by one of my Sociology students I wouldn't give them a passing grade. I'd tell them to go back and do their research properly.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Buffoons like Arndt continue to get a run because they create controversy; the idea being by saying something demonstrably stupid they draw "eyeballs" to the paper's website.

The drawback, of course, is that most people now think the SMH is full of shit.

come.to.mumma said...

Kinda off topic... Apparently Julia's said she's against gay marriage. (I haven't seen it myself, so it may not be correct; I read it elsewhere). Seems like some of the gloss is beginning to wear off if she's making public statements like that. With me at least, particularly if she doesn't have religious beliefs which would lead her to be against gay marriage. Thoughts?

eat my shorts said...

My thoughts? I'd need more information about where the story has come from.

I dunno. If she doesn't seem that keen on marriage herself, why would she care whether or not gay people can do it?

Puss In Boots said...

Yeah, her comment was apparently, "We believe the marriage act is appropriate in its current form, that is recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman, but we have as a government taken steps to equalise treatment for gay couples."

Personally, I think it's ridiculous. I just don't see why anyone would care whether two people who love each other get married or not. I can't see why it matters to people. And I was especially surprised that Gillard said it, when, as you said CTM, she can't fall back on religion as a reason for being against it.

It doesn't make any sense to me, and I find it particularly annoying. Is it just policy reasons that keep them denying marriage to gay couples? But then, that doesn't make sense either. If they're going to make equivalent laws, then they're still going to have to potentially shell out money in benefits to gay spouses, so it's not like they could be thinking it will save them money not letting them marry. I just don't see the point in denying them marriage.

Anonymous said...

As a non-religious person who doesn't see the appeal of marriage, even amongst heterosexuals, I guess I haven't really bothered to give the topic as much thought as I probably should. Maybe Julia hasn't, either.

Some people want to go on about "marriage" being a religious tradition or whatever - okay, fine. I still think there has to be a single civil-union law that can be applied equally to any two consenting adults of any sex, inter-sex, or whatever. Whether or not you want to specifically use the term marriage, doesn't bother me. But trying to go down the route of having two separate-yet-equal laws seems stupid and patronising to me.

Oh, and congratulations on the job, EMS.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I wouldn't mind if they restructured some of the laws regarding defacto relationships, too.

patchouligirl said...

It does seem about time we had a legal status for co-habitation that provides equal recognition and rights for everyone.

squib said...

yeah, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed by Gillard's stance on this. It seems hypocritical to say the least

eat my shorts said...

Oh, and congratulations on the job, EMS.

Cheers, Alex! I'm not going to starve anymore! Huzzah!

Based on the quote Puss cited, then Gillard's stance on gay marriage is indeed very hypocritical. And, yes, very disappointing. I definitely didn't expect her to take that position on the issue.

come.to.mumma said...

EMS, Puss, Alex, Squib, Patch - agreed. Couldn't have put it better myself. Seems like she's taking what's perceived as a safe political path, and that shits me, especially on this particular issue. Equal rights and recognition for all (and thanks for that succinct argument, Patch)!

RandomGit said...

I think the article annoys you particularly because at it's heart it has the premise that women who do not bear children have no future. All the incomprehensible rubbish that followed is a result of that.

Related is the premise that women are far too female to achieve anything of lasting value. Hence the need to produce children, which their husbands can't do.

And various other old fashioned poppycock.