Sunday, 23 December 2012

So much is wrong with this world...

... For example, a dentist in Iowa, US, fired his assistant on the basis she was a threat to his marriage.

The woman took him to court on the basis of sex discrimination. The basic question in the case was: ""whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction".

The all-male panel of judges found that bosses can legally fire employees they find "too attractive".

This in the country that has also had 62 mass shootings since 1982. While so much media is focused on tightening restrictions on gun ownership, there is almost no discussion about the links between these killings (always portrayed as "random acts of senseless killing") and the culture in which they happen, the government that tortures innocent people (such as whistle blower Bradley Manning) in Guantanamo and elsewhere, illegally invades other countries and carries out systematic killings of civilians ...

Hypocrisy much,  Obama?

Monday, 3 December 2012

Language, society, disability: thought-provoking article

Today is International Day of People with Disability, and to mark it I wanted to share this article I read a while back which I think might just have swayed my opinion on the issue of "disabled people" vs "people with disability".

Well, no, actually, I just cringed when I wrote "disabled people", so possibly I am still equivocating, but Stella young makes a compelling case for the social model of disability - society disables us, we are disabled by a society so focused on physical perfection.

"To say that a person "has a disability" is to say that these barriers are our responsibility. My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn't accessible.

In my own home, where I've been able to create an environment that works for me, I'm hardly disabled at all. I still have an impairment, and there are obviously some very restrictive things about that, but the impact of disability is less."
I must give it more thought...

Happy reading!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Islamophobia: alive and well in the Top End

Earlier this year, I went to a fancy dress party dressed as a ninja. 

I drove us there, so I guess through the window all people would've seen was a head veiled in black with a slot for the eyes. In the 15-minute drive through Darwin suburb
s, I had a carload of young white men swear at me and give me the finger, another man in another car yell "go home", and third car speed past us while throwing a beer can out the window, which came flying back in our direction. 

Anyone who thinks Australia is not a racist country need only try out this experiment (at the time I wasn't even consciously undertaking an "experiment" but it sure was a wake-up call).

I was pretty shaken by the time I got to the party. This is the daily reality for women who wear the veil in Australia.