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Showing posts from August, 2017

Books on Parade*

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This week was Mr G's first school Book Week, and accompanying Book Week Parade. For years I've seen friends on social media bitch and moan about having to rig up Book Parade costumes in between working three jobs, worrying over the sorry state of the world and keeping up with the constant demands on parents' time made by schools utterly failing to prepare children for the real world by trying to make education "fun"**. There's also the potential hazards of becoming an inadvertent figure of national derision because your child insisted on a costume which ended up going viral for all the wrong reasons. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to finally be able to enter into this tense and unhappy atmosphere***. 
Admittedly, I didn't have to rig up a costume myself. That task fell to my ex husband and credit where it's due, he did a great job. I wouldn't have. A combination of clumsiness and sensory issues leaves me unable to sew and with a vicious in…

Why this radical lefty is against Safe Schools

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Like all of us who see ourselves as on the side of sweetness and light, I was a big supporter of the Safe Schools program. A school based program to reduce bullying and teach children the importance safety, respect and of people being who they are and loving who they love sounded pretty good to me. Also, the politicians and media types who opposed Safe Schools were the usualmassivepackofmoronflavouredbigotbiscuits. Their criticisms of Safe Schools - that it was a recruiting campaign for gays, that heterosexual children are being bullied as a result of the program - were and are ridiculous.

I still support the message that love is love and families come in many shapes and sizes. We still need to make marriage equality a reality and break down heteronormativity. But I was looking through the Safe Schools lesson plans, saw this, and recoiled.



This lesson plan is part of a program featured on the Safe Schools website as "Our teaching and learning resource, titled All Of Us, is design…

"Naming and Shaming" just more arbitrary justice for rape survivors

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It's well known that it's almost impossible for sexual assault victims to receive recourse through the criminal justice system. Now an act of going public about your experience, naming and shaming your attacker, has been hailed as a great act of achieving justice in the public sphere where none was available in the courts of law. Justice must be fairly available to everyone to be, well, just. But as a form of justice, going public is as capricious, arbitrary and unequal as the systems it was intended to replace. 
In writing this, my intention is not to criticise anyone who has come forward with their story of sexual assault; I am critical of the societal notion that going public is somehow a more reliable and direct way of claiming justice. You can't go public unless you have a public, and there's very little equality in who gets public attention and why. Many women would love to speak out about what happened to them, if only someone would listen.

This follows a recen…

Great Expectations

I always said that I didn't care what sort of grades my son got at school, I just wanted him to be happy.

This noble sentiment lasted exactly until Mr G got his first school report. 

He got top marks right across the board for his social skills, confirming what were already told at parent teacher interviews - "he's a great favourite with everyone, all the kids, even the visitors the classroom, he loves to have a chat and make friends". We already knew he has a caring streak to his personality (when he was two and a half, at a party, his father poured him a cup of soft drink - a rare treat - and he turned and handed it to his cousin because she didn't have one yet. What toddler does that?).
But his marks for academic performance left me reeling. This was not what I expected at all. We thought he was bright (doesn't every parent think their kid is bright?). His father has a degree, I'm completing one and realistically hoping to do a PhD before I'm fifty…