Otterday and Open Thread

Otter chaos
moar funny pictures
This week’s otter pic is via ICHC’s LOL builder

Sorry for the delayed otterday this weekend! Chaos is the state de jour, obviously!

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a great book? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

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20 replies

  1. I am becoming seriously peeved by the gits who are saying that any move by the ADF to formalise women in front-line positions* necessarily involves a lowering of military standards. Has one single person advocating women on the front line said that such positions should go to any woman who cannot meet the physical requirements?
    * (as we know, they’re already there de facto in modern urban combat, just without the pay and promotion prospects)

  2. Do you know if there are any measures to address sexual assault of female military personnel by their male peers accompanying this review? It is a very serious problem in the U.S. armed forces and anecdotal evidence suggests the same here. If they are serious about gender equality (or even just recruiting women) they will need to do something about it.

  3. There’s been a torrent of complaints from men (including one ex-army officer) flooding the West Australian because of this thing. I was so sickened by it, I was forced to delurk.
    Summary: women are unfit to serve in frontline infantry roles because they menstruate and suffer from PMS and cause “psycho-sexual interferences” and so “put at risk the close teamwork and interdependence critical to military teamwork”. They also get icky urinary infections and are weaker physically, mentally and psychologically. Nations hankering after our natural resources must be “delighted” that our “frontline battalions and other units” are going to be “weakened by watering down physical efficiency”.
    We’re all weak, unstable, diseased, evil temptresses. None of us will ever meet the requirements.

    • @Mork
      On the radio today someone said that 95% of positions in the ADF are already open to women and have been for many years. It’s only front-line combat that we’re (officially) excluded from.
      I wonder whether any of the complainers can point to (1) a documented instance of compromised teamwork in any one of those many gender-integrated units, and (2) whether any compromised teamwork that may have occurred has been down to women failing their designated tasks or down to men refusing to take them seriously. Because if teamwork is compromised due to someone refusing to accept another team member rather than the ostracised team member actually doing something wrong, that’s not a problem with the person being ostracised (and although that excuse flew once upon a time with racially segregated service units, they’d never get away with that today, so try again with your gender wars, fellas.)

  4. Excellent point.

  5. It’s only front-line combat that we’re (officially) excluded from.
    Also being navy divers, various positions in aircraft maintenance (because the cleaning chemicals they use can cause deformations in a fetus), and perimeter guards.
    I heard this on PM the other day:

    Jim Wallace is a former SAS commander. He’s adamant that women should be kept out of direct combat roles.
    JIM WALLACE: It’s about morale, it’s about team cohesion and in the Australian case, our army has always distinguished itself mainly because at the very core of each team, there’s a strong mateship. Now introducing women into that team complicates, very much complicates that very important bond.
    SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Why can’t men and women be mates?
    JIM WALLACE: People who think that haven’t been on long military operations where having a woman in the team and with all the natural attraction we have between the sexes would invariably lead to attractions and to implications that you don’t have with an all-male team.

    It’s night-time, and the rare wild female has emerged from its burrow. See how it sniffs the air and eschews all human contact before beginning its nightly hunt. Females are extremely dangerous and are known to destroy entire teams. If you are bitten by a wild female, call for help immediately, as symptoms include becoming extremely complicated. Females feed exclusively on “mateship bonds” – small skittish rodents that implode at the slightest provocation. For this reason, mateship bonds often hide in herds of bravado, eating discared cores. Using special traps, researchers hope to capture and tag breeding pairs of wild females, to help preserve and understand this intriguing species.
    Also, gay men don’t exist, apparently.
    This week, I’m freaking angry about this whole Caster Semenya affair! They keep calling her an hermaphrodite, and nastier things. They keep confusing sex and gender. They keep treating her as if she’s a freak (more than any other elite athlete). I feel really really sorry for the poor lady, and I can’t imagine actually having an intersex condition and hearing all this innaccurate voyeurism on mainstream news.
    I’m thinking of starting an Educational Poster Campaign with my queer group (because surely that will fix everything), but am not sure how to summarise it all.

    • @The Amazing Kim

      It’s night-time, and the rare wild female has emerged from its burrow.

      Oh yes, the Caster Semenya coverage is wildly aggravating, not least because of the dismay at so many people pulling facts from their arses and being taken seriously. I was astonished to see some so-called expert paraded on ABC Breakfast the other day who failed to distinguish between a plethora of critical points – external genitals vs internal sex organs just for a start, and claiming that Semenya would have had to have gender testing to compete in the Olympics when sex testing was in fact discontinued by the IOC in 1999 following a resolution passed in 1996 (the IAAF discontinued mandatory sex testing in 1992). He obviously just wanted to trot out his Princess Anne anecdote.
      When even Auntie can’t find someone to bother getting their facts right in such a case it’s most disheartening.

  6. Having a major thesis freakout right now. I really want to submit by the end of the year (hell, I wanted to submit by the middle of the year), but I have so much left to do that I don’t know how it’s possible. And I’m seriously worried that if I don’t get it done by the end of the year, the uni is simply going to kick me out, because it’ll be more than a year overdue.
    I was on such a good roll with it at the beginning of this year– I really thought I’d be able to submit in June, and I was working at a rate that would have made that possible. But then my partner and I had to move house, my partner lost his job, and the hobby that I used to reward myself for getting work done sort of fell through and became a lot less fun than it used to be– a source of relaxation became a source of stress that has prevented me from concentrating on my thesis as much as I should have (and just dropping that hobby is difficult because that would mean dropping one of my major networks of social support at the moment).
    I am honestly, deeply scared that all the work I’ve put in over the last five years has been for nothing, because either the uni will kick me out before I’m ready to submit, or, if I do submit, my thesis won’t be thorough enough to pass, and that it will be one of the few that actually fails outright.

    • ((((((Beppie))))))
      I don’t have any good advice, I’m afraid. Other than that you’re welcome to drop by here for social support without having to put in the heavy hobby hours. Anytime.

  7. Hugs from me too, Beppie. Ummm… the thesis-freakout is a common experience. It happens, to lots of us. By which I’m trying to say that what you are going through is normal. So don’t beat up on yourself even more just because you are freaking out… you don’t need a meta-meta-meta freakout, and you don’t deserve one, because we all do this. I didn’t so much with my final thesis, but I had some very nasty experiences with my first dissertation, and looking back, twenty-two years later, I was in serious trouble.
    As for advice: if you can, just write. The best piece of advice I got was to turn off my internal editor (you know, the one that makes you write a sentence, and then delete it, and then re-write exactly the same sentence) and write. I set myself a target of writing 500 words, first thing in the morning, before I did anything else whatsoever. And I wasn’t allowed to delete a single thing, not even spelling mistakes and typos. Once I got going every morning, I found that I usually wrote far more than my 500 words, and most of it was good.
    Thesis-finishing is hell, in all sorts of ways.

  8. *sigh* I have a viral infection in my gums and the dentist prescribed me an anti-viral commonly used for herpes. Dastardly expensive, and wasn’t covered by healthcare. (Incidentally, neither is my BC.) Also, turns out my family home was burgled last night. Nothing was stolen except for the money my mum brings home from her shop. So… everyone’s safe and sound but it still feels like an inside job. So much for starting this birthday right.
    Good luck with the thesis, Beppie!

    • Jha, what a horrible time you’re having! I hope you manage to find some fun for your birthday anyway – Many Happy Returns!

  9. Thanks, Tigtog and Deborah — hugs gladly accepted.
    Part of the problem at the moment is that I’m writing my second draft, so I NEED my internal editor if I’m going to get the job done. If I try turning it off, then I write a second draft just as crappy as the first draft. But at the same time, deleting stuff is a HUGE part of the second draft, so it can often be the case that after a day of work, I have less than what I started with. And while the “forcing myself to write” thing CAN sometimes work with replacing what I’ve had to delete… I haven’t got a good way to reward myself for that achievement anymore — because my old way of rewarding myself for Getting Stuff Done is now just as likely to make me upset as it is to make me happy.
    I do not know how to get this done.

  10. Beppie, is there a counselling service or someone you can talk to on campus about your concerns and needs? I’ve already signed up with mine because I can see that OMG!panic on the horizon. Just having a neutral third party who’s familiar with the needs of your program can be helpful.
    Not that we’re not here for you. *hug*
    Jha, ack! 😦 😦 😦 ❤
    Oh hey, there’s a "click to edit" and "request deletion" button now. 🙂

  11. The treatment of Caster Semenya has angered me this week. I’ve sent off complaints to the ABC and the Canberra Times. (They should know better). Jim Wallace – the former SAS officer – is also head of the Australian Christian Lobby.

  12. Wow, just watcing the Serena Williams-Kim Clijsters match and the whole point penalty for threatening the linesperson that meant Williams lost the match. Crikey.

  13. I am SO annoyed that they’re not broadcasting the womens’ doubles final – not even on foxtel.

  14. @ Rebekka, what women play tennis now! / sarcasm

    That just sucks.

  15. Yes, dammit, they do! Not that you’d ever know it…

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