Otterday! And Open Thread.

Your open thread this weekend is hosted by this otter getting a belly rub. Courtesy of The Daily Otter.

an otter lies supine on a pink rug. A human, only hands and knees visible, is giving the otter a belly massage.

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 good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

Tags: , , ,

19 replies

  1. aww, that’s one blissed-out mustelid.

  2. So a couple of NSW parliamentarians are about to put forward a same-sex marriage bill… that explicitly excludes trans* people. Yeah, thanks but no thanks.

  3. Li: I can’t for the life of me figure out what “The bill makes it clear it is about the marriage of same-sex couples only. Trans-sex marriages are not allowed” means in that context. Genderqueer/trans* people who refuse to specify a binary gender? Something else? Has anyone seen the original wording?

  4. Oh well done NSW, that’s How Not to Do It part eleventy million.
    Been a quiet week here after coming back from Queensland. First side of the tunic I’m knitting is coming along well, despite a near-disaster last night: the dreaded Miscrossed Cable. Thank the gods of the internets, I found instructions on how to undo the cable alone, rather than having to undo entire rows. (I’ll give a link if anyone’s interested.)
    Also uploaded and photoshopp’d more Queensland pics.
    The Great Nose of Laddie
    Louis outside my sister’s place

  5. The draft bill hasn’t been published, so it’s difficult to get a hold on the specific mechanism (I’m asking around, but no clue whether I’ll get much in response). The Standing Committee on Social Issues just released a report which is what I’ve been working off so far. Relevant section is below.

    A state-based same-sex marriage law that is inclusive of transgender and transsexual persons gives rise to substantial challenges in constitutional law. This is because the law would purport to provide for marriage of opposite-sex couples and thus would directly conflict with the Marriage Act. A direct inconsistency such as this would render the State legislation inoperative, at least to the extent of that inconsistency (see Chapter 6 for further discussion of constitutional inconsistency). In her submission to the Committee, Professor Twomey observed that the Draft Bill risks constitutional challenge on this basis, and described the issue as follows:
    My first point of concern is the long title of the Bill. It is described as ‘A Bill for an Act to provide for marriage equality by allowing for same-sex marriage between two adults regardless of their sex.’ While I understand that the purpose is to incorporate persons of indeterminate sex, the difficulty is that it may give rise to an inconsistency with the Commonwealth’s Marriage Act as it would appear to contemplate the marriage of a man and a woman (because it includes two adults regardless of their sex).
    The Committee notes that a later iteration of the Draft Bill has removed the reference to ‘two adults regardless of their sex’ from its long title.

    I’ve heard second hand that the likely mechanism is to explicitly exclude trans* and intersex people from accessing marriage under the NSW legislation but without a copy of the draft bill I can’t confirm that myself.

  6. I’ve been angry about this story for a few days now – Van Badham sums up everything that is wrong with it.

    Australia, the country where you can be ‘too privileged’ to go to jail
    This is the story of two Australian men, both 27, drunk and in trouble with the law. Their respective treatment neatly encapsulates a tale of two Australias

  7. The full quotes are even worse:

    Ian Hill, QC, told magistrate Jack Vandersteen the alcohol-fuelled attack meant Sweeney would have trouble being admitted to practise law and asked that he not send Sweeney to jail.
    “I don’t think he’d last very long (in jail),” Mr Vandersteen replied.
    “Not many people are in jail who went to (the prestigious school) Haileybury or who had your client’s privileged background.”
    Mr Hill added: “Or who look like him.”

    That last one is just a clusterfuck of implied awful.

  8. Erk! The story about that glassing guy is dreadful even without the contrast and compare…

  9. Mr angharad is watching The Pyramids of Mars tonight. Oh, Gabriel Woolf….best villain voice ever…

  10. Re: the proposed NSW marriage law, how does it cause a problem if two laws allow for the same outcome? It seems to me that a law that allows two adults, regardless of their sex to marry, then it doesn’t exclude same sex, trans, intersex, non-specified sex or opposite sex marriages. How is that a problem?
    On a separate topic, as I have a pre-schooler obsessed with the show, it occurs to me that as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their son George, I ponder whether, should they have a girl subsequently, would they perhaps name her Peppa? (Tongue firmly in cheek.)

  11. Just got home from a song recital/soiree (and supper) given by the vocal school where one of mr tog’s colleagues trains – really high quality classical/lyrical performances. Colleague has a beautiful rich basso profundo voice, which was a revelation.

  12. Arcadia, the issue with such a law is that if you have a Federal law that states “marriage is between a man and a woman” and a state one that contradicts that by including everyone, the state law is invalid under the Federal system set out by the Constitution. The argument is that by avoiding any hint of legislating man/woman marriage, a state same-sex marriage law would be a different institution and thus not invalidated because it clashed with Commonwealth law. The authors of the bill are using that essentially to argue that trans* people need to be entirely excluded from the institution, since they’re supposedly confusing in terms of their legal sex and thus might lead to the bill being ruled invalid.
    I obviously have strong feelings both about the validity of that legal argument and the morality of dumping trans* people’s rights in order to get progress for cis queers.

  13. I agree that Peppa Pig should one day grow up to be Queen. Queue laughter and jumping in muddy puddles. Sigh.

  14. That glassing story is a bit of a mindfuck. I can (in a hopelessly naive way) see that the judge might have been trying to make the point that someone who is privileged would a) have a very hard time in jail, and b) ruin the rest of his life, so that he should be very grateful that he never went to prison and behave accordingly in future. But what did the lawyer think he was contributing to the conversation by acknowledging the racism of the system? Tis bizarre. While the contrast and compare is also horrendous, I wouldn’t have thought that many white men, of whatever background, would have been sent to jail on a first offence, even for a violent crime like this. (I know quite a few people who’ve been done for abh and never went near a jail cell, other than when they were initially lifted by the police).
    I had a weird thing that’s been bugging me all week. My office at work is opposite the tearoom, so sometimes people stop and have conversations outside my door and if they’re speaking loudly enough you can hear them. This week two PhD students were chatting and one was being consistently racist and disablist in what was otherwise a banal conversation – consistently referring to somebody (not disabled) as a ‘mong’, referring to a Russian as a ‘tcheuk’ [sp?]. I don’t really know the person who said these things, but I knew the other PhD student, who based on the nervousness of his responses was both shocked but also slightly impressed. The closest he got to a reprimand was saying ‘stop, you’re making me laugh at disabled people’. I also got the impression that the student saying these things did so, because it was shocking, as his nervousness just seemed to make her more egregious in her language choices, not less. I didn’t intervene because I was eavesdropping, but also because I was really stuck on how to address this sort of hate speech, that is a) designed to be shocking and said for that reason, and b) would be agreed by pretty much everyone to be problematic language (in contrast to, say, ‘that’s gay’ as an insult, which some people might defend). I don’t imagine telling the speaker that they were being racist/disablist would be particularly helpful, as presumably she knows that and that’s why she’s doing it. So other than asking her not to be a dehumanising asshole, what do you say?

  15. @Feminist Avatar – is there any sort of policy at your work about using racist, ableist etc slurs? If so, it’d make it easier to tell her that sort of thing is not acceptable. If not – my instinct would be to pull the Older Person Giving A Telling Off thing (I’m fifty, it comes naturally, heh) and tell her quietly but no-nonsense that you heard what she was saying and it’s not on. Dunno if that would help at all, from what you said, but my two cents, anyway.

  16. Thanks for that, Li. So we do really need a federal law, then.

  17. I’m still in favour of abolition of the Marriage Act (and all it’s associated discrimination).

  18. Thanks TKUH! That is a good idea! You’re right we do have policies about creating a hostile work environment which explicitly include reference to racism, sexism, disablism, so that would be a good way of broaching the subject that would make clear it’s unnacceptable and should end now.

  19. Whoot! I made a sensible suggestion for once! 😀
    I really like the idea of including “creating a hostile work environment” when you talk to her. It might help get the idea across that whether she’s joking or going for shock value, it has a bigger and nastier effect than that.

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