Adoption is not the answer to Disadvantage

The Federal Parliament is currently conducting an inquiry investigating local adoption as a viable option for children currently in out-of-home care.
“A policy favouring a return to adoption does not take account of the critical bond between a mother and child and the lifelong trauma inflicted by permanent removal,” says Darelle Duncan, of Origins Australia Inc.– the Forced Adoption Support and Advocacy Network. “The devastating impact of forced adoptions on both mothers and children has been extensively documented. How many apologies does it take for the government to recognise that removing children for adoption is not an appropriate response to disadvantage?
According to Catherine Lynch of Australian Adoption Rights Action Group: “Too often children are removed from poor and disadvantaged mothers in circumstances where they could actually be given assistance to retain care of their child.”
Darelle Duncan observes: “It is wrong to ignore the intense psychological and emotional bond that arises from childbearing.An investigation on how to support mothers and their children is needed rather than repeating the crimes of the past. Women should never be forcibly separated from their babies due to poverty or disadvantage.
https://www.facebook.com/AustralianLawyersAlliance/photos/a.187991454637275.26859.187934784642942/1204239679679109/? https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6407113661055369216/

Why are men hiding their porn use, anyway?

Marriage devotees will tell you that the relationship between a husband and wife is the most sacred of all relationships — that this is a special bond, based on special trust, honesty, commitment, and devotion. . . If your partner is your best friend and soul mate, why wouldn’t you share your sexual practices and desires with them? And, if you truly believe porn use is harmless and normal — a completely acceptable thing to do while you are in a marriage — why lie? Why go to extremes to hide it?
I think we all know the answer to this question: most women don’t like their husbands’ porn-use. Some tolerate it, believing they have no other choice, and some are blissfully unaware their beloved partners are watching women be choked with penises while their wives are asleep.
Men know that what they are watching offends women because pornography is offensive to women.
But if your defense is that women enjoy this too, then explain to me why you’re hiding this proclivity from your wife. If she was into it, she’d be watching it with you, and if she was truly just ok with it, you wouldn’t have to sneak around to watch, and then clear your search history lest you be discovered.
To be clear, I am no fan of marriage. I don’t believe it is sacred and I wish people would stop doing it. I believe love and meaningful relationships can (and should) happen outside the patriarchal institution of marriage. But people are still getting married — sometimes for practical reasons, but most-often on the basis that it is sacred and special and meaningful. If you want to make the claim that marriage is a special bond and commitment, how did we, as a society, come to the conclusion that it was ok for men to engage in private, misogynist, sexual practices, knowing that those practices would hurt, upset, and disturb their wives? We are, after all, talking about the person who is meant to be your only sexual partner and most intimate relationship…
The truth is clear: we know pornography isn’t a harmless practice that is “just a fantasy.” We know it hurts and disrespects women.
Despite the fact liberalism has told us we mustn’t “shame” anyone for anything ever, sometimes we feel shame for good reason. . . Perhaps men should listen and pay attention to the shame they feel around their porn-use. That shame telling them an important truth.
https://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/05/28/men-hiding-porn-use-anyway/

Sofia Helin: Let’s talk about periods. Women should be proud of them, not ashamed

Periods are a natural process experienced by half the world’s population; they are a sign of life. So, why is the subject cloaked in secrecy and shame? I’m sure all women have faced the embarrassment of awkward period dramas, like being caught without a pad or tampon in a time of need. In these circumstances, should we feel embarrassed to ask a stranger to help us out?
And on a broader scale, the fact that people don’t talk about their periods is having a huge impact on women and girls around the world. One in three women have no access to a decent toilet, which is especially challenging during their period. If there isn’t one in schools, girls are more likely to miss classes or drop out altogether once they start their periods.
Period poverty is an issue we’ve seen in developed countries as well, and in the UK it is one that is starting to be taken seriously, thanks to the hard work of some amazing campaigners who are unashamedly making a noise about it. But we need this kind of action on a global scale. WaterAid is calling on women and men everywhere to talk about periods today on Menstrual Hygiene Day as part of its Period Proud campaign, to address the lack of accurate information and remove the stigma and taboos.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/28/periods-women-girls-facilities-myths-menstruation?

'I call it racism': when they took the children, it was in police cars

Galloway is a mother of seven. Three grown-up children by her first marriage, four young children by her second. She radiates competence, steadiness, but back then, at the end of 2016, she had been going through an “emotional” time. Less than a year before her husband had died of a heart attack in this room, in front of her and the children.
“My children were going through an emotional thing, I was hurting for my babies, I was worried about my babies.” It was the Christmas holidays. On a Tuesday she had gone to Child Safety and asked for vacation care. “I was asking for help and they have used that against me.”
She had only known her 25-year-old caseworker for a month. On the Thursday she was asked to attend court. While she was there they came and took her children from her home. “Everything just happened so fast. It was all in one week.”
“They tried to say my children weren’t going to school. But the principal wrote and said they had 99% attendance.”
Galloway was not able to comfort her frightened children or tell them she would be fighting to get them back.
The children were split up and taken to two different towns. Her children had already lost their father, now they were losing their mother and everything they knew.
Since Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen children 10 years ago and his insistence that the nation had learned from its mistakes, the rates of child removal have increased dramatically. A report released by Family Matters last November found that Indigenous children are nearly 10 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children. In April of last year a UN investigation found Australia among the worst countries in the world for forced removals of Indigenous children.
“Now they are saying that it’s a new stolen generation, but it never stopped” says Landers. “It’s like the apology never happened.”
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/26/i-call-it-racism-when-they-took-the-children-it-was-in-police-cars?

Repeal the 8th: Ireland's historic referendum & 'a quiet revolution'

Ireland has done it. In a referendum held on Friday 66.4% of voters opted to repeal the 8th Amendment which effectively bans abortion in almost every instance.
It amounts to a landslide on a sensitive and divisive subject in a deeply Catholic country. Ireland was once viewed as among the most conservative nations in the world with good cause: it only legalised divorce in 1995.
Now, in 2018 the people of Ireland have cast their votes overwhelmingly in favour of overturning some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. As it stands in Ireland women are prohibited from aborting pregnancies unless their lives are at risk — even in the cases of incest, rape, and fatal fetal abnormality.
The Irish Government plans legislate by the end of the year which will mean, for the first time in history, the women of Ireland will not have to travel to access abortions.
People power cannot be underestimated. Here in Australia that same people power is needed for the very same reason. We may not have Ireland’s history but the women of Australia still face too many hurdles in accessing abortions.
https://womensagenda.com.au/politics/world/repeal-the-8th-irelands-historic-referendum-a-quiet-revolution/

Abortion clinic safe zones: human rights lawyer applies to give high court advice | Australia news | The Guardian

Laws took effect in Victoria in 2015 that made it illegal for anti-abortionists to protest within 150 metres of health and fertility clinics. The “safe access zone” laws were intended to protect health workers and their patients from being confronted and intimidated by protesters while seeking medical advice or getting medical treatment, including abortion.
But the high court is to hear a case challenging the validity of the safe access zone laws in Victoria as well as Tasmania. The Victorian case has been brought by anti-abortionist Kathleen Clubb, who was the first person to be convicted of breaking Victoria’s safe access zone laws in 2016. She was fined $5,000 for communicating about abortion to a person attending the clinic in a manner “reasonably likely to cause distress or anxiety”.
In its submission to the high court this month, the Victorian government warned that without safe access zones, some women who needed abortion services would decide “to delay or not to seek those services at all”. Submissions in the Victorian case close in June and in the Tasmanian case in August.
[ed: Meanwhile Penny Sharpe’s Bill for safe access zones in NSW
passed on Thursday!]

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/26/abortion-clinic-safe-zones-human-rights-lawyer-applies-to-give-high-court-advice?

Transgender convict gets 10 years for 2 sex assaults, declared dangerous offender

Patrick ‘Tara’ Pearsall, 53, of Toronto, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in prison for two sexual assaults and declared a dangerous offender.
Pearsall, of Toronto, has been taking medication to transition to a woman and began the process after the assaults occurred.
Crown and defence lawyers told the judge that Pearsall is willing to undergo chemical castration and would like to have sex reassignment surgery as soon as possible.
Corrections Canada will decide whether Pearsall serves the sentence in a prison for woman.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/transgender-sex-offender-sentence-sexual-assaults-dangerous-offender-1.4673213

Tougher US border enforcement policy to separate more families

A strict new enforcement plan by the Trump administration will mean more parents caught illegally crossing the U.S. border will get prosecuted and separated from any children accompanying them.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the strict new policy has been under discussion for months, but added that the administration postponed announcing it “because of the sensitivities of removing children from their parents.”
In March, the American Civil Liberties Union sued to the Trump administration in a class-action complaint that alleges the government is “forcibly separating asylum-seeking parents and young children.” The ACLU argued the family separation case this past Friday in San Diego. No date for a decision has been announced.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/07/tougher-us-border-enforcement-policy-to-separate-more-families.html
US immigration officials are now routinely separating immigrant mothers from their children when taking families into custody, and classifying the children as unaccompanied minors, ICE officials are reported to have “lost” 1,475 such children, and alleged to engage in widespread abuse of those children in custody.
http://tucson.com/news/local/parents-children-ensnared-in-zero-tolerance-border-prosecutions/article_e6b83d53-f4bd-566d-8487-9e9b67ef2bd8.html

Woman says she delivered own baby in cell after jailers accused her of faking labor

Woman says she delivered own baby in cell after jailers accused her of faking labor

The premature baby she named Cashh now clings to life in Cook’s Children Medical Center in Fort Worth. Bear says jailers ignored her repeated pleas for help.
Ellis County defense attorney Melinda Peel, who is not representing Bear, says she received a call that Thursday evening from a friend of an inmate saying that Bear had been screaming for two days in pain.
The friend told Peel that jailers did not believe Bear.
About two hours after Bear gave birth, Peel says an inmate called her from the jail saying that the female inmates wanted to file a grievance but were afraid to do so.
“The inmate stated that nobody was able to sleep for the last two nights because Shaye was screaming on and off all night long,” Peel said in an email.
https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/woman-says-she-delivered-own-baby-in-cell-after-jailers-accused-her-of-faking-labor/287-556820943

People upset about this sign charging a 'premium' for female doctors should be more concerned about why female GPs earn less

There is a documented and well discussed gender pay gap in medicine. The gender pay gap is maximal in surgical specialties, being as high as 50%, and this is after seniority (medicine is bottom heavy in women) and hours worked (women, even doctors, still bear the burden of childrearing) are taken into account. There are a multitude of well studied and well documented reasons for this, but primary among them is that female doctors, at a statistical level, offer longer consultation times than men.
Patients, when surveyed, tend to see female doctors for more complex problems – and, at the end of it, are more likely to discuss their financial difficulties AND subsequently be bulk billed as a consequence. Female procedural specialists tend to be referred complex non-procedural problems because of the perception that women are better communicators while the “simple” procedures are sent to male specialists.
Again, these complex patients are more likely to have financial issues and be bulk billed. Resulting in persistent gender pay gaps in medicine, even though women increasingly have the seniority and do the hours of our male colleagues.
At this particular clinic, in recognition of the fact that they often do see more complex patients, it is my understanding that the female GPs all elected to book four patients an hour – and the male GPs all decided to book six patients an hour. So while the fee for a female GP appears higher, those GPs still earn $1000 less a day than their male colleagues, and are now being vilified for it.
https://womensagenda.com.au/life/money/people-are-upset-about-this-sign-charging-more-for-female-doctors/