Covid, compassion, conscience and civil disagreement | The Spectator Australia

Frost shared that she hadn’t received a Covid vaccine, alluding to health reasons, saying that there are many different reasons people aren’t getting vaccinated. However, she said the “segregation” between those who are vaccinated and those who aren’t and the “harsh judgement” directed at the latter had caused her to feel “less of a human” and “too scared to talk”, making it “a really hard time to be in society right now”. 

You’d think with our culture’s current focus on the importance of mental health, empowering women, individual autonomy, and values like tolerance, acceptance and inclusivity, a raw and vulnerable Frost would have been shown support and extended the very compassion, kindness and empathy she was pleading for. Instead, the same people who preach mental health awareness, feminism, ‘my body, my choice’, and ‘progressive values’, jumped on her like a virtual pack of wolves. Why? Because she dared to share a view that was different. 

Unfortunately, women tearing down other women is an ugly phenomenon that continues to persist despite feminist notions of equality, freedom, empowerment and the so-called “sisterhood”. 

A friend of mine publicly posted her decision not to get vaccinated on social media.  She had people swarm her business accounts telling her they wished she would die from Covid or to kill herself (this friend had been suicidal in the past). She is not alone in the vicious sentiments she received.

Source: Covid, compassion, conscience and civil disagreement | The Spectator Australia

Intersex people undergo surgery when too young to give consent, inquiry told | Health | The Guardian

Intersex people have endured controversial surgeries and treatments, often when they were too young to provide consent, an inquiry by the Australian Human Rights Commission found in a report that recommends new legislative protections for children.

The commission heard about people undergoing surgeries to reduce the size of the clitoris [known as clitoridectomy or clitorectomy]; other surgeries to modify female genitalia such as reducing the size or modifying the shape of the labia minora [labiaplasty]; surgery on external female genitals, generally reducing the size or addressing the asymmetry of the labia minora [vulvoplasty], and surgery on an infant born with smaller than usual male genitalia [micropenis] to create the appearance of a female child by the construction of a vagina [vaginoplasty].

The commission was also told people were put on hormone treatment to facilitate typical male or female sex development.

The report recommends new legislation so that medical interventions take place only with the prior, informed, personal consent of the person concerned, except in the case where the treatment is a medical necessity.

The executive director of Intersex Human Rights Australia, Morgan Carpenter, said people with innate variations of sex characteristics had been subject to ongoing human rights abuses.

“Today we’re calling on state, territory and commonwealth governments to act to end these abuses. We need new laws that recognise our right to decide what happens to our own bodies.”

Source: Intersex people undergo surgery when too young to give consent, inquiry told | Health | The Guardian

New research shows parents are major producers of child sexual abuse material

Child sexual abuse material — images and videos of kids being sexually abused — is a growing international problem. Almost 70 million reports of this material were made to US authorities in 2019. That figure rose still further in 2020, as the COVID pandemic drove children and adults to spend more time online.

Parents are being called on to be especially vigilant.

However, the sad fact is that online exploitation begins at home for many kids, and in those cases their parent is the last person who can be trusted to keep them safe.

Parental production of child sexual abuse material is a gendered form of abuse. Men were offenders in 90% of cases, and girls were victims in 84% of cases. Boys were victimised in one-fifth of cases, with multiple children abused in some cases.

The victim’s biological father (58%) or stepfather (41%) were most likely to be the offender. However, the victim’s biological mother was involved in 28% of cases, most often as a co-offender.

In eight of the 82 cases, the mother was the sole perpetrator. In these cases, the woman appeared to be producing this material of her children at the request of male acquaintances. In 22% of cases, there were multiple perpetrators involved in the face-to-face abuse, such as both parental figures, other relatives or acquaintances.

  1. the biological paternal offender who forms adult relationships and has children of his own to exploit
  2. the step- or de facto parental offender who forms a relationship with a woman and exploits her children or seeks to obtain children by some other means (such as surrogacy)
  3. the biological mother who produces sexual abuse material of her children at the behest of her partner or men with whom she is acquainted.

Source: New research shows parents are major producers of child sexual abuse material

Psychiatrists Shift Stance on Gender Dysphoria, Recommend Therapy

A new position statement from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) stresses the importance of a mental health evaluation for people with gender dysphoria — in particular for children and adolescents — before any firm decisions are made on whether to prescribe hormonal treatments to transition, or perform surgeries, often referred to as “gender-affirming care.”

The move by the psychiatry body represents a big shift in the landscape regarding recommendations for the treatment of gender dysphoria in Australia and New Zealand.

Concerns have arisen that some transgender identification is due to social contagion, and there is a growing number of “detransitioners” — people who identified as transgender, transitioned to the opposite gender, but then regretted their decision, changed their minds, and “detransitioned” back to their birth sex. If they have had hormone therapy, and in some cases surgery, they are left with irreversible changes to their bodies.

Source: Psychiatrists Shift Stance on Gender Dysphoria, Recommend Therapy

Australia has ranked last in an international gender pay gap study — here are 3 ways to do better

Australia was one of the pioneers when it came to legislating for equal pay in 1969 and 1972, and then with gender equality reporting since 1986.

Introduced in 2012, the Workplace Gender Equality Act requires employers to report data by gender on remuneration, workforce composition and the recruitment, promotions and resignations of their employees. This data goes to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Although Australia’s legislation has generated a world-leading dataset on workplace gender equality, our research found that data collection and monitoring alone are not enough to drive widespread change.

Australia falls behind on aspects of transparency and accountability for corrective action.

Source: Australia has ranked last in an international gender pay gap study — here are 3 ways to do better

Detransition: Provoke much needed conversations today

We have recently launched a new book in our Spinifex Shorts series – Detransition: Beyond Before and After – a brave and thoughtful book from Max Robinson who goes beyond the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of the transition she underwent. The book takes us through the processes that led her, first to transition in an attempt to get relief from her distress, and then to detransition as she discovered feminist thought and community.

Detransition makes a case for a world in which all medical interventions for the purpose of assimilation are open to criticism. This book is a far reaching discussion of women’s struggles to survive under patriarchy, which draws upon a legacy of radical and lesbian feminist ideas to arrive at conclusions.

Max Robinson’s bold discussion of both transition and detransition is meant to provoke a much-needed conversation about who benefits from transgender medicine and who has to bear the hidden cost of these interventions.

Source: Detransition: Provoke much needed conversations today

Gabby Petito’s murder is a cold reminder of how little we care about DV

Gabby Petito was a victim of domestic violence who lost her life because the system failed to protect her.

New audio of the dispatch call made to police in relation to an argument between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie has been exposed this week along with the intel that Utah officers had been advised of a man striking a woman and taking off in a white Ford Transit van with Florida plates shortly prior to them pulling over the young couple.

The report made was that he had struck her. He had abused her. And yet officers concluded that Gabby Petito had been the primary aggressor.

An inconsolable Gabby Petito admitted to officers that Laundrie had tried to keep her out of the van. She repeatedly apologised for the disturbance, blaming herself for the escalation in her boyfriend’s actions. Police with any expertise in domestic violence would have examined her straight away for what she was: a vulnerable and terrified victim.

Instead, Brian Laundrie got away. No arrests or citations were issued, with the police opting to separate the couple for the night, driving Laundrie to a city motel and leaving Petito alone in her van in which the couple had been living.

While the police in question will likely face disciplinary action, it’s critical to note that their conduct was not an anomaly. Time and time again we hear of law enforcement and policy gaps failing victims of domestic and family violence– not just in America but in our very own backyard.

Just last week, Victoria Police defended their leaking of a domestic violence survivor’s safety plan in court, despite two previous investigations and IBAC’s assessment that the information should not have been disclosed.

*Lillian, a Chinese woman who was slashed by her husband with a military style knife, called Queensland police with the chilling message: “my husband wants to kill me”.

When they arrived an hour later, they failed to ask *Lillian any questions other than whether or not she spoke English. Instead of bringing in an interpreter when she replied that she didn’t, the officers reportedly ignored her and went onto interview her Australian husband, concluding that a bleeding *Lillian had actually been the perpetrator.

Fearing the loss of custody of her child, Lillian was forced to return to her abusive relationship in order to protect her visa status.

Source: Gabby Petito’s murder is a cold reminder of how little we care about DV

AUS: Violent Male Pedophile Spotted on Lesbian Dating App

In what is apparently becoming a more common occurrence, some trans-identified males are being spotted on what is meant to be an app exclusively for use by women.

Brandy Lee Gwyer, a biological male, had previously been arrested as recently as October of 2019 after going on a knife rampage on Hindley Street in Adelaide, Australia. Gwyer was tased and dropped by police after terrorizing patrons at the businesses along the street, ranting threats at them while wielding a large knife.

Gwyer is known for going on unhinged social media rants, including lashing out at Sky News Australia for “misgendering” him, suggesting all people of color were “homophobic,” using racial slurs, and claiming the 2019 knife-wielding incident was self-defense against transphobia.

Another Twitter user, @frowniefac3, was quick to publicize that Gwyer had promoted child sexual abuse on his Facebook, where he wrote an extended post condemning the belief that pedophiles were rapists, while stating he didn’t “get off on penetrating kids,” and explicitly describing other ways he preferred to molest them instead.

.Source: AUS: Violent Male Pedophile Spotted on Lesbian Dating App

What next? RANZCP statement on gender dysphoria conflicts with AusPATh – Genspect

The statement attempts to stake out a middle ground between “polarised views” and protecting members from liabilities that could arise in rapidly developing and diverging legal contexts. However, professional views on the appropriate treatment for children and young people with gender dysphoria (GD) are now so polarised that the RANZCP’s ‘middle ground’ position inevitably conflicts with recommendations made elsewhere.

Since publication, an Australian court has ruled that a court order is mandatory when a parent objects. AusPATH’s advice is now out of date, since the objecting parent will no longer have to initiate legal proceedings.

With the benefit of an extra year of court judgements and law changes relating to conversion therapy, RANZCP advises psychiatrists to avoid cases that could end up in court and take actions to mitigate that possibility:

Conflicting professional opinions speak to the urgent need for regulation. In one Australian state, clinicians must seek court approval before prescribing hormone treatments. At the same time, a state Supreme court has heard a case brought by parents who lost custody after they refused consent for the child’s hormone treatments. An unsuspecting parent might receive advice to initiate puberty suppression and hormone treatments or might receive advice to initiate psychotherapy depending on the personal beliefs of the clinician consulted and their professional memberships.

The RANZCP (established 1946, 7000 members in 2020) is an older, larger, and more mature organisation than either AusPATH (predecessor ANZPATH established 2009, 200 members in 2018) or PATHA (established 2019 with 15 members). It is not surprising that they take a more cautious approach.

Source: What next? RANZCP statement on gender dysphoria conflicts with AusPATh – Genspect