This is just shitty. There’s no other way to describe it:

The Federal Government will be criticised today for making budget cuts to mental health funding and accused of pandering to select prominent media performers in the field.

[Psychologist’s] Association secretary Quentin Black says two children have committed suicide recently in a remote Aboriginal community where the funding cuts have stopped visits by a specialist psychologist.

It seems there would be no reason to cut such an essential service, other than in a effort to cut spending and gain votes. Why would the bother looking after the mental health of children in Indigenous communities, when black kids aren’t interesting to the general public and can’t vote?

”Specialist psychological services have been cut by 45 per cent in the budget, but I don’t think consumers have realised that.”

Mr Black said the last budget cut $174 million from specialist psychological services and $405 million from mental health services provided by GPs.

”The Government has become over-reliant on a narrow base of professional opinion, allowing prominent media performers to guide policy matters on mental health.”

During the Budget announcement earlier this year, the government were quick to congratulate themselves on directing funds towards mental health – but how often did you hear the names of ‘Headspace’ and ‘Professor Patrick McGorry’? The Gillard government, as usually, are far too busy chasing polls are trying to placate the general public in an effort to win back desperately needed votes.

However, not only do disadvantaged Indigenous children miss out, so do you. For example, as listed on the Croakey Blog summary, you lose 2 of your government funded psychologist appointments under the Mental Health Care plan per calendar year and the amount you get back from Medicare is reduced. I note this now because I only just realised. Shows you how much I paid attention at the time.

You know how there is the kid at school who is always trying to impress people and keeps changing his mind about what he likes because he desperately wants to fit in? They piss off their uncool friends and keep giving their lunch money to the cool kids. That’s what we’ve got as a government.

Having a federal government like that is frightening. We’re never going to get anything substantial out of them and will constantly be presented with populist band-aid fixes to every issue. And every single one of us will get shafted in one way or another. That’s fucked.

Posted by: Chasy | 18/07/2011

Surprisingly, I’m not 100% for this

Women may be warned of partners’ violent pasts under new ‘Clare’s Law’

Blears, MP for Salford and Eccles, in whose constituency Wood lived, said: “Women in Clare’s situation often are unaware of their partner’s previous relationships and this can mean they start a relationship with someone with no idea if they have a violent past. Clare’s tragic death shows how vulnerable women aren’t always protected under the current law and until women are given the right to know if their partner has a history of serial domestic abuse they can’t be sure of the risk that they face.

“By changing the law we can empower women so that they can take informed action about their relationship and give them the chance to protect themselves and prevent domestic abuse from happening before it begins.”

No, it won’t.

Wood’s father Michael told the Mail on Sunday: “My daughter wasn’t stupid. If she had known about that man’s past, she would have taken herself out of there in a heartbeat.”

No, she wouldn’t have.

People don’t just wake up one day and kill their spouse. There would have been a history of emotional or physical abuse leading up to the murder. The reason no one knew about it, is because she loved her partner and wanted to believe he would change. Why would you tell people how badly he treats you, if you truly believe your love for him will change him? Why would you tell people you’re afraid, when he apologises, tells you he loves you, and promises he’ll never do it again – he just got angry. Just try not to make him angry, she thinks.

What women need is not a warning, but encouragement to speak up. Our culture, which accepts that intimate partner violence ‘just happens’, is what keeps them silent. It’s what leads them to believe everything will be O.K, because it’s just what you do in a relationship – you take the good with the bad. Right?

Labelling men as violent won’t change anything, sadly. What they need is education and counselling, not labels. Women also need education on what to do if they find themselves in an abusive relationship. They need to understand what’s not O.K and where to seek help – be that emergency accomodation, or simply having the support of your loved ones when you tell your partner you’re leaving. That is possibly the hardest part, especially if you have children together.

Having said that, it is true that sometimes shock tactics are the only thing that works on victims. A psychologist once told me of a case he heard where the victim was having trouble accepting her partner’s violent behaviour was an issue – until her psychologist said in one session, “You do realise he’ll kill you, right? Have you made plans for that? Where are your children going to live?” This was not accusatory, but rather matter-of-factly. Apparently, it was enough to shock the victim into being more critical of her partner’s behaviour, instead of forgiving.

Given that anecdote (and, I admit, it’s not hard evidence), it may just be that informing women of their partner’s past may help them in making an informed decision on whether the behaviour they are putting up with is worth it.

It saddens me when politicians advocate a ‘quick fix’ on the issue of intimate partner violence. It just ain’t gonna happen. The more they push the idea that it will, the more cases will be swept under the rug, because society, in general, doesn’t believe it’s their problem. Someone else will fix it, surely?

No, they won’t. Intimate partner violence IS your problem. YOU have to fix it. We all do.

Posted by: Chasy | 07/06/2011

Progress or Anomaly?

This is not news:

Police attended at least 12 domestic situations over the weekend, with 10 of them happening on Saturday.

Bundaberg Police Senior Sergeant Erwin Hoffmann said 10 callouts relating to domestic violence in one day was high.

If you took a seasonally adjusted figure of the whole year, or even 6 months, that anomaly would probably not show. However.

This IS news:

Edon Place Women’s Domestic Violence Service director Leah Giovannoni said in the past fortnight the need for their services had almost doubled.

She said that had included the need for emergency accommodation for those escaping abusive situations.

This is a sign that women are speaking up. The recent spate of intimate partner violence leading to deaths in the news lately, may have actually contributed some good, despite all that heartache. For once, the intimate partner violence that the media devours and exploits to produce Tragedy Porn may have produced a something that served as a warning, rather than just as a generator of hit counts.

It may be a little early to jump to such conclusions, and it is only one report from a relatively small town in Queensland, but, for a country town such as Bundaberg, this spells real change. If women are really speaking up, and a country newpaper is actually going to report on the violence rather than ignore the problem, then there is hope for the rest of the country.

Posted by: Chasy | 31/05/2011

Why do we suddenly care about live exports?

Call me a cynic, but I can’t help but think that this current public frenzy over live sheep and cattle exports is only down to two things:

– The footage was brutal, but it was nothing that hasn’t been seen before. The Four Corners story was well advertised and talked about via Twitter, however. The government have been petitioned before. They already knew all about it – suddenly they are putting forward motions to suspend the following day. I take it the Gillard government are trying to capitalise on the social media age and its influence over public opinion, in the hope that it boost their current lagging popularity.

– The footage was mainly from the exports we send to Indonesia. Now the public is outraged. I can’t help but think that if it was footage of our own abattoirs, or one somewhere in the UK, there would be very little outrage. Animal cruelty by white people is acceptable, somehow, but by Indonesians it’s barbaric. Rightio then. We’ve seen that cows can obviously feel fear. I wonder if cows can be racist, too?

Yeah, that’s it, really. While I’m pleased that animal welfare is finally being talked about, I am kinda pissed off that it’s only a point scoring exercise for our government and is, essentially, a reflection of the racist attitudes of the general public.

The reason women don’t speak up:

– Because their abusers tell them it’s their fault

– Because the people around them don’t speak up. Silence speaks volumes.

– Because the people around them try to justify to themselves the actions of their friend who is abusive, telling the victim, “Oh, you antagonise each other…” “You know he’s like that…”

– Because the people around them try to find aspects of the abuse or attack that they can control, so they can protect themselves and others. “Well, if you weren’t drunk/wearing that skirt/at that party/didn’t do things to upset him…”

– Because the people around them try to justify their own guilt by blaming the victim.

Because you do those things, we end up with tragedies like this.

And this is why we need a SlutWalk. It’s not just about dressing in skimpy clothes (though, quite frankly, I will thoroughly enjoy myself while I do). It’s about stopping victim blaming, using the term ‘slut’ to remind you that, slut or not, nobody deserves abuse or sexual violence.

See The Red Pill Survival Guide as a good example as to why changing what you wear is not going to stop an assault of a sexual nature.

Blame the perpetrator, not the victim. Stop trying to justify the abuse to yourself, because there is NEVER an excuse. The more you keep trying, the more excuses you give the perpetrator.

Posted by: Chasy | 18/05/2011

Up the Ra!

The Queen’s visit to Ireland did not fuss me. Seeing as we had reached an age of diplomacy in the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, I figured it would be a good move in fostering stronger relations, if it meant anything at all.

Until I read this:

She is likely to acknowledge past difficulties, but is unlikely to apologise for past behaviour, BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said.

Cunt!

I find that appalling. If she is going to make an historic visit in being the first monarch to visit since 1911, and the Irish Government are going to LET her, then she can bloody well say sorry! If it’s beneath her, she can piss off!

Quite frankly, if she doesn’t apologise for the atrocities her armies brought upon the Irish people, she doesn’t deserve to visit and have dinners and tours lavished upon her.

Stupid privileged fuckwits!

Posted by: Chasy | 17/05/2011

Melinda Tankard Reist strikes again

I don’t know why I’m paying her any mind – of course she’s going to spout her anti-sex and whorephobic rhetoric masked as feminism. That’s what she always does.

In particular, this shat me up the wall:

”Prostitution harms women and one study found that prostituted women had post traumatic stress disorder symptom at similar levels as war victims,” she said.

One study. Her entire argument is based on one study. No mention of whether it was from a peer-reviewed journal, or just notes from her own diary. That could be a fault of the reporting in the Canberra Times, but it base an entire campaign and to try to bring down an extire workforce on the basis of one study is ludicrous. See also: Meryl Dorey.

The ‘exit’ strategy that she suggests assumes that ALL women are forced into sex work and ALL women hate it. This also assumes men are not sex workers and that heterosexual-identifying men do not pay for sex with male sex workers (which is a total furphy). With organisations like Scarlet Alliance and SWOP, it’s obvious that there is a large number of sex workers out there who enjoy their work, and brilliantly highlights the fact that MTR knows nothing about sex work, other than what comes from her own ignorant and conservative point of view.

Also, the use of the term ‘sexual violence’ to describe sex work is horrifically insulting to survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, as well as sex workers. Either way you look at it, it’s abhorrent. If you think sex work is bad, then you are insiunating that women have no sexual agency and only the people wanting sex from them can make decisions on how they use their bodies. If you have no qualms with sex work, then it implies there is some form of consent in ‘sexual violence’. However you look at it, MTR is furthering the infantilisation of women and their sexuality, and should be ashamed.

But, of course, she won’t. As far as she’s concerned, it’s the people who see sex as a fun activity who should be ashamed – especially females.

UPDATE: This article by Elena Jeffreys of Scarlet Alliance from 2009 shows just how much sex workers do not need to be saved by the likes of MTR and her ilk.

Posted by: Chasy | 13/05/2011

Surprise, surprise, sur-fucking-prise

Our Harbour Bridge Climbing Cunt, ‘Mick’, as he’s known, apparently said this about his problems with the legal system when separating with his wife:

Mr Fox told 2GB he would not go into the details of his personal situation to protect his children but he made reference to “parental alienation syndrome” on Triple M.

“I’ve asked for help … so many times, no one wants to help the blokes; the chicks get in first and start throwing stones, the blokes don’t stand a chance,” he told the station’s Grill Team.

“… the chicks get in first and start throwing stones…” That’s right. Women have the legal system wrapped around their little fingers and can manipulate it to get whatever they want. They don’t have to provide proof of their claims or jump through the same bureaucratic loops that the poor widdle mens* have to, they get a free ride, and men are totally ignored.

It’s such a terrible thing that misogynists get treated so badly by our courts! Something must be done! Like climbing the fucking Harbour Bridge, for example!

Having been on both sides of the fence (being the one to have legal action taken against them, and taking legal action against someone else), I know that that the system works, and, just because it doesn’t work the way you want, doesn’t mean someone manipulated the system against you.

You lost. Face it. More than likely, because you’re a psycho who climbs landmarks. You have nobody to blame except yourself. Your paranoia that women control everything and are to blame for your lot belies your ingrained misogyny. Grow up.

*I, in no way, tar all men with the same brush. This is meant to be a representation of the self-centred thought processes that lead someone to think the way ‘Mick’ does.

Posted by: Chasy | 13/05/2011

Today’s quickie

Compare and contrast: The Herald Sun reporting on a story broken by Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, which tells of a an Irish Muslim threatening to kill President Barrack Obama when he visits the country on May 28th.

Then there’s the story on the RTE, which does not mention Islam whatsoever, only that he is an ‘al Qaeda sympathiser’.

What? The Herald Sun demonising Islam while the country in question seems rather non-fussed about the ravings of a lunatic? No! Can’t be!

Just quietly, if he really is an Irish Muslim extremist, we’re all fucked. That’s like terrorism squared.

Posted by: Chasy | 13/05/2011

The ‘Fuck You’ Friday Five

1. Gillard govt increasing funding for chaplains, rather than putting actual social workers into schools, and cutting funding to the Digital Education Revolution. I am completely and utterly bewildered as to why the Gillard govt, which is lead by an atheist, think that putting someone whose main focus is religion, not counselling, as a resource for children in times of stress and hardship, is a fantastic idea, instead of someone who has studied how to deal with these matters at a tertiary level, and would do so using techniques that have been developed through peer-reviewed studies. Logic alone dictates that it is more likely the child will find solace by developing coping methods as guided by a trained professional, rather than being told to pray until everything is O.K.

Actually, the fact that Gillard is an atheist is EXACTLY why this is happening – trying to win back the religious right, who think that science is bad and imaginary friends are AWESOME. Yeah. Way to run a progressive country, guys.

Hey, Julia Gillard! FUCK YOU!

2. The Budget. I honestly don’t understand why the government is making a big deal of creating a so-called ‘tough budget’, simply in a effort to be liked, when they are more likely to be seen as a force to be reckoned with if they stick to their guns and make policy based on principle. It worked for the Howard government and people blindly followed, simply because their stubborn belief is their conservative, unfair and often cruel policies held great influence over swinging voters. The Gillard Govt chopping and changing their views based on News Limited opinion polls makes them look just as unreliable as the majority of swinging voters already thought they were. Delivering a ‘tough budget’ doesn’t change that, it just makes them look more unsure of what their own policies are. As a result, we’ll more than likely end up with Tony Abbott as the frickin’ Prime Minister. Hey, Wayne Swan! FUCK YOU!

3. Fucking Tony Abbott made a plan to increase funding and incentives for people to work and train, making the Gillard government look like misers. And me agree with Tony Abbott. I… I feel dirty. Argh! THE DIRT’S NOT COMING OFF. Hey, Tony Abbott! FUCK YOU FOR MAKING ME THINK ONE OF YOUR POLICIES MADE SENSE.

4. The guy who climb the Harbour Bridge to protest ‘on behalf of his kids’. Oh, REALLY? “I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing it for my kids,” he is quoted as saying. And what does he reckon his kids are concerned about?

He spoke about “parental alienation syndrome”, which, he said, happened when a child insults one parent without justification often due to indoctrination by the other parent.

Doing it for your kids? Really? Seeing as the law is structured to focus on the needs of the child, I fail to see how there is no one ‘providing a voice for little people’. You’re not just pissed off at your ex-wife and blaming her because your kids are unhappy around you, are you? Paranoid that your ex is badmouthing you, when, really, you’re probably just a cunt? You think that climbing the Harbour Bridge proves this, and doesn’t point out that you’re actually fucking mental? No? Oh, for fuck’s sake.

There are avenues of appeal if you think you’ve been hard done by. Current legislation states that you must go through mediation, then, if that is unsuccessful, Family Court. If the judge thinks it’s necessary, they will appoint a social worker to discuss the separation with all parties, including the children, by themselves, to determine if what the adults are saying is correct. This is done for the best interests of the child ONLY. If your wife was really bad mouthing you to your kids, they would be able to find out, and would act accordingly.

Maybe your ex-wife IS the lunatic. Then, for the sake of your kids, do something sensible about it, because it’s highly unlikely a sane individual, who was honestly being unfairly criticised by their ex-partner, would think that climbing the Harbour Bridge was the only option to protect their kids, and would be listened to by authorities afterwards. If your ex-wife really is the problem and your children need to be heard, then they are fucked now, because no one is going to listen to you.

Oh yeah, and, for the record, I honestly don’t care that he stopped peak hour traffic. In fact, I thought the idea was an awesome one, until I found out what the real story behind his protest was. Waste of a good protest, if you ask me.

Hey, Harbour Bridge Climbing Cunt! FUCK YOU!

5. My immune system – true to form, it kicks in with a worse virus than the one I was already suffering, the day after I took a sick day (and, because I am on contract, do not get paid for it). Hey, Shitty Immune System! FUCK YOU!

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