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I am expecting Twitter to explode with acerbic comments today - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 22nd, 2011

09:37 am - I am expecting Twitter to explode with acerbic comments today

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So today is the day that the Welfare Working Group reports to parliament with recommendations about welfare reforms. It's expected that they will recommend work-testing of DPB parents (again), punitive measures towards those on a benefit long term, and the potential for moving towards an insurance-style benefit regime. Our esteemed Prime Minister* says that the main theme of the report will be to move people into work.

Well John, how about you create some jobs then? You know, instead of axing them by the thousands?

As an aside, this is worth reading. It's Meritiria Turei's response to Mr Key's bragging speech about how awesomely he thinks his government is doing.

* I'm a little afraid the distraction of this report will cause more BMW limousines to miraculously appear.


Thank fuck.

Over there, a politician has introduced a bill that will make paternity testing of all babies mandatory.

I've read a few responses to this, which naturally range from the sublime to the ridiculous. From what I can tell, those who support the bill are the folks who think it would help track down deadbeat dads and absolve those whose spouse has cheated on them. Those who are against it believe it's too much government interference in private matters and yet another reduction in bodily autonomy for women. And pretty much everyone wants to know who's going to pay for this and what will be done with the DNA database that would be created.

Frankly, I don't see what's wrong with the law the way they have it now - if paternity is in question, either parent (or supposed parent) can pursue a paternity test, and refusal in these circumstances can bring about state interference depending on whether child support or welfare payments are involved. They have proof of paternity pretty well covered in Kansas, so I fail to see why they need to make it mandatory for all children to be tested.

And I can't help thinking about when I was pregnant with The Kid and having doubts about bringing a child into such a crappy relationship, I expressed these doubts to my husband, who talked to his father, who suggested that maybe I felt that way because The Kid wasn't his. Husband yelled this at me during a fight, and I just went " ... "

I had the FIL up about this, told him exactly how disgusted I was with him, and basically didn't speak to him again. Ever. It was in that moment that I realised the extent of the mistrust of women that had been fed to my husband - the very first reason they could come up with that I might be feeling doubtful about being a parent was that I was a lying, cheating whore. Awesome. I was vindicated when The Kid came out looking so much like his father, but I never forgot that my integrity had been placed in doubt by someone else's idea of the nature of women.

This paternity testing bill seems to me to be based in a similar mistrust. Yeah, some people sleep around, some create children from this, and some lie. Guess what? Most don't. And this law assumes that left to their own devices, women lie. Hear that ladies? You're all liars! There should be a law about that! Oh wait..

*sigh*


Last night I spent some time mucking about with Prezi. I liked it, once I got the hang of the differences between than and PowerPoint. I think it's simpler and it definitely looks nice. I'm not any kind of presentation whiz** but it's allowing me to string stuff together in a logical sequence and provide some visual backup to the information that's mostly in my head.

** If I could take a live sheep in and shear it on the spot, I totally would.

PS my car is being serviced today. When I phoned Armstrong Mitsubishi about this for my old car, they quoted me $450. The local service station (who have been doing most of my car work for a while now) are doing it for $170.

Yes, I am too lazy to do it myself, why do you ask?

Comments:

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From:wildilocks
Date:February 21st, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
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Heh. _fustian came bounding in and gleefully said "ooooh you're going to froth about what tatjna has just posted on her LJ.

You may also be thinking the same thing, judging from the post title.

Errr... nope. No frothing. What you say above is perfectly reasonable and I agree - yes, some women lie, but that law as it stands is quite adequate from what I can see, and it would be wasteful to insist on paternity tests when the cuckolding rate, while a lot higher than most people think, is still a very low percentage of the total. Some degree of trust and rights for BOTH parents in any pregnancy situation would be nice, akshully - and to consider the rights of the living breathing humans already on the planet, over the unborn (which is true fucking madness IMNSHO). What I would like to see is more paternal rights to terminate pregnancies - which you're nevah going to see in the USA, nevah (and in fact some are trying to make law for fathers to be able to prevent abortion of their child, even if the woman wants an abortion.)

In terms of welfare reforms, I'd like to see more support for businesses to assist in getting out of work folks or folks on DPB into employment - there are some support programs, but not nearly enough. They can't insist loads more people get jobs if there's no increased provision to assist them into positions or provide incentives for employers to choose long term unemployed over the best qualified otherwise.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 21st, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
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My title was mostly based in the knowledge that my Twitter feed is full of filthy socialists who will pounce on the fish/barrel that is likely to be the report from the Welfare Working Group, and provide me with a great deal of wry amusement.

The notion of a paternal right to terminate is a can of worms that few people want to touch because it creates a real dichotomy of human rights (as opposed to a false one). To give a father a right to terminate a pregnancy requires the removal of a mother's reproductive rights, and to not give fathers that right denies a father's reproductive rights. And I can't see a way of working that out so that everyone wins.
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From:bekitty
Date:February 21st, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
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Taking away a woman's right to the final say on whether she wants an abortion means that you take away her bodily autonomy as well as her reproductive rights. After all, she's the one who will be bearing the child.

Taking away a man's right to the final say on whether his partner gets an abortion takes away his reproductive rights, sure, but not his bodily autonomy. Instead, what you're doing is giving him the right to assume his partner's bodily autonomy. This isn't a good thing.
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From:wildilocks
Date:February 21st, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
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You both make good points. However, I've seen too much misery caused by lying women who've got pregnant without their partners' consent - sometimes by devious means not even involving sexual intercourse. While this isn't "common" I've seen it enough to believe it's not particularly rare, either.

If these women have the right to bodily autonomy, then at the very least they should be required to assume sole responsibility for the child, and men in such situations who express their objections to the child being born against their will should not be liable for child support.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 21st, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
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If certain movements in the US get their way, many women will be forced to give birth to children against their will. Should they also be exempted from child support?

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From:wildilocks
Date:February 22nd, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
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hells yes!

but of course in these US parts, I'm pretty sure the idea of these women doing anything else but being in the kitchen making some pie, is laughable... so how on earth would they ever have a "job" where they earned "money" to be able or need to pay child support? :P
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From:tatjna
Date:February 22nd, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
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Yes, becasue the abstinence-only sex education is working so well! That's why those states don't have the highest rates of unwed teenage pregnancy...

.. oh wait.

Sometimes I would like to usurp the mental autonomy of politicians and voters.
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From:wildilocks
Date:February 22nd, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
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Yes, I think they'd be a damn sight better off for being usurped by you, too ;)
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 22nd, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
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I don't think there should be a paternal right to terminate, but there should be paternal right to legally announce no interest in the child which would amount to a paternal abortion of any responsibility for the child.

I believe the same laws governing the timing of abortions should apply, if not a more constrained timing, in order to prevent fathers bailing on their responsibility at the last minute.

At least, that's my uninformed opinion from not having had to deal with anything like this personally.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 22nd, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
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The problem with fathers abdicating responsibility at any stage is that someone gets left holding the baby - literally - and that person is the mother. If the father can do this it leaves her with no real option but abortion (if she doesn't want the child either) and given the moves to try and make abortions harder to get, it would simply tip the balance of responsibility for children even further onto women.

Given that it takes two people to make a baby, any decisions regarding either parent abdicating responsibility for it should be agreed between both parents, with the default being that both parents are responsible.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 22nd, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
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Sure - but I don't think abortion should be made harder.

Agreement between both parents is best, but what happens when there is disagreement? The women obviously has veto on keeping/aborting a baby (which I think is as it should be), so is there actually any paternal power in making that decision?

There is the pre-coital decision of course, but the only full-proof prevention against pregnancy is deciding not to ever have sex.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 22nd, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
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At the moment, there is no paternal power in making that decision, and the only way for there to be paternal power is by agreement between both parents. If there's disagreement, the power is legally with the mother (as constrained by various laws over bodily autonomy), since she's the one whose body is affected by the pregnancy. Any change to that gets into really dodgy areas regarding one person's right to make a decision that affects another's body, you know? I don't know the answer.
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From:wildilocks
Date:February 22nd, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
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It's a really hairy area, for sure. The problem I have is that in situations where the parents are in disagreement about whether or not a child is wanted, the child almost inevitably suffers and has many problems in their upbringing. I am not sure if this is the best thing, bringing children into the world that are not wanted by one of their parents. I've seen these situations cause misery for all parties, and of fathers could legally not be responsible or have a say in whether an abortion occurs or not, I think we'd actually be healthier as a society. I understand the bodily autonomy thing to some degree but then I keep thinking about the miserable lives of people I know this has happened to... and I wonder if it might not be better for women to have to actually be legally forced to consider the rights not only of the man she's entrapped by her bodily autonomy, but the life that unborn child she desperately wants, what that childs life will actually be like. Selfish women like this - do they really deserve to be allowed to be parents?
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From:tatjna
Date:February 22nd, 2011 05:41 am (UTC)
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For a start, I don't think it's up to any of us to judge who does and doesn't have the right to reproduce.

Second, if a woman wants to have a child so much that she's willing to do it without the financial support of the father, I say best of British to her, and this is the situation where an agreement ought to be negotiated between the parents regarding whether or not the father should be involved financially or emotionally.

There is no way I would agree to a father being able to abdicate responsibility for a child without the agreement of the mother. I'm a little disturbed by this wording: "I wonder if it might not be better for women to have to actually be legally forced to consider the rights not only of the man she's entrapped by her bodily autonomy" in the context of the law, because it assumes that pregnancy is a deliberate action by a woman in order to entrap a man, and seems to extrapolate the actions of a small number of people across all of society. This is a dangerous policy to apply to everyone, and I don't know how one would separate the few women who whoops their partner from the many who didn't and who would be left in terrible situations if fathers could abdicate responsibility.
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From:wildilocks
Date:February 22nd, 2011 05:24 am (UTC)
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you also have to remember, there are ways to get pregnant without sex, and there is also rape. So it is entirely possible to get pregnant without having (consensual) sex...
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From:wildilocks
Date:February 22nd, 2011 05:15 am (UTC)
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sounds pretty reasonable to me :)
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From:pombagira
Date:February 21st, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
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next time fustian bounds can i please have pictures *grins*...

thank you


teheh
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From:wildilocks
Date:February 22nd, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
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hehehehe. when I'm half awake I'm not quite prepared for taking pics of the bounding, but I'll try to keep it in mind for future occurrences ;)
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 22nd, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
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That's a really good counter speech! Thanks for sharing it. I shall be voting Greens.
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From:t_c_da
Date:February 22nd, 2011 09:12 am (UTC)
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it could also be enough to shift me greenwards from Bill'n'Ben...
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