The danger of bad law

Paging James Damore…..

There isn’t currently a report of this that I can find that isn’t behind a paywall. Do your own search however, as it’s bound to be picked up by the news outlets with a broken business model shortly.

In summary, the University of Adelaide has sought dispensation from the legislation governing workplace equality to advertise half a dozen roles as only open to female applicants.

Hang on, what? Isn’t that, erm, discriminating against all the potential male job applicants in the Adelaide area, most of whom presumably have families to support with their income?

How did we get here?

Well, it would seem the university has consistently failed to hire female lecturers qualified to teach computer science and, wracked with guilt over this egregious example of patriarchal oppression, they have decided that the only course of action is to close the door to any lecturer who identifies as a bloke.

That’s bound to work, isn’t it?

Let’s hypothesise as to why they’ve not managed to hire lecturers in a 50:50 gender split. Possible reasons might include one or more of the following;

  • Qualified women feel overwhelmed by the prospect of applying, for some reason.
  • Qualified women are explicitly or subtlety dissuaded by the interviewers.
  • Qualified women fail to impress the interviewers because the interview process is skewed in favour of male candidates in some way.
  • There aren’t many (or even any) qualified female candidates in Adelaide or outside Adelaide who are prepared to relocate.
  • Some other reason related to duh patriarchy.

Putting the possible reasons why we arrived at this situation aside for a moment, let’s explore the legislation. How can it be that anti-discrimination laws can be ignored like this?

Because the legislation is terrible, that’s why. Section 44 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 allows for “The Commission” (which refers to the loathsome Australian Human Rights Commission) to grant exceptions as it sees fit.

I’m sure the legislators back in 1984 thought this was a good idea, in between enjoying the Australian theme to Bowie’s Let’s Dance video and the national pride of having a Prime Minister who held the world record for the yard of ale.

Of course, what they couldn’t should have anticipated was the creeping takeover of the commission by the radical left, resulting in it becoming a mouthpiece for those who would hector and nag and worse, embark on vindictive and flawed prosecutions.

Bill’s Opinion

At its core, this is a problem created in 1984 by poor legislation. Subsequently, the unelected and unaccountable body with discretionary powers to waive legislation has become highly-politicised.

The second problem is that the University of Adelaide is in denial of reality. The two most likely reasons they have not managed to hire an equal number of female IT lecturers are;

  1. As Damore rightly pointed out, IT is less attractive to females than males because women generally prefer to work with people and men generally prefer to work with things.
  2. Adelaide is a very small city in a very small (population wise) country and is geographically remote from even Australia’s large population centres.

Why does the second point matter; because we always see fundamental problems manifest themselves at the margins. Presumably the reason we haven’t seen the University of Sydney requesting this legal waiver is because there is probably just about enough potential female candidates for it not to be a problem. One suspects there are unlikely to be any unemployed female IT lecturers in Sydney.

Of course, it raises the question, what does it say about the likely quality of the lecturers at a Sydney University if ownership of female genitals results in you being accepted for a role over a more qualified male?

Unicorn excreta

….and we’re back. Life rudely interrupted last week, apologies.

This news article presented itself on my Creepbook for Business feed this morning, proving yet again how LinkedIn has become a virtue signalling, leftwing propaganda echo chamber with a very mild utility as a job hunting resource attached.

One hopes that the Monash University staff were commensurately recompensed for a study with such stunning insights as this. After all, it must have taken huge amounts of effort and intellectual ability to log on to the Australian Statistics website, open a CSV file with workplace injury data, insert a pivot table and sort by profession.

What piqued our interest however, was LinkedIn’s choice of stock photo to accompany the headline;

A young female driver with dark skin.

This academic study (demographics page 21) suggests that, after taking the photo of our lady driver above, the photographer might have considered buying a lottery ticket as it was his/her lucky day – a young female driver is rarer than unicorn shit.

We can’t comment on skin colour of truck drivers because we haven’t found any demographic data linking melanin levels and heavy vehicle licences.

Bill’s Opinion

The most dangerous profession in Australia is almost exclusively undertaken by men. LinkedIn is quite correct in their sentiment: we should start a campaign for 50:50 gender equality in this profession.

Go on then, explain how this would work

A ban on gay conversion therapy is the most important thing on the Australian LBGTIQ people’s things to do next list, apparently.

Really?

Some unanswered questions leap to mind about the survey of 2,662 LBGTIQ folks;

  1. Did the interviewees confirm with which of the letters of the LBGTIQ alphabet they identify?
  2. If so, were the survey results adjusted in any way to reflect the ratio of those letters in the general population? The medical phenomenon known as Intersex (the “I”), for example, occurs in about 0.05% of the population whereas male homosexuals make up around 1.9%. Was the intersex person’s opinion weighted to be worth 38 times that of the gay man’s?
  3. Did the survey ask for or offer any suggestions of how such a ban might work?

It’s just that we’re a little sceptical about seeking a unified opinion from such a diverse set of individuals on anything other than matters that impact them universally.

Homosexuality, for example, might have both a genetic and an environmental cause. The reason someone is transgender might also have a genetic and an environmental cause but not necessarily the same ones as the gay man’s. In fact, if we really got into the subject we may find that no two gay men are gay for exactly the same combination of reasons either.

Statistical obfuscation aside, there’s a few outstanding issues with the survey’s conclusion; how would this be written into law and enforced?

Imagine a young man from Adelaide, let’s call him Christopher, a devout Christian with a firm belief in those Christian values. He saved his virginity until he married and is now the proud father of four lovely children.

The problem is, human sexuality is a complex thing and he’s troubled with erotic thoughts about other men. He doesn’t want to be unfaithful to his wife and his religious beliefs strongly inform him that these thoughts are unnatural.

Regardless of whether we believe there’s a moral position to be taken on homosexuality or not, it is his firm desire to overcome these urges.

If he confides in a friend and the friend tells him to focus on his wife, buy her sexy lingerie and increase the romance in their relationship, will this friend now be breaking the new law?

What about if he confides in the family doctor who then refers him to a mental health professional? Are these two doctors acting illegally?

Perhaps even Christopher is in breach of the new anti-gay conversion law by seeking help in the first place? Where is the line drawn?

And the current gay conversion therapists, do they physically force their clients to attend the sessions? Do they use blackmail? Coercion? Surely there are existing laws against that behaviour already?

Bill’s Opinion

This is where Identity Politics leads eventually…… and it should be completely encouraged!

Why? Because the statistical obfuscation required to lump together groups of individuals, survey them for an opinion and then present it back as a unanimously-agreed statement will backfire quickly.

The idea that a man who enjoys having sex with a man, a woman who enjoys having sex with a woman, a man who believes he’s a woman, a woman who believes she’s a man, a person who was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and whatever it is the other letters of LBGTIQ+ stand for all have the same opinions on anything simply doesn’t stand up to any level of real life scrutiny, as anyone who has met people from these letters can confirm.

Don’t believe me? Invite one of each to a café and ask them what their coffee order is.

The survey is guilty of the same statistical error the USA financial industry made with the blending of sub-prime loans with AAA debt and will end in the same mess.

Carry on please!

The (big) little people can’t be trusted

Obviously it’s pick on Aussie journalists week here at WoO. No, I don’t know why either but it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

The SMH’s “senior economics journalist”, Jessica Irvine was paid today to tell us she’s no longer as overweight as she used to be, she’s now a mother, oh, and to advertise her book about no longer being as overweight as she used to be. Nice work if you can get it.

No, seriously, she knocked out a few hundred words to tell us that the secret to her weight loss was eating less and exercising more but because she’s good at spreadsheets she used a spreadsheet to keep track of it.

Also, she wrote this without a hint of irony, which is quite some feat;

But first, let’s address the elephant in the room: why does a senior economics journalist for some of Australia’s most respected newspapers keep banging on about her butt?

There’s two chuckles to be had there, if one is inclined to look for them.

The headline is most interesting though, and it’s taken directly from the body of the article so it’s not one of those usual editorial decisions to put words into the author’s mouth.

Ponder that statement for a moment.

Just whose damn responsibility is it to shed excess kilograms then? I’ve checked Google Maps and they’ve completely failed to label the locations of the human foie gras farms out in the suburbs.

Smashing the personal responsibility framework means acknowledging that most people aren’t maths whizzes and won’t follow the diet I’ve just outlined, particularly not those in lower socio-economic groups among whom obesity is most prevalent.

Sure, it’s about educating individuals to make better food and exercise choices. But fundamentally it’s about redesigning the obesogenic environment we’ve created, by governments stepping in to improve the availability of cheap, nutritious food and opportunities for regular exercise and activity.

Ah, it’s the government’s job to make the stupid masses lose weight because they aren’t as clever as Jessica Smarty(large)pants.

No, really, she wrote that.

Bill’s Opinion

There is nothing quite as obscene as a desire to control other people disguised as altruism.

Jessica doesn’t give a damn about the size of the guts of the people living in the areas of Australia she only ever drives past on the way to the airport or flies over on the way to her foreign holidays.

What Jessica wants is “people like us” to be in charge of what those people can and can’t eat and how they exercise.

And this, by the way, is someone with some level of qualification in that most suspicious of disciplines, economics, a subject with such an inferiority complex it had to invent a fake Nobel Prize for itself in an attempt to gain missing gravitas.

One assumes Jessica played truant in the local McDonalds and Burger King when the lecturers explained the Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman parts of the syllabus.

Long form conversation is the new soundbite

That traditional media is dying a painful and not so slow death is hard to dispute. The body count is rising everywhere one looks, in the last couple of years we’ve seen various mastheads either close down or be reduced to a shadow of their former selves. Examples include the UK’s The Independent (just a website now), the UK’s The Guardian (asking for “charitable” donations at the bottom of every online article), the New York Daily News (half the staff were fired last month) and Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald (bought by a domestic TV station for a fraction of its previous valuation).

Perhaps for a real time illustration of what might be the problem we should have a look at today’s version of the Sydney Morning Herald’s website;

The main story of the day is a feel good piece by Julie Clun about a man who raises money for a cancer charity. Ok, lovely, but it’s not exactly the “news” topic one would expect is it, especially in these febrile days of North Korea, Iran, Brexit, deadly forest fires in Greece, domestic banking scandals, and difficult times for the domestic Federal government, etc.?

Second on the website is our old friend Clementine “the other gift that keeps on giving” Ford, whining on about men not doing enough domestic chores in relationships, especially in the first few years after the first child is born. This might be true and the researchers may well have been justified in spending their grant money on undertaking the study but perhaps the “problem” is multi-dimensional and those men have felt the pressure to work longer hours and harder (and let’s face it, more dangerous) jobs to cover their increased financial responsibilities? Clementine doesn’t seem to be curious about this, and more importantly, the sub-editor didn’t wonder whether her entire article wasn’t just some massive exercise in personal projection.

Third on the website is an astoundingly naive article about a man diagnosed with mental health issues (which the article admits includes the risk of self harm or even suicide) who found it difficult to buy travel insurance. Not “couldn’t buy travel insurance“, but he had to ring around a bit and pay more when he found a company that would cover him. News flash for Rachel Clun, THAT’S HOW INSURANCE WORKS; they asses the risk that you will make a claim and price the policy accordingly.

Next, article number four is probably the best example of “reporting of news” as we’ll get today; Deborah Snow and Nick O’Malley wrote about a breaking political scandal.

Fifth on the list is the story of an airline employee who got so drunk on a layover between flights that he had to spend a night in hospital at the airline’s expense and was unable to perform his scheduled duties on the return flight. The tone of Anna Perry’s piece on this presumably open and shut case of employee dismissal is that the airline is being somewhat harsh by firing him. Anna doesn’t find the space to ponder whether we would like to get on flights staffed by half-drunk staff or pay higher prices for tickets that include the $20,000 hospital bill for their big nights out in the Big Apple.

The sixth article is a fun look at some drug smugglers who were involved in a boat chase before being caught dumping 600kg of cocaine in the sea. Some actual reporting there by Tracey Ferrier, well done.

The last article is a formulaic hand-wringing climate change article by the SMH’s resident “weather is climate” writer, Peter Hannam, with great use of our old friend “could”, as in “if it doesn’t rain soon, we could have to finally switch on the desalination plant we built ages ago and that has cost half a million dollars a day to sit idle ever since“.

If you are a current or former employee of the media company formerly known as Fairfax (publisher of the SMH) here’s a direct message to you; Aristotle said, “the life unexamined is not worth living“. Perhaps you should have a good look at yourself and wonder why people didn’t want to pay money for your work.

It pains me to mention this but there is also a glaring statistic to be found looking at those 7 top articles; of the 8 writers, 6 are women.

I’m not suggesting that this is the reason the newspaper is making its final circle around the toilet bowl, I’m sure women can report on news and write just as articulately as men, but it might be a symptom not a cause of the greater problem; one struggles to believe that Clementine Ford, for example, is the main bread-winner in her household. Perhaps the job of opinion-writer on gender politics (or however it is she would describe her idiom) doesn’t command a particularly stellar salary because, well, people don’t want to read the bloody tosh she writes? Perhaps that’s the case with most of the remaining jobs at the Herald and many of the employees are bringing in the 2nd income in their house, supplementing a primary wage-earner?

The business model of companies such as the Sydney Morning Herald is broken and broken beyond repair. We won’t pay for their output any longer.

H. L. Mencken may (or may not, it’s hard to confirm) have said, “No one in this world, so far as I know … has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people“.

I like much of Mencken’s work but I hope he didn’t say that because I challenge its accuracy.

Why?

Podcasts.

It turns out that this relatively new method of sharing information is hugely popular. The podcasts insights website suggests that half of all US households listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. Comedy being the most popular category but closely followed by education and news.

Anyone who has listened to a podcast will have realised that it differs from the traditional media of newspapers, TV and radio in one significant factor; they are LONG.

How long? The Joe Rogan Experience is in the top 5 of downloaded podcasts and he rarely releases an episode shorter than 3 hours. His average listener numbers per episode? 3 million.

Dan Carlin regularly drops 2 to 3 hour conversations about history that get higher listener numbers than CNN gets viewers. Let me repeat that; Conversations about history.

People such as Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, Sam Harris, etc. are having lengthy, detailed and nuanced discussions about, well, all sorts of subjects that wouldn’t get more than 600 words in the pages of the Wall Street Journal or the Sydney Morning Herald. In this format, highly-nuanced points can be made, clarified, challenged and refined in a way we’ve never been able to consume previously. This has also resulted in a move away from the problem with formats such as the CNN panel discussion where each participant is simply waiting to shout a pithy one-liner (or even a one-worder) over their “opponents” rather than listening and responding intelligently.

Now look at our soon to be unemployed SMH journalists; imagine if Clementine Ford was asked to produce a coherent discussion about her apparent area of expertise for three hours a week, how many people would choose to listen to it, do we think? How articulate would it be, how well-thought through and defendable would her arguments be?

Quite.

The lesson from podcasts is that huge numbers of people are crying out for long form discussions that take their knowledge of a subject, any subject, forward and don’t just leave them with the executive summary of the revision notes.

Of course, it hasn’t escaped me that you are reading this rather than listening to it but that’s mainly a function of the fact that I don’t have expertise in any subject that covers 3 hours of conversation and that I have the perfect voice for the written, not spoken, word.

Nobody could have predicted a negative outcome

A woman walked into a shop and started swinging an axe at people.

Well, when we say “woman“…..

Ah.

So, in summary and using clarity of language that everyone would have understood 10 years ago;

A man with a history of severe mental illness was prescribed female hormones, operated on to remove his penis and testicles, create a “vagina” (that will require constant “maintenance”to prevent it from healing up) and is then referred to by a female name yet, somehow, “she” still has underlying severe mental illness?

It’s almost as if, I dunno, and I’m just putting this out there, it’s almost as if pretending that someone with an inherent serious mental illness just has a physical problem that can be fixed with a knife and hormones, actually doesn’t work.

Bill’s Opinion

As we’ve discussed previously, the outcomes for post-surgery transgender people is no better than for those who have yet to have the surgery.

Mental illnesses are highly unlikely to be cured by gender surgery and hormones therapy.

In the future, many fortunes will be made by lawyers challenging decisions taken by psychologists, doctors and public officials that have not helped and likely severely harmed transgender people and members of the public, such as the victims of this axe attack.

God only knows what I’d be without Zhou/Zhe/They

Picking holes in the belief systems of the religious is a fun but ultimately unsatisfying exercise.

By definition, faith doesn’t require empirical evidence. Therefore anyone with an enquiring mind can use the Socratic method to dismiss claims of the reality of reincarnation, prophets flying to the moon on winged horses or all animal life descending from ancestors saved from a flood on a boat.

We couldn’t let this pass, however; Episcopal Church considers making God gender neutral.

The headline is, in itself, amusing. Presumably God might have an opinion that should be considered by the committee, given that he/she/zhe will have to live with their decision?

I’m sure the church committee wouldn’t have phrased the headline in the same way so we won’t dwell too long on it.

Obviously the motivation behind this investigation is erm, something, something, blah, blah, diversity and inclusion.

One wonders whether there’s a a risk of a guest appearance by our old friend the law of unintended consequences, however?

Why?

Let’s look at the uneasy relationship the Christian faith has had with science, particularly evolutionary biology over the previous 159 years. There has been a cautious dance undertaken by people of faith to accomodate the increasing evidence that all life today is a result of millions of years of evolution and, therefore, the planet and all the beasties crawling on it wasn’t actually created in 6 days a few thousand years ago.

Somehow, otherwise intelligent senior members of the church have managed to negotiate a position whereby God still exists but the parts of the bible that seem to describe particular biological or geological situations that conflict with observed reality are to be taken as symbolism not “gospel truth”.

So, a gender neutral God, what’s the problem?

Firstly, perhaps we should remind ourselves of the evolutionary history and purpose of there being any genders at all. Put simply, having 2 distinct genders enables genes to be more effectively passed on to the next generation as new combinations will find evolutionary advantages that neither parent might have exploited with theirs.

Gender, therefore, is a function of reproduction.

A discussion about the gender of the creator of the universe and all life therein should also seek to answer what purpose the gender (or not) serves?

Does God reproduce sexually? If so, with whom? Mrs. God?

If God doesn’t need to reproduce sexually, then there’s no obvious use for a gender for God. Presumably this is going to be the crucial question the church committee pondering God’s gender has to get to grips with.

A supplemental question might be, “if God has a neutral gender, how might he/she/zhe reproduce?”. Presumably reproduction does occur by God as humans were made in their image (Genesis 1:27).

Bill’s Opinion

It might seem like a smart move to decree that the Christian God is gender neutral, but it risks opening up a much wider set of questions for which the church may struggle to find comforting answers.

Ultimately, the dogma behind most religions (probably all religions but I’ve not investigated every one) require a suspension of the use of logic and empirical evidence. Exposing logical fallacies with religion is therefore the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

Biology is unfair

It’s been a busy week here at Chez Ockham, so our usual pastime of laughing at the news has taken a back seat.

This did pop up on the radar however, from the keyboard of our favourite Australian feminist; Clementine Ford has spotted that childbirth is painful and risky.

As is her idiom, La Ford jumps around several topics never quite finishing a thought or driving to a conclusion. However, the column is worth a fisk in the context of the use (or lack thereof) of critical thinking;

July 1 to July 8 is Australian Birth Trauma Awareness Week, and it’s probably more relevant to you and any birth parents you know than you might think. According to the Australasian Birth Trauma Association, “one in three women identify their births as traumatic” and “one in four first-time mothers suffer major physical damage”.

Firstly; what is a “birth parent”?

This is probably another one of Clementine’s land grabs to redefine language; it is possible that, rather than using the universally-accepted noun, “mother”, she’s positing the idea that a transgender person who calls themselves male but has a uterus is not a female.

Ok, Clementine, you are free to use language as you see fit but we are also free to ignore your attempt to redefine the meaning of words we all previously understood.

Trauma and physical damage can occur regardless of what kind of birth you have, whether it’s vaginal or caesarean and with or without planned intervention. As part of Birth Trauma Awareness Week, the ABTA are asking women and birth parents to share their stories either in a recorded video or a written narrative. Survivors of birth trauma are also encouraged to use the hashtags “#ABTA2018” and “#yourstorymatters”.

This second hashtag is particularly powerful because birth trauma is all too often minimised or dismissed entirely as self-indulgent whining from women who are just looking for something to complain about. Scan the comments section of any online article discussing birth trauma (or women’s complaints with the birth system in general) and you’ll find significant numbers of people snapping that “these bloody women” just need to get on with things and stop “seeking attention.” “Birth isn’t hard! Women do it every day! Get over it!”

There’s a few things to unpack there….

Quite how “powerful” are hashtags do we think? Ask anyone who doesn’t live their life on Twitter (i.e. 95.6% of the global population) what #yourstorymatters means to them for a quick indication.

As for using the comments section of online news articles as any kind of information data point, well, best of luck. Seek and ye shall find (whatever extreme view it is you’re looking for).

People do indeed give birth every day. In Australia, we’re lucky that the maternal mortality rate associated with birth here is far lower than many other countries. But something being common isn’t the same as something being safe, and the fact remains that childbirth is still one of the most dangerous things a person can go through.

“People” give birth? Oh, we’re really trying to avoid saying “women” aren’t we? Desperately trying, in fact.

Apart from the elevated risk of post-birth incontinence (at my first maternal health appointment, I was handed a leaflet titled One in Three Women Wet Themselves After Birth), roughly half of all those who birth vaginally will experience some kind of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime.

Nature has indeed, made mammalian live birth a physically-intense and potentially damaging act. I blame the patriarchy of the bloody therapsids.

The use of forceps presents a particular risk for pelvic floor avulsion (when the pelvic muscle tears away from the bone, leading to irreversible damage), yet a lack of education around birth options and “what’s best” means it’s still often considered preferable to emergency caesarean intervention.

Foreceps’ deliveries account for less than 5% of all births in Australia. Presumably the medical profession don’t rush into this procedure without defensible reasons?

The lack of space available to those of us who’ve given birth to tell our stories honestly and without apology is significant. It’s been almost two years since I gave birth to my son, but it’s only been in recent months that I’ve started to process what we both experienced that day, having previously always spoken about it matter-of-factly.

Hands up those who believe Clementine Ford suffers a lack of space to air her opinions? You sir, at the back? Oh, you were scratching your head.

I knew that birth trauma was a reality for many women who had given birth, but I was lucky to have escaped it. I was induced, labour lasted 18 hours, he was born, we were fine. The End.

She said “women”! Fire the sub-editor!

Or so I thought.

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend about the kinds of scars (both physical and emotional) that are commonly accumulated during labour and childbirth. As I told her about my own experience, I suddenly began to cry. Huge, wracking sobs. I realised I had spent the first two years of my son’s life repressing trauma in order to protect us both, but it was, at last, finding its way to the surface.

Clementine might be describing post-natal depression. She might also be describing the symptoms of a pre-existing mental illness. Just putting that out there.

The truth is, the birth of my son was traumatic. It was traumatic for all the normal, common reasons birth is traumatic. The intense physical pain made worse by synthetic drugs designed to bring on labour, the fear and anxiety about the health of my baby as labour progressed, the impact of vaginal birth itself…

But it was traumatic too because a lot of shit went wrong in ways that were potentially life-threatening. As my son emerged, it was with a slick of meconium over him (a sign a baby is in distress during labour and has defecated in-utero). I was given the briefest of glimpses of him before they whisked him away to a resuscitation table to make sure he hadn’t inhaled any of the fecal matter, which can lead to an extremely serious case of meconium aspiration. Thankfully, he was fine – but as they brought him back to me to hold, it became apparent that I was not. My tired, worn out uterus had stopped contracting which meant I was continuing to bleed.

As I tried to hold a wriggling newborn on my chest, the midwife furiously palpated my stomach to try and stimulate contractions, but it had given up completely. I was told I’d need to spend the next few hours on a low dose of syntocinin (the drug used in inductions) to help prevent post-partum haemorrhage (one of the leading causes of maternal mortality). By the time I was able to properly hold my baby, it had been at least a few hours since he was born.

It’s all about me, I am the first woman in history to give birth. Why are you not more interested?

This is a common story. But as I said earlier, being common isn’t the same as being safe or risk-free. Heart surgery is also common, but no-one would tell someone to get over that. The feminised nature of pregnancy and childbirth is what establishes it as some kind of “niche” concern in a sexist, patriarchal world. Women are expected to swallow our trauma because, as we’re repeatedly told, “the only thing that matters is a healthy child”.

A guest appearance for duh patriarchy there. We were wondering when it would be our fault.

Australian Birth Trauma Week is about reclaiming control over the horrendous, traumatising narratives that often rest uneasily alongside the powerful, transformative love we feel for our children. We are allowed to tell those stories. Our stories matter.

Lovely. And what tangible actions are we taking to improve the situation other than hashtags that nobody is looking at (2 days after publishing, the most daily uses of that hashtag was 20)?

Bill’s Opinion

Global maternal mortality fell by half between 1995 and 2015. There is obviously much more to be done to improve on that situation but the trend is very promising.

However, evolution has handed humans, and mammals in general, a dangerous method of reproduction compared to other animals as a compromise which allows for the post-birth development of larger brains. Until duh patriarchy finds a way to improve on that, childbirth will incur risk.

Uber 1 – London’s Mayor 0

Uber has won its battle with London’s Socialist Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and can continue to provide great value services to Londoners.

As we pointed out earlier, the decision to terminate their licence was purely political and not underpinned by any factual basis.

Bill’s Opinion

It’s nice to see the rule of law still sometimes works in London.

Perhaps the London ratepayers should send the legal bill to Mr. Khan.

Give it a (stupid) name

The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, has named her newborn baby daughter – Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford. This organ wishes the first family of New Zealand very best wishes for their future health and happiness.

One does wonder at the choice of name for the wee bairn, however. Let’s unpack that, shall we?

The first name, Neve, is actually an anglicisation of the Gaelic name, “Naimh”, which is pronounced “Neeve”.

The next two names are Maori for “of love” and is the name of a hill near Ms. Arden’s home.

Then there’s Jacinda’s surname, Arden and her husband’s partner’s surname, Gayford.

Bill’s Opinion

If we were the sort of people who gave a damn about this type of thing, we could suggest that calling your daughter, “Neve Te Aroha” is #CulturalAppropriation of both Irish and Maori culture.

As for the thoroughly modern habit of not being married but double-barrelling the two parents’ surnames; has anyone stopped for one moment to think what the next generation will be called? When Neve Te Ahora has children, let’s say with a Mr. Ponsonby Smythe, will the progeny be cursed with having to fill out official forms with “Arden Gayford Ponsonby Smythe”?

Where does this all end?

In all aspects of their lives, the regressive left are ridiculous.