There’s an old saying, ‘The whole world’s going crazy!’
Well, when I look around me at how politics has gone lately, I’m inclined to agree and not think it is mere hyperbole.
You just have to look at a few recent examples from around the globe to see what I mean.
Let’s start with the most ridiculous first.
‘Swaziland media had reported Monday that the police had banned women from wearing miniskirts & midriff-revealing tops, saying they were provoking rape.’ With an example given of one woman who was told by her, male, boss to go home from work and get changed after wearing a ‘mini skirt’ to work, which was 1cm above the knee!
What is it about ‘a sense of proportion’, ‘being reasonable’, self-control & keeping it in their pants, that these men do not understand? Why the overweening urge to control women because they can’t control themselves?
It’s just crazy to think that women have to be blamed, again, in the 21st century, for what men might do to them.
Luckily, in this instance, sanity has prevailed in the government of Swaziland, and a spokesman has said that, “Government has not deliberated and taken any position to that effect in recent times or any other time, nor has it ordered the arrest of anyone wearing a mini skirt.” He said, “The National Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland(2005) protected the freedom and rights of women in the country such that no custom may be imposed on them in which they were in conscience opposed.”
Still, it was a close-run thing, and it’s not to say that there aren’t many governments now around the world who aren’t reimposing paternalistic and stiflingly authoritarian controls over the women in their society. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and possibly Egypt now too, to name just a few. Plus, if you’re Homosexual in Uganda, forget about being ‘Out Loud and Proud’.
From The Guardian of November 26:
However, as a gay Ugandan blogger sardonically points out:
‘In fact, if you re-read your anthropology, [Madame Speaker], you will find that homosexuality was tolerated before the White Man came to Africa with his Bible-that foremost foreign import that our detractors love to subjectively, but liberally, quote from.’
However, what is most interesting here is that this Bill has links back into the vaulting ambitions of the powerful and ambitious men & women of America who make up the Religious Right.
That is, the same Religious Right who are waging a Christian Crusade to take back control of women’s bodies again, on behalf of the males who run the powerful organisations which make up the Religious Right, the Conservative women who facilitate their zealotry, and the political parties, mainly of the Right, through which they seek to express themselves & imprint their agenda upon the national psyche. And which leads to outbreaks of craziness such as this in America recently:
‘Hobby Lobby Will Defy ACA Requirement for Free Contraception’
Though it’s not really ‘free contraception’ but a requirement under the US’s ‘Affordable Care Act'(‘Obamacare’) that an employee’s Health Insurance payments, taken out of their wages by the employer, must include coverage for contraception in the plan the employer uses.
However, owners of the Hobby Lobby Group do not want to comply with that mandate because THEY are devout Christians. Even though, to refuse to comply, opens them up to fines of up to $1.3 million/day.
Just crazy stuff. However, the Religious Right have deep pockets and they have obviously decided on the fight they want to pick with the President, his ‘Affordable Care Act’ and the mandate to provide contraception coverage in the Health Insurance Plans for employees.
But it’s delusional and offensive for the following reasons:
- why should any employer seek to control the sexual health of their employees?
- Since when did contraception, the Pill, essentially, become ‘an abortion-inducing drug’, as these over-bearing religious zealots are trying to claim?
- And as one of their commenters so cleverly put it-
Stupid Git — 12/29/12 10:06am
I’m sure these same people would have no problem with CEO’s from companies like PIMCO and Ethan Allen telling employees what they can and can’t do based on their Islamic beliefs, right? I’m sure this isn’t just another case of the Christian Persecution Complex because they can’t live in the theocracy of their dreams. In fact, let’s make exceptions for all employer’s religious ideals:
If you work for a Jehovah’s Witness: no blood transfusions will be covered.
If you work for a Christian Scientist: No modern medicine at all.
If you work for a Scientologist: No psychiatric coverage.
Did I miss any?
Finally, where will it end? Because these religious control freaks never stop at one success. They always want to keep pushing the envelope further. Pushing back against the hard-fought gains that women, minorities & the LGBTI community have made.
You only have to look around the world, as I have shown, with only a few examples, to see where they may take us if we don’t push back.
Which leads me to the Australian leg of our world tour, because I read the other day that Australia’s own religious extremists, ‘The Catch the Fire Ministries’, have started their own political party.
You wouldn’t read about it, a Sri Lankan immigrant to Australia ‘has launched a new Australian political party opposed to multiculturalism’!
However, he says it’s not a racist party it’s just Anti-Muslim(apparently he thinks Muslims are demons), and has a strongly pro-Christian ideology. Goodness knows what he thinks about godless Atheists! But he thinks it’s OK to want to impose his beliefs on government, and to prevent others from attempting to do the same, via government.
Which, of course, brings me to our Alternative Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Another deeply religious individual.
It’s why I can’t help wondering, when I reflect upon all these other religious ideologues from around the world & in our own country, just what would Tony Abbott try to impose on Australia & Australians as PM of our country?
He says he won’t impose his religious beliefs on the nation, but he just won’t be able to help himself I believe. Already there are examples, too numerous to list here, from his time as a Minister & Senior member of John Howard’s Government, and since as Opposition Leader, which have demonstrated that Tony Abbott’s belief is that his core religious values are the ‘right’ ones, therefore right for the country.
This is why I thought it important to lay out just a few examples of where this type of thinking is taking the world of politics, and the world in general, at the moment, and thus why I think it is so important to defeat Tony Abbott at the next election in 2013.
I want Australia to be an island of sanity in a sea of political madness which is threatening to swamp us.
President Obama’s re-election has provided a bulwark, and Australia needs to join him in the fight against the sort of people who think it’s factually accurate to build theme parks which have humans riding dinosaurs, Fred Flintstone-style. We just can’t let Post-Enlightenment reality be subsumed by cartoon Christian craziness, with all the evil undertones that come with it.
As a scientist, I cannot.
As American, Pulitzer Prize-winning author & MIT Professor, Junot Diaz, put it so succinctly about the Republican Party(but the same goes for all political parties like them):
“The current GOP is ‘a shelter for a lot of messed-up & toxic paradigms’.”
And, might I add, these parties are a shelter for a lot of toxic & messed-up individuals.
They must be prevented from poisoning the political well here in Australia too.
And Professor Diaz puts it so well, encapsulating what I have been trying to put into words here, when he says:
“And what is happening to communities, is not racist but specifically white supremacist oppression.”
Except, I might add, that the 21st century ‘white supremacists’ have co-opted a lot of people like Danny Nahliah, who definitely aren’t White, but who have evolved a sort of symbiotic power relationship with the ‘Middle Aged Conservative Old White Guys’, based around their religious zealotry and the defined benefits riding on their coat-tails brings to them. They’ve sniffed the wind and they know which way it is blowing.
But again Junot has a neat explanation for this:
“The racial system that has sort of got this planet under a grip, a racial system that begins with the concept of coloniality, the racial system that sort of operates, whether it’s the Dominican Republic or the United States(or Uganda, Swaziland or Australia), isn’t called racism, technically, it’s called white supremacy”, he said. “We don’t like to call it white supremacy, because folks get real, like, iffy. They’re like ‘argh’. But technically, it’s that…So whether it’s the privilege of money, the privilege of gender. I mean try to get boys to talk about misogyny & patriarchy. Boys don’t want to talk about that. Why? Well, because, ‘Darn, if I talk about that, that’s a threat to my privilege’.”
And that’s why Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ‘Misogyny Speech’ was so powerful and one of the most important speeches given by any politician around the world this year. It spoke directly to these themes, and she said it directly to the man who is the embodiment of White Supremacy, Patriarchy, Privilege and Misogyny in Australia today. Tony Abbott.