Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hi-5 Birthday Party!

Well, after many, many months of planning and expectations by Miss S, we finally had the Hi-5 birthday party! We did well. There was hand clappers, Hi-5 plates, cups, placemats, party blowers, hats, serviettes, and Hi-5 Party Street DVD constantly playing. David got some totally fabbo gas balloons, pictured here is a very large Unicorn and a Happy Birthday balloon. He also got about 20 others filled with helium too. All the kids had a great time, with one mother commenting it was the best birthday party she'd been to for kids.

Stephanie totally loved her day. I can hardly believe she's 5! She got some great gifts including a Baby Alive that wets it's nappies! Oh, how wonderful. But Miss S is into all those types of things, she's very caring and mothering type, she doesn't take after me at that age!

I think she was a bit disappointed it was all over, considering how long she'd been planning the Hi-5 theme! Oh, and the Hi-5 cake was a smash too.

She's currently planning her 6th party now, it's to be a fairies one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why is this news?

Today, the Daily Telegraph's reporter Kelvin Bissett He's Not my Kid reports that one man who paid $71,000 got ripped off. A further story Paternity Tests Prove Hundreds of Men Duped gives some more details, still by the same reporter that 18 women have orders of about $171,000 against them to pay back wrongful paternity money paid, and that 300 women have had DNA checks of their kids and the wrong father has been cited. So why is this news?

Kudos to the reporter for his tenacious digging into finding these obscure numbers and stories. But surely, there's a much bigger, more newsworthy story in the number of $6 BILLION in unpaid child support? Surely, that's bigger news that's more interesing, no? What about the 6,000 men who have defected to New Zealand to avoid paying child support? Is that not a bigger story? Why didn't the reporter track down the one man who's fathered kids to seven different mothers and has never paid a cent in child support? He just keeps on forgetting to keep it zipped up and carries on regardless of his consequences, goodness knows how many terminations may have resulted from this one man's irresponsible lifestyle.

Why are women singled out as folk devils in the media? What good does it do society to think that incorrect accusations of false paternity are rife? When they are not. 300 is a piddling number in the grand scheme of things. It wouldn't even be comparable to the number of men who have falsely denied paternity. I wish I had that number, now, that would be newsworthy, yes? We could probably add a few noughts to the 300 number.

Good on ya, Kelvin Bissett, are you going to set the record straight and print the opposite side of this gender story?

However, getting to the heart of the story, is that with the Child Support Agency 'forcing' women to pay back will only disadvantage the child/ren in their care. In all of this, it's the kids that are the losers, as well as their Mum's and those who thought they were the Dad. The winners? Perhaps the real fathers that walked away scot free.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Australia Lagging Behind in Protecting Women

This is an excellent article by The Age on November 3rd in regards to how we are doing, as a nation, to combat violence against women.

The article compares us to Albania, with similiar statistics on the domestic violence front, and looks at the campaign they initiated in 2005. Scotland has a "Zero Tolerance" program and it mentions how Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark have a "whole of Government" approach. What the article doesn't state is that those three countries have the highest reports of rape than any other industrialised nation. It is not yet been established if the percentage of reporting of rapes is higher. On that subject, did you know that in 2003 in South Australia there were 786 reported rapes. South Australia stipulates that 25% of sexual assaults are reported, but globally, it is estimated that only 15% of sexual assaults are reported. But anyway, we'll go with South Australia's anomoly of 25% which means that approximately just over 3,000 rapes occured in 2003. Of those, 100 made it to court, and 12 were found to be guilty as charged.

That's quite a pitiful effort, so it is worth looking at other nations to see how they handle their judicial systems for a higher conviction rate, thus, more protection for women.

The link to The Age article by Kate Gilmore is here: Australia Lags on a System to Protect Women

The Murder of Prostitutes is not all that important

I've been wondering for a while which direction to take this blog in regards to my current interests. After completing a Literature Review on Community Attitudes of Violence Towards Women and how the Research Reports and Media perpetuate the myths, I figured I'd start pointing out some media reports that do just that.

Here's one. It's about Jeremy Clarkson, as reported by the SMH, saying that calls for his dismissal are being made by insulted truck drivers from all over the UK. He said, on the show, Top Gear, about a day in the life of a truck driver, "Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That's a lot of effort in a day," added the 48-year-old.

Earlier this year a former lorry driver, Steve Wright, was convicted of murdering five prostitutes in Ipswich, southeastern England, in a case which attracted a huge amount of publicity.

Although someone from the Labour Party who governs the community where the murders were done, does make a point of saying that to "make light of the murders is a dismissable offence" but it appears that the general consensus is that the biggest thing that Clarkson did wrong was to insult truck drivers.

It's another media story with the message that the systemic slaughter of women is unimportant.

Here's the link to read the full story: Clarkson Faces Sack