Male Trailing Spouse Interview: Expat Survival Guide

For those interested, here is a very brief interview for the Expat Survival Guide; the views from male trailing spouses

The Male Trailing Spouse series – Brian in Iran

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No Shame: The Science Behind Why Most Australians Feel Okay About Tormenting Asylum Seekers | Junkee

Are you an Australian wondering how such a large number of your country-folk can be so hard-hearted to asylum seekers?

Are you a Border Force member wondering where the soul of organisations such as Customs and Immigration went?

For me, it is bewildering to see Australians talk about sending those fleeing war back to the nothing that there is for them in those warzones. More than 95% of those arriving to Australia by boat are found to be genuine refugees. As someone involved in stopping the boats back in the late 90s from China, dealing with genuine economic migrants, not refugees, the differences are stark. Stop the boats as intended in the earlier China case has nothing whatever to do with stopping those fleeing war to find safe haven; the governments since have adopted the slogan without any sense of what it means.

Linked is a very interesting read on the application of Stanford University Professor Emeritus of Social Science in Psychology Albert Bandura’s theory of moral disengagement

via No Shame: The Science Behind Why Most Australians Feel Okay About Tormenting Asylum Seekers | Junkee.

Self-Regulation of Sexual Objectification by Australia’s Advertising Industry? Miserable Fail.

Despite their own claims, the Advertising Standards Board in Australia, in a more than feeble attempt at self-regulation, has failed miserably to police community concerns about objectifying and objectionable advertising.

By dismissing the vast majority of claims, the circular logic of the Mad Men of Australia enables the ASB to report that there is little in the way of objectifying material out there.

The advertising industry of Australia demonstrates a their ‘men are monkeys’ and ‘women are for sex’ approach to advertising.

This excellent blog piece by Melinda Tankard Reist hits home; clearly demonstrating the failure of the ASB to enforce sexual objectification rules.

If the examples Melinda raises are NOT sexual objectification of women, the sexual objectification tests are clearly rubbish.

http://melindatankardreist.com/2014/10/ad-watchdog-in-australia-a-dismal-failure/

Not surprisingly, just as happens when police police the police, the ASB are acting themselves like advertising industry monkeys on this issue. It is more than high time to test objectively their tests/rules for identifying objectifying materials.

And so, what do we think of self-regulation for the advertising industry when it comes to objectification of women?

On a scale of one to ten, ten being ‘the best we could do’ and one being ‘lousy’, we really must be talking about fractions here.

If you happen to know any of these Mad Men at the ASB, please pass on this link of REAL tests for sexually objectifying material, just to make it really clear to them: https://brianiselin.com/2014/02/24/the-sexual-objectification-test/

Neanderthal attitudes excusing violence against women

While proud of my country for so many achievements over the decades and centuries, there are a number of dark stains on our consciences.

One of these is violence against women.

In an age when women have been into space, are in Parliament and sometimes even in Cabinet, when women CEOs start to become a decent percentage (albeit at still perversely low levels, but better than at any time before) of overall senior corporate positions, there are a very large number of men out there who think violence against women can be justified.

Recent survey work done by VicHealth, found, for instance, that 1 in 5 Australian men think if a woman is raped while intoxicated, it is not entirely the fault of the rapist.

Almost the same number of men – and you’ll need to sit down for this – think that their own drinking or drug-taking can excuse their raping a woman.

And, in one of the saddest results, more women than men now think that a woman who is drunk and raped is somehow more deserving of her rape.

It’s an overall astounding set of results that speaks to why Australia is one of the few developed countries not going anywhere fast on gender equality.

Excuses for violence against women continue to disregard the rights of the victim in favour of an inappropriate claim to possession or access to women by men,

It’s got to stop.

And that starts with men speaking up against perpetrators. If 4 in 5 men are right-thinkling on this, then those 4 need to speak up, speak out, and help stop the problem.

And the all-important role to be played by women must surely be to make sure that as far as possible, women do not fall into the trap of minimising and excusing bad behaviour by men.

Let’s get the word out to the neanderthals in our societies that:

  • There is NO excuse for rape.
  • There is NO excuse for domestic violence.
  • There is NO excuse for violence against women.

For more, I commend this Guardian Australia article by Melissa Davey: http://gu.com/p/4xjen

What does the Australian public really think about asylum seekers?

A number of friends and colleagues around the world ask me why Australia is being such a collective shit when it comes to refugees. Note, I adopt the word refugee instead of asylum-seekers as the latter has, since John Howard was Prime Minister and first made the issue an election-deciding one, become largely pejorative.

And even in the wake of international condemnation, clear denial of international law, and the umbrage of many thinking Australians, the government continues on its merry brown-shirted way to demonise refugees as if they did something wrong.

They did not.

Being a refugee is not illegal; just incredibly sad and desperately unfortunate.

Seeking asylum is a RIGHT, guaranteed to all people. It is a fundamental human right. And that means it is INALIENABLE …. unless you seek asylum in Australia.

Well, not being able to understand why Australians are allowing the government to treat refugees so appallingly and illegally, I decided to see if anyone knew where the majority of Australians were on the issue.

The Conversation had a look at this. In 2012 the wrote about research commissioned to ask this question. A question was asked: “Do you think the (then) Federal Labor Government is too tough or too soft on asylum seekers or is it taking the right approach?” 12% answered “too tough”, 11% chose “right approach”, while 60% indicated “too soft”.

Unfortunately, these are the sorts of attitudes that support the current government’s policies of turning the boats around and incarcerating refugees.

If you dislike the current policies, then sadly these figures suggest we are in a considerable majority, and at thus at a considerable loss.

How does one turn a government policy around when the majority of voters – bringing into specific relief the problem with lowest common denominator approaches to policy-making – want it to happen? How does one overturn a perceived mandate built on such palpably badly-founded and ill-conceived (and illegal – did I say that?) foundations?

Read the full article here for more: https://theconversation.com/what-does-the-australian-public-really-think-about-asylum-seekers-8522

 

There’s no evidence that refugee deterrence policy works

 

Having heard countless ignoramuses (ignorami?) defend the refoulement of refugees on the grounds that ‘turning the boats around’ means more boats will not come, I can say after spending numerous years on the front-line witnessing first-hand such policies, without question, there is absolutely no deterrent effect in Australia’s current approach to boat people.

Quite simply, the situation of the refugees is worse than anything that could happen to them in Australia, or at the hands of Australians.

96% of boat people coming to Australia are GENUINE refugees.

And nothing can deter a genuine refugee.

Read this article from The Conversation for more: https://theconversation.com/theres-no-evidence-that-asylum-seeker-deterrence-policy-works-8367