March 14th 2015

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL What Australia Post can learn from NZ's Kiwibank

FOOD SAFETY To halt toxic food imports - raise quarantine standards

SOCIAL POLICY Coalition govt urged to favour daycare at expense of parental care

DIVORCE LAW 'Without restraint': the abuse of domestic violence orders

QUEENSLAND Qld farmers consider legal action over Callide Dam flooding

CANBERRA OBSERVED Tony Abbott secure in his job ... for now

ENVIRONMENT Despite winter freeze, IPCC insists on global warming

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Indonesia and Australia: more than just neighbours

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Eleventh-hour deal averts Greek financial default

UNITED STATES Obama's communist mentor: Frank Marshall Davis

SOCIETY Rabbi Avigdor Miller's ten commandments of marriage

OPINION A voice for the vulnerable, the enslaved and the voiceless


CULTURE The enduring appeal of audio drama

BOOK REVIEW A compulsively readable biography

Books promotion page


News Weekly, March 14, 2015

Gender pay gap?


New Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that our gender pay gap is now 18.8 per cent.

What should it be? The gap should be zero, say our gender ideologues.

The gap should be 100 per cent, say others who think that fathers should be in paid work and mothers should be allowed to raise their children at home.

What do our children want? A friend of mine working in childcare is alarmed when the inmates call her “mummy”. Do they call their mothers who are in paid employment anything? I wasn’t told that.

Okay, so men and women should be considered equal. But identical? Let’s hope not. Let us say they are complementary — complementing (as in completing) each other as human persons.

Equal in dignity? Yes. Identical — in the sense of mothers imitating men all day in the paid workforce? No, thank you.

Not every social role is equally suited to men and women.

What to do about it? Hard to say. Perhaps we need a very different society.

Arnold Jago,
Nichols Point, Vic.


International Women’s Day


Once again International Women’s Day (March 8) is almost upon us.

I’ll believe gender equality has finally arrived when politicians address the following major social problems: chronic high levels of male suicide and male homelessness and record high levels of male unemployment and under-employment. Men have given away nearly two million paid jobs to women, and yet women’s advocates still want affirmative action to get more women into the paid workforce!

Are women staying at home and having too many babies? No. Forty per cent of mothers with young children under five are in the paid workforce. In fact, due to the high participation of women in paid employment, our birth-rate has fallen to 1.8 per couple, well below replacement levels. It doesn’t make sense therefore to push more women into the overcrowded paid workforce, where youth unemployment is over 40 per cent in many places.

Male problems stem from the under-performance of boys in education and hence their under-representation at our tertiary institutions. Equality of opportunity does not mean equal outcomes, nor should it ever mean that.

Slowly but surely, men are being marginalised and their rights trampled upon, as typified by a social system focused almost exclusively on women. People rightly are opposed to violence against women; but the campaign to vilify only men as perpetrators and women as victims is to grossly distort the realities of life.

However, the assumption seems to be that violence is never inflicted on men. Or, if such violence inflicted on males does exist, it’s not worthy of our attention.

Research in the United Kingdom has shown that reported incidents of domestic violence is almost split down the middle by both genders. Men are three times more likely than women to be hospitalised as a result of violence inflicted by another male.

It’s time that legislators stopped being gender-blind and instead focused their efforts on outlawing all forms of violence, irrespective of who does it, and on whom it is inflicted.

Alan Barron,
Grovedale. Vic.


Television industry may relax classification ratings


The television industry is proposing to change the times when M-rated and MA-rated content can be broadcast.

If introduced, these changes will mean that more violence and sex can be viewed at the same time as the highest-rating television shows in Australia, with large child and adolescent audiences.

Holding a broadcasting licence is a privilege, and carries with it an obligation to the Australian public.

Do television and radio broadcasts have an influence on the public? The companies which allocate huge sums of money to advertise their products on these platforms certainly think so.

Do these broadcasts influence human behaviour? Edward L. Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud and the Austrian-American pioneer of public relations, described the impact of the popular media on public thinking in his 1928 book, Propaganda.

American commentator Noam Chomsky characterised Bernays’s approach as follows: “These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques” (Z Magazine, October 1997).

Australia’s greatest living poet Les Murray has pointed out that our nation’s intellectual elites despise normal Australians as “subhuman rednecks”.

In 2009, the ABC television program, The Chaser’s War on Everything, plumbed the depths of poor taste when it made terminally ill, bed-bound children the target of its “humour” (News Weekly, June 27, 2009).

This episode vividly illustrates how society can descend into barbarism in the absence of community standards applied to the media.

A 117-page response, by Michelle Scott, a former WA Commissioner for Children and Young People, to the 2008 Senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children, showed that the contemporary media did little to allay parental concerns, as few of the inquiry’s proposals to protect children were acted upon. As News Weekly (August 2, 2014) reported: “There is copious evidence from child behaviourists, sociologists, psychologists, teachers and parents, that children suffer long-term harm from exposure to inappropriate material.”

Society’s traditional values must be upheld, and our broadcasters should not be allowed to compromise these standards.

Trevor Dawes,
North Haven, SA

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