Another day, another rant. Someone remind me again why I’m incapable of making my own informed decisions? Clearly my delicate lady brain can’t action such a thought process.
The NZ Herald published has an article detailing an Australian woman’s fight to have a tubal ligation. She is repeatedly denied the procedure because of her age. It gets better, her husband has requested a vasectomy but is also denied because of his wife’s age. The details on why she wants the procedure are irrelevant, as is their ages. The point is, it’s her decision and hers alone.
According to Family Planning, in New Zealand it’s made out to be a simple thing, getting a tubal ligation. You simply ask for one and they’ll refer you to a hospital or specialist that can do it. What they don’t inform you (at least on their website) is that there’s a point system involved. ‘X’ amount of ‘points’ are required to have the procedure unless you can afford to go privately. Conclusive information on how exactly this points system operates is proving hard to come by. It seems that to get enough points one must be over 30 and have already produced a number of offspring. Purely having made the decision yourself is not enough, the state gets the final say.
Did I mention that if someone wants a vasectomy there are no hoops to jump through. Just an appointment at your GP or Family Planning, a comparatively small fee of a few hundred dollars and boom! No more baby creating material produced.
Ever since I was a teenager I never wanted children. People always said “Oh, you’re only young, you’ll change your mind.” Well, now that I am about to hit 30 the ‘natural’ desire to procreate still hasn’t kicked in (come on nature!). Apparently it's a case of “you just haven’t met the right man yet” or “Just because you’re queer doesn’t mean you can’t have a baby these days!” What part of no do you not understand? Also, please educate me on why I’m incapable of making this decision? (or any decision about my body for that matter) Want an abortion? Sure! But first you need permission from two certifying consultants. And please tick the box that says you require an abortion on mental health grounds. Not because you made an informed decision.
Because it’s my decision, right?
So I see the Otago Daily Times have done it again. They’re reported on the lack of inclusion of women in a list. This time it’s new street names from the Dunedin City Council, last time it was list of notable people (men) who helped shape Dunedin by a group of historians, published by the ODT.
Here’s the offending article, with the fantastic headline “Belated Gender Balance Bid” What they are trying to say is “Hey, we’ve learned from that time when there were no women on that list (and we pissed everyone off), we’re letting you know that we can do better this time!”
But what they actually say is: “Oh look no women on this list! But anyway here’s why the men deserve to deserve to be there.”
OH, WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE MEN!
Some of the men on that list are there because they lost sons in WW1. So what of those mothers that lost those same sons? Do they not deserve the same recognition? And what about the son, why is the father named instead of them?
Granted, the DCC have issued a statement reminding us that the list is only the first stage of the project and “the intention was always to add the names of other people, including women.” (But first let us focus on the men)
And oh no, it doesn’t end there. As pointed out in the article by Cr Jinty MacTavish, not only are women merely an after thought so to is anyone who isn’t a white dude. Dunedin’s history includes (and is by no means limited to) people from China and Lebanon. And what about the inclusion of Maori people? Can someone more knowledgeable please rage about this lack?
If naming streets after people is used as a method of acknowledging them or their achievements then it is misguided to constantly leave out people that aren’t old white men. The old excuse that women (or anyone else) didn't do anything of note is outdated thinking. As is the fact that these lists are structured in terms of men and women. But that's another rant entirely.
Sporadic rants of an angry queer feminist artist. Regular updates on Instagram