So Many Thoughts

I always seem to have an opinion about something. Some things get me worked up, and I will tell anyone that will listen my passionate point of view. I rarely lose my temper, I just feel passion. I guess I have to feel that passion about a topic to want to express myself. I write to vent when I need to. Hopefully it won't be all negative stuff, just a place to collect my thoughts at the time. So this is not so much about my life but my personal thoughts about the world around me.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Stop the attention seeking already!

Am I the only one who is sick of hearing about the Veitch saga? I don't want to hear that he has tried to commit suicide again. Don't get me wrong, he obviously needs some mental health intervention, but I don't need to, nor do I want to hear about it in the news. It is old news! I think the media in New Zealand are inciting Tony and Kristin to carry this hate-filled smear campaign against each other on and I can't believe that the media are encouraging this. Sure, I can understand that Kristin is angry, I would be too if I thought my ex partner who hurt me so badly was living the high life while I had to cope with the aftermath of what he did. I would be angry if I was Veitch too, angry at all the media attention and at myself for having ruined my own life! I would be depressed too, because he has lost a lot, but let us not forget, there are consequences for actions and sometimes the level of consequences are not able to be controlled.

This latest comment that Veitch made about the money being to help Kristin out financially for her loss of income and then complaining that he doesn't understand why he was charged after that, really shows he doesn't understand what happens in New Zealand. Firstly, Kristin has no say under the Domestic Violence act as to whether he is charged or not (this law was brought in so people could not intimidate their partners, or pay them off or sweet talk them etc), and secondly, by his own admission that money was not intended to be hush money, it was money to compensate for the losses she had incurred as a result of his actions (see Http://

Personally, the more Veitch says, the less like remorse it sounds. The explanation that he snapped because he was under immense pressure is an excuse. It implies that there is a limit to the amount of stress a person can cope with and if they reach that limit, they snap. Consequently, what happens after that is not with in their control and they are therefore not responsibly for their actions. That is not true, there is no finite limit to what people can cope with, sure we all feel very stressed at times, but our actions are always within our control - we can all walk away, call police, lock ourselves in another room.. there are alternatives to hitting out. It is dangerous to continue the fallacy that a man who physically attacks a woman is a victim of uncontrollable rage induced by the woman. That is victim blaming, and also removes the blame from the attacker.

I also find it interesting that Veitch claims that he hasn't had his say in the media over the past year. I have read articles by his ex-girlfriend, wife and Paul Holmes, that have all come out to support Tony and get his side of the story across. As far as I know, there has not been anyone that has come out in support of Kristin. In fact, what has been portrayed of Kristin if you look at it objectively, is that she has been accused of lying, is money hungry, still in love with Veitch and blackmailed him for the money. The media, friends, family of Tony and Tony, let it go, it does not matter that you haven't put your whole story across, I bet she hasn't either, it is getting nasty now with releasing private information, the bottom line is, there is no excuse for hitting Kristin, just leave it there and move on, the rest of the media and public will follow if there is no more fuel. End this saga for your own sakes.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to think about it anymore. It is a simple problem that has been over analysed and milked for all it is worth. It makes me sick to see groups being created that are coming out in support of either side, it is not helpful. Personally, I don't care if Tony gets his media jobs back anymore, everytime I see him, I will probably remember what he did anyway, but maybe in time that will change. Of course he deserves a career, life and happiness though, we can't persecute him forever. It has been through the courts and it has been settled legally, so it is not for me to now pass judgement on his sentence and it is now certainly not up to me to have an opinion whether he should be on tv or not. Let's just all move on. Yes, he made a mistake that hurt another person, yes what he did was terrible. As far as second chances go, the only person that has to believe in him is his wife, and if she does, then that is all that matters.

If Tony is as remorseful as he says he is, then LET IT GO! Move on, let New Zealand move on.. if you want us to forget about what you did then you have to stop talking about it! Let go of the anger and resentment, get help for your depression and suicidal thoughts, grow from your mistakes and become a role model for those in a similar situation.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

What is an anti-feminist?

I saw a group online this morning that's focus was anti-feminist. I wonder what exactly that is? Are they anti women getting equal pay? Are they anti women getting equal rights or even the vote? Do they want women to dedicate their lives to their menfolk? Are they pro-rape? Are they pro-male domination? I am very curious to understand where they were coming from because in this day and age, I cannot imagine what an anti-feminist really believes in. I was not curious enough to join their group because I do not have the time nor can I be bothered getting into an argument when I am just curious about their beliefs. I imagine they are a group of men who believe they are superior to women. I imagine they have been hurt or felt they have been wronged by women/woman (plural or singular) in their lives and believe they should exercise both physical and/or psychological control over women. Maybe (I imagine) they have religious beliefs that require that control. I say imagine, because I don't know.

Up until I started studying what some women have been through/ are going through/ what women fought for, I would not have considered myself a feminist, but as my knowledge grew, so did my realisation that I do believe women are entitled to equal pay for the same career choice and men, the right to be free from violence from men and the fear of violence. I do believe that many of women's 'choices' in life have been dictacted by society and culture and consequently women have traditionally been disadvantaged. I do believe it is wrong to use physical or psychological force to coerce, push or abuse women into making choices that they would not have made if they had total freedom. I do not believe all women have the same freedoms all over our world today, and this is why we need to speak out for them, not for the women that do have those freedoms, but for the ones that don't.

To be anti-feminist to me, must mean being anti-women because being feminist to me is just about being pro-women. To be clear, I do not believe women are super beings, better than men, or that I think men have little to offer women or the world. Far from it, I am happily attached to my male partner who is my equal intellectually, and who I raise my traditional nuclear family with - a lifestyle I chose and continue to choose because I love it (and the men in my life). I am not nor will I ever be anti-male and I do not understand those men and women that are anti the other sex. Men and women are different, but they are also the same in some areas.. we are all human and all of us deserve to be treated with respect.

It is for these reasons that I wonder who is anti-feminist and what they mean by that label. I cannot imagine what that label stands for.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Dying to be Boy/Girl Racers

In the last few weeks, three people have been killed by young men that the media has dubbed "boy racers" in two separate incidents in NZ. The news has been filled with how dangerous these boy racers are to the public. It sounds like it is a new problem from the media coverage, but it is not. It has been a growing problem for years now for a couple of reasons.

The most influential has been the increase in cheap, fast, late model Japanese imported cars and the ease in which these young, sometimes unemployed boys can get loans to buy the cars. Another reason is it is trendy amongst young boys to own these little fast cars, so they all want one. Another reason is that young boys (and by that I mean 17-20 yr olds) can still own these cars and not have a full license to drive them, some of them have had their restricted or learners license for years and have no immediate plans to get a full license. Another reason seems to have to do with the class of adolescent. It does seem to be mainly the white, middle to upper class teenager/young adult that is attracted to this kind of activity. Are they not interested in sport? Did they have lots of xbox/playstation racing games that made them think they could transfer their skills into real life? Are they the only ones that can afford to buy and run the cars because their parents help with insurance and/or maintainence on their vehicles? Another reason is the street races that causes them to have that rush of adrenaline, feeling the power of the car under their 'control', doing something illegal that they might get caught for and knowing that lots of their mates and potential girl/boy friends are admiring their 'skills'. There is also the sense of comaraderie, the feeling of belonging within the large group of like-minded peers, friendship, and kudos with the mates.

What has changed?

Of course, adolescents (both genders) have always loved cars, especially getting their own first car - one of the first steps of freedom and entry into the adult world, so that is nothing new. Even showing off in cars is not new, my parents tell stories that only differ from the same stories I told, and this next generation tells, by the years of the cars we all drove. But a couple of other things have changed from those times. The boy/girl racers have little respect for the laws, and for other people's rights (they seem to express their own rights to freedom often, but show little caring about other peoples rights to the road, and ultimately their lives). Also, boy/girl racers don't seem to care if they damage their beloved car, spend too much on petrol (although there is also an increase in drive-off's at petrol stations because of this activity) or rip up the roads. They don't seem to realise that by destroying the road, someone has to pay for that road to be fixed to be safe and driveable again - the tax payers. I object to paying for the roads to be continually fixed because of this selfish and dangerous 'fun'. There is also a general loss of respect for the use of a powerful machine - the cars are much more powerful, and therefore are deadlier weapons. You have to treat it right, know it, learn it and respect its power. These young drivers have only had a couple of years driving experience, they don't know how to drive well. That is a major difference between boy/girl racers and seasoned rally drivers. They don't know what to do when the car loses control, and so they often make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes are fatal. Most young people have not been involved in a serious car accident and do not know the pain and trauma that occurs. Movies and television have desensitised pain and trauma, and as such have taken away some of the fear surrounding it.

It is not just the tragic lives of those that are killed that we mourn. It is the senseless loss of life, it is the devastating effect on the families, friends, attending emergency services. It is also the loss of life for the offending person - they can never forget what happened, their life will never be the same. What they saw as fun is revealed for what it is or could be at any moment - deadly. How do you get over something like that?

Who is to blame?

Who is to blame? The loan approvers or the policy around lending big loans to young boys that have a high likelihood of writing the car off before they pay the loan off? The parents that allow their adolescents to drive outside of their conditions and therefore have no respect for the law, and pay for their continued maintenance? The boy/girl racers who prefer to have illegal street racers that they can 'control' rather than join a car club and have to abide by their rules? The police that cannot be in all places at all times to shutdown these burnouts/drags? The car salespeople who sell young people these cars? The insurance companies that insure them? The government for not providing jobs to occupy them? The justice legislation that is not strong enough to deter them?

In todays society we are so quick to pass blame. Probably most of those things and maybe others have a little to blame, but instead of looking to blame, we should be looking to solve this with the boy/girl racers to ensure the safety of all of us.

How can we fix it?
There have been calls through the media to stop car salespeople from selling the high performance cars to young people. I don't think that will work. To me that is just a restriction on freedom. Not all young people are boy/girl racers. There also has been a suggestion to ban liquor in public places 24 hours a day. Again, just throwing the baby out with the bath water - the good people lose out. Why don't we raise the driving age to at least 18 for a start? Why don't we teach driving in schools here in NZ so that they can learn more than just how to cram the driving test enough to pass? Why don't we show young people what it's like to attend a fatal accident caused by speed so they know what it's like to have to clean blood off the road, the same blood that gets on your shirt, that same blood that flowed through someones daughter/son/brother/sister just a few short hours ago. Why don't we stop spreading propaganda that the people 'died doing what they loved'. THEY STILL DIED! THEY HAVE LOST THE CHANCE TO LOVE ANYTHING ELSE FOREVER. (People just say that to appease their guilt).

Growing up
If we do nothing, if the media coverage dies out - the boy/girl racers will grow out of it, or grow up and move on. Perhaps they will wake up and realise the danger in their fun and find another hobby. Perhaps they will be shocked into reality by being involved in, or witnessing a horrific car accident. Perhaps they will just slowly lose interest and their lives will be filled with more important things as happens when we get older. Maybe some will quit because of the cost to their cars.. or because they have lost their license or had their car confiscated and they realise they don't want that to happen again. Hopefully these things will occur, and no more young and promising lives will be wasted. But can we really do nothing, why should anyone die just because some other people are not following the laws of our country that are set down to protect us - not to dampen fun or to prevent our freedom - just to protect us.

If those that need to hear could only listen..

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Who Earns Their Salary?

Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry.. just three actors that receive millions of dollars in payment for each movie they complete. Millions of dollars. For acting. They are not saving lives, perfecting cures for cancer, AIDS or even the common cold, just acting. They did not spend years in expensive university training nor do they have to put themselves in danger by working with dangerous people. Maybe they will do their own stunts, or maybe they won't even have to do that.

It's not just celebrities that are paid ridiculously high salaries though. What about M.P's or senators? Why should our politicians receive such a huge salary while they sit comfortably in their comfortable chairs, debating about what is 'best' for the rest of their constituents? Are they really working for us? We get painted a picture that they are, but if they are such caring people who want to change our society for the better for us then why do they get paid so much to do that? Shouldn'they be doing it for a modest amount so that the rest of their salary could be donated to the people in society that really need it?

How do celebrities or M.P's/senators earn their money in comparison to doctors, nurses, mental health workers, police officers, correctional officers, social workers, or other vocations that truely puts themselves in danger in order to make society a safer place for all of us. There is something grossly wrong with this picture. The world seems upside down with how we distribute salary worth. I am sure the actors that receive huge salaries are very good and deserve to be the top of their vocation, but what about the very good mental health workers? Their job is a necessity and a good community worker can change, save and mend lives and yet there is no salary recognition, no government recognition for this or other similar vocations. Obviously those in the community help vocation do not do it for the money or fame, but my point is to highlight the difference between the famous and the people who put themselves in danger to help other people.

To be clear, I am not blaming the actors for earning this money, I am blaming society for creating this injustice. I do hold the M.P's that set their salaries somewhat to blame however because they can change this by stopping to give themselves pay rises when the community servers deserve it so much more. It is totally bizarre.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

21st Century Feminism

Yes western society has changed somewhat in that women are now allowed to vote, have jobs outside the home, actually be taken seriously as leaders and scientists and enjoy many of the freedoms that women of previous generations dreamt about. Seriously though, I am amazed when I hear people talking about the work of feminists is done. There is so much more to do! Firstly there is that gross misconception that a feminist is a man hater, a bra burning activist that can not see women have equal rights already! Why does that myth still circulate?

Women are still not paid equally in many vocations, women are still victims of violent assaults, rapes and murders and many female babies are still being killed in some countries because of the social and economic burden of having to raise a female rather than a male.

It is easy to live in a world thinking you are not a part of the problem. I have heard that many times from men - they think women should be paid equally, they don't beat their woman - so what more can they do? So much more I think..

This patriarchal society we live in allows for the discrimination and abuse to continue. Domestic violence legislation for example, is weak and offers a legal solution between two options only- press charges or don't press charges. Why isn't there more social services for victims of domestic violence to help make choices for their future (so they can become financially independent, feel secure with child custody issues etc)? Womens Refuge are fantastic, but they are limited because of financial resources, and yet the government spends billions on sport and overseas aid. Domestic violence is rarely even discussed publically let alone the victims being considered as worthy of a major government grant.

For a very very long time, women have been treated as objects for the viewing pleasure of men. This creates several problems. Firstly, as objects of beauty, the real person inside of the body is being lost and the woman becomes a walking piece of art. Consequently, some men treat women badly as a result. For the women, their bodies become objects that need to be perfect - always well groomed, perfect shape, made-up, high fashion, sexy heels, perfectly kept hair etc etc. Diet companies and gyms have jumped on the bandwagon of this and provide a profitable service out of the obsession with perfection. As have cosmetic surgeons. Gone of the days of having to wear a corset to have that desirable small waist, but similarly now women have to maintain the perfect shape through exercise, dieting and if that doesn't work, surgery. Nowadays we just have to wear ridiculously high heels so we elongate our legs and push up bras that defy the laws of gravity. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some of these feminine characteristics too - I just recognise them for what they are and why they exist.

At least though, my culture isn't one that denounces females so much that infanticide is common. My heart breaks for those babies. I would desperately love a daughter and would gladly take one (or more) of those precious babies if it were possible. I just don't understand how this still continues in the 21st century. Surely if women received equal pay in those countries, it would not be a financial burden on the family and the girl babies could live!

A feminist (male or female) is simply someone who believes women deserve to be treated equally. Feminism recognises women's value as an individual. A feminist believes that society and legislation needs to recognise there are still many instances of discrimination in the world. It is a shame we all aren't feminists and then maybe we could really put a dent in statistics for domestic abuse, female infanticide and many other instances of gender discrimination that I didn't even touch on..

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Fourteen Hour Days

I just put in a fourteen hour day on my essay. I am so tired. I think I am nearly there, I just have to tweak it a bit tomorrow to get it below the accepted word limit. I wish I was one of these people that turns out brilliant papers in a couple of days, mine take weeks and weeks! I just hope it makes sense tomorrow lol. I am off to shower and get into bed.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Old Towels

My favourite old towel has a big hole in it. It's about 18 years old now, I guess I should expect that. I wonder how many other people would keep a holey old towel just because it's their favourite. I love it because it is huge - down to my feet and in the winter I can keep so warm in it. It only gets used the once before its washed - I can't understand reusing dirty towels that sit all day between being used -eww. I would rather have a heap of washing to do and get a clean towel everyday - so I guess in light of that, my towel has lasted a long time. Not that I am ready to throw it out. It still works, in spite of the hole! The towel is so big the hole doesn't stop it from working lol! I don't understand much of our throw-away society today. We throw things away that don't even have anything wrong with them just because there is a new model out - or to keep up with fashion. I'm just not like that I guess. And it's not just my towel(s).. I have a favourite old tshirt, pillow, socks (that I wore in high school lol!), My sofa I've had for 18 years and that really has to go lol - one day soon...

I just don't feel the need to keep up with the Jones with things.. I like new technology and I try to keep up to date with that, but that is because I use it and wear old stuff out.. I wish things/appliances were made to last 30 odd years like they were used to, now we just throw them away because they aren't worth fixing, and so our rubbish/dumps are overflowing with useless appliances. Seems stupid to me, why are we trying to recycle plastic bags and sending all our old appliances with apparently nothing worth fixing or saving for parts.. to the rubbish tip? Crazy.. or is crazy holding on to a holey towel.. hmm..