The Second Great Depression – Has It Started Yet?

mig mum

When I look at the Dow Jones graph from 1929 I see a rapid fall from around 350 to 200. Looking at the 2020 graph i see a rapid fall from 29,000 to below 19,000. Both falls took place over about a month.

The modern fall is the result of quarantining most of the healthy population.

Will the modern obsession with impossible safety destroy the modern world?

Pope John Paul The Second was born 100 years ago today.

According to him: “A democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism ………… Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.”

Geoff Fox, 18th May, 2020, Down Under

What Mothers Need

I told my online friend “Shelly” in San Diego about the unimplemented policy of former conservative and Catholic Austalian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. to fund much better paid parental leave for new mothers by a levy on the biggest companies in Australia.

Shelly commented:

” Mothers and their needs are often ignored by society. 

Most conservatives would agree that the family is the building block of a free society. Anything that strengthens family, such as allowing new parents more time to bond with their children, strengthens the civil society which acts as a bulwark against tyranny. But good luck getting Americans to see that.

in America it’s the Republicans who would be most opposed to reforms like Abbott’s proposal because any suggestion of new taxes, corporate or individual, is DOA with GOP voters and any mention of increased paid leave of any kind is (wrongly) labeled “socialism”.

America has become very confused about what socialism is.

The right throws the term “socialism” around like the left throws “racism” around. Both now apparently mean anything the speaker doesn’t like, which just trivializes both terms. If everything is racist/socialist then nothing is. Ideologies which have killed millions should not be trivialized.

American hospitals used to allow new mothers to stay overnight or longer to make sure both mother and baby were fit to return home. By the time my mother had me (30 years ago) it was a few hours. By the time my mom had my brother (24 years ago) they pretty much rushed her out of the hospital as soon as my brother was born.

Very dehumanizing.

I don’t know how it is in Australia, but the American health care system treats each patient as a number, rather than as an individual. Like restaurants they want you out as soon as possible to make room for the next “customers”.

That kind of attitude, coupled with relatively high maternal mortality rates in the US, is one of many reasons why Millennial women are turning away from motherhood.”

As a man who was a midwife in Australia for 32 years, I say,

“God Bless You, Shelly,  for your very modern honesty.

I hope your future holds as much or as little motherhood as you need.”

Geoff Fox, Mothers’ Day, 2020, Down Under

 

A Discursive Mother’s Day Discussion On Gender Politics

I was a midwife for over for thirty years.

I believe much feminism holds mothers in contempt. It ignores mothers’ concerns and needs.

In a wide ranging discussion of this with “Shelly” of San Diego, one of the things she wrote to me was:

“As an American woman I have been on double secret probation since I was born, having to jump through hoop after hoop to prove to men that I am not one of the misandric feminists ……..”

I responded:

“As I see it, a lesbian dominated movement (third wave feminism) has made gender relations much harder for the other 90% of people. Lesbians are rarely busy looking after babies and kids so they can get disproportionate political influence because politics is where their time and energy can go. Mothers are too busy caring to get the same political clout.

If mothers had the time for politics, feminist misandry would be much less powerful.”

Shelly replied:

“Lesbians are less likely to have the kind of negative experiences with men that can turn a woman against men. I have met a fair number of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Most really just want to be left alone to live their lives.

They do not sit around plotting how to “turn” straight people. The extremists pushing Drag Queen Story Hour and men in women’s restrooms are ruining it for the moderates. 

I don’t think lesbians are more likely than the general female population to push feminism or misandrism.”

I live in the Socialist Left heart of the “Deep South” of Australia.

Here, third wave feminism changed everything for me.

I am glad to hear that Shelly has experienced modern gender issues differently in California.

In a much simpler era, Mike Love could write: “I  wish they all could be California Girls.” and Brian Wilson channeled hs childhood memories of western movies to write the music.

God Bless creative freedom and fairness.

God Bless America.

Geoff Fox, Mother’s Day, 2020, Down Under

 

 

 

Calling Out Tanya Pilbersek on Misandry and Freedom of Speech

Tanya Pilbersek, today is your 50th birthday and the 65th anniversary of the censure of Joseph McCarthy by the US Senate.

Today I remind you of the great words of one of the pioneers of the long campaign to bring McCarthy under control. On June 1st 1950 Senator Margaret Smith of Maine said to the Senate: “Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America.  It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.”

Senator Smith took a courageous stand against what she called “hate and character assassination”

Today I ask you, Tanya Pilbersek, to repudiate the misandry of #metoo and White Ribbon Day which has created a climate of fear where an elected people’s representative of your political party can use the police against freedom of speech and not be held to account.

I call on you to unequivocally reject the sexist campaign to end violence against women. This is a gross affront to all male victims of violence.

Today, on the day of your birth, I, writing as a former midwife of 3 decades standing, ask you to remember all mothers and recant your politically motivated opposition to Tony Abbott’s sadly ill fated but ground breaking proposal for a more generous paid parental leave scheme.

Mr Abbott wanted to tax the biggest companies in Australia to give all mothers 6 months 100% income replacement for income up to $150,00 a year.

You said that this showed his “lack of respect” for women.

The truth is that you showed your lack of respect for mothers.

Shame on you.

Geoff Fox, Terra Nullius, 2nd December, 2019

Tony Abbottt’s Tragic Mistake – Is this a Lesson for ScoMo?

Today is my last day as a Registered Midwife in Australia. Cutbacks in services to mothers and a personally debilitating attack on my human rights from within the ALP in Maribyrnong have combined to deprive me of this livelihood.

I am proud of the unique knowledge midwifery has given me of what women, men and children need.

Today my midiwfery registration expires. So this is my last chance to put on record as a midwife that I know of no other politician in Australia’s history who stood up for what Australian mothers really need as well as opposition leader Tony Abbott did with his courageous policy of a Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme funded by taxing big companies. At that time, as I recall, whenever I googled “ALP breast feeding policy”, I came up with policy relating to feeding lots for cattle.

Postponing the implementation of his truly great PPL scheme to the third year of his government’s three year term was a tragic mistake.

By the time that third year arrived, relentless attacks on his alleged misogyny had eaten up the massive political capital he had in his first year.

So feminist and conservative attacks on Mr Abbott’s proposed PPL contributed to Australian mums losing a great chance to get a huge part of the support they need to increase their chances of breast feeding longer.

There is a lesson here for reelected Prime Minister Scott Morrison: he should not wait till the third year of the normal parliamentary term to do things for which he has a clear mandate now.

Freedom of Speech.

Freedom of Religion.

We need both these fundamental rights protected now.

In his maiden speech to parliament in 2008, ScoMo said “Australia is not a secular country — it is a free country.” With passing time these wise words are less clearly true.

Good on you, ScoMo, for saving Australia’s national government from the human rights catastrophe of Maribyrnong Bill.

Please protect our freedoms soon.

Geoff Fox, Maribyrnong, May 31, 2019

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis: A Metrosexuality that Nobody Needs?

 

 

Is Fritz Lang’s Metropolis a film about a metrosexuality that nobody needs?

Does the film suggest urbanisation makes healthy life impossible?

In Fritz Lang’s cinematic story of one man’s giant industrial mega-city, the beautiful religious figure Maria, played by 18 year old BrigItte Helm, is pure and caring and gives hope to many people by her faith in fraternity and communication. But then Maria’s physical likeness is stolen to empower a robot who is first presented as an erotic dancer for the rich and who then, under orders, uses manic sexuality to lead people to conflict and destruction.

While still a movie star, BrigItte Helm told one critic that she didn’t care about making movies and she would rather be a housewife, cooking, bringing up her children and looking after her husband. She went to court at great cost to fight for the right not to be forced to play vamps and retired from cinema and moved to Switzerland in disgust at the Nazi takeover of the German film industry.

So in real life Helm wanted to be the motherly Maria not the destructive seductively malevolent dancing Machine imitating Maria.

In modern western nations the sexual liberation of the 1960’s and following decades has given way to the moralistic crusades of the #metoo movement which attacks and destroys men but not women for their sexuality.

Do we want a return to a much more conservative sexual morality imposed on men or do we want gender equal sexual freedom for everyone?

Right now I don’t think many people in The West know what we want with respect to that question.

BrigItte Helm had no doubts about how good it was for her to be a mum.

Geoff Fox, Malang, East Java, 10th January 2019, the 92nd anniversary of the release of Metropolis.

 

Gender And Society: Calling Out Hysteria

 

This is what I believe and what I need to say and discuss to survive:

 

1. Men, women and children need to live with love.

This love is an indispensable foundation of human society.

 

2. Three fundamental mothering capacities differentiate women from men:

A The ability to carry and nurture life in the womb.

B The capacity to give birth to that life.

C The ability to give the best possible nutrition to new human beings by breast feeding.

 

3 These three qualitative differences give mothers and potential mothers some different human rights and responsibilities to the rights and responsibilities of other people.

 

4 The modern western demonisation of men and disempowerment of mothers are two sides of the same coin.

 

5 The cradle of human culture is maternal love.

 

6 True loving manliness empowers and protects mums.

 

7 When family life ceases to be a nation’s foundation, the nation’s death is inevitable.

 

Geoff Fox, Rembang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia, 31st August 2018

SOME QUESTIONS FOR MOTHERS DAY FROM A VICTORIAN MIDWIFE.

I have been a midwife in Australia for 30 years.

I believe that human babies have a right to human milk.

Who agrees with me?

6 months exclusive breast feeding is the recommended minimum. According to the latest publicly available comprehensive figures, 96% of Australian mothers initiate breast feeding for their newborns. At 5 months only 15% have been exclusively breast fed for that time. To achieve better breast feeding rates, mothers need more support.

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities states: “Every child has the right, without discrimination, to such protection as is in his or her best interests and is needed by him or her by reason of being a child.”

The first few days are crucial to establishing breast feeding.

Since breast feeding is unarguably the best foundation for a baby’s life long physical, psychological and social health, why have successive Victorian governments whittled away at the publicly funded lying in period spent among midwives for new mothers?

When I became a midwife in the late 1980’s, we were very reluctant to send a breast feeding woman home if the milk supply was not established. Sometimes that could mean midwifery care in hospital for a week. Most mothers stayed for three to five days.

Since then the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative made Victorian hospitals much better places to establish breast feeding than they were. But the question, “Is the milk in yet?” has been replaced in public hospitals by the question “How soon do you want to go home?” The common length of stay is one to three days or earlier if the mother wants. For some women going home quickly is highly desirable and not a problem at all. But for others, undisturbed bonding with the baby under the care of experts in breast feeding is a need that it is impossible to meet at home.

Why have women and their newborn babies been denied the right to a publicly funded lying-in period to establish breast feeding?

I believe this has happened because it is cheaper for new mothers to be sent home quickly than it is to care for them.

Earlier this decade, I told Labor Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, that I believed new mothers were being sent home too quickly. Her immediate response was to ask what impact would that have on breast feeding rates. She promised to discuss my concerns with me, but did not deliver on the promise till she became Attorney General: she knew there was a problem but she didn’t make the time to listen to me when it counted.

At that time if you googled “Liberal Party breast feeding” Tony Abbot’s generous paid parental scheme was what you found: this policy would have helped breast feeding rates; he clearly did care. Who cares now?

If you googled  ”Labor Party breast feeding” the result was policies about cattle feedlots.

Australia’s latest national comprehensive breast feeding figures are from 2010.

Share market prices can be dealt with in seconds or even milli-seconds.

Who wants a better balance between our attention to our breast feeding rates and our attention to stock prices? I know I do.

Why don’t we have regular updates on breast feeding rates?

Is there a single candidate running in this year’s Victorian state election who cares about breast feeding and who will push for better midwifery postnatal services and the return of a publicly funded lying-in period available to all mothers?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/breastfeedingsupportinvictoria/?ref=group_browse_new was my attempt to raise awareness prior to the previous election. Who wants to revive this effort?

Mothers want to give their babies the best.

But they need more support.

Who else cares about this?

Societies which neglect the needs of mothers and their babies cannot survive.

Geoff Fox, Midwife. 08-05-2018.

KARTINI: WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW

“There is no word for selfishness in the Javanese language. Happy language where that word has never penetrated.” Raden Ajeng Kartini, August 15, 1902.

Javanese Princess Raden Ajeng Kartini loved and respected her mother, father and husband and was proud of her culture and heritage and of the female role of mother.

Professor of English Janice Fiamengo of Canada writes:

“Kartini’s eloquent tribute to women and her acknowledgement of the importance of the family as the basis of a healthy society are an inspiration.”

The professor contrasts this with the contemporary situation in Western countries:

“If our feminist leaders today celebrated family, acknowledged fathers, and stressed women’s special capacities to mother their children, we would be much better off than we are.

Kartini’s vision is an attractive one and certainly a safer basis for social reform than anything offered by modern feminism.

Feminists in the West, except for a few, are not much interested in motherhood or infant care.

Most are interested in weakening the family (which they see as oppressive) and in excluding men from the family and from society generally. Their issues are not really womens’ issues; their issues are anti-male propaganda and activism.

Programs and practices that help mothers are purely positive and few men object to them, so there is nothing to be gained by feminists.”

I agree with the Professor.

Modern feminism, twisted by dark hatred of men, terrifies me.

But Kartini was a product of the enlightenment. She was not like modern feminists. She was better.

Her own words in her letters to European friends prove how different she was to so many contemporary feminists.

A. KARTINI DID NOT SEE HERSELF OR OTHER WOMEN AS VICTIMS.

“The modern girl is proud and independent: happy and self-reliant, she lightly and alertly steps on her way through life, full of enthusiasm and warm feeling; working not only for her own well-being and happiness, but for the greater good of humanity as a whole.” 25 May, 1899.

“My father has been so affectionate to me; he takes my hand between his two hands tenderly, and puts his arm around me so lovingly, as though he would protect me from some impending danger. Through everything I feel his immeasurable love, and it makes me very happy …….” August, 1900.

“The education of woman has always been an important factor in civilization.” October 11, 1901.

“……. the highest and most sacred glory of woman is motherhood.” September 2nd, 1902.

“If the child that I carry under my heart is a girl, what shall I wish for her? I shall wish that she may live a rich full life, and that she may complete the work that her mother has begun. She shall never be compelled to do anything abhorrent to her deepest feelings. What she does must be of her own free will. She shall have a mother who will watch over the welfare of her inmost being, and a father who will never force her in anything. It will make no difference to him if his daughter remains unmarried her whole life long; what will count with him will be that she shall always keep her esteem and affection for us. He has shown that he respects women, and that we are one in thought, by his desire to trust his daughter wholly to me.” June 28th, 1904.

B. KARTINI DID NOT DEMONISE OR ATTACK MEN

“We are not giving battle to men, but to old moss-grown edicts and conventions that are not worthy of the Javanese of the future.” 1900

C. SHE WAS COMMITTED TO GENDER EQUALITY

“To love, there must first be respect ……….” November 6, 1899.

“I should teach my children, boys and girls, to regard one another as equal human beings and give them always the same education; of course following the natural disposition of each.” 23 August, 1900

“I shall not go on with our great work as a woman alone! A noble man will be at my side to help me.” August, 1903.

D. DESPITE HER NOBLE BIRTH, SHE WAS HUMBLE

“I and my people are one.” February 1st, 1903.

“I have said all along that I would not allow my foot to be kissed. I could never allow anyone to do that. I want a place in their hearts, not outward forms.”  August 25th, 1903.

E.  KARTINI WAS A WOMAN’S RIGHTS PIONEER WHO RESPECTED FAMILY AND TRADITION.

“I long to be free, to be able to stand alone, to study, not to be subject to any one, and, above all, never never to be obliged to marry.” 25 May, 1899.

“…….the calling of woman is marriage …….. the highest happiness for a woman is, and shall be centuries after us, a harmonious union with the man of her choice.” 23 August, 1900

“Our grandfather in the past brought up the sons of other nobles. …….. So you see there is nothing new under the sun; our idea which is called startlingly new, is old, inherited from our grandfather. Our plan of education — our spirit, has descended from him. Grandfather was a pioneer; we are only carrying on his work — they were good people, both grandfather and grandmother.” January 27th, 1903.

“The freedom of women is inevitable; it is coming, but we cannot hasten it.” August Ist 1903.

F.  SHE RESPECTED HER PARENTS

“I cannot thank my parents enough for the free upbringing they have given me.” November 6, 1899

“I wish that I could tell you what Mamma has been to us all these long years, what she still is. ……. We owe her a world full of love and gratitude; we are so thankful that we are going away from Mamma in peace, in the service of that Good that she herself knows and understands.” July 12, 1902.

G. SHE RESPECTED THE FEMALE ROLE OF MOTHER AND THAT RESPECT DEFINED HER PIONEERING EFFORTS

“……. who can do most for the elevation of the moral standard of mankind? The woman, the mother ……. it is at the breast of woman, that man receives his earliest nourishment. The child learns there first, to feel, to think, and to speak. And the earliest education of all foreshadows the whole after life.” 1900

H. SHE RESPECTED BOTH HERITAGE AND PROGRESS

“The evening song a Javanese sings to his family and to his neighbours tells of love, heroic deeds and glittering pageantry;  of beauty and of wisdom; of mighty men and women, princes and princesses of the long ago. It is that loveliest hour when the Javanese, tired from the hard day’s work, seeks rest in song, dreaming all his cares away, wholly lost in the shining far-away past, whither his song leads him. “The Javanese are a people who live in the past,” a young friend of ours says rightly. “They are lost in the blissful dreams of their eternal sleep.” That is true, but we are alive, we must live; and life always goes forward.” August 20th, 1902.

I.    SHE UNDERSTOOD THAT MEN AND WOMEN NEED EACH OTHER

“…… we are meant to live with and for humanity.” August, 1901.

“……. my new home ……. A home where, praise God, there is peace and love everywhere, and we are all happy with and through one another.” December 11th, 1903 (after her marriage)

“I have planned to be a pioneer in the struggle for the rights and freedom of the Javanese woman. I am now the wife of a man whose support gives me strength in my efforts to reach the ideal which is always before my eyes. I have now both personal happiness and also my work for my ideal.” April l0th, 1904.

To restore our own badly damaged culture, westerners could learn from Indonesia, just as Kartini learnt from the west.

This enlightened woman’s vision of equality and freedom could help the world now.

Professor Fiamengo writes that Kartini should inspire us all to remember “that love and cooperation between men and women, and love for children, is the true basis of all social progress.”

Or, as the Princess herself wrote on the 23rd of August, 1900:

“Love begets love.”

Geoff Fox, March 21, 2018, Australia.

Kartini quotes are from the 1920 translation by Agnes Louise Symmers