Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

She’s my man, she’s gonna keep you runnin’ She’s my man, she’s gonna teach you something….

Okay, prepare for something shocking.  In the spirit of my fellow Monashers starting semester today, today’s post is all about my studies.  Yes that right, Simon is actually studying over here as well as going out, meeting some great people and travelling.  So my day started with a Crime Prevention and Community Safety lecture.  Once again this subject is somewhat boring me but is easy enough to take in. I spent most of today’s lecture figuring when I need to do what assignments so I complete them all in good time before the due dates.

Then I did something which is a rarity in Melbourne and even more rare over here, I went to the library not to socialise (or do the newspaper quiz hehe) but to actually study.  I decided to start my research for my Gender and the Law assignment because it is the only one to be worth 100%, even though today I found out later it is now due 2 weeks after most of my other essays.  Now Gender and the Law is a subject I kind of fell in to.  I chose it because I had to in some respects, but it has quickly become one of my favourite subjects.  I have found myself tackling the issues from a critical viewpoint and enjoying myself in the process…strange!

So as my essay is on contact, I started my readings they have outlined for us to do on that issue.  Now we had 3 “Essential Readings” and I wondered where to start.  After a quick look down the list, it was an easy choice.  The topic is all about contact between parents and children post divorce and one of the readings was written by Bob Geldof.  Yes, Bob Geldof as in the Rock musician/Live Aid dude.  Whati s a better place to start an academic pursuit then the writings of a rock star?  Geldof makes some interesting points, although he admits to be taking a relative lay person’s perspective, certainly the guy knows how to write.  Some passages are really emotive.  The article is “The Real Love that Dare Not Speak” and if you can find a copy…give it a read.

I must admit that I did not succeed in my goal of 4 hours straight of study.  I wasted about 15 mins on facebook mainly saying how proud I was of myself that I was studying (Yes I understand the irony in that!). I spent about 5 mins organising catching up with Joey for coffee and then an hour having said coffee with Joey (once again where not much of importance was said but it was good to have a fun chat, catch up and get some time away from the books).

I did end up also reading the pages from the Family Law textbook though that actually explained the law of Contact in the UK…maybe I should’ve started there and I would’ve understood Bob a little better -however not only is Geldof a rock star and thus appeared to me a more fun read, but the family law book FOR NO REASON had a picture of roughly 15 toothbrushes on the cover and that just disturbed me haha.
I then had the Seminar for Gender and the Law.  I hadn’t done much preperation for it (it was on the concept of parenthood in a world with surrogacy, sperm donation, IVF, etc), but once again I enjoyed it.  I found myself becoming emotionally involved with the issues.  I had always classified Family Law as something I was not interested in as I saw myself as having too much heart to deal with the emotions involved, while not being cold enough to be able to separate out the emotions.  However, all 4 topics in Gender and the law have interested me and drawn somewhat surprising responses.

The first topic I have discussed before in a post and it was on transexuals.

The second topic was date rape and the fact that the law in the UK and Wales SPECIFICALLY identifies that only a man can commit rape just grated me. The Australian law (or at least the law in Victoria that I know through my criminal law studies) doesn’t make this stupid distinction between “Sexual assault of a man/woman by a female ” or “non-penial- penetrative sexual assault of a man/woman by a man” being lesser than “Pentratory Sexual assault of man/woman by a male (Rape)”.  It just doesn’t sit right with me, and seems completely unjust.

The 3rd topic ,we covered today, was the regulation of parenthood and largely I liked the law of England/Wales on the issue (particularly once the new legislation comes in to effect in April) but I noticed something else.  The words “natural” or “un-natural” shitted me when they kept being used.  I don’t know if I am 100% sure why this was the case, but describing a husband/wife giving birth to a child as a product of sex as natural…just seems to belittle all other forms of relationships that can give rise to children (Adoption, Surrogacy, Donation, non-married couples, same-sex couples, single parents, etc).  Describing something as “natural”/”unnatural” seems a very emotive and subjective/prejudiced viewpoint to me.  The example I gave of the husband/wife giving birth to a child as the product of sex would much better be described as “traditional” in my view.

The 4th topic is contact and although I’ve done some readings on the issue I’ll wait until after we have had the lecture/seminar on it and I have done my essay before discussing it further.

My reaction to this use of ‘a word’ flies somewhat in the fact of my general viewpoint on language.  I swear.  Probably a little to often even, but I have always been of the view that words themselves aren’t important but the meaning/thoughts behind them are what is important.  If I tell you to “Fuck off” as a response to a humorous remark I should be allowed to, but if those same words are said in hate there the issue becomes relevant.  But my response to people using the word “natural”/”unnatural” is in complete conflict with that as I am pretty sure it wasn’t said by anyone in the class with malice.

It is a topic that came up recently when I was chatting with Rob.  I said a word with humorous/self deprecating intentions.  The word itself is not important to the discussion, but it was clear from Rob’s reaction that he was not “okay” with its use.  I explained myself (largely the “it is the intention that matters” argument above) and then he explained his point of view, which seemed equally valid.  Equally valid arguments that were completely contradictory. In the end his view won out with respect to my use of that word and I have tried to intentionally remove it from my vocabulary since.  I just couldn’t justify using a word that inflicted a person with negative thoughts on the basis that it should be my right to use it.

Once again, I don’t know if I have answered any questions by the end of this post. In reality I have probably left myself wondering more.  But what do you know, I don’t know everything….bugger 😦

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March 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. i LOVE gender and law debates.. there’s so much unanswered at the moment and it can be so contentious!

    hope you’re doing well babe… *HUGZ* are in order and accepted without complaint. can’t say i’m not still worried 🙂 you seem to be ok.. or at least doing a good job of getting on with life…

    Comment by elladanes | March 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. and i think your swearing is used ‘appropriately..’ mostly. lol even when there are 5 year olds only 2 rows away AT the football hahaha

    Comment by elladanes | March 3, 2009 | Reply


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