such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (text: fallacious conclusions)
Amy ([personal profile] such_heights) wrote2011-05-05 01:26 pm
Entry tags:

British politics round up

+ There's been a story picking up momentum recently that David Cameron is supporting a commission that's looking into banning same-sex kisses on British TV before 9pm. As far as I can tell, this isn't actually true and is a result of the Daily Mail and The Sun doing some stirring, and the queer press taking it and running with it.

What I think is actually happening is that: there is a report being put together by Reg Bailey and the Mothers' Union (more on them in a minute) about whether high street advertising and pre-watershed television in general is too sexualised and inappropriate for children. Cameron appears to have made a general remark saying that he is concerned about the issue.

I have general concerns about this report - for one thing, it seems to be lumping together really different issues, like the marketing of things like padded bras and stationary with the Playboy logo on to 10-year-old girls, to sexualised musical performances on talent shows, to sexual content in TV dramas. Also, Mothers' Union is a religious organisation, which concerns me in this context. And as you know, Bob, queer content is often automatically perceived as 'higher-rated' than equivalent het content, so there's definitely a worry that depending on whether this report comes to anything, programming with queer content could be under pressure to 'tone it down'. So, watch this space, but the headline going round that Cameron wants to ban same-sex kisses is, well, somewhat unfounded so far as I can see.

Sources: BBC, Daily Mail, Mothers' Union statement.

+ Of more pressing concern: Tory MP Nadine Dorries. She's trying to put a couple of amendments through Parliament at the moment, both of which disturb me.

One: enforced abstinence-only sex education specifically for girls. To quote:

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require schools to provide certain additional sex education to girls aged between 13 and 16; to provide that such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity; and for connected purposes.

(Official source.)

Two: abortion access restrictions.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, with the help of former Labour minister Frank Field, has tabled an amendment to the upcoming Health and Social Care Bill that aims to introduce mandatory counselling for women seeking abortions, a move which not only disregards counselling arrangements currently in place, but which would create further delays and obstacles for women seeking abortion care.


Anti-abortion activists not only choose to disregard these recommendations, but now seek to discredit the RCOG, casting doubt on its impartiality by claiming it has an absurdly liberal agenda and ‘incestuous’ ties to the ‘abortion industry’. Dorries and Field have therefore tabled a second amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill seeking to remove responsibility for abortion guidelines from the RCOG altogether.

While we must call anti-abortion activists to account for their disregard of medical evidence and ignorance of abortion practice as it currently stands, we can be somewhat reassured that on this occasion their proposals have little chance of progressing through Parliament and becoming law.

But we must remain in no doubt that, for all their protestations that they are ‘pro-woman’ and simply seeking to stand up for the rights of the ‘vulnerable and bewildered’, their true aim is to deter, delay and prevent women from accessing abortion when they choose to do so.

(Abortion Rights UK, with links for how to protest this for UK citizens.)

And lastly, a quote for Dorries herself:

“The problem is the churches have withdrawn. Where I grew up the priest was king. We were scared of priests – the same with the vicars. The Church played a very important role. The Church set boundaries. So did schools, doctors, district nurses. But the Church withdrew, the state became anonymous and society went into freefall. One of the things about the Big Society is to try to put those boundaries back. But the Church has to step up to the plate….I’m talking about priests working with communities and admitting to a level of authority they used to.”

No. Get your personal religious convictions out of my secular government, please and thank you.
schemingreader: (schemingreader oy vey)

[personal profile] schemingreader 2011-05-05 12:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, you would think people wouldn't want to say "we were scared of priests" in a country where there have been major priest sexual abuse revelations. YEAH you were scared of them, but do you think it's a good thing to remind people of that so they can remember why?

I had no idea there were idiots like this in the UK. I particularly like the idea of telling girls to abstain from sex and not boys. Is she a slasher?
liseuse: (catholic socialist weirdo)

[personal profile] liseuse 2011-05-05 04:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Definitely one of those days when I want to headdesk so hard I can't remove my head from my desk.

And re that last quote: You know, I wouldn't mind priests working with communities. As long as rabbis and imams and atheist leaders were also working with communities. Just, you know, don't force religion at people. Oh, no wait, don't force Christianity at people, should, I suppose, be the point projected at Dorries.
emeraldus: (Default)

[personal profile] emeraldus 2011-05-05 05:17 pm (UTC)(link)
What about abstinence education for the boys? Girls don't get pregnant from having sex with other girls. It's also placing the burden/blame solely on the girl.
shaggydogstail: (DW: Amy)

[personal profile] shaggydogstail 2011-05-05 08:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm tempted to write to Dorries asking if there will only be girls in the lessons about peen-avoidance in the hope they'll start checking each other out. Therapeutic lesbianism may just be the secret to stopping teen pregnancy!
ladyjane: whipped cream and hand-cuffs. "Got Plans?" (Pillow-Fight)

[personal profile] ladyjane 2011-05-06 05:01 am (UTC)(link)
*iz glad I wasn't drinking anything*
fallingtowers: (Mood: Naughty)

[personal profile] fallingtowers 2011-05-06 01:32 pm (UTC)(link)
But boys are full of manly urges that they can't quite control! Because men can't help themselves! And it falls to girls to be the keepers of purity and modesty! Also, a woman's reputation is so easily sullied and lost! Because her virtue is clearly located somewhere between her legs!

*clutches pearls*
snorkackcatcher: (Default)

[personal profile] snorkackcatcher 2011-05-05 07:48 pm (UTC)(link)
The Daily Mail making shit up to suit their agenda? I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you.

I'm definitely on board with the "trying to put the brakes on the sexualisation of prepubescents" stuff -- because that's frankly creepy -- but I'd want to see it as a separate issue not lumped together in some cackhanded way with everything else.
verasteine: (AWZ Ingo "this is my calm face")

[personal profile] verasteine 2011-05-05 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
The whole Mother's Union/Reg Bailey situation is odd, but still scary. Yeah, the headlines were jumping the gun but... a month from now Bailey will be putting out his review and well, it's a government study, so... We'll see which side of the fence Cameron sits on then. (Am I mixing my metaphors here? Maybe.)

Had no idea about the abortion amendments, though. A while ago they tried to get abortion on the agenda here, too -- unsuccessfully so far, but like you we have a right wing government and I'm not trusting them with anything.

Abstinence-only aimed at girls between 13 and 16 only?? WTF is wrong with this woman's head?? (And yes, totes get your religion out of my secular society.)
ext_29272: (Default)

[identity profile] 2011-05-06 02:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Ummmmmmmmmm, the enforced abstinence-only sex education specifically for girls is the one that disturbs me the most. (We have the same attempts at abortion restriction going on over here on that one) But really? Got to may sure our over sexed and clearly uncontrolled girls learn to not be dirty slut sinners and have any sort of sex at all. Boys? Eh, go ahead and spread your seed! Fucking ridiculous.