Archive for February, 2009

Advantage: children

I’m oddly pleased with this article about children in The Netherlands. It smashes nearly every myth conservatives use to scare about liberal society.

In the culture where I grew up, children are the centre of the household – except when father is around.  Children are never left alone and are ceaselessly doted upon.

In a way, you’d expect this to be good for them. They have security and lots of attention. It’s almost de rigeur to spoil them. But all this attention comes with strings attached – social strings. Children are shaped for specific roles with specific expectations from the moment they are born. Boys one side, Girls the other. The latter to be mums and have more kids, the former to be breadwinners and to look after the parents (not unusual for the new wife to end up looking after both sets of in-laws).  It’s a cycle of duties passed from one generation to the next.

What I don’t see enough of  is space where kids can just be kids. Let them scream, run, play, explore, get dirty, argue, scrape their elbows and knees, ride a bike, swim, paint, eat bugs, cry, bang a tin and do a million other things, Because they can. Allowing independence of thought, choice and experience is as important as having a dependable family (insert your definition of family) structure.

When kids aren’t “normal” or behave outrageously, ADD notwithstanding, parents freak out. Boxed norms can’t deal with ‘bad’ children. Recrimination is swift, stigmatic and potentially damaging. Comparisons  and other confidence-busting tools are used to keep children in line. When all else fails, drugs or a spanking are there. The pressure on parents to make ‘good’ children is immense. Not that I’m against parental guidance but I’ve seen too many illogical parenting reactions that make me go, Huh?

Oh look, I don’t have kids and not ever likely too. Parenting is complicated enough with books, tutorials and advice from every mole and eagle, but sue me, I like seeing happy children.


February 25, 2009 at 1:31 pm 3 comments

Share the lurve

Just made an Add This button for the blog. Requires manual add to each post, though. urk.

February 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

What I do for lesbian lit

Admin thingy: Added a couple of pages where my published stories and’s anthologies can be found.

February 25, 2009 at 1:20 am Leave a comment

No more sittings

The  Honourable  Justice Michael Kirby retired from the bench of the  High Court of Australia a few days ago. This gentleman, an officer of justice, believer in the rights and dignities for all humans – rational and emotional and especially for minorities – is an inspiration for gays and lesbians in and outside Australia. He leaves a bright legacy of steadfast, unflinching advocacy for respect and gallantry.

He is one of the reasons Australia is the lucky country. He is one of my heroes.

Kirby’s retirement speech:

Short clip:

February 24, 2009 at 12:32 am Leave a comment

Free lesbian e-anthology, aussie made (No 2)

Follow up to their first Australian anthology in 2008, has released their second collection, entitled Flaunt 2.

Free download (PDF, 2megs) from

February 22, 2009 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

Lucky back

Back in Sydney. Here I am sitting in the office and catching up on news and goings on and realising that I have it very lucky.  To the south of us, raging fires and a heartbreaking recovery. The north is monsooning itself torrentially. Global recession is hitting every country this year.

But my family is healthy and well. I have a job, a home, savings, a wonderful partner and future plans. My friends are in good shape and the fishies made it through our absence.

Thank you to everyone who continues to keep me well fed and secure.

February 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.