Marriage Rights v Marriage Rites: Why Marriage Equality is Overdue in Australia

 

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If anyone knows the original artist of this cartoon, tell me in the comments.

 

 

Fun fact: EG Dad and I were never originally sold on the idea of marriage. To be perfectly honest, the biggest selling point was the party.

We spent months planning “The Reception” (almost as much time as we spent planning the honeymoon). We were going to have a marquee with a string trio playing variations of modern classics; fire-dancers would entertain outside; offerings would be given to the trees in the park; guests would arrive by ferry across the river. All four pagan elements would be invited for what would have been a night of absolute celebration. We had the venue (park) picked out, the savings plan underway, the entertainment was booked. The celebrant wasn’t organised yet, because … well, we weren’t really thinking about the legalities.

We kind of took it for granted our de facto relationship had the same legal rights as married couples. We had been living together for around five years…

Then I fell pregnant with Sinister. And being the good little legal professional I was back then, I learnt how wrong we were.

In fact, this is when we learnt that de facto relationships (and especially same-sex relationships) do NOT have equal rights to married couples. For example: When travelling overseas (eg. for a honeymoon), we would need to take the extra paperwork to prove both of us are parents. In most countries (including Australia) married couples travelling together with kids are automatically assumed to be the parents.

The thing is, the legal rights of our de facto relationship were always a little more vulnerable than a married couple. We just didn’t realise it until we factored in children.

Same-sex couples? They realise it from DAY 1.

They have added issues of proving their relationship when one of them is in the hospital. They have added issues of proving legal parent status. And I have heard from one family, passports to travel overseas are a paperwork nightmare.

Now, there is NOTHING in my sexuality or EG Dad’s sexuality that makes us better parents than those in same-sex relationships. So why should same-sex relationships be denied the same legal rights and simplification?

Equal marriage rights will NOT change any existing married couple. Hell, they won’t even change the marriage rites except for one small statement: instead of being between ‘man and woman’, it will be between ‘two people who love each other, to the exclusion of all others’. Isn’t’ that essentially what it is supposed to be anyway?

This will not change YOUR existing marriage. This will not devalue or demean ANY existing marriage. If you’re already married, then here’s a tip: This has NOTHING to do with you.

But it does change the rights of same-sex couples. It is about equal recognition and equal rights. It is about validating their relationship in the eyes of their loved ones AND most importantly, in the eyes of The Law.

And this should NOT be settled by a plebiscite or postal vote. It should be done by the politicians in the parliament where they are supposed to be doing their job. You know, like so many other nations have done already.

But here we are. And now we have an obligation… nay, a duty to equal the legal rights. If you still want to vote no, then recognise you do not believe in equal rights. Own it. Be honest with yourself and others. Because once you tick that box, it is a slippery slope trying to differentiate between which human rights you think are acceptable and which are not.

If you vote yes, then you are a part of protecting ALL rights. Because we cannot ask for rights to protect us if we do not offer the same protection to all.

Equal Marriage Rights will mean Equal Marriage Rites. That’s all any of us want.

That and the huge fabulous party I will be invited to the next day.

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International Friends and National Trees

There are so many ‘official’ days or ‘recognised celebrations’; it is hard to keep up with them. Pizza Day. Tiger Day. Red Shoe Day. This social responsibility with my geek calendar is exhausting.  Believe me, I try.

And then one day, when the planets are aligned and you stick your tongue out to the side at the correct angle… BAM! You score a two-for-one you can work with.

tree hug

Sunday 30 July is International Day of Friendship, as recognised by the United Nations. It’s a day to promote solidarity of the human spirit.

Buddy. Bro. Mate.

That network of people who listen when you rave about the last Doctor Who episode, whinge about the Australian Senator with the tin-foil hat, and cry about the state of the Great Barrier Reef.

Sometimes they are fellow-parents you catch up with for a coffee every month or so. Sometimes they are the lovely ladies you meet with to talk about comic books and superhero movies and chocolate brownie recipes. Sometimes they are a roughly-thrown-together bunch of scruffy looking nerf-herders who are trying to convince you to travel all the way over to the United States of America to join their cosplay. BTW: I’m totally in.

And this is where I love the internet. I’ve said it before: the internet is awesome for friendship. Not just for me, but for the spawnlings too. Take Zaltu, for example. She has this amazing friendship with the daughter of a minion over in the States. Let’s call our spawnlings Z1 and Z2.

International Day of Friendship

 

These girls chat about everything over Facebook Chat. They show each other their Super Hero Girls, they give tours of their bedrooms, they talk about dance moves. When my phone starts having a long series of buzzing fits, I know Z2 is sending Z1 a bunch of stickers and GIFs through Facebook Chat. And I know my bundle of joy is returning the favour to her friend… usually at 2am in the US morning, thanks to time zones (we have finally figured out how to use this to our advantage – teaching the girls about day/night and summer/winter… see, we’re educational and stuff).

Zaltu has friends at preschool and in the neighbourhood, but not all of them have the same interests. And not all of them want to talk about Wonder Woman for the umpteenth time. Yeah, I don’t understand that either. But this is where the technology works so well because I can show her a real person, just like her, who DOES want to talk Wonder Woman. It’s a bit like those pen pals ever so popular during my childhood. Except Zaltu can SEE her friend and talk with her in real time. For Zaltu, that’s what makes a true friend: support, connecting, and availability. It really doesn’t change much as we grow up older.

Now, before you get all excited about celebrating your friendships all over the internet I have a bonus for the Australian readers.

Sunday 30 July is also National Tree Day. Which means you can look twice as savvy by combining the two! Take your friend out for a picnic under a tree. Or plant a tree in honour of a special friend. If your special friend is far away, go and hug a tree instead.

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Don’t be overwhelmed with the social calendar of the internet. Choose your days wisely. Look for overlaps to instantly double your cool geek status. But most importantly, stick with the ones that mean something to you as well. There’s no point in celebrating a day if you aren’t doing the celebrating part.

This one is easy. Friends + Trees. Zaltu is already heading over to the tree with my phone for some Facebook Chat… wait, that’s MY phone… DAMN IT!!

The Fan Who Found Me

I am not surprised the spawnlings abandoned me for the NERF exhibit at Sydney Supanova last weekend. To be perfectly honest, I would have been disappointed if they hadn’t.

Supnova Sydney 2017 NERF

But it was at that precise moment, without spawnling or security blanket, I was found at my most vulnerable…

While I watched all three of them bound into the play area, with NERF guns as big as them, a man dressed in black tapped me on the shoulder.

“Look up there, and you’ll see yourself on the television.”

Sure enough, I looked up and spotted an advertisement for Zedtown, the NERF Zombie War RPG event. I had reviewed the media day Zedtown for GeekMom (TL;dr – it was awesome. But now you must go to GeekMom and check out the photos).

Zedtown Preview EG Zombies

I laughed. He laughed. I said well done for recognising clean-face me at Supanova under all the zombie makeup at Zedtown. He said, “Hey, can I guess the school your kids go to?”

Nothing makes your stomach drop like hearing a stranger refer to your spawnlings personal details.

“…, uhhhhh… sure… what makes you think…”

“Oh, don’t worry! My girlfriend is a teacher at their school and recognised you in the tv ad. She squealed with laughter seeing you in the ad! She had no idea you were even interested in NERF Zombie wars, let alone a writer to review it!”

Minions: You have no idea of the relief that washed over my body.

Turns out, he is one of the organisers behind Zedtown (I think) and said girlfriend is one of the few teachers who has known the spawnlings since Sinister’s first day at school. And she figured I wasn’t quite like the other parents at school… She just didn’t realise how different.

It’s a fairly conservative, straight-laced kind of area. Perfect for corruption to my way of thinking, one family at a time. 😉 As a collective, they will claim to only know a few shows or books… but individually they are as much a fan of David Tennant in Broadchurch as they are of his performance in Fright Night.

So, once again, we laughed. We talked about Zedtown. We watched the spawnlings gang up on their father. Good time had by all.

And then I spent the next 12 hours, scouring every post I have ever made to ensure there is nothing about our school name in any post about the spawnlings.

Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure that teacher has now been updated on exactly how awesome we are at NERF wars.

*throws down the glove*

 

International Women’s Day (… And The Childcare Strike)


And I thought I had a twisted sense of humour. 

But I’m not the one who arranged a Childcare Centre strike on International Women’s Day.

I kid you not.

Around 1000 Australian Childcare workers are going on strike at 3.20pm on Wednesday 8 March 2017.

Look, I get it. I get they want to make a point: they are protesting the large difference in pay between male-dominated and female-dominated professions. 

And it sucks. No, the word ‘sucks’ trivialises the matter. It is the most ridiculous bullshit* that still exists in our modern society. 

We live in a society where we are blessed… Yes, BLESSED to have high quality childcare services with trained staff and plenty of resources. In a large majority of cases. 

But to be honest, is a strike on International Women’s Day the best idea?

Because when a childcare centre strikes, when it closes early for the day, which demographic is hit the hardest?

Women

That’s right, minions. The majority of people effected by any changes to childcare are women. 

This is not denying there are plenty of guys out there, being a part of the whole childcare process.

But the stats are in, and women draw the short straw. Previous submissions to the Australian Productivity Commission have shown how good childcare can boost the economy for everyone. It gives opportunity to women where they usually see hurdles they need to manage. 

Take away that opportunity, even for just a few hours, and you are reminding women exactly how fragile their opportunities are. How brittle their rights are. 

And what a slap in the face on the one day their rights are supposed to be front and centre, both here and around the world. 

There are plenty of battles to be had for women’s rights this Wednesday. The last thing we need is for one of those battles to bleed over the  grounds we have already fought. 

Be bold. Be brave. Be vocal, and stand tall for women’s rights on our internationally recognised day.

But don’t do it on top of the beaten bodies of those still trying to hold the frontline. 

* Due to the fact EG Sinister reads my blog (taking notes for his own world domination one day), I find I need to … Manage my language. Trust me, there are better words to describe this mess than Bullshit, but it’s best I can do without paying for his tertiary education via swear jar.

Evil Genius Protesting: Fun With Flags

Trump was at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) last Friday. No surprise there.

There was flag-waving at this Good Ol’ U S of A event. Again, no surprise.

But did anyone have a good look at those flags? 

Image courtesy of The Independent


Yessiree minions! That’s the Russian flag!!

It took a few minutes (enough for some photography and social media) before CPAC officials noticed the problem. You know. Flag waving. It’s a constitutional right or something, isn’t it?

Word is, the flags were handed out by two protesters dressed just like all the other Conservatives there. How devious! Because we all know only the extremists/criminals/uneducated/uncivilised/unpatriotic/ etc would dare defy Hair Fuhrer (thanks to Shiri for that name). 

From Twitter user @deeinhouston

Protest level: Evil Genius

Maybe the aides should add The Big Bang Theory to Trumps “Calm Down Time”. Never before have we needed a spin-off so much. 

Kings’ Kids Corps

kings-kids-corps

Summer school holidays are in full swing, and the spawnlings are not yet restless… but only a fool would allow them to reach that point.

Kings Comics are to the rescue! They are putting on a special kids day for all your little heroes and villains.

So what’s on offer?

  • Cosplay Competition
  • 10% off All-Ages comics (DC Superhero Girls is a fave in our Lair)
  • Games and Activities
  • Kids workshop with Louie Joyce
  • Face-painting (I want a unicorn)
  • Lucky dip bags
kings-facepainting

Used with permission / Kings Comics

The staff at Kings Comics have really been building its community spirit over the past year. Free Comic Book Day was huge back in May, with special guests Nicola Scott, Dean Rankine, Tristan Jones, and Mark Sexton. That particular celebration was the most family friendly (and the most fun) in all of Sydney—dare I say, the best of ALL FCBD events.

Yes, I will dare to say it!

fcbd-kings-guests

Used with permission / Kings Comics

 

The team at Kings Comics always make people welcome in their store. In 2016, Kings also kicked off the women’s only comic-book club Queens of Kings with monthly meets and special guests. They also had their first Single Issues Night earlier this month; a social night of merriment with fellow comic-fans and plenty of single issues to flick through (single issues of comics, not single people with issues… though, I see your point…)

But forget about the ladies, and who cares about drinking and reading comics!! The next big thing is the Kids Corps! Now is the time for all the spawnlings to come and have some fun!

For more info, check out the King Comics Facebook page. Evil Genius Inc will be there (minus EG Dad). Cosplay and all. You couldn’t keep us from the party!

 

When:                 

Tuesday 10 January 2016  –  11am to 4pm

Where:                

Kings Comics

310 Pitt Street, Sydney

 

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