*Pic: Kevin Andrews from his website …
Writing in the Mercury newspaper [04JUN18] on the subject of human relations Kevin Andrews begins with selectively quoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Among civil rights the provision of a stable loving home environment is very important in child development but so is a safe community where you can learn to develop relations with your age cohort as you grow into an adult.
Then there is transferring Andrew’s experience of the post World War Two nuclear family against families from across cultures around the world where more than the parents are involved in socializing children into those respective communities.
Quoting texts about social relations from over a century ago is misrepresenting what is happening now and takes the comments out of context. Women did not have the vote then. Men had legal control over their wives and children. Corporal punishment of children was allowed. Child labour deprived many children from poorer socio-economic groups of what we now know as childhood.
The original idea of free love was that love would exist without a dependency on the social and legal position and income of the husband. Quoting Stalin declaring something bourgeois is sign of desperation. This was a standard declaration for many who stood trial and either died at the hands of the NKVD or, if the survived, were released from the work prisons in Siberia. Fates determined by a paranoid megalomaniac dictator.
History shows Foucalt is correct, marriage and family are not fixed concepts. They exist within a social and economic realty and are peopled by humans of great variability whether Andrews approves or not.
Further, we now know that, for whatever reason, there are a range of gender variables and they don’t appear to be learned but instead are driven from inside each individual as the children growing into adults find when the constraints that used to hold the two extremes as exemplars fail the test of reality shown by the psychological harm , I have done when people are forced into stereotypes they are not happy to be.
Andrews would like to couch his supposed concerns about Safe Schools in a sexual orientation agenda when schools has to be safe for children with physical and intellectual disabilities, children with intellectual and artistic talents, children who are slower learners or are simply small in stature and children who come from poor or abusive households.
As Andrews states in his own introduction it is the duty of government to defend the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One cannot exclude the rights of children to safely develop into adults without being forced into stereotypes.
We all benefit from each person developing to their full potential. This is the strength of the human family.
phill Parsons was born a lefty hander and changed into a right hander by his father using a wooden spoon at the dinner table when I was learning to feed myself. Eric no doubt thought he was saving me from becoming something else such as a Catholic and or a homosexual or indeed just ensuring I fitted in. Now, we know your master side of the brain and your favoured hand are linked. I cannot apportion blame, it is what it is and when I learnt about it in my forties I was able to deal with turning taps the right way for off and on knowing why I was having trouble. Still have it if I am not concentrating. Who knows what else I missed out on.