Archives: October 2009

23 Oct 2009, Comments (3)

Friday earworm: Dan Sultan

Author: Helen

I heard this on Music Deli a while back and my hair fairly stood on end. It’s been my number one earworm and consolation over a fairly trying too-busy-to-blog couple of weeks.

Here’s the only YouTube of this song I can find, and unfortunately the audio is shit. Imagine this song with wonderful sound, starting with a clean, hair-raising blast from that horn section, and go off and buy Homemade Biscuits. It’s as if Wilson Pickett came back to life as an Australian and joined the Saints.

This song should go in the Pool room along with Know Your Product, Eternally Yours, and other iconic Australian indie foot stompers.

Dan Sultan is releasing another album at the Espy Gershwin room on November 21. I hope he’s still using that horn section.

The Cast Iron Balcony is undergoing renovation. Although cast iron is likely to figure prominently in the future, the old lace in the header has been biffed off the Balcony and taken away in a skip to restore a nice old Victorian somewhere else. At the moment I’m using the generic template – think of it as one of those house renovations where all the studs and frames are exposed for a while with a tarp hastily tied around some bits of it.

The old look was just getting a bit beige for me. Any cast iron lacework images featuring colour and rust would be greatly appreciated if anyone has any. I’ll be doing the redesign when I get around to it – and as anyone who knows Australian amateur renovators would know, that could be a while!

Is this becoming a pattern in Australian heterosexual behaviour and criminal sentencing?

1. A dysfunctional couple have a child. The dad just decides he’ll opt out of the child care role.
2. The mum is such an abominable carer that the child dies.
3. The dad continues to live in the same house without lifting a finger to help said child.
4. The dad’s legal team argue that he is less culpable than the mother, as he had less responsibility than the mother.

This has now happened twice. I wrote about the first incident here. In the first case the prosecutor threw the argument out and charged both parents equally severely. In this case, it’s succeeded; the dad has twelve years for manslaughter, the mother a life sentence for murder. Notice, also, the headline of the linked newspaper report, which refers only to the “cruel mother”.

Is there any possible reason for the unequal view of the parents’ culpability, and the dad’s assumption that it was OK for him to do nothing, apart from the extremely essentialist and determinist views of gender that are so popular at the moment? Have we gone so far down the track of dumbed-down evpsych / Women-are-from-Venus/ “hard-wired” interpretations of human behaviour, that adult court officials can actually believe this story? That an adult couple can share the same house and the same family, yet the woman must be more responsible for their folie a deux simply because she should be genetically hard-wired (or something) to be the nurturing parent? Or that men are so hard-wired not to be the nurturers that the father surely can’t have been expected to step in, or pick up a phone? (And people say feminists are disparaging towards men.)

I’m at a loss for any other explanation. It’s like magical thinking.

Gender essentialism (as well as all the other forms) is damaging. It’s not only damaging and insulting to women, but to men as well. And it keeps both of us from living as well as we could. And yes, sometimes, it kills.



Note – There are obvious disability and mental illness issues in this story, too. I’ve focused on one aspect of it here but there is really much more in it to unpack.