Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lili's advice to the new-old Prime Minister

Congratulations Mr Rudd. In a recent press conference you mentioned the issue of women's representation in politics, as I recall it specifically women's representation as federal ministers. You said something to the effect that you believe that men and women think differently, and you wanted that diversity of thinking styles in your ministry. There are many very good reasons why you should have an equal representation of the genders within your ministry, if practically possible, but that isn't one of them. I am concerned that Australia now has a Prime Minister embarking on what I hope will be a long period of time in government who appears to believe that there are important biologically-based differences in the ways that men and women think. I am concerned about this because such a belief is not nearly as well-supported by scientific evidence as many people think it is, and such a belief can excuse many different situations in which women are in positions of disadvantage and weakness, and situations in which men and women and boys and girls are trapped within situations that perpetuate limiting and harmful gender stereotypes. 

Just last week I was at a disco at an Australian government primary school, and I noticed that when two limbo-dance poles were brought out, the dancing children spontaneously organized themselves into two groups that were mostly gender-segregated. This might seem like a trivial matter, but the spontaneous self-gender-segregation of young primary school children is a phenomenon that I have observed repeatedly in many different situations over the last few years. In one instance a class of young students spontaneously organized themselves into two almost completely segregated groups when faced with desks situated in two groups. On the weekend I chatted with a mother who was supervising her children using a public skate park provided by a city council. I couldn't see any girls among the 30-odd kids skating and scooting on the ramps. I asked her if girls ever used this park. She told me that among all the skate parks her family had used, the gender ratio was always overwhelmingly male, and that there is often intimidating behaviour from some of the boys who use these parks. Australian children appear to be limiting and categorizing themselves and behaving according to gender stereotypes in many different situations. There is no scientific justification for concluding that these behaviours have a biological basis, so we must consider the proposition that our children's lives are being limited by gender stereotypes. If this is true, it is a tragedy on a national scale. The Rudd Government and the Gillard Government have recognized the importance of play in the lives of young children, and the importance of quality in early childhood education and care. There is an abundance of evidence that gender stereotypes and sex segregation are influencing and harming the play opportunities of Australian children of all ages. 

I implore you to take the time to read the book Delusions of Gender by Dr Cordelia Fine, a highly-regarded book by an associate professor at the University of Melbourne. Dr Fine has held research positions at some of Australia's top universities, including the one from which you graduated. I realize that you must be ridiculously busy, so if you could even read an "executive summary" of the book, or even a blurb on the book's cover, keeping in mind that it is a book with credibility, I think that would be a good thing. Thank you and good luck. 

Lili's angry thought of the day

Australian intellectually gifted school students continue to be neglected by a nation of adults who don't care. 

'Closing the gap' fails schools' brightest.
by PATRICK GRIFFIN The Australian June 27, 2013.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fascinating article about Assange's father and the new WikiLeaks Party

The striking likeness between John Shipton and his biological son Julian Assange is evidently much more than skin-deep. What a fascinating pair of Australians. 

For John Shipton, the Wikileaks Party isn't just a political cause.
The Australian 
June 15, 2013.

Lili's thought of the day

The impoverished Bangladeshi woman who sews the clothes for a pitiful wage in unsafe conditions manages to look so much more pretty and elegant in her everyday life than the fat-arsed Aussies who will wear the clothes that she makes. How does that work? 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trevor of Brisbane on the radio

He can't speak properly. He has some kind of disability. He can't find or keep any job that is worth having. All kinds of people try to control and change him and his life. But there's nothing deficient about his ability to read emotions and practice empathy.

Migraine sufferer? Psychic? Savant genius channeling a string of numbers?

What's the full story about the bloke with his fingers on his temples? 

Daniel Tammet: the Boy with the Incredible Story

Lili Marlene

published by Smashwords

find it here:

Lili's thought for the day

You want to see narcissism? Take a look at advertisements for courses at second-rate universities aimed at potential mature-aged students. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let me appeal to your (insert gender here) side

"Man Therapy" to sort out your manly mental issues, Britain's "women's problem" in business, science toys and violent impulses for boys, cupcakes and abdominal obesity for the ladies, Abbott's red-hot sporty image and Gillard's blue tie speech; we live amidst divisive messages in our gender-segregated "modern" developed societies:

New wave and old-fashioned sex segregation in everyday Australian life, and around the world

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lili's political thought for the day

What would you do if you were Rudd? Would you jump in with an outright challenge? Or would you wait till things got so dire that the crowd literally turned on their leader in the same brutal fashion in which some Rudd supporters were dealt with in 2010? 

Lili's tasteless thought for the day

You wouldn't want the dunny cactus to suddenly develop the power of speech. 

Lili's realistic thought for the day

You want to hear the truth? Listen to a speech made by a person who is retiring. 

Lili's thought for the day

Bonobo chimps sometimes eat monkeys that are still alive. What was that you were saying about empathy in primates? 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lili's thought of the day

At the risk of sounding like a racist, I'd like to invite racist Brits, South Africans and Europeans who are currently living in Australia to f*** off back to where you came from. We don't need your type here. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lili's thought for the day

A recluse with a publicist? Give me a break!

Forget the old version - this new one has so much more

The old edition of my book Daniel Tammet: the Boy with the Incredible Story had over 45,000 words. 

The NEW AND IMPROVED edition has over 68,000 words! You can download it from Smashwords:

If you have already bought this book from Smashwords you should be able to download the latest version. Thank you for your support and interest!

Lili's extra thought for the day

No, I don't think it's a girl thing, I think it's you being neurotic. 

Lili's thought for the day

Cashier at the first window of a McDonald's drive-thru - 

Girl toy or boy toy? 

Parent who has ordered a Happy Meal for their child - 

We would like a gender stereotype-free toy please. 

Lili's advisory thought of the day

Never, ever buy a cut-price tin of sardines. There is nothing more splendid in this world than a fine sardine or five in tomato sauce, but there is also nothing worse than a manky sardine. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Did I miss something in this ABC 7.30 report?

Any gender stereotyping here, do you think? 

Did they mention in this 7.30 story that the Christian fundamentalist church Hillsong are behind a controversial program for at-risk teenage girls that is often delivered by high school chaplains, with the title of Shine? Is this the same Shine program as the one shown in 7.30 WA's news report?

Info about Hillsong's Shine program:

Yes, people have objected to the program in the past:

Saturday, June 08, 2013