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Posts Tagged ‘tax’

Where does Eleanor Carnivore do Gender Studies? The Australian home of inter-collegiate rape, of course!

‘They can’t say no with a c–k in their mouth” read the hand-drawn graffiti in the Salisbury Bar, part of St Paul’s residential college on the University of Sydney campus.

It has since been painted over, but the sentiment remains.

”Any hole is a goal” stated other graffiti. ”Free entry” yet more announced, accompanied by an arrow pointing to a sketch of a vagina.

Seriously. This is my university. The university that thinks it’s funny to publish columns in its student pubications advising college men how they can marry a student at Women’s College. The university where I avoid events, balls, parties, and pissups like the plague because everyone knows they exist solely so that idiotic imitation frat boys can drag off a drunken college woman and rape her. The university where homophobic insults get daubed over queer-positive messages in the legal Graffiti Tunnel. This is where I do Gender Studies.

Dear students,

 

Many of you will have seen the articles in today’s Sydney Morning Herald relating to behaviour in our residential colleges.

 

I want to assure everyone in our University and the wider community that I regard the issues raised in these articles with the utmost seriousness.

 

I am appalled by the reported behaviour and apparent attitudes of some students. There can be no excuses for sexual assault. Binge drinking is at odds with our commitment to rational behaviour.

 

There should be no additional protection of any kind for students who break the law. They must be accountable for their actions and should be treated just like every other member of the community. Indeed, being a student of the University arguably carries with it an additional obligation to uphold its values.

 

The University and the residential colleges have been working hard to bring about a change in attitudes and behaviour. Obviously we still have much to do.

 

Dr Michael Spence

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

The University of Sydney

Yeah, Spence, you have a lot to do. Get on it. How about some rape prevention programs for the men at college? How about you try to stop rapes from happening to drunk first-years at intercollegiate pissups? How about no more naked runs through Women’s College, how about some more security, how about you try to make sure Paul’s boys turn out to be decent human beings instead of another round of fascist rapist investment banker anti-citizens? How about you  end the Old Boys mentality at the colleges, tear them down, and make them free, entry based on academic potential, proximity to the university, and socioeconomic disadvantage?

While we’re on shit you need to do, how about you build some decent low-cost housing for international students and poor students, how about you get international students their fucking travel concession? How about you lobby as hard as you possibly can to make university free and Youth Allowance enough to live on, so that all universities stop being strongholds of unit production for the kyriarchy and start producing some real goddamn people?

I am so disgusted and scared, I can barely speak.

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I think I might make this weekly featurette a regular part of the lazy, vulgar blog I’ve birthed. I like feminism; feminism is my favoured cause, but it’s not the only utopia worth imagining. Which brings us to another characteristic of my cranial rumblings: ridiculous, ideological views that I hold only in theory, that are completely inapplicable to the real world and would have disastrous consequences if implemented right this second. I could write a whole post defending the concept of having many of one’s political views relevant only in worlds that don’t yet exist, but it wouldn’t have a satisfactory conclusion. I just have a suspicion that  one day, possessing a fully-formed vision of my personal anarchistic feminist wonderland will come in handy. One can only hope it will be because I’ve become the kind of organised, ruthless person who finally learns to keep track of what day of the week it is, and uses this developmental windfall to conquer the universe.

Anyway, one of these flights of leftist fantasy is my opposition to generational inheritance. I should probably disclose that I might at some point receive a small inheritance, and I will have no hesitation in spending it on wenches and ale, or whatever other pleasing fripperies might take my fancy. All right, probably non-perishable foods. Or my university debt. Let’s stop talking about this now. I am objecting to the concept of inheriting material wealth, not showing up at people’s funerals with a band of vicious, will-burning bureaucrats. Although that would probably make a pretty good movie, especially if the deceased came back to life and used his mouldering capitalist corpse to karate-chop the filthy commies into submission. Take that, Stalinist pigfuckers! Whp-chaaaa!

Where was I?

Right. What I’m saying is that the practice of passing on wealth from one generation to the next is an immoral institution that privileges random people who had the luck of being the progeny of wealthy forebears.

Lots of people seem to get very offended by this. Mostly, as far as I can tell, because it involves potentially disregarding the wishes of the dead. They think of Great Aunt Millicent, and then a huge, totalitarian government department that wants to nick her antique writing desk and grind it down into Filofaxes for ugly public servants. There’s also the point that an individual building up their personal wealth and passing it down to their kids is a massively oversentimentalised ideal, both for the people working day and night to give their children a future and for the offspring who appreciate that effort and use it to get a leg-up in their financial lives. It’s a central capitalist metanarrative, and it’s not surprising that questioning it seems to be completely taboo and moderately insulting.

Some people wrote an interesting article about one of the issues related to this discussion, which I cannot fucking find (LEARN YOU THE BOOKMARK SYSTEM, ELEANOR), wherein they questioned the extent to which any person’s wealth can truly be said to be “individual”. It’s an intriguing point, and as a scorner of rugged individualism, the idea that chance and circumstance are responsible for a large part of personal gain is charming to me despite its flaws (which I might go into at a later date). If you’re willing to entertain this idea, it has a lot of implications, which is where most of my anti-inheritance rationale springs from. If individual wealth isn’t necessarily or entirely a consequence of any kind of inherent advantage, or even lots of hard work, then it follows that not only should the community benefit more from people’s private wealth before they cark it, but that society’s claim on it once they’re dead is a lot stronger than whatever squalling kids they managed to pop out during their short period of cellular liveliness.

There are entirely utilitarian reasons for the immorality of inheritance, too. Yay income inequality! The hierarchical and dynastic social order that inheritance helps to engender is … kind of evil. The idea that any small number of people should have a birthright to a large amount of extant wealth is ridiculous and harmful. I like living in a country that has a relatively small gap between rich and poor, and that practises at least some small level of income redistribution. Viva la death taxes! If I had my way, it would be more drastic.

Grargh, economics! I don’t know how I got here, talking about economics on my “Online Web Log”. I’m going to go and be an hysterical feminist in real life to make up for this unwomanly dalliance in logical thought.

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