User Comments

katp August 10, 2022

@jatta Sweden has done a lot of research on this. You might find some free journal articles or govt papers. They support parents to have paid leave for many years because they believe the link is causal.

katp August 10, 2022

@laura__palmer LOL I don't understand how this can possibly be true. When I did not work I was home whenever my children were with very few exceptions. Now that I work full time they are here at least three hours for five days out of seven without me. How would the math work out? You'd have to be a sahp that was out all the time without your kids!

katp August 10, 2022

@cat not what the research says. I'm not an apologist, I'm a pragmatist.

katp August 10, 2022

@cat again we seem to read and access very different literature. How do you know that there is no support for my "sweeping unsupported assertion" that "we should entertain the possibility that parents working full time may be a contributing factor" to poor teen mental health? A quick search of google scholar gives me quite a good picture that I am right and that does not even include the reading I did on child and adolescent mental health for my masters degree.

katp August 10, 2022

@cat I did not mean to exclude mothers who didn't give birth and I apologise sincerely for anyone who read my comment in that way.


I never implied anything about validity. Please refrain from arguing against points I have not made. It muddies the waters.

In my comment I meant biology as it refers to a mother and not a father - a female rather than a male.

How do you explain the difference between a mother and a father? If there is nothing innately female about being a mother and nothing innately male about being a father I'm wondering what we are left with aside from some rather tired and superficial stereotypes. Which are surely more sexist than words which refer to actual observable differences?

katp August 9, 2022

@laura__palmer says who? It makes no sense to discount without any consideration a documented socio-cultural phenomenon (significant increase in two parents working full time) that could easily contribute to a social issue. Especially if they coincide.

katp August 9, 2022

@backyardmasterchef how do you explain the astronomical numbers of child and teen anxiety? Given the disaster of mental health care it is disingenuous to not at least entertain the possibility that parents working full time may be a contributing factor.

katp August 9, 2022

@bronte2021 what is a mother if this role is unrelated to biology? And if mothering is not connected to a biological role why do we have a word for it? I personally think mothers and fathers are different and suspect that biology is somewhere in the mix of why and how but am interested in understanding why others think differently.

katp August 9, 2022

@jatta the children who benefit most from child care are statistically those from low socioeconomic backgrounds and parents with low social capital. The children who statistically do better staying home are the middle and upper socio-economic class. We have the worst of both worlds as those who would  benefit tend to be home and those who benefit from being home tend to be in childcare.

An important question to consider is whether the current generation of teenagers are better off or worse off than  their own parents having come from families where both parents who work vs families where one parent worked. Generalisation? Absolutely! But what is the answer? It's pretty uncomfortable. I don't think we can look at the teen mental health crisis and say there was no impact on these kids having both parents working full time.

katp August 2, 2022

@rush it's a hangover from Victorian times. Almost exclusive to Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries to have such a young start age.

katp July 23, 2022

@daijobou my comment above was an example I made up in my head to illustrate my point about language.

As I said before comments with links don't get published - I think what I read about may have been in relation to a Victorian enterprise agreement and the Aust breastfeeding association.

katp July 23, 2022

I would have thought that out of being pregnant and bringing up children the latter would have a far greater impact on your career - it's much harder to outsource the parenting part as it goes on for so long!

katp July 15, 2022

@cat These comments don't let you show links, sorry.


The little bit you missed is that both employees and clients are listed by gender and not sex. There is a legal difference and it went to court. So not a non-issue and it in fact remains an issue for everyone without the means to go to court.

I never said it was about a trans gender carer (well I don't think I did?) It is about the importance of terminology when it comes to women who would like to be defined according to sex and not gender and this is an example of why. Remember you asked what rights are in danger when inclusive language is used?

katp July 15, 2022

@daijobou I guess that it depends on how significant and how powerful you consider language to be. As an English teacher I lean towards words not only having meaning but creating meaning. Removing or revising sex-specific words from the public space (in formal medical advice, govt policy and so on) is not solely a mechanical exercise and has broader implications than inclusion. 


So if I am reading an inclusive information pamphlet referring to a birthing parent and non-birthing parent and human milk feeding that is actually quite loaded with meaning beyond those actual words - any adult or mature teen should be able to recognise this as showing particular representation of societal values. This meaning will depend on the perspective of that reader and range from relief at being included to rage that the role of women as mothers and the right of women to use these words and have others refer to them in these ways has been reduced to body parts to prevent hurt feelings. In reality most people are not either extreme - for myself I don't especially care in the moment but at the same time I know words have meaning and intent and can see a subtle creep and shift in ideology and also see that it never seems to be applied to male bodies.

katp July 14, 2022

Not what I was expecting to read.

Nicely done.

katp July 14, 2022

Secondly, unless you are currently checking the genitals of the doctors you see or running DNA tests on them to make sure they are "biologically female", you have been judging them on their gender presentation, not their sex. Which means it will be completely the same if you ever get a transwoman as a carer (you may already have had dozens).
Now you got me wondering! Especially about how many transgender doctors there are in Australia. 
Although answer to last q is definitely zero as I've never had a carer of any description.

katp July 14, 2022

@cat yes. Case in England recently. Parents of a disabled girl fought against the rule for "cross gender care" and won - for their own child. However that family had money and time to bring that case. Many others have no choice. Another case continues regarding the official recording of patients by gender rather than sex and the implications. Google it :)

Case in Scotland a few years ago of a 14 year old who had been gang-raped. Request for female counsellor resulted in a transwoman being assigned her as a patient. No recourse. You can google that one too. The NHS arrangements there make private medical care prohibitively expensive for almost everyone.
Currently awaiting trial in Germany for murder is a transwoman who murdered a woman in a women's psychiatric facility.
And several others that you will easily find yourself. The records are not at all difficult to find. Cheers!

katp July 13, 2022

@daijobou it's in the recent Vic health breastfeeding info (if you consider a certain website a reliable source)

katp July 13, 2022

@cat 

If women are not allowed to define themselves by their sex there are several rights that are lost. Including but not limited to:
-Some sporting events that allow women as defined by gender identity
-Intimate care for the elderly and disabled - the right to choose who touches and care for you if you are incapacitated 
-crisis accommodation and care
-support after abuse and violence
-breast care nurses

If women are defined by gender identity and not sex in these areas, it means that sometimes there will be biological males in these spaces. Not everyone is ok with that and some would simply like the choice. 

Now of course transwomen and men are perfectly capable of giving intimate, medical and nursing care without being abusive. And of course transwomen and men are capable of supporting victims of abuse. And of course transwomen and men will be in need of crisis accommodation and support. And of course straight women can be violent and abusive. BUT: if a vulnerable person (disabled, elderly, hospitalised, institutionalised, escaping violence, being counselled after abuse and trauma) is no longer allowed to ask for a female care giver and be assured that that caregiver is of the female sex, that is not ok.

When woman is defined in such a way that depends gender identity as well as biological sex - that is conflation. What I have laid out here explains how TERFS consider these issues quite separate. This is why I am happy for people to identify as they please. It makes no difference at all to me if someone thinks of themself as a woman or man or neither. I'm not happy for sex to be an irrelevant part of what it (officially, technically, legally?) means to be a woman though as I think it is entirely relevant as per select few examples above.

katp July 13, 2022

@mb1111 men never/ rarely seem to dress in see through fabrics - maybe that's the true last bastion.