June 04, 2004

LESBIAN FUN PARK HIJINKS

Play School, the ABC program that provides a helpful twice-daily reminder never to have children, livened things up recently with some colourful lesbian antics:

Government ministers today blasted national broadcaster ABC for allowing popular children's show Play School to air the story of a girl going to the fair with her two mothers on Monday.

"I'm Brenna. That's me in the blue. My mums are taking me and my friend Meryn to an amusement park," the little girl says over images of her two mums smiling and waving.

So itís okay for lesbians to take pre-schoolers to amusement parks ... but whenever I invite pre-schoolers to watch my collection of lesbian DVDs I end up explaining myself in court. How is that fair? Anyway, the ABCís Claire Henderson defended Play School:

"Play School aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all manner of race, religions and family situations," she said.

All family situations? Canít wait for the domestic violence and child slavery episodes. Australian Democrats senator Brian Greig says the ABC has the right -- no, the duty -- to reflect modern life and culture:

"Gay and lesbian taxpayers, who pay their eight cents a day to the ABC, have a right to have their family structure seen in local content just like everybody else."

Right on! No taxation without representation! Next on Play School: two millionaire conservatives take their children hunting, after which the youngsters skin their prey and compose derisive limericks about Greenpeace.

UPDATE. Brendan O'Reilly exposes the real problem with ABC kidsí TV -- evil capitalism!

Our ABC now promotes countless products to our kids. The ABC Shop devotes about half its floor space to children's products - toys, books, CDs, DVDs, videos and other product tie-ins. Some, like the endless Bananas in Pyjamas and Thomas the Tank Engine products are blatant money-spinners ...

It should be unacceptable for any media outlet to take advantage of our children. But it is unforgiveable that our trusted Aunty has joined in their exploitation too.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 4, 2004 01:16 AM
Comments

That Jack Roche fellow also payed his 8 cents a day- let's have an episode where the little kiddliewinks learn how to blow up buildings and things. Reflect all religions! All races! Genders! Accents! Hair colours!

And then they wonder why our society is fucked.

Posted by: Jimothy at June 4, 2004 at 01:30 AM

Hello, year 7 social studies class. The topic of today's lesson is is "Analysing inane arguments from right wing blogger hacks." We will focus on a post by Tim Blair on showing lesbians on Play School. Consider the following points. Tim Blair says:

So it’s okay for lesbians to take pre-schoolers to amusement parks ... but whenever I invite pre-schoolers to watch my collection of lesbian DVDs I end up explaining myself in court. How is that fair?

Class, what are the ways in which the "I have two mummies" segment was not like showing lesbian porn to pre-schoolers? Do you think Mr. Blair is being entirely honest in his argument? If not, why not?

Tim Blair also says:

All family situations? Can’t wait for the domestic violence and child slavery episodes.

Class, in what ways might having lesbian parents not be like child slavery? Explain your answer.

Extra credit: Mr Blair often cites, with approval, arguments from Libertarian weblogs. Explain what a real libertarian would make of the issue, and how this differs from Mr. Blair's own position. How hypocritical is Mr. Blair anyway?

Posted by: Jason Stokes at June 4, 2004 at 02:00 AM

Class? Can anyone explain the concept of "humor" to Mr. Stokes?

Posted by: Robin Roberts at June 4, 2004 at 02:03 AM

"Gay and lesbian taxpayers, who pay their eight cents a day to the ABC, have a right to have their family structure seen in local content just like everybody else."

Great... Can't wait for the pedophile/necrophiliac/bestiality episodes.

Posted by: david at June 4, 2004 at 02:12 AM
"Play School aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all manner of race, religions and family situations," she said.

What about the episode in which a radical islamist family is suiting up 6 yr old Ahmed with a bomb vest?

Posted by: Oktober at June 4, 2004 at 02:25 AM

Not a patch on Andrew Bolt's hilarious PC reading of "Finding Nemo".

C'mon Tim, you can do better than Andy.

Posted by: Bruce at June 4, 2004 at 02:32 AM

I'm not sure if it should be up to MPs to be discussing the content of Play School. (How did they find out, anyway?)

The main problem I'd have would be if the timing of this article was due to political factors (with gay rights being a issue at a federal level a week or two ago), or if the article was politically motivated.

Someone asked Howard about the Playschool issue, and he said he hadn't heard about it, and asked if it was about promoting reading. I laughed a bit in response (with him, not at him).

Posted by: Andjam at June 4, 2004 at 02:43 AM

I think there might be a bit of jumping to conclusions about it being a lesbian thing. Couldn't the two mothers be wives of the same husband? After all, "all family situations" will, eventually, include plural marriage.

Posted by: Andjam at June 4, 2004 at 02:47 AM

But...

Which one mows the lawn?

Posted by: mojo at June 4, 2004 at 02:51 AM

Relax, Jason. Mr Blair did not say that lesbian parents are like child slavery. He is saying that they are diverse. It is diversity that we are celebrating.

Andrea, how much are the new cut-price blogads? I'm trying to sell my step-ladder.

Posted by: Harry Hutton at June 4, 2004 at 02:54 AM

Does Play School have an animal farm?

You have to remember that some people are more "diverse" than others...

There's a story that a UK council spent 25K GBP setting up a help-group for bereaved lesbians, no-one turned up...

Posted by: BlackBereavedDisabledTransgenderedLesbian at June 4, 2004 at 03:43 AM

Harry Hutton says

Relax, Jason. Mr Blair did not say that lesbian parents are like child slavery. He is saying that they are diverse. It is diversity that we are celebrating.

Actually, Harry, what he does is quote Claire Henderson saying that Play School "[embraces] all manner of race, religions and family situations" and then interprets that as extending to child slavery and domestic violence. It takes a particularly asinine type of mind to argue this way; as I point out, there are rather serious disanalogies between having lesbian parents, and being a child slave.

Look at it this way: Simply as a matter of language, "all manner of" does not mean, as Tim Blair claims, "all." "All manner of" means "covering a broad range of", and not necessarily "endorsing everything." Some people like to take the term "diversity" to absurd limits and then think they've made some sort of serious point that way; often those same people use the word "liberty" as a slogan, and I can tell you you can take the word "liberty" to equally absurd extremes. You aren't thinking by making such arguments, you're simply slashing at straw-men.

But this kind of weasel-wording and magnificent illogic is what Tim Blair specialises in. It's boring to explain my point this way, but if hand-holding is what you need, I trust I've made myself clear.


Posted by: Jason Stokes at June 4, 2004 at 03:59 AM

I'm sorry, but here in the States, if I were to invite a kid over to watch some show called "Bananas in Pyjamas" I would be in jail before you could say "Billie Jean."

Posted by: R C Dean at June 4, 2004 at 04:34 AM

Look at it this way: Simply as a matter of language, "all manner of" does not mean, as Tim Blair claims, "all." "All manner of" means "covering a broad range of", and not necessarily "endorsing everything." Some people like to take the term "diversity" to absurd limits and then think they've made some sort of serious point that way; often those same people use the word "liberty" as a slogan, and I can tell you you can take the word "liberty" to equally absurd extremes. You aren't thinking by making such arguments, you're simply slashing at straw-men.

So, where, exactly, is the line drawn?

Posted by: david at June 4, 2004 at 04:57 AM

It's boring to explain my point this way...

Well, that explains why it's so boring to read. Nothing like humorless literalism to strike a discussion stone dead.

Posted by: reg at June 4, 2004 at 05:32 AM

I want to see the mayhem and laughter that will no doubt ensure from seeing disabled, black, lesbian whales suffering from Tourette's.

Go the minorities. Educate us, the unintelligent majority!

Posted by: JJ at June 4, 2004 at 08:29 AM

"there are rather serious disanalogies between having lesbian parents, and being a child slave."

Jason, The point you seem to be choosing to miss here is that, for most people, there are serious "disanalogies" (I didn't even realise that is a word - no wonder I'm hopeless at scrabble) between having a Mummy and a Daddy and having a Mummy and a Mummy!
I'm not making any comment on the moral aspect, but to a child of three, four or five, the concept of having two mothers is as alien and confusing as the concept of child slavery.

The simple facts are that having two mothers or fathers is still extremely rare even in our society, which means that up to 99.9% percent of play school age children would never normally be confronted with the situation, and for the ABC to try and portray it as a semi-normal situation that toddlers 'need to see' is ludicrous.

For most parents, I believe, the question "why does she have two mummyís instead of a mummy and daddy?" is a question to be answered when the child is at an age that they believe is appropriate, the ABC appears to have decided that they have the right to make that choice for the parents and that the age they deem appropriate is somewhere between 0 - 6 years.

Posted by: Michael at June 4, 2004 at 09:45 AM

This is a bigger scandal then when Noni didn't wear a bra on Playschool....
But seriously, who are those writers/producers/propgandists at the ABC who think a minority lifestyle that is outside the "norm" somehow has the right to promote itself as equal to (and even preferable) to the standard concept of a family? What's next? Mr Squiggle?

Posted by: Junia at June 4, 2004 at 10:06 AM

Dry up, Jason. Even you would have to admit Andjam's point about the coincidental timing of the show in question. Who's trying to drive wedge politics now?

I don't know anyone who thinks it is appropriate for children's shows to be at the forefront of progressive social change. That is an issue for adults to resolve first.

This is a decision by the ABC that today's children ARE going to grow up with lesbianism as a normalised sexual identity. And you can point to all the fine words in various discrimination acts, and wail about it to the HREOC, but one fact stands. MOST people do not want a bunch of interfering, leftoid wankers at the ABC making our kids' minds up as to what is normal.

Have you got kids of your own, Jason? I do. And I do not appreciate them being the guinea pigs in some magnificent social experiment conceieved by a bunch of people who don't have to accept any responsibility for the long term consequences of the pap they shove down their kid's throats. I don't want my children to grow up gay. Screech away, but that's my choice. I'm not going to disown them if they do, but I don't want it encouraged.

I respect the right of gays and lesbians to live their life as they see fit. I don't really care if they manage to get same sex marriage legalised, although that whole issue reeks of politics. I do NOT acknowledge their right to proselytise on the issue any more than I agree to fundy-Christian types demanding that homosexuality be outlawed. I expect homosexuality will gradually become more and more mainstream. I do not need a taxpayer funded propaganda machine hastening the process.

Posted by: Al Bundy at June 4, 2004 at 11:48 AM

I will now fisk all of Jason Stokes' entries. To begin, he says ohgw:?hd OEWUHTio 48htuljd29-74upiknvd wejgvl/madk

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 4, 2004 at 11:50 AM

...Er... sorry there... I started reading his first comment and fell into a coma after the first sentence. My forehead must have hit the keyboard.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 4, 2004 at 11:52 AM

Hi Clair

I'm so excited to hear Play School wants to reflect the diversity of Australian children that I couldn't wait to submit my concept to you for the next episode.

The story concerns Brenda,the daughter of an alcoholic Democrats senator who is caught out sexually abusing women in Parliament; and his partner, Trish, also an MP, who is on leave with her latest pick-up, studying indigenous rights in Iceland. Brenda's friend, Rana is an illegal refugee who is suffering severe psychiatric trauma as a result of her ill-treatment by the Howard Government in prison in Port Hedland.

This story is sure to appeal to kids. Perhaps we could get together with the collective there at the ABC to workshop it further. What do you think Clair? Clair..? Clair, are you still there?

Posted by: Freddyboy at June 4, 2004 at 11:53 AM

Bugger.

That line should read:

"And I do not appreciate them being the guinea pigs in some magnificent social experiment conceived by a bunch of people who don't have to accept any responsibility for the long term consequences of the pap they shove down MY kid's throats.Ē

Posted by: Al Bundy at June 4, 2004 at 11:55 AM

"Gay and lesbian taxpayers, who pay their eight cents a day to the ABC, have a right to have their family structure seen in local content just like everybody else."

Cool, so when is the episode for those who don't like kids?

Posted by: Angie Schultz at June 4, 2004 at 12:06 PM

I can't wait for the episode when the Asian parents go to the Casino and leave their kids in the car.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at June 4, 2004 at 12:46 PM

How do the two mums relate to: "Open wide, come inside, it's Play School.

Posted by: slatts at June 4, 2004 at 01:00 PM

Playschool is great. The program was the BEST through the years I was little enough to enjoy it and the years my children were.

It was f*cking heartbreaking when Warren, the off-screen piano accompanist genius, died of AIDS.

Playschool's team past and present are heroes. I have not seen the episode in question, but I bet it was not overtly propagandistic at all. Did you guys squeal when John made a delicately indirect blowjob joke to Noni in 1991? Like hell you did.

I LOATHE the idea of gay propaganda top tiny kids, but I think this is a bullshit beatup.

Posted by: ChrisPer at June 4, 2004 at 01:31 PM

Al Said > "I don't know anyone who thinks it is appropriate for children's shows to be at the forefront of progressive social change. That is an issue for adults to resolve first."

What's the issue that needs to be resolved Al, and how will it be resolved? Twenty years ago you would have heard the exact same rhetoric about mixed race marriages. How did that get resolved Al, and by whom? The fact is that there are lesbians with children (shock horror), and as reproductive technologies develop there will be more. Lesbianism already _is_ a normalized sexual identity. How is it not? Don't expect everyone else in the country to bury their head in the sand with you.

Also, side not to Michael, who said: "but to a child of three, four or five, the concept of having two mothers is as alien and confusing as the concept of child slavery": being a dumbass does not qualify you to know what a toddler will find confusing or strange.

Posted by: billy bob at June 4, 2004 at 01:33 PM

Yes, Jason, you've made yourself PERFECTLY clear...

(Now kids, back away slowly, and try not to break eye contact)

Posted by: Jerry at June 4, 2004 at 02:19 PM

The endless diversity thing is like totally a red herring. The ABC is not in danger of ever broadcasting true diversity because its culture is far narrower than pretended by those who proudly trumpet 'see how diverse we are' when precisely these kinds of issues arise.

Hiding dishonestly under the banner of gay parents' rights, this is actually a radical feminist ploy via the femo-nazi-friendly ABC.

Two- and three-year-olds would not have even noticed. That's not the issue. Two lesbians take a kid to a park. Big deal.

The real issue? Childen being raised by two lesbians - as is commonly happening - without any awareness of one-half its background. Having, as is commonly the case, legally eliminated the male 'parent' from any access to the child. This is adoption in name only - the real agenda is to promote a society without the necessity of fathers - radical feminists are now commonly suggesting that males in the wider community can provide that role.

The child may never know its origins or its ancestors. It may never know its 'stories' as those execrable left-wing social engineers like to put it. In a compulsory multi-cultural society, it will never know half of its 'songs' or its 'games' or its 'traditions' or even one half of its grandparents.

Yet those same far-left-wing political agitators who have championed the 'stolen generations' are now engaged in a taxpayer-funded and government-endorsed program of stealing children's cultures and backgrounds for their own radical purposes.

Who gives a toss about Playschool. Certainly not the kids for whom having two mums may just be a passing and irrelevant novelty.

The real issue is who is running the agendas at the ABC in the wider sense.

Posted by: ilibcc at June 4, 2004 at 02:28 PM

Billy,

I do not comment on homosexuality in front of my children. If they ask, "Daddy, why is that man holding that other man's hand", I will respond something like this:

Some boys like boys better than girls, and that they enjoy holding each others hand.

My kids are happy with that, and that's all they need to know for now.

I do not tell them it's normal or weird. They can make up their own mind as they grow up. But they don't need any help from the electronic media arm of the ALP, thank you very much.

But you raise an interesting point, and that is the speed with which the argument has been extended to suggest that anybody who has a problem with ABC's polticking, will equally have a problem with blacks, or Asians, or the disabled or...

This, at least in my case, is untrue. And I really resent being labeled a bigot simply because I don't want the social engineers at the ABC playing with my kids' minds. Let them send their message to adults, and people like me can piss and moan in forums like this. At least we know we are no alone in the face of massively funded agenda organisations like their ABC.

I accept that social change is inevitable, and that everyone will probably feel uncomfortable about some aspect of that change at some time.

And let's clarify something. I acknowledge there are already lesbians with children throughout the community. How many, I do not know. Perhaps 1% of households, probably less. Does this mean the behaviour is 'normalised'? Accepted, maybe. Normalised? I think not. Certainly not to the extent that it should be peddled by the ABC to pre-schoolers.

Now, before you go, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions.

1. Do you seriously believe that the reaction this Play School episode generated was met with wide-eyed surprise by the producers of the program, and those responsible for allowing it to go to air?

2. Now, if you've answered that first question honestly, then have a read of what one leery buffoon had to say:

Play School is the least controversial show ever, so to have a bit of controversy is pretty exciting.

Now, do you think that the idealogues at today's ABC have the right to turn a trusted institution into a cesspit of controversy?

Posted by: Al Bundy at June 4, 2004 at 03:02 PM

I was raised by one mum, no dad, can't see how two mums, no dad would be worse. Mind you, some of my friends here in the joint say having a dad is a real pisser.

Seriously, I just want to mention that we actual taxpayers, the country's most put upon minority and paying more than 8 cents a day for thir ABC. That god the expensive bastards are at least raising a bit of extra dough selling toys and other blatant money spinners. Actually, isn't that the point of selling things, to get money? That Brendan O'Reilly is one dumb guy.

Posted by: Petern at June 4, 2004 at 03:07 PM

when my eldest came home from creche a few years back and said "daddy, did you know that "-----" has two mummies?" i replied, "no i didn't" and we then went on to chat about ducks, or dinner, or something day to day.

being a conservative at heart, my initial response was i admit, at least a big raise of the eyebrows. a couple of minutes of common sense rationalizing, and life went on as normal. that kid's mums have since gone on to be friends of mine/our families.

now Ilibcc, I have enjoyed your postings over the years, but the blood is seriously dealing with your vision sir:

"Hiding dishonestly under the banner of gay parents' rights, this is actually a radical feminist ploy via the femo-nazi-friendly ABC"

If that's a joke, fair enough. If it's serious, woaaahhhh there, take a deep breath or two! and who cares about Playschool? Everyone in my house under four feet tall for starters!

Posted by: chico o'farrill at June 4, 2004 at 03:21 PM

Next they can do one where Aysha has one daddy and four mommies. Her older sister Mariam is raped by cousin Achmed and daddy kills Mariam to protect the honor of the family.

Cultural diversity! Isn't it great?

Posted by: Michael Lonie at June 4, 2004 at 03:44 PM

"I'm not making any comment on the moral aspect, but to a child of three, four or five, the concept of having two mothers is as alien and confusing as the concept of child slavery." Not true at all. My child has two mothers. The other kids in his preschool class accept this with complete equanimity.

Posted by: susanna at June 4, 2004 at 04:05 PM

i think the main problem here is that certain people are trying to take parenting responsibilites away from parents and taking it for themselves. reminds me of those PETA bastards handing out flyers with pictures of a woman chopping up a chicken to little children. stay the fuck away from the children! i have no children of my own, but if you even THINK about coming near my nephew to brainwash him, you're getting your ass kicked. let the parents do the parenting, that's why they exist.

Posted by: samkit at June 4, 2004 at 04:37 PM

Thanks Chico, no real blood rush to the head, the point was simply that the agenda appears to be celebrating diversity - i.e. the rights of gay couples to appear on everyday television programs - but, on the contrary, (a) actually reflects the narrowness of the ABC's current preoccupations and (b) does not take the ultimate rights of children prevented from having fathers into account.

Posted by: ilibcc at June 4, 2004 at 04:50 PM

Actually having defended Playschool above, I feel I have to add:

I have been calling that TV station the GayBC for six years now, after they started 'shoving it down our throats' (as if) with a string of gay-related programs back then. I am assured by a newsreader acquaintance that it is an accurate perception.

But so what? Gay-trumpeting on TV is boring as batshit. I just don't bother watching anymore; the web has better stuff.

Posted by: ChrisPer at June 4, 2004 at 06:56 PM

Al Bundy wrote:


1. Do you seriously believe that the reaction this Play School episode generated was met with wide-eyed surprise by the producers of the program, and those responsible for allowing it to go to air?

Yes I do, seeing as a previous segment with two mothers was shown about three months ago to no reaction at all.

Posted by: Lotharsson at June 7, 2004 at 06:02 PM

There are a lot of people in this thread who seem to think sexuality is chosen, as in "I don't want my children to grow up gay." I think a lot of the heat in the reaction to this segment comes from that fear - and the thought that somehow this segment of TV will play a part in it.

The research makes it pretty clear by now that sexuality is not chosen - so whether or not your kids grow up gay is completely out of your hands.

The other common thread is that this will confuse the kids who watch the segment, and that's horrific. Funny, but any kid who knows kids who have gay parents will have to deal with the same issue at the same age, so PlaySchool isn't making it any worse. We don't have much of a protest that gay parents should hide one of themselves away from other kids for fear of exposing the other kids to "adult themes"...

Posted by: Lotharsson at June 7, 2004 at 06:07 PM