Most Sundays I start the day with brunch in bed and the Sunday Star Times. It’s not always pretty – I get crumbs in the bed, sometimes I forget the tomato sauce – and then there’s the paper.
Today began, as Sundays often do, with spluttering disbelief at Micael Laws. He’s distracted while driving by “girls in short skirts”. You do wonder when the father without the H from Whanganui will realise how creepy it is to talk about fancying “girls”. Women are so much better placed to give consent, after all.
In explaining why banning mobile phones is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to driving risks, Laws says:
Many men are distracted by their partners prattling about shopping bargains or the most fab shade of lippie. This is a fleeting distraction one soon learns the appropriate smile or head nod.
On the same page Rosemary McLeod discusses Angela Merkel’s cleavage:
Too many older women, glad to have something saggier than their eye bags, forget that a wrinkly, soft, crepey bosom isn’t a thing of beauty, especially when deeply suntanned. It draws attention to wizened necks and withered upper arms, and there can be no reasonable excuse for that.
Not all of us hate our bodies as much as you seem to, Rosemary. Thank goodness.
Finally, we have an article about mothers who kill their children by the usually pretty careful Adam Dudding. Worthy of attention, but perhaps not the attention we get here.
The bulk of quotes come from Professor Sandy Simpson, the clinical director of the Auckland Regional Forensic Psychiatry Service. He gets so much time on the subject because he once interviewed six women who had killed their children.
Professor Simpson has deduced there are three kinds of murdering mothers – the child abusers, the mentally ill, and mothers in their late teens or early twenties who kill their baby almost immediately after birth. Of the last group Professor Simpson says:
It’s usually a concealed or denied pregnancy of a younger, quite isolated women who may be naive, often from strict religious background, who shouldn’t have had sex and wound up pregnant.
There are other problems with the murderous mums story. Like the fact the facts reported are well, misleading. Mr Dudding says:
According to analysis by the government’s chief social worker, Marie Connolly, 30% of killers were fathers, 24% were mothers, 18% were de facto parents, 18% were relatives or others known to the victims, and 10% were strangers or unknown killers.
But the study he’s talking about actually showed that 54% of the parents who killed were fathers, 40% mothers, and 6% of the time both parents were involved. When it’s not the parent killing, 78% of the time a child’s killer will be male.
Not looking quite so gender-neutral a crime now unfortunately for the premise of the entire article.
Poor journalism from a reporter I usually enjoy. Might have to think twice about what I read over brunch next Sunday – now I’m off to go bind up my wrinklies and try and cease my prattling. At least I’m old enough for sex though I guess.