Jun. 12th, 2012

dorsetgirl: (DG1)
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I am so pleased that the Australian coroner has finally ruled - after thirty years - that a dingo really did take baby Azaria Chamberlain. Her mother, Lindy, was only one in a long line of women jailed for murdering a baby when there was no proof that the baby had even been murdered, never mind that she herself had done it.

My middle son asked why this happens and I could only answer that I simply don't know. Gut feeling says it has a lot to do with male power, and men hating women, but I think it's actually more subtle than that. This is what I think may be behind it:

(1) Barristers, judges, etc, are still of a generation that was sent away to boarding school at a very tender age. Generally it's the father who makes the final decision on this, but the mother goes along with it and so I think these people got it in their minds at the age of seven that their mother didn't want them around, that she must secretly hate them.

(2) Nowadays, to many people who don't have their own children, mothers and babies are so remote from their own daily experience that they are by definition so odd as to be practically alien. I well remember in my twenties failing so completely to understand the mindset that could want to have a baby, that when a secretary brought her baby in to show around the office, I never spoke to her again. I didn't hate her or anything; my reasoning was "I cannot begin to understand anyone wanting a baby. Therefore I cannot begin to understand anyone who is happy to have a baby. Therefore I cannot begin to understand this woman. Therefore I cannot begin to think what I might say to her."

(3) As a teenage girl doing my 'O' Levels and 'A' Levels, the subconscious message was extremely strong: bright girls do their homework, get their exams, go to University; they totally do not get pregnant. The rather judgmental - but still subconscious - corollary therefore being: only stupid people have babies.

Thus it seems to me the stage is set for an educated person, especially a man, who was sent away to school, to have it somewhere in the back of their mind that, "Mothers are aliens who are stupid and hate their babies. Therefore if something happens to the baby, it's obvious the mother did it."

I honestly can't think of any other reason why so many people are so ready to assume - and find proven - that people like Lindy Chamberlain, Angela Weston, Sally Clark etc, murdered their own babies, without a shred of hard forensic evidence that they even were murdered.

These women were presumed guilty and had to fight the system for years to prove their innocence.






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OH has been panicking for a few weeks about the fact that we will lose the rest of the analogue signal tomorrow (we lost BBC2 last week). I don't often get a chance to watch so I'm really not that bothered, and we've had some nasty arguments about how much it's worth spending on a new tv. He, obviously enough, wants a BIG one, with HD, Sky, 3D, you name it. All I want is wireless headphones (for him, so we don't have to listen to his choice of boring programmes) and to watch the occasional programme of my choice, at the volume of my choice.

Anyway, on Sunday I suggested that a cheap short-term fix would be to buy a FreeView digibox. So he duly went off to Maplins and came home with one, which had cost about £30. We watched BBC1 and BBC2 on a slightly iffy picture for about half an hour, at which point the picture disintegrated completely and the signal then failed. We couldn't get anything else for the rest of the evening, and I found a website that said that at this stage we can only get BBC1 and BBC2 on digital, and we'll get the rest tomorrow. Fair enough.

This morning OH asked me to phone the digital helpline and ask them what was going on. I argued that we might as well wait till switchover tomorrow, but he insisted. (As I'm at home I tend to get given these jobs while he's out Earning The Money). So I switched it all on again prior to making the phone call, and they're all there! BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channels 4 & 5; I even looked in the Radio Times for other channel numbers and - for the first time in my life - watched Dave and the BBC News channel. All of this on the day before these things are supposed to be available. *iz confuzed*

Of course, they'll probably all disappear tomorrow, never to be heard of again. We shall see.

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