Posts by Isabel Hitchings

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something,

    One of the things I like best about NZ Twitter, is how often I find myself talking to a public figure about something completely ordinary like kids, or pets, or recipes. I'm not sure if it's a feature of our purported egalitarianism or just that we are a smaller, and therefore, safer-feeling community, but it's quite a lovely thing.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: This Week in Parliament: 14…,

    Emitting the sort of screechy laughter that startles my family. Thank you.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Good to Go?,

    I don't think it's unusual for couples to have periods where one partner isn't able to, or doesn't want to, have sex for a while. In healthy relationships this isn't seen as on-going refusal because the other partner knows not to pester. It might be reasonable to assume that certain types of relationships are sexual ones, and it's fair to be disappointed if they turn out not to be but it doesn't mean anyone should have to have sex they are not fully enthused about because they "owe" it to you.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Why I'm standing in Ilam,

    The first time I voted it was in Ilam for anyone-who-isn't-Brownlee. We've recently moved back into the electorate and I am beyond glad that the not-Brownlee candidate, this time, is someone I actually want to vote for.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God,

    I was very devout as a primary school child (to, I am am sure, the dismay of my atheist parents) though I suspect I viewed God more as an invisible friend than an omnipotent deity - I recall singing Him lullabies after my nightly prayers. I went to Sunday school with a friend and had no desire to opt out of religious instruction. I don't recall any threats of hell and damnation at either but there were lots of stories and crafts which were things I enjoyed a lot. My father countered the programming by teaching me rude words to Christmas carols.

    Even though my experiences were fine I am glad that my children's school doesn't do religious instruction. I believe this is an area that they need to find their own path in without being told what they should believe. I'm sure they garner some of my atheism but I do try to present it as my ideas rather than a universal truth.

    Some classes at their school do say a Karakia in the mornings and I know a few parents have questioned this. I've never felt uncomfortable with it as the Karakia we use addresses the ancestors rather than any god.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A true commitment,

    If we want attitudinal change we need to start, at the beginning, with kids.

    We need to stop treating bullies as a terrifying other and own that any of us, on a bad day, can engage in bullying behaviour if we don't watch ourselves. I've seen kids stunned when you point out that their behaviour could be viewed as bullying and kids with "mean girl" tendencies attempting to start anti-bullying campaigns. We are so invested in protecting ourselves from the boogieman-bullies that we rarely stop to examine our own behaviour.

    We need to teach our kids, and especially our boys, to deal with their emotions without shame. It's ok to feel angry, afraid, jealous or frustrated but we need to express these feelings without lashing out at other people.

    We need to teach kids what healthy relationships look like. That control and obsession are not the same as love.

    Communication, compromise, and conflict resolution are learned skills that I don't think we focus nearly enough on them.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A wretched editorial, in reply to linger,

    True, the number of men who publically voice utterly hateful opinions about women may be similar to the number of men who hold those extreme opinions, but beneath them is a titanic-sinking iceberg of 'unreconstructed blokes' who think that women have it pretty good these days. The kind of guys who, while they mightn't make such a joke themselves, think the Wicked Campers are kind of funny, who pride themselves on being a bit useless around the house, who roll their eyes and think we're hysterical when we talk about the pay gap, or privilege, or, heaven forbid, rape culture.

    Even within my, significantly more liberal than average, social circle there is a reasonable percentage of men (and a few women) who I just wouldn't have these conversations with because of how dismissive they would be.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire, in reply to Sacha,

    I believe it refers to felt hearts which were strung on wire fences around Lyttelton.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire,

    I was thinking about whether fiction or non-fiction tells our story better (I believe we need a hefty helping of both) and I recalled that one of my childrens' first reactions to the earthquakes was to wish to see an episode of Dr Who set around our quakes. Their instinct, which I think reflects the very core of what sets us apart as human, was to use story to make sense of what was happening around them.

    Do I think Hope and Wire is flawless? Not by a long shot but I do think it has some merit. The characters may be drawn with broad strokes but I do want to find out where the story takes them. My experience was that the earthquake did expose some secrets (not in my relationship but in some organisations I was involved with) and I'm hoping that future episodes explore that in more depth.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants, in reply to Gareth,

    My partner took me to Roots for my birthday last year and it was wonderful. They were able to vegetarianise their degustation menu for us and every one of the eight courses was a revelation.

    I tend to avoid high-end restaurants as I find most do vegetarian food quite poorly and I've several times left feeling quite unsatisfied due to the, apparently quite commonly held, belief that a microscopically thin slice of cheese sandwiched between grilled vegetables counts as a substantial meal.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 708 posts Report Reply

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