Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stigma and suspicion a reality for male childcare workers

This is a risk for me too as I love little kids and instinctively smile at them when I see them. I could easily be misjudged these days. Report below from Australia -- JR

Childcare centres are being encouraged to attract more male employees in order to combat staff shortages. But it’s not an easy task. With more than 95 per cent of childcare workers currently female, there’s a clear stigma attached to men working with children.

A male friend of mine used to work in a Queensland childcare centre and says he faced what he considered obvious discrimination. For example, he wasn’t permitted to change any nappies. He was highly offended by this rule, which applied only to him as the only male working in the centre.

It does seem unfair, not to mention sad - if he was trustworthy enough to employ, surely he could be trusted to change a nappy?

But the fact remains, many parents are uncomfortable with male childcare workers. According to Care For Kids, men who choose to work with children are often considered suspicious in their motives. Those funny looks and accusatory enquiries almost certainly a deterrent for men to work in an industry already considered women’s work.

But one childcare centre in NSW is breaking down barriers, with five of its current employees male.

Despite many parents welcoming access to male role models for their children, the men still report falling victim to stereotypes. In an age where parents are acutely aware of child predators, unfortunately it’s difficult to avoid.

To alleviate parents’ concerns, this centre also asks male employees not to change nappies, leaving that task to the female workers. If centres are prepared to hire male carers in the first place, it seems inconsistent not to grant them the same level of trust.

Sadly though, it’s not just the childcare industry that’s impacted by these sorts of stereotypes and concerns. Several men I know say while once they’d smile or wink at children, they no longer do so for fear of being judged or upsetting the child’s parents.

Others freeze if little ones try to play, often wanting cuddles or piggy-backs, as children do. It’s a sad fact, based on an unfortunate reality.


Straight talking from the Holy Father

The Pope issued a clarion call to defend Christianity last night, saying Christmas was at risk of being struck from the calendar. In a strongly worded speech delivered in Parliament, Benedict XVI bluntly told politicians not to ‘silence’ religion and discourage public celebration of its most important festivals.

And in a thinly veiled attack on controversial equality legislation, he said laws which forced Christians to act against their consciences were wrong.

‘There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere,’ he told senior politicians and public figures. ‘There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none.’

Benedict, who is now half way through his UK trip, insisted Christianity should not be forced to the sidelines and festivals including Christmas and Easter altered to avoid offence.

In his speech, the Pope said he was voicing his concern at the growing marginalisation of religion - particularly of Christianity - even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance.

'There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or least relegated to the purely private sphere,' he said.

'There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none.

'And there are those who argue - paradoxically, with the intention of eliminating discrimination - that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience.

'These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square.'

The Pope said a moral failure was to blame for the global financial crisis. He said: 'There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world.'

And he said that, just as governments had come to the rescue of the banks, judged 'too big to fail', they must now act to help the world's poorest people. He said: 'Here is an enterprise, worthy of the world's attention, that is truly "too big to fail".'

He then urged those present to use their 'respective sphere of influence' to ensure religion was involved in discourse 'in every sphere of national life'.

After the speech, the Pope went to Westminster Abbey to participate in a joint service with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Dr Williams welcomed the Pope and spoke of the historic visit as 'a special time of grace and of growth in our shared calling'. He said: 'It is a particular pleasure that on this historic occasion we are able to come together as bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches in this country to greet you, Your Holiness, during a visit which we all hope will be of significance both to the Church of Christ and to British society.

'May this historic visit be for all of us a special time of grace and of growth in our shared calling, as you, Your Holiness, bring us the word of the Gospel afresh.'

Dr Williams said Christian leaders must be ready to fight back against the critics of religion. He said their duty 'involves a readiness to respond to the various trends in our cultural environment that seek to present Christian faith as both an obstacle to human freedom and a scandal to human intellect'.

Dr Williams continued: 'Our presence together as British bishops here today is a sign of the way in which, in this country, we see our task as one and indivisible.

The Pope said society was moving away from its Christian heritage. He said: 'On the one hand, the surrounding culture is growing ever more distant from its Christian roots, despite a deep and widespread hunger for spiritual nourishment.


Straight talking British judge

Highlights the Gypsy problem

A judge has launched an astonishing attack on criminal Eastern European gangs who come to Britain to target elderly and vulnerable people. District judge Bruce Morgan said he was 'deeply concerned' about the impact of criminals who arrive in the country to steal from innocent people.

His comments came as he sentenced teenager Ceca Dadic, who is believed to be a Roma gypsy from Bosnia, to six months for her 'despicable' role in trying to steal a 78-year-old woman's purse. The 19-year-old mother-of-two admitted attempted theft as she appeared at Worcester Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. She distracted her elderly victim by asking her advice on a cream cake while her underage accomplice tried to unzip the woman's purse.

Mr Morgan said Dadic was part of a criminal gang and added that he had dealt with six similar cases in the previous five days.

Dadic wept as the judge told her – through an interpreter – that he hoped her six-month sentence in youth custody would act as a deterrent to others. He added that she and an accomplice, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had acted in a 'despicable' way.

He said: 'There is no doubt in my mind that you are part of a criminal gang who come to this country from Eastern Europe for the purpose of committing crime. 'I'm deeply concerned about the number of young people like you who I deal with who come from Eastern Europe, find addresses in Birmingham and then go to the neighbouring counties to commit crime.'

The court heard that Dadic had been convicted four times in the past year of theft or attempted theft.

The court heard that Dadic, from Birmingham, was in a Somerfield supermarket in Worcester on August 12 when she asked the elderly shopper whether a particular cake contained strawberry jam. Liam Finch, prosecuting, said: 'She asked her: "would my grandmother like it?"' Security guards then saw Dadic's accomplice try to unzip the woman's purse and called police.

Mr Morgan said: 'You say you are sorry – I don't accept that at all. 'I accept you may be a small part of a large organisation but you are an essential part of it. 'To pick on and try to distract elderly ladies for the sole purpose of financial gain is quite frankly despicable'.


The Obamacare Inquisitions: A Brief, Brutish History

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [above] is just the latest creepy keeper of the Obamacare enemies list. The White House has been keeping tabs on individual and corporate critics of the federal health care takeover for more than a year. It started with the health czar's Internet Snitch Brigade. Remember?

Last August, the White House Office of Health Reform called on its ground troops to report on fellow citizens who talked smack about the Democratic plan. Team Obama issued an all-points bulletin on the taxpayer-funded White House website soliciting informant e-mails:

"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to"

Then-health czar office spokeswoman Linda Douglass appeared in an accompanying video singling out conservative Internet powerhouse Matt Drudge. Why? Because his website featured a video compilation of Obama and other Democrats -- in their own words -- exposing the "public option" as a Trojan Horse for government-run health care and the elimination of private industry.

The Obama dog whistle rang out loud and clear: Report online dissidents immediately.

Calling on the White House to cease and desist, GOP Sen. John Cornyn pointed out that "these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. ... I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward e-mails critical of his policies to the White House." The flagging operation was shut down, but a plethora of federal disclosure exemptions protect the Obama administration from revealing what was collected, who was targeted and what was done with the "fishy" database information.

In February, the White House coordinated a demonization campaign against Anthem Blue Cross in California for raising rates. Obama singled out the company in a "60 Minutes" interview, and Sebelius sent a nasty-gram demanding that Anthem "justify" its rate hikes to the federal government. A private company trying to survive in the marketplace was forced to "explain" itself to federal bureaucrats and career politicians who have never run a business (successful or otherwise) in their lives. Sebelius went even further. She called on Anthem to provide public disclosure on how the rate increases would be spent -- a mandate that no other private companies must follow.

We already have a federal pay czar requiring companies to justify their pay raises and claiming authority to claw back bonuses already paid. Will the White House next demand that other businesses -- not just health insurers -- justify price increases deemed unreasonable, excessive or "extraordinary?"

On Capitol Hill, Democratic chief inquisitor Henry Waxman trained his sights on executives from Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon and AT&T in a brass-knuckled effort to silence companies speaking out about the cost implications and financial burdens of Obamacare. He scheduled an April 21 show trial of corporate heads who dutifully reported writedowns related to the Obamacare mandates. Obama Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined in on the witch-hunt, pummeling the companies on the White House blog and TV airwaves for their "premature" and "irresponsible" disclosures.

After the Democrats' own congressional staff pointed out that the companies "acted properly and in accordance with accounting standards" in submitting filings that were required by law, Waxman called off the hounds. But it was a temporary reprieve. Sebelius' threat last week against individual market health insurers who raise rates to cope with new federal coverage mandates will be far from this desperate administration's last.

As health costs skyrocket, doctors abandon the profession, hospitals lay off workers and private insurers shut down, the only way to quell the Obamacare backlash will be through an even more thuggish campaign to demonize, marginalize and silence nationwide dissent.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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