Bleats

Moby And Natalie Portman's Non-Relationship Is Uncomfortable But Not Unfamiliar

Hot tip: if the person you used to date didn't think you were dating, you weren't dating them.

Moby has just released the second volume in his autobiographical series and has attracted much interest with the hitherto-unknown tales of his short-lived relationship with Natalie Portman, back when she was 20 and he was 33. They went to parties, they kissed under oak trees, but after a few weeks she distanced herself and the great love story was not to be.

And this tale of celebrity love came as a bit of a surprise to everyone, including Natalie Portman.

She wasn’t aware that she was in a relationship with Richard Hall. She does, however, remember a musician in his thirties creeping on her when she was just 18, though.

“I was surprised to hear that he characterised the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “He was on tour and I was working, shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realised that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”

Let’s face it, she’s no stranger to sex pests.

And Lordy, this isn’t uncommon with older men looking to up their stats regarding their sexual awesomeness. In fact, it isn’t even uncommon in the book – Lizzy Grant, aka Lana Del Rey, also refutes Moby’s claim that they dated.

Moby took this well. Sorry, I mean he decided to tell her that no, she was the one who was mistaken – about a great many things.

Oh, where to start?

Seeing Moby boasting – even in a self-deprecating way – about how dope he was about pulling gorgeous young women, especially young artists who would have been flattered by the attention of an established figure like himself – reeks of hideous insecurity mixed with a toxic entitlement.

But most of all, who the hell tells someone that they’re wrong about whether or not you were in a relationship?

Especially when everyone’s going to look at the debate and go “say, who has more cause to buillshit in this situation – the fading musician boasting about pulling young hotties, or the established actor who was barely an adult at the time?”

Apologise and move on, dude. Seems like you’ve already creeped her out plenty.

Anti-Women's Rights Activists Have Co-Opted Bill Shorten's Face And We Should All Be Alarmed

Fake ads are making their presence felt this election.

Hey, Austrlia, let’s have a fun talk about abortion!

The pro-forced birth lobby group Cherish Life have been putting ads around claiming that “more babies will die under a Bill Shorten Labor government” on social media and in select media, seemingly including the Herald Sun website.

Now, just to prevent you having to check on whether Labor are planning to introduce “abortions for any reason up to 37 weeks” as the ads claim, then no: they’re not. Not least because abortion is covered by state laws and therefore has nothing to do with the federal election.

And late term abortion gets thrown about as a political football a lot by anti choice groups, despite such terminations being almost always being necessary for horrible reasons.

A late term abortion is any termination after about 21 weeks (for context, a foetus can be viable from about 24 weeks, although normal term is 40 weeks and the earlier a bub turns up the worse those mortality stats are).

“…because they’re heartbreaking!”

But these ads aren’t just fibbing about the politics. They’re misrepresenting the reality of abortion for the women that choose them.

For one thing, some women don’t realise they’re pregnant until late in the piece for one reason or another – not least because our sexual and reproductive health education is often terrible thanks to exactly the sorts of campaigners running these ads.

But a late term abortion typically means that something has gone tragically wrong and a woman has to make a horrible decision. Tests have come back with terrible news, or some complication has arisen where the mother is unlikely to survive.

And no-one has an abortion recreationally, but no-one has a late period one unless the situation absolutely demands it.

So suggesting that this is some sort of “goal” for Labor is… look, with defamation law being what it is, we’ll go with “misleading”.

And sure, it’s easy to go “yeah, but these people are zealots, who cares what they think?” But it comes at a time when anti-choice forces are getting horrific laws passed in the US, and we need to remember that abortion rights in most Australian states are nowhere near as settled as they should be.

In NSW, for example, your right to control your own body is just a couple of state upper house votes away from vanishing if a state government needed the Christian Democrats or another religiously-motivated party’s support for a key piece of legislation.

And there are federal implications too – one of Clive Palmer’s picks for the Queensland senate, Yodie Batzke, was caught out posting anti-abortion slogans and memes on her Facebook page.

And let’s be clear: any group that is vocally anti-abortion and yet mysteriously failing to campaign for greater support for single parents, greater access to healthcare, greater funding for early childhood education and greater access to childcare doesn’t actually give a goddamn about The Tiny Babies.

They just want to punish women for having sex – regardless of the circumstances that woman is in, including whether the sex she had was consensual. And they need to be called out for it.

And if you need a little bit of inspo for how to deal with the anti-women’s rights representatives outside abortion clinics, then let a recent episode of Veep act as a masterclass (NSFW, by any stretch).

Your Mum Deserves Better Than Those Cheapskate Mother's Day Chore Vouchers, Try Harder

Mum deserves better. She's a cool mum.

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday and you have hopefully had a think about what it is that you’re getting to say a massive thank you to the mothers in your life.

Will it be an experiential thing, like a dinner or paintballing? Will it be a thing-gift, like a scarf or a vintage Star Wars figure? The options seem endless!

Here’s the absolute worst gift, though: those voucher things saying Mum can get “one (1) back rub” or “will take the garbage out”. You know the ones.

If you’re handing them to your partner, then at least ensure that there’s one voucher in there saying “valid for one (1) solid kick in the groin for giving such a deeply insulting gift”.

Worse still, for the love of god don’t give them to kids to give to mum.

It seems cute, sure, but basically it’s teaching kids to trivialise women’s largely-unpaid work.

“This stuff is beneath you, kids” these vouchers say, “and it makes you a good person to do this dumb work one time when only a jerk would do it.” And then you’ll wonder why junior doesn’t won’t clear the table, after reinforcing that domestic stuff is all Mum Work.

As we’ve gotten a bit more astute about inequality there’s been a slow realisation that domestic work is actual work, only that the people that do it are disproportionately female and don’t get compensated for it.

This is such a pervasive, if often unconscious, idea: that some things are women’s work and therefore invisible to men. And also odourless, which explains why there are dudes who have not been 14 for a long, long time and yet somehow maintain That Teenage Bedroom Smell.

But back to the vouchers: stuff like unpacking the dishwasher, or cooking a meal, or hanging the washing? Not to put too fine a point on it, that should be shared household labour, not something which is assumed to be mum’s job and therefore left to the mumsiest inhabitant.

(That’s not least because one of the tricks that men learn very, very early on is to take something that they don’t want to have to do – ironing, for example – and do a shit job so that the nearest mum/sister/wife/girlfriend will go “oh god, fine, I’ll do it”, thereby making it their responsibility from then on in. Hey, they volunteered! And I’m just bad at it! It’s perfectly reasonable!)

So: vouchers. No.

Burn those stupid things and get mum something nice. You’ve known her a while, you should be able to pick what booze she’d like.

After all you’ve put her through, it’s the least you can goddamn do.

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