Isn't Colin Craig a gem? His comments about promiscuity were bound to cause controversy. I expect they were quite deliberate, and I have no doubt that there is an audience for his views. At work today, where political discussion is exceedingly rare, they were hot conversation. I have anecdata to support my contention that Mr Craig's views are not shared by the twenty-somethings, of both genders. Viewed with contempt would be a much more accurate description.
I'd like to meet this seventy-year-old who has only ever had one partner. Anyone who is 70 today had their twenties coincide with the 1960s. What were the 1960s famous for? Not abstinence, purity and the values espoused by Mr Craig. I have no doubt there are plenty of 70-year olds who have only ever had one partner, but from the people of that generation I know, I think there are many more who have had plenty of partners.
What crossed my mind was the issue of the subsidy. This seventy-year-old used in Mr Craig's appeal to our sensibilities almost certainly wanted or needed contraception at some stage in their life, and if it had been free I expect they would have availed themselves of it.
Unless......they were gay. Then they would only need barrier contraceptives, to reduce transmissions of STIs. There will be a subsidy from the homosexual population to the heterosexual population when National's proposal comes into force. So why isn't Mr Craig standing up for the LBGT community?
Meanwhile, poor old Mr Key steps up to defend NZ women. "There's no proof", he says. Which is not quite as valiant as "no, they aren't sluts". And there is evidence. So it seems Mr Key merely doesn't understand the issue, or doesn't have the courage or capability to explain the conflating of issues that Mr Craig has done. Here's how it works:
- Promiscuity relates to the number of people an individual has sex with. Both men and women can be and are promiscuous.
- Contraception is the prevention of pregnancy.
- The only link is sex, otherwise they are quite independent.
Since Mr Craig has seen fit to present a hypothetical situation, I will do the same. In terms of reducing the impact of women (because the burden of raising children falls more towards women) and children requiring government support. A woman who has had five children to the same man is requires more support than another woman who has had two children to two different men. But in Mr Craig's world, it is the woman with fewer children who is the villain. Keep in mind also that the woman with two children will be able to return to work more quickly.
It's pretty clear that Mr Craig is trying out his dog-whistling skills, and has relied on dogma instead of common sense.
Paul Kelly - Words and Music, 1998