Monday, May 11, 2009

'Perhaps they should let her run the country'

This story was on the news last night. They had to evacuate and close the Adelaide Zoo. Hundreds of Mothers' Day outings were derailed.

I was in a few traps myself when I was 27, and I didn't tackle them as intelligently as this. I wish I'd known her then; I would have called her on her mobile and asked for some advice.

One commenter here suggests that if she were preselected for NSW Labor it might boost their credibility.


Mindy said...

Someone tell that little boy that it was a girl orangutan. Even at 11 the default to male is still set. See girls are intelligent and cool too.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh thank God it's not just me.

The good thing is that at least some of us now automatically notice these things and understand why they happen, which is a start. Intriguingly, the ABC writer chose to quote directly and write 'he [sic]', but what the kid actually said (I saw him on the teeve) was '... how he done it', which they have silently corrected. One wonders what the subbing policies are here. No proper scholar would stand for it.

My darling and much missed but unavoidably pre-feminist Ma used to anthropomorphise almost everything when we were little kids, always with the masculine pronoun. To this day I think of nasturtium leaves with globules of water in them as boys. Freud would be beside himself.

Anonymous said...

Orangutans are cool. I tend to think of them all as Librarians, because I've read too much Terry Pratchett.

My son is two and a half, he always says "he", "him", and "his", and absolutely refuses to be corrected on it. In his defence, he doesn't actually understand that there are different sexes.

He tells me I have a small penis. I tell him I don't have a penis at all, but then he looks sympathetic and says (while nodding in a patronising fashion) "small penis Mummy". I have no idea where he learned this.

cristy said...

Orangutangs are the escape artists of the primate family. They are so cool.

Interestingly Lily thinks everyone is female. She often compliments Paul by saying "papa is a big girl." He never corrects her.

Bernice said...

Oh she could develop Labor's transport infrastructure policy; she couldn't possibly do a worse job than the current lot.

Helen said...

There's a new US habit of referring to inanimate objects as "those bad boys".

lucy tartan said...

When I was driving home last night and this story was on the radio I had to wonder whether the upshot of it is that ourang-utans shouldn't be held agaisnt their will. If they're as intelligent as they appear to be. I dunno. I thought it was a pretty sad story.

Anonymous said...

I heard on the radio that one of the keepers thought she was looking for her recently-deceased mate. It made me tear up.

David Irving (no relation)

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh, poor thing, I hadn't heard that.

Laura, I know what you mean and your comment made me go looking for these beasts on the intertubes to find out more. Apparently the only places they can be found are Sumatra and Borneo, where they are classified as endangered and critically endangered respectively and somebody from the UN says they could be extinct, at least in the wild, by 2012 if the habitat destruction continues. Something I was thinking while I was actually there was that over the *cringe*50*cringe* years I have been visiting that zoo, I've watched the transformation of the enclosures from cramped, smelly cages to bigger and much less prison-looking approximations of proper habitat (and given that the orangutan got out, I can't help worrying a bit about whether they're completely sure that neither the hippo, the alligator nor the Sumatran tiger can make it over their respective moats -- you can get very close to all of them, as the hippo pic makes clear), and have seen it change from a relic of colonialism to a seriously proactive agent for conservation and breeding programs.

WV, again unbelievably: cattishu.

Chiara said...

Wow how did I miss this!!