to think deporting Trenton Oldfield is just mean

(211 Posts)
sashh Sun 08-Dec-13 06:29:43

Trenton Oldfield is the man who disrupted the boat race a couple of years ago.

He is an Australian married to a Briton with a baby daughter. He has lived in the UK for 12 years.

He has applied for a spousal visa and it has been rejected.

He did a stupid thing, for which he has paid with a prison sentence and a criminal record, why punish him more?

Exactly what good will it do to deport him?

Exactly how much harm will it do?

I have not put a link, there are loads of newspaper articles, web pages etc outlining the case.

marfisa Tue 10-Dec-13 09:29:21

Scaevola, I see what you mean, but the term "anchor baby" doesn't even really apply here, as the mother is a citizen herself. (The term is considered an offensive and pejorative one, by the way: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchor_baby)

Even if mother and child could move to Australia to join him, why should the mother be deprived of living in her home country? (presuming of course that her non-citizen spouse is not a danger to the public). Why shouldn't she have the right to live in her own country with her child and spouse?

And while I agree that the possibility of women being put under pressure to conceive is a troubling one, is there any realistic alternative? I think that as a default position, we have to assume that women are agents able to make their own reproductive choices, and that if couples decide to have a child together, this choice must also be respected.

friday16 Tue 10-Dec-13 09:37:18

I think that as a default position, we have to assume that women are agents able to make their own reproductive choices

That's right, marfisa, because immigration issues are all about well educated, articulate women who write about intersectionality and shit, who have happy consensual marriages with Australian LSE graduates and write letters to their children about democratic deficits. No one is every going to use the pregnancy and marriage of a woman as a way to continue chain immigration, and only the Daily Mail BBC would dare say otherwise.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24819609

"A 14-year-old girl became pregnant after being taken to Pakistan by her father and forced to marry a man, a judge has said.

She was subjected to violence during which a gun was produced, according to Mr Justice Holman.

The girl returned to England where she gave birth.

Details emerged in a written ruling following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in Birmingham.

'Harrowing'
Two weeks after the ceremony, the marriage was consummated, the ruling said.

The judge said: "The girl has given an account of the circumstances surrounding that marriage which are, frankly, harrowing.

"On her account... this was a grave example of a marriage which was forced under considerable duress, involving at one stage the production of a gun and physical violence upon her.

"The marriage was consummated about two weeks later after further threats to her if she did not permit her husband, who was then aged about 24, to have sexual intercourse with her.

"As a result, while still aged 14, she became pregnant."

Local authority officials wanted the marriage nullified, but the judge said the girl would have to initiate proceedings herself for this to take place."

marfisa Tue 10-Dec-13 10:08:07

friday, we have to assume that women are agents making their own reproductive choices unless there is compelling evidence otherwise. In the case you cite, the mere fact that the girl was 14 is disturbing enough on its own. Of course immigration abuses exist and must not be tolerated -- especially not cases as clear-cut as this one.

What I object to is the use of offensive terms like "anchor baby" when it's pure speculation to say that a couple's decision to conceive a child at a given time is motivated by immigration-related concerns. When and why a couple decide to conceive is their own business and part of their private life. That's why the very term "anchor baby" is considered offensive.

I ask again what the alternative would be. Should we declare that immigrants or people with uncertain visa status are forbidden to procreate?

You do know that the organisations set up to help refugees and immigrants are particularly concerned about women, children and other vulnerable groups? If immigration advocates are supporting Oldfield's case, it's not because they're blind to his privilege. It's because they think that his case could ultimately highlight/improve the plight of people much more vulnerable than he is.

marfisa Tue 10-Dec-13 10:18:22

I'm also not sure why people are mocking the notion of intersectionality. Is it just because it's a clunky word with too many syllables?

Because it's not just jargon, it actually means something interesting and important. It is (wikipedia again) 'the study of intersections between different disenfranchised groups or groups of minorities'. In other words, I might be considered part of a vulnerable group if you take into account only the fact that I'm a woman and grew up in a low-income household. However, if you look at other aspects of my life, I have big advantages: I'm white and the household I grew up gave me lots of cultural capital (my family read books! lots of books). Intersectionality just means that you have to look at the way different elements of a person's background come together to make them more or less vulnerable in society. It's kind of a no-brainer idea, and maybe we don't need a fancy word for it, but social scientists find it a useful shorthand.

I've no idea though whether the kind of research carried out by Oldfield's organisation is actually worthwhile, but there's certainly nothing dodgy or stupid about the concept of intersectionality on its own.

friday16 Tue 10-Dec-13 10:22:56

Should we declare that immigrants or people with uncertain visa status are forbidden to procreate?

We shouldn't reward it, because the effect will be to make vulnerable women with UK passports yet more vulnerable. The primary purpose test exists for a reason, as does the recent raising of the minimum age for sponsoring a spousal visa from 18 to 21 (I think). The imposition of the salary limit on spousal visas has the same purpose. They are blunt instruments, designed to prevent the prevalent practice of forcing women into marriages with people from "back home".

What you're essentially saying is that anyone who can marry a UK citizen, here or abroad, and then get her pregnant should be able to stay as of right, irrespective of nature of the relationship. That's not going to end well, and the victims of it won't be getting letters of support written by professors.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Shafilea_Ahmed

If immigration advocates are supporting Oldfield's case, it's not because they're blind to his privilege.

Since he's completely blind to his privilege, I wouldn't be so sure.

marfisa Tue 10-Dec-13 10:34:12

Since he's completely blind to his privilege, I wouldn't be so sure.

Yeah, well, you may have a point there. grin

friday16 Tue 10-Dec-13 10:34:22

Because it's not just jargon

It's jargon, used to dress up simple ideas in excluding language.

And if our friends the Oldfields want to throw modish feminist theory around, the other popular phrase "check your privilege" might be resonant with them.

marfisa Tue 10-Dec-13 10:43:39

Well, I don't think it's necessarily jargon. It depends on audience, doesn't it. If you're a social scientist talking to other people working in the same field, it's just part of your shared vocab. Like naice ham or LTB or a biscuit when you're on MN.

I wouldn't use it when talking to people on MN or talking to most of my RL friends, because then it would be excluding language. And I'm not patronising those audiences either, because they are perfectly capable of understanding what the concept means. Using the word would just obfuscate things.

friday16 Tue 10-Dec-13 11:01:52

If you're a social scientist talking to other people working in the same field, it's just part of your shared vocab.

Isn't that the definition of jargon, that it's a shared vocabulary used amongst experts which is not understood, or is not understood precisely, by those outside the field?

marfisa Tue 10-Dec-13 11:11:27

Ah. Yes, now that you mention it, it is. blush

However, I think the popular understanding of jargon involves the idea that the terms used don't actually mean anything significant or worthwhile. People will say dismissively, "Oh, that's just jargon". And the point I was trying to make is that intersectionality is not a idiotic term unlike 'anchor babies'.

marfisa Tue 10-Dec-13 22:46:07

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