Margaret Court saga – yes, she can say what she has a right to her views… and a right to be challenged

 

 

 

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It’s a controversy that won’t die down. Former Australian Tennis champion and Pentecostal pastor, Margaret Court sparked a fierce debate after she claimed in The West Australian that she’d boycott Qantas over Alan Joyce’s and Qantas’ strong stance on same – sex marriage.

Since then, and other events (which I’ll talk about a bit later), Court has been both criticised and fiercely defended – even by self – professed same – sex marriage supporters for her stance.

The only person in mainstream media in my view that has both criticised and defended Mrs. Court has been Graham Richardson. In the Australian on Sunday, he slammed both Court and same – sex marriage supporters for trying to stifle debate. 

The pathetic blow – up this week over Margaret Court’s comments was the last straw. Both sides have become so obsessed and hysterical over not just their case but in attempts to stop any alternative view being put.

In my view, Court’s comments this week in criticising both Qantas and its CEO Alan Joyce for entering the debate in favour of marriage equality was as outrageous as it was stupid. Why should Joyce not have the right to argue strongly for what he believes in? Why should the Qantas board not seek to back up Joyce who has turned the company’s fortunes around over five years? Surely in a democracy which is supposed to believe in free speech, this should be applauded not rubbished. Joyce is an openly gay man and he is entitled to campaign for something close to his heart.

Richardson is right. Both Joyce and Court are entitled to have their own views and be able to express them freely. People should also be able to challenge and rebut them, including Court.

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Unfortunately, I think the shambolic “interview” on “The Project” last Friday alienated same – sex marriage opponents even more, and quite frankly, Court has a right to bite back. Not only was she constantly interrupted, by Waleed Aly, but also ridiculed and interrupted by both Meshel Laurie and Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann. Judge for yourself:

 

Things like this only aggravates everyone and, if we’re not careful, may be the one roadblock to same – sex marriage being legalised in Australia if it went to a public vote. They’re only shooting themselves in the foot.

 

Even though Court does have a right to have her say, it’s also got to be pointed out that her comments have hurt others – even unintentionally. Tennis player, Casey Dellacqua, who has two children with her partner, Amanda Judd blasted her on Twitter over a comment Court made about a letter she wrote about same – sex parents.

Even though Court has fervently denies that she’s against gay people, her comments have opened wounds by those who have been hurt by Pentecostal pastors, some of which, until very recently, behind “ex – gay” therapy, a widely condemned by the American Psychological Association and other bodies.

Her comments both on The Project and The Bolt Report have conflated myths that have been used by “ex gay” therapy activists – one that being gay has anything to do with gender expression (i.e. being a “tomboy”) or that people are gay because they’ve been sexually abused are statements that should be (respectfully) challenged. This also goes for her comments on same – sex families, which, again are largely disputed..

 

There has also been debate over whether Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne should be renamed. While she doubts this will happen, Australia’s Sam Stosur, along with other tennis players, have stood behind Dellacqua and Judd, even going as far as vowing to boycotting Margaret Court Arena in protest. I do applaud Stosur and other tennis players standing behind Dellacqua and Judd, and they have a right to do so. Whether they boycott Margaret Court Arena, is still to be seen.

On the renaming controversy, I don’t agree that Margaret Court Arena should be renamed. For the simple reason that Margaret Court is an Australian tennis champion, who in the 1960’s and 1970’s made huge achievements and undoubtedly revolutionised how women were viewed in the sport. No one can take that away from her, regardless of her views. That’s why her name’s there. If Stosur or others want to protest by not playing in the arena, I guess that’s their prerogative.

 

I can truly understand why this whole culture war has hit a nerve with some in the LGBTQ+ community. This is often a very personal and deep issue. But the same – sex marriage supporters here are largely at fault. While Court’s views about marriage and family can be challenged and debated, attacking her for having views has done nothing to better gay marriage or LGBTQ+ rights. In fact, it’s only made opponents more determined. We need to clean up our act and allow debate, rather than shut people up.

 

Now, I’m not surprised

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Major trigger warning: terrorism, brutal violence, homophobia.

In the aftermath of the Manchester bombing, even the fiercest critics of Islam said that the massacre was a “new low” for the terrorists.

A new low? I’m not so sure. According to an article in The Times, republished by The Australian.

14 – year – old, Musab in Raqqa, Syria was accused by Islamic State of being gay and drug use. His father, Muhummad Hussein had vowed to avenge his only son and youngest child’s death. He was with his son before his execution, promising everything would be alright. Unfortunately, that was the last time they spoke or saw each other. Musab was convicted by the Islamic extremist group. He was thrown off the roof of a building — a common execution method used by Islamic State. The barbarism didn’t stop there. After Musab was thrown to his death, an ambulance arrived at the scene, full of IS fighters. The boy was placed in the ambulance and, in one final act of brutality, the fighters cut his throat.

Understandably, Hussein promised to take revenge over his son’s death. He also vehemently denied that his son was guilty of anything.

 

You can read the rest of the article either on The Times or The Australian if you want. It’s gruesome. I just wanted to expose the pigs that even execute kids for allegedly being gay. Musab may not have even known whether he was or wasn’t, but that’s beside the point! Islamic State do murder kids. It’s just sickening!

Kudos to Anthony Loyd from The Times for writing this and for The Australian for republishing it. Also, good on Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi for having a link on her Facebook page exposing this barbarity. It needs to be called out. I wonder why it was the first time I read about it. I never remember hearing about it on the news or even The Bolt Report. 

Also, in regard to refugees, kids like Musab need to be the first on the list to be rescued so this can’t happen again. But that’s for another post.

 

For any Australians who found any of this content distressing, call: Lifeline 13 11 14. For people in other countries, feel free to leave any contact details below. 

 

 

Anger and hopelessness over Manchester massacre

 

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The Ariana Grande concert massacre in Manchester, U.K stirred  up such anger in me yesterday. Those killers, one that died in the blast, are nothing but scum. How DARE these mongrels attack children. The youngest known casuality was Saffie Roussos, aged only eight.

Yesterday, Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi slammed it as ‘a sickening new low’.

And it begins. Speeches by world leaders, solidarity, there will no doubt be vigils. And an inevitable debate over migrant and refugee intake from Africa and the Middle East.

Same old, same old. Then, we go back to square one.

But what can we do? Even if we ban migraation from countries such as Libya (that’s allegedly where the parents from the bomber was from), what about the Internet? Compulsory filtering, anyone? From what I understand, many of the terrorists – the one that decapitated soldier Lee Rigby in broad dalight in 2013 spoke with a distinct British accent, the Boston bombers, although from a Chechen background, were raised and educated in the U.S. And the Orlando shooter was born in New York to Afghani parents. So hasn’t that horse already bolted? Not to mention that there are many victims of terrorism from Africa and the Middle East, many of which are Muslim.

So, what do we do? What can we do? At the moment, I really don’t have an answer. It just keeps happening again, again and again.

I’m usualky a person who likes to offer solutions, or at least more information and arguments, butvI think I’ll leave this post  where it is. I just haven’t got any words to say except that may heart goes out to the victims that survived and the families of those who lost loved ones, especially young children like Saffie. You’ll never be forgotten, sweetheart. ❤️😥

What sisterhood?

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Last week, Keryn Donnelly blasted model and actress, Ruby Rose for a tweet in which Rose immaturely and rudely attacked Katy Perry’s new song ‘Swish, Swish’. Donnelly condemned Rose’s action as ‘being bad for all women’.

Er, what?

The idea of ‘the sisterhood’ has been a buzzword surrounding feminism for at least as long as I’ve been interested in the topic. The idea that women are meant to stick together, stick up for each other and fight for each other’s rights. The problem is, women themselves can’t agree what that means and certain women feel alienated from feminism causes – even when feminists themselves know what they are fighting for.

An example of this sense of alienation was felt in the aftermath of the Trump election win last year. While crowds of women in Washington DC and around the Western world gathered in protest, many women didn’t feel a part of it and couldn’t see their point.

One of these was Brittany. a YouTuber known as ABitofBritt.

 

It seems like this article has the same alienating effect. As I said before, what Rose did to Perry was rude and immature (I should say that she did apologise… well, kinda). But, bad for women? It didn’t affect me, as a woman. I didn’t even know it happened until I read the article. So, while I don’t condone it, it wasn’t bad for me, or other women I know… at least from what I know.

Is the ‘sisterhood’ a myth?

One of the commenters of Donnelly’s article said that the so – called ‘sisterhood’ doesn’t exist:

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Some comments on article. 

I think ‘Guest’ has a point. Why? Well, obviouslyfor one, women are all different! Noone can ‘represent’ women. Celebrities like Katy Perry, Ruby Rose or Taylor Swift may ‘click with some young women, but not all. Obviously, the ‘Women’s March’ clicked with some women (and men, for that matter), but it was inevitably not going to click with others, even if certain women weren’t there and conservative women were a part of it.

‘Guest’ was right. The sisterhood is a myth. I think for the most part, women stick with and defend people theycare closest to, either relationally or culturally, and, frankly, I think the’Third Wave of Feminism’ proves that. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stand up for other women, such as those in ISIS territory, but too often, we don’t (I put myself in that camp, by the way).

 

I don’t class myself as a conservative, but maybe they’re right on one thing, that we should stand as individuals, no as ‘tribes’. Even feminism, especially where it’s at currently, only speaks for certain women, but unfortunately not others. That can change when we acknowledge that women are not homogenous and we aren’t fighhting for the same thing.

This question goes to women in particular, but anyone can answer it – how do you feel about feminism currently? Do you feel a oart of it or not? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

Councils commemorating IDAHOBIT: is that such a bad thing?

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This week, Geelong City Council raised the rainbow flag on City Hall as a part of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

Good idea? I didn’t actually know this until a few hours ago, but May 17 marks the day when the World Health Organisation officially declassified homosexuality as a mental illness back in 1990. Sine then, transgenderism is slowly being destigmatised and is no longer officially being classed as a mental illness. With that, the western world has continued to make advances into ensuring the full participation and well – being of LGBTQ+ people in society. Of course, this hasn’t been smooth sailing, with continued discrimination and all out culture wars which still affect LGBTQ+ people in the West today.

Back to the Geelong City Council, like I said, I think almost any move to show acceptance and advocacy for LGBTQ+ is a good thing. However, if you watched a discussion on shows like Sky News’ ‘Paul Murray Live’ this week, you would sense a bit of ‘here we go again’. Panellist like ‘Herald Sun’s’ Rita Panahi attacked Labor again for voting down the proposed plebiscite earlier this year.

The thing is, do gestures like the ones that the Geelong City Council made win hearts? To be honest, I think the answer is no. Pushing ad nauseum, while attacking opponents of things like same – sex marriage, or even the signalling of IDAHOBIT by raising the rainbow flag on a government building isn’t winning anyone over.

So, what can we do?

First thing that comes to mind is… talk. Talk about same – sex marriage, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, etc. We need to work together to work it out so LGBTQ+ are included and accepted without others feeling unfairly targeted and silenced.

On a similar point, let LGBTQ+ talk. This is what has frustrated me over the so – called debate on same – sex marriage. On one hand, you have groups like Socialist Alliance running amok making LGBTQ+ look bad, then on the other end, you have conservatives (almost always straight), telling LGBTQ+ to suck it  up and how we should have just had the plebiscite.

There are LGBTQ+ Australians who don’t want same – sex marriage to be legalised, and yet there are those who do and take the debate hard and did have aerious concerns. I think I’ve said before that mental health was a topic that was unfortunately not talked about in the lead up to the vote on the plebiscite until it was too late and the bill was blocked in the Senate. This isn’t about treating LGBTQ+ people as ‘special snowflakes’ or ‘precious petals’, but acknowledging that, because of their circumstances, past trauma or toxic beliefs about gender identity or sexuality, that such people may have needed support in the lead up to the plebiscite.

 

I do any council or other institution who work to make LGBTQ+ people feel secure and included in their area. i do think LGBTQ+ need to be heard. Whether putting a rainbow flag on a government building, even for a week is a way to do it is I think questionable. Let’s hope it doesn’t have the exact opposite effect.

 

 

Apologies

Hi all.

I know it’s been a while and I apologise. The cold is going around.

Hopefully, I’ll be back in full swing next week. There’s so much I want to write about including the possible end of Everyday Feminism. As I always ask when media outlets face financial trouble, I’ll be wondering what it means for writers/ bloggers in the future, including left – leaning/ feminist writers.

Although I didn’t watch it very much, I realized that the comedy “Last Man Standing”, starring Tim Allen has been axed in the U.S. What does that mean for free speech, etc.? (More details shortly).

Geelong Council in Victoria raises rainbow flag until gay marriage is legal in Australia. Is that OK? I’ll offer my thoughts.

I might do a piece on the Alan Joyce vs. “Pie Man” saga. That’s another gift that just keeps on giving.

 

Anyway, there’s a few things that I’ve noticed this week. I usually like to keep on top of current events and try to write about them when they’re being talked about, but what are you going to do?

 

What’s been happening with you? What’s caught your attention this week? Leave your thoughts below in the comments section.

 

Budget announced – no guts or glory

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The Coalition Government has announced the Budget

 

The Coalition has announced it’s 2017 Budget. Not everyone is happy (well, everyone has a gripe with it, I think). Andrew Bolt has slammed it as a ‘Labor budget’. In today’s Herald Sun, columnist Susie O’Brien has called it a ‘fairytale’.

I call it a toothless tiger. It’s clear to me that the Coalition are still scarred by the backlash against Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey in 2014. They aimed to cut welfare, even though much of it was knocked back in the Senate. Some cuts were made, including over $500 million dollars from Aboriginal health services. There was also a proposed plan for a six month freeze on New Start payments and compulsory interviews and ‘activities’ for Disability Support Pension recipients. Due to public backlash, Abbott and Hockey pedalled back on the Newstart  freeze, making potential recipients only wait for a month. There is also spending on education, health and infrastructure projects.

 

I call this year’s Budget a toothless tiger. Gutless really. Unlike Abbott/ Hockey, the Turnbull/ (Scott) Morrison Government went for the middle income earners, the banks and multinationals. The only group that has been targeted and fought back are university students, who will be forced to pay seven per cent more on their HECS – HELP loans, which will be due to be paid back when a graduate will earn just over $40,000 rather than $52,000 a year. Other than that, who, (at least theoretically), would protest the big four banks being targeted? Or multinationals? That’s what I mean by toothless tiger. They went for easy targets, with many concessions (railways, a new Sydney airport, etc). This has caused rumours on a possible election before 2019.

 

This Budget was gutless. While things like the tax cuts for small businesses are OK, there isn’t too much else to go on except to say that it’s infuriated traditional Coalition supporters. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

What did you think of the Budget announcement?