Mamamia celebrates 10 years!

Article: MAMAMIA TURNS 10: This is the original team who started it all
Mamamia celebrates ten years since it’s atart by founder Mia Freedman

Lifestyle, feminism and news site, Mamamia celebrates ten years since its launch by founder, Mia Freedman. What an achievement!

I’ve been reading articles on Mamamia probably for the past, three, four years. Some of the articles have been brilliant, and, as I’ve written here before, I’ve really admired the advocacy that the team at Mamamia do.

Mamamia has continued a spark in me to continue with this blog. Mia Freedman, along with the other columnists, have been a great source of inspiration for much of my writing, as you may have noticed by the number of times I’ve limked or talked about the articles. Along with columnists like Andrew Bolt, I love how Mamamia inspires me to respond, to get out thoughts and feelings I have about things that have gone one in the world.

 

I love how, along with the regular columnists, Mamamia allows other s to pitch in ideas, and have their own articles published on the site. As I’ve written here before, the one that touched me the most was Jo Qualmann’s article on asexuality in 2014. It was great that they contributed to asexuality visibility and I’ll be forever grateful for that.

 

Screenshot of story featured in Mamamia on asexuality in 2014,written by Jo Qualmann
Jo Qualmann had a story published in Mamamia on her experiences being asexual.

 

They have also done a great job at raising awareness around disability. I first realised this when they published an article on disabled parking. While I don’t drive myself, I think it was great how they allowed the issue to be raised, by a person affected by it. Most importantly, they’ve given people with a disability and their loved ones the voice.

I think Mamamia has also done a great job in the same – sex marriage debate as well. I’ve loved how they’ve let gay people and their family members tell their personal stories and how the debate affects them. I think that’s great. To be honest, I believe there has been too little of that in the mainstream media. The fact that the staff at Mamamia have given LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones a voice is something that is worthy of a great hug!

 

Back in the ‘1980’s ABBA claimed Thank you for the music. Well, I’d like to say to Mia Freedman and the team, thank you for the words. Thank you for the advocacy and inspiration to live and write authentically.

Happy ten year anniversary and here’s to ten more!

10 years candles
Image: Canva

 

Tell me, what have been your favourite articles you’ve read on Mamamia? 

 

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Kudos to Mamamia for giving LGBTQ people a voice in the same – sex marriage debate

The debate on same – sex marriage has raged on, although going down recently just a bit. At times, I’ve wondered, where are the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and who’s listening? I’ve got to say I’ve gotten qannoyed when comedian Magda Szubanski and Senator Penny Wong were criticised for expressing their hurt, both as gay women, and how their lives are debated, and, at times denigrated.

That said, I truly believe that the LGBTQ+ community really owes appreciation to our allies and the platforms that do  give LGBTQ+ peop,ea voice. One platform that has been a repeat supporter of the LGBTQ+ community is the women and news site, Mamamia.

I’ve written before how they have helped the asexual community become more visible. I think I nearly cried when I read the entry from Jo Qualmann back in 2014.

Screenshot of story featured in Mamamia on asexuality in 2014,written by Jo Qualmann
Jo Qualmann had a story published in Mamamia on her experiences being asexual.

But, this time, it’s all about gays and lesbians and how they feel about the upcoming plebiscite (memo to Mia Freedman: how about homnoromantics as well, like the Huffington Post Australia did a few months ago. Just a thought.) Semantics aside, as I’ve written before, Freedman deserves a hug for her tireless advocacy and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people.

Some of the posts may seem a bit too passive aggressive, I think that overall, the staff at Mamamia should be applauded for allowing LGBTQ+ people to be raw and honest about their experiences and their views on same – sex marriage. In doing this, I believe they speak for, not just for themselves, but for those LGBTQ+ people who  do struggle, who do feel vulnerable, those, when they see the debate played out in the media, it does make them cry (before anyone jumps up and down, yes, there’s been vitriol on the other side and that needs to stop. Right now).

 

Same – sex marriage aside for a second, (again), I’ve loved the way that Freedman has supported LGBTQ+ people in her own life. The way Mia Freedman responded to Rosie Waterland when she came out as bisexual last year was so beautiful, it was almost a tear – jerker. In this uncertain and emotional climate, I think it’s important for LGBTQ+ people to know that there are people who care, who stand up for their rights and allow them to speak freely and be heard. It’s one thing to say that you’ll vote for same – sex marriage and to speak against anti – LGBTQ hate (and for those who do, I sincerely thank you).  But I think it’s another thing to allow LGBTQ+ people themselves to own their voice and to express how they feel about the nature of same – sex marriage debate and the upcoming postal vote/ plebiscite.

So, big hug for Mia Freedman and all the team at Mamamia. Please continue what you’re doing. Please keep giving a voice to members of the LGBTQ+ community about what’s going on right now. I don’t think you realise the impact it has. *Big hug*.

Mia Freedman deserves a hug over same – sex marriage, not crucifixion

Media personality, Mia Freedman has come under fire if she tried to start a campaign #married4marriageequality on Twitter and on an article which she originally displayed her wedding ring (she deleted it in the following photo of the article).

Screenshot of article that sparked the controversial "married4marriageequality campaign by Mia Freedman
Mia Freedman comes under fire for standing for LGBTQ+ people and their right to marry with #married4marriageequaility campaign

This is ridiculous.

Freedman deserves a hug from the LGBTQ+ community, not crucifixion. She is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Has she been perfect? Of course not! No one has. But I think it’s unquestionable where her heart is on this issue.

It goes beyond the same – sex marriage issue, too. She, along with the other staff at Mamamia has been instrumental in LGBTQ+ advocacy and visibility, including asexuality visibility. The Mamamia website has also advocated for LGBTQ+ people being persecuted overseas, calling on the government to give them asylum.

So, LGBTQ+ people, don’t crucify Mia Freedman., She’s for us, not against. She was using her status as a married woman to fight for LGBTQ+ rights, not to push it in our faces. Straight people can support LGBTQ+ people, you know. I believe, at least at the moment, we need their support.

It’s not just her, either. It warms my heart to see straight people support LGBTQ+ rights. I love it when they speak out on our behalf. It’s when LGBTQ+ are deliberately left out or shouted down I get critical. Mia Freedman is not one of those people.

 

LGBTQ+ people need to be careful not to push out allies away. In fact, we need them if we want same – sex marriage here. Already, I’ve read comments and columns from people who have been scared off supporting same – sex marriage because of the overreaction from certain members of the LGBTQ+ community. We are really shooting ourselves in the foot for looking for a witch hunt all the time when it’s not needed. We should call out comments that harm the LGBTQ+ community or when someone makes grossly unfair comparisons (i.e. linking LGBTQ+ with bestiality and paedophilia), but this isn’t a battle to pick.

Mia Freedman should be embraced and applauded by the LGBTQ+ community. We should be grateful at the tireless campaigning she has done for us. We should applaud, that, unlike others, her support for us hasn’t wavered.

 

If you see Mia Freedman in Sydney, or where ever, if you can, give her a hug for fighting for us and the LGBTQ+ community around the world. Thank her for using her status as a media personality give a voice to those who are affected by issues like same – sex marriage. At the end of the day, like I said, we still need voices like hers to win the eventual fight for acceptance, and yes, marriage.

What sisterhood?

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Image: Canva

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.

 

The truth about the ADF and Mardi Gras – or is it?

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On Monday, I wrote a post criticising the Australian Defence Force’s participation in the Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on Saturday. This was in response to Miranda Devine’s opinion piece that was published in the Sunday Herald Sun the next day. I agreed with Devine on her concerns, about Section 83 of the Defence Act 1903 and the protocols. I also enforced criticism about how former army officers, including WA’s state Coalition MP, Andrew Hastie who was the former SAS officer who was dismissed after he advertised himself in uniform during WA’s State by – election in 2015. It didn’t make sense to me that Army Major, Bernie Gaynor was prevented from attending a pro – life march, and yet they still went to the Mardi Gras. Not to mention the modifying the Rising Sun badge, which is prohibited. So, I was with Devine on this one (I don’t agree with her a whole lot)…. now I’m not so sure.

After reading this counter – argument by Adam Bub on Mamamia makes me wonder whether I bought into the fear mongering of conservatives… again, when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. If Bub is correct, then Devine left a whole lot of information out.

Counter argument about the accusation of ADF participating in a “party political” event:

Let’s get this straight: Victims groups like the LGBTI community are afforded privileges in Devine’s words.

On this point, I get sick of conservatives like Devine spouting that line. I’ve written extensively in the past three years about many issues LGBTQ+ people face, including in the Western world. Coming out as LGBTQ+ only to be ostracised by family members or friends. It’s not “privileged” to come out, only to have your faith community turn their back on you, ostracise you, or psychologically and spiritually abuse you into thinking you can change your orientation and/or gender identity if you try hard enough (note: none of this has happened to me, but I’ve read countless stories about it happening to others). This has only been dealt with on a national scale recently. Let’s hope it never happens again. LGBTQ+ people in the West that come from Arabic or Muslim families also have extensive hurdles they face.

I wrote about the horrific murder rate of transwomen of colour (TWOC) and homelessness rate and the hardships faced by LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. I was (and still) am apalled at how Australia has no official data on the rate of LGBTQ+ homeless youth in Australia and how trans people in particular find it difficult to get emergency accommodation. I’ve also written extensively for over three years about the alarming rate of bullying suffered by LGBTQ+ youth. No bullying should be tolerated, however, I can actually say from personal experience that when your attacked because of your sexuality, or perceived sexuality, there is a level of shame that comes along with it. There’s an extra layer of fear of being ostracised if you speak out. Then self – hatred starts. That’s a tough cycle to get out of. I’m not saying that all LGBTQ+ go through this and this was over ten years ago, but I think it may give insight into the impact on anti – LGBTQ+ bullying.

I could go on, but I think you get my point. While things have drastically improved over the years for LGBTQ+ people, that doesn’t mean work can’t be done. It also doesn’t mean that we can become complacent and let things slide down again.

 

Moving on. Devine also accused the ADF of modifying the Rising Sun lapel pin, which is against their protocol. Historian and researcher for the Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS), Dr. Shirleen Robinson argues that the move was an important gesture:

This is particularly important because until 1992, lesbian and gay service personnel had to serve in silence,. knowing that if their sexuality was revealed, they faced discharge from the military.

On the Rising Sun badge which Devine said was modified:

It is also important to note that the rising sun itself was not modified on the badge worn in the Mardi Gras parade.

I saw the badge that Devine protested about in her piece and Dr. Robinson is right. The Rising Sun emblem itself wasn’t touched, coloured or altered in anyway.The rainbow was around the edge, not anywhere near the emblem. Also, why would a military personnel, such as the former Army in Chief David Morrison – despite all his flaws – go out of his way to break ADF protocol surrounding the badge?

I also want to point out that former Vietnam War veterans are apparently not united in condemning the ADF for their participation in the Mardi Gras and supporting LGBTQ+ rights, according to one of the comments:

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After reading the article above and researching for this post, I think I did jump on the outrage bandwagon too quickly… again. That’s if Bob’s right. Makes sense, to be honest. And, contrary to what Devine said, they didn’t breach Section 83 of the Defence Act 1903. To my understanding it’s unlawful for a non military personnel to display the military badges without expressed permission from the appropriate military bodies. That’s what I got from it when I was looking it up. By Dr. Robinson’s account, they didn’t break any protocol surrounding the displaying of the rising sun, either. The actual emblem itself wasn’t touched or modified.I think it’s a panic about the gay marriage debate, again. To be honest, I still don’t agree with what happened to Bernie Gaynor.

 

Who’s right? Can anyone from the ADF or with family/ friends from the ADF tell me who’s right here?