Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Now, I’m not surprised

Map of Syria and the flag.
Image: iStock

 

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. 

 

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Anger and hopelessness over Manchester massacre

 

British flag
Image: iStock

 

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. ❤️😥

Categories
Feminism

What sisterhood?

Design
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.

 

Categories
Media Politics

Councils commemorating IDAHOBIT: is that such a bad thing?

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Image: iStock

 

 

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.

 

 

Categories
Media

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.

 

Categories
Politics

Budget announced – no guts or glory

Design
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?

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Celebrating Mother’s Day at school and being inclusive – they’re not exclusive

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Image: Pixelfit iStock

 

A Canadian primary school has received criticism after a letter was sent to parents of Years One and Two students saying that the classes won’t celebrate Mother’s Day. Reason? Diversity.

I don’t agree with the decision, but I’m sympathetic to the reasoning. I do think that people should be mindful about different types of families. And before everyone starts screaming about how the LGBTQ+ community are wrecking everything, I’m not talking about that. Some children, for whatever reason, are raised by their grandparents, some are in foster care, some are raised by a single dad because of tragic circumstances (death, etc). Now maybe in circumstances such as death, the child/ren may have a tradition of visiting the mother’s grave site and placing flowers there. They may reminisce on what the mother was like when she was alive. The pain may still be too raw. I think there is a place for sensitivity there.

In regard to children being raised by grandparents or foster families, there is a need for sensitivity there, too. Mother’s Day may cause distress and confusion to young children who don’t live with their mothers.

I don’t think banning Mother’s Day at school and pretending the day doesn’t exist is necessary nor helpful. It’s only going to spark culture wars. What I think can be done is that children be given the option to give the card or gift to another family member or friend who has acted like a mother – figure in their lives. This could be a grandmother, aunt or family friend. Teachers should be inclusive and acknowledge stepmothers and foster mothers.

Also, sensitivity should be given to those in shich a child has lost a mother. I’m not sure whether having the School Counsellor or social worker on hand would be a bad idea.

 

Of course, inclusivity needs to go beyond days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Children should be able to talk about their own families and not feel alienated. This should be done without alienating the other children. i think this is where the Canadian school is mistaken.

How do you think schools can be inclusive to non – traditional families?

Categories
Media

The collapse of Fairfax – what does this mean for the commercial media?

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Fairfax a victim of changes in the media landscape and mismanagement

 

 

Staff at Fairfax papers around the country have gone on strike this week to protest the proposed cutting of 125 jobs.

Whatever your views politically (Fairfax is a well – known Left – leaning company), I think this is sad. Several things have contributed to the collapse of Fairfax over recent years. One has been financial mismanagement and lack of sales revenue. “The Australian’s” Chris Kenny has said on his show that, unlike Newscorp, they went digital too early and their paper sales collapsed. They also relied heavily on advertisers – such as housing company Domain. This didn’t translate well to the digital world and therefore, their revenue went guts up.

I’ve said this sort of thing a couple of times before – what does this mean for journalists, columnists and even online writers?

See, I’m wondering even more now since I’m doing the Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing. My ultimate goal is to update this blog and make something out of it – sort of like what Mia Freedman did with Mamamia (I can dream can’t I?). But I want to work for someone else first. True, the course covers all writing, not just journalism and commentary, so I could get work in another field – hopefully. But, if I’m honest, I jumped at the chance to do the course when I heard that people can go on to do journalism after the course. The course outline for the Diploma lists journalism as one of the career options. I don’t think I’ll do that though. After I finish what I’m doing now I have to work!

 

As I pointed out before, ultimately, I’d like to update this blog and do something with it. It’ll take a while for sure, but that’s no guarantee either. I’ve written on another blog about how Wendy Harmer’s “The Hoopla” collapsed by 2015 after only four years.

People have probably heard the huge YouTube boycott controversy by now. I asked about it on a Facebook group whether bloggers who use AdSense for revenue had been affected (AdSense and YouTube are both run by Google). Some people said they had been affected, but not many. To compensate their losses, YouTubers have asked viewers to donate money via PayPal and Patreon. I’ve often thought about, rather than solely relying on advertisers (apparently, AdSense doesn’t pay a whole lot anyway), I’d go through other means like e – books, etc. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Maybe rather than throwing their dreams in the bin entirely, columnists, features writers, independent bloggers and others just need to be more creative if they want to turn their passion into a career like I want to. It’s either that or only have writing as a second job – which to be honest, I was happy doing anyway.

 

The future is so uncertain for writers now. It’s scary. With the rise of online writing, maybe this will revitalise the industry in the future. Maybe (hopefully) this is a temporary transition from traditional media to digital and journalism can be a robust industry again, just all online.

Are you a writer? How have you been affected by the ever – changing industry, if at all? I’d love to know what you think. Leave your thoughts below.