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Were John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova wrong protesting Margaret Court?

 

When I read the tweet I embedded below, two names came to my mind:

  1. Former Wallabies star, Israel Folau
  2. former Australian tennis great, Margaret Court.

 

OK, so this year does mark fifty years since Court’s historic 1970 Grand Slam win.

Her achievements should be acknowledged. Then, we can let her go to live the rest of her life.

That was too much to ask. On Wednesday, Czech – American former tennis player Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe were condemned after breaching security protocol by sThey were protesting to change the name of Margaret Court Arena.

After a public outcry and condemnation from Tennis Australia, Navratilova and McEnroe have both apologised for their conduct.

Reaction from the media

Of course, Newscorp columnists were all over it. Andrew Bolt accused Navratilova and McEnroe of being “intolerant” and Rita Panahi slammed them as “bullies”.

I’m surprised that the reaction hasn’t been more extreme. I’m surprised that no one has slammed LGBTQ+ people or blamed same – sex marriage, (then again, Sky News Australia’s Outsiders hasn’t started yet).

The Guardian Australia published a piece arguing that it’s Margaret Court should be the one to apologise.

 

Navratilova and McEnroe had the right to protest. Navratilova in particular, had a stake in the debate, being a married gay woman. Maybe they shouldn’t have jumped onto the court itself, though.

However, I do cringe at what they’ve done. As I have said on other occasions, too many LGBTQ+ protesters and allies don’t do LGBTQ+ causes any favours. We’re lucky that things hasn’t heat up too much.

Should conservatives just suck it up?

Security breach is something I don’t support. Aside from that, people do have a right to protest.

 

This isn’t the first time that calls have been made to rename Margaret Court Arena. During the same – sex marriage debate, the calls to rename it started and name it after Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

The debate has been going on since the same – sex marriage debate, when Court publicly opposed same – sex marriage and made controversial comments about  transgender children.

Since then, Court has been painted as a victim by conservative commentators. Critics of Court, Israel Folau and others have been endlessly condemned as ‘bullies’. People have even said that this is why the same – sex marriage ‘yes’ vote should not have gotten up. People were ‘warned’ about the ‘consequences’ of same – s3x marriage.

 

For the most part, I think these commentators use the  term ‘bully’ too liberally. While bullying, such as what happened to Wilson Gavin do occur, conservatives tend to equate disagreement, or in this case, protest, as bullying. That’s what they often accuse the Left of doing.

I want to reiterate, I don’t necessarily agree with what McEnroe and Navratilova did or how they went about it. Yet, it was their protest. Which I guess is their right while they’re here. Right?

 

I really hoped that 2020 could be the year where the culture wars would die down But they won’t. The battle will rage on.

What do you think of Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe protest against Margaret Court? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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Drag Queen Story Hour protester dies

Content warning: bullying and suicide

Last week, University of Queensland’s Liberal National Club member, Wilson Gavin was found dead.

His death has been reported as a suicide.

Drag Queen Story Hour protests

On Sunday, 12 June, University of Queensland’s the Liberal National Club protested Drag QueenStory Hour at the Brisbane SquareLibrary.

The confrontation between drag queen, Diamond Goodrim  and Wilson Gavin, among others got heated. Children who were at the library reportedly got scared and distressed. The Liberal National Club protesters faced backlash over their conduct and timing of the protest. Some of the criticisms were from members of the Liberal/ National Party,

Footage of the protest was taken and posted on social media. The footage featured Gavin at the front of the protest having a heated confrontation with drag queen Diamond Good Rim.

 

I feel for Gavin’s family and friends. I can only imagine what they are going through. Suicide is tragic for everyone who knew the person.Things will never be the same for those left behind.

For a person to take their own lives, it’s highly likely that they were suffering terribly. Mental illness is listed as one of the biggest risk factors for suicide.

At only twenty – one, Gavin was also in the most vulnerable age bracket. While suicide can happen at any age, the age group with one of the highest suicide rate is 15 – 29.

Same – sex marriage campaign

Gavin was a vocal opponent of same – sex marriage in 2017.

LGBTQ+ opponents of same – sex marriage were unfairly accused of ‘betraying’ their own. Some were accused of having ‘internal homophobia’.

The public spat between Liberal staffer, Josh Manuatu and Mamamia founder, Mia Freedman was about just that. Freedman wrote a tweet about Manuatu’s relationship with MP, Eric Abetz and his public opposition to same – sex marriage. She ended the tweet with the rhetorical question if Manuatu had ‘internalised homophobia”.

I was critical of Freedman for that. LGBTQ+ people are bound to have a variety of social and political opinions.

The debate leading up to the postal vote was hard on LGBTQ+ people. Counselling services saw a spike in calls for help. I wonder how many LGBTQ+ people who opposed same – sex marriage also found the debate hard.

 

Conservatives respond

News of Gavin’s death has spread to the U.S. Many people have showed shock and dismay at the news like many Australians have.

Conservative Christian public speaker and author Elizabeth Johnson, a.k.a ‘The Activist Mommy’ wrote a post on her website lamenting Gavin’s death. I find it a bit hypocritical, considering she advocates ex – gay conversion, which has proven to contribute to LGBTQ+ youth suicide.

 

Whatever you think of Gavin’s actions that day, most can agree that what happened afterwards was tragic. It should send a warning to anyone thinking about bullying another person, including online.

 

 

If you are struggling with your mental health, you can contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

For LGBTQ+ people, you can  contact Q Life: 1800 184 157 or via their webchat.

If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 000 (or your national emergency number).

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Costs for school supplies set to skyrocket in 2020

Laptop and school bag with notebooks and a pair of sneakers
Image: iStock

I’m not a parent, so the costs of school supplies don’t affect me personally.

However, after reading this article, I feel sympathy for those who have to prepare children for the upcoming school year.

According to the Herald Sun, YouGov’s Annual Back to School Report, figures suggest that the cost of school supplies have risen in every Australian state. Overall, the rises in costs have been steep.

Victoria has seen the biggest  prices increase. Parents are expected to pay A$608 on supplies; up from A$503 last year.

You read that right: A$608 PER CHILD. That’s a rise of A$105. A 20.9% spike!

Costs in other states are slightly lower, but are still all higher than last year.

In South Australia, costs have risen by A$167 (from A$401 to $568).

Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia have also seen rises in costs. However the costs haven’t been so steep.

Biggest expenses for parents/ caregivers

Most things that a child needs to start off the new year has gone up in price. New school uniforms, shoes and technology are some of the biggest expenses. Shoes and school bags have gone up more than 10% since last year.

Technology alone has cost many parents over A$200. However, one mother who took part in the study said that her child’s school provided the technology needed.

It’s worth noting that the article didn’t say anything about school fees.

Tips for saving

Parents and financial experts offered tips on how to cut costs of school expenses. These include:

  • Plan and budget well in advance
  • Keep an eye out for discounts
  • Don’t allow your children to pester you into buying the latest/ most expensive items or gadgets. If possible, it’s best to shop without them
  • Set rules for children
  • Shop around

Why is it so expensive?

If the YouGov data is representative of what many families spend on children’s education, why? Why does it need to be so expensive?

I wonder if the need for computers, tablets, etc should have been scrapped when Julia Gillard’s ‘Education Revolution’ fell through in 2013.

That’s the problem with the Australian Labor Party. They throw money around on certain causes (schools, National Disability Insurance Scheme, etc) only for the schemes to collapse.

Then, the Liberal National Party (for those not in Australia, they are the centre – right party), has a habit of cutting out money that Labor have put into social programs to the extreme. And this is the result.

And why are schools charging so much for uniforms? I thought the whole point of a uniform was to create equality among students. I thought the whole point was so students weren’t judged on their clothes and their socio – economic status. Now, how many families will struggle to afford uniforms?

 

Will we get to the point where education will be too expensive for some families? Will secondary education become a luxury? That’ll create a massive underclass. I think it’s despicable. Education is a right and should NEVER be treated as a privilege for the wealthy. All children deserve a decent education.

 

Are you concerned about costs of school supplies this year? What tips have you adopted to limit these?