Categories
Music News Pop Culture

Michael Gudinski launches new show and album

The COVID-19 isolation lockdown has seen many people, including myself, embrace music.

From the tone – deaf rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine, and musical parodies of the Bee Gees, Pink Floyd and Queen songs online. Many people  have embraced the music bug.

I myself, have been teaching myself keyboard using the Joytunes’ SimplyPiano app. It’s been both frustrating, but quite fun.

61 key Casio keyboard
This has been my way to embrace my musical side during isolation

I’ve also been listening to a fair bit of music, (which admittedly, isn’t new for me). About a month ago, I ordered myself Metallica’s S & M DVD and A Collection of Roxette Hits CD/ DVD.

 

 

 Online show to launch

According to Herald Sun, Mushroom Records co – founder, Michael Gudinski, with the help of the Victorian Government, is set to launch State of Music, as part of a entertainment/ tourism campaign, Victoria Together. It’s aim is to bring Victoria to tourists and show live performances from isolation. Gudinski’s project was in response to the halt to Melbourne’s entertainment culture due to the coronavirus.

While originating in Melbourne, any musical act from Australia or New Zealand can take part.

Livestream aims to attract young audience

Gudinski told Herald Sun that he wanted to use the Internet, including Facebook  to attract a younger audience.

The artist lineup is a mixture ‘80’s and contemporary artists. The first livestream will feature, Diesel, Birds of Tokyo, James Reyna and G – Flip.

According to Gudinski, artists are free to choose the songs they perform. The live-streams will not feature ads. Interviews are also a part of the shows.

The first livestream will begin at 7.30 p.m AEST tonight. Six more live-streams will occur in the following weeks at the same time.

Gudinski is also producing a 3- CD set and vinyl of  Music From the Homefront. Proceeds will go to the charity, Support Act.

JB Hifi has agreed to sell the album without profit

 

Millennials may get taste of Countdown

When the livestream was compared to Countdown, I knew I had to write something about it.

Unfortunately, I was born two years after the show ended. However, I have the Countdown Spectacular on DVD, which was performed in 2006.

The performances were brilliant. Some of my favourite songs were Hush, John Paul Young and Leo Sayer.

DVD Countdown Spectacular (from 2006)
This was my first taste of the show Countdown. I absolutely love it.

My picks for future live live-streams

Here’s who I think would be great for future live- streams:

  • Leo Sayer
  • Cheetah
  • Eskimo Joe
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Justice Crew
  •  Bernard Fanning (is a Powderfinger reunion a bit of a stretch?)

I know some of these acts, like Eskimo Joe have been around for a while, but a boost for them won’t hur. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard songs from them for a while.

Overall, I think this is a real cool initiative. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see some of the shows. It will be a great way to escape the turmoil that’s going on at the moment.

 

Will you watch Gudinski’s livestream show? Also, what acts would you like to see perform and be interviewed? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Gym owners raise concerns about mental health amid coronavirus crackdown

treadmills in front of white acreen
Image: iStock

According to SBS, gym owners have lobbied for the Australian government to reverse the forced closure of gyms.

A number of gym owners and Fitness Australia have argued that gyms are an essential service, thus should remain open.

Sydney gym owner, Billy Kokkinis  has slammed the decision, calling it a “disaster” for mental health. He has also criticised the mixed messaging from Prime Minister, Scott Morrison for allowing exercise bootcamps, in which  ten people can participate, yet gyms are forced to close.

 

I wasn’t going to write about the coronavirus because the media has done it to death. However, when I read this story, it spurred me to write something. I go to a local gym and have been regularly for about two years. It closed about a fortnight ago due to Covid19. The Zumba class I attend was also cancelled.

I can understand the argument for keeping gyms open. Exercise makes you healthy all over.

However, can gyms guarantee compliance of the 1.5 m (4 ft, 11.055 in) regulation? I’m guessing a number of exercise machines and weights may have to be removed.

 

Protection of the vulnerable

How would those with pre – existing conditions be protected in gyms? Asthmatics, for example?

Before the announcements of forced closure of gyms, New South Wales/ Australian Capital Territory gym franchise, Club Lime, put out a video on Facebook outlining cleaning routines expected from clients and staff to combat the virus.

Cleaning gym equipment after use is routine in the gym I go to. It’s expected that you wipe down any equipment you use with disinfectant wipes. Can these rules be stricter? How can they be further enforced?

Are frontline admin staff and trainers supposed to detect people who potentially have the virus? What if they don’t have any symptoms?

You can see why keeping gyms open could potentailly be problematic for gym owners, instructors and clients. I don’t think all gyms can ensure with 100% certainty that their gym would be safe. And for those with pre – existing conditions, this could spell disaster.

Exercises that can be done at home

Gyms are convenient way to exercise. Personally, I find that when I’m at the gym, I push myself harder than I normally would.

However, there are exercises you can do at home. You can use various household items as weights. I’ve rearranged furniture in my lounge room, so I could do a bit of dancing.

Walking and jogging on the spot is really good. I do it for five minutes, with each jogging and walking session lasting 20 seconds each. Of course, it’s imperative that we do more than that a day (an hour most days), but that’s a  start.

Here is more exercise ideas you can do. (For more ideas, just google ‘exercises when you can’t get to the gym and you’ll get exercise ideas that best suit you).

If you really want to keep up with your classes, find out if virtual classes of your exercise are available.

 

 

 

The closing down of gyms is unfortunate. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. There is just too much risk of infection for gyms to remain open right now. And, you can work out at home. You just need motivation.

What have you done to keep active during isolation? Let me know in the comments below.

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Arielle Scarcella “leaving the left” and a danger of some trans activism

American YouTuber, Arielle Scarcella claimed that she was “officially leaving the Left”. She was disinvited from Mardi Gras last weekend.

Scarcella has been accused of being a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) and being transphobic. She has vehemently denied this.

Fiona  vs Scarcella spat cause# transphobic war

Scarcella was invited to speak at Les – Talk at Sydney’s Gay  and Lesbian Mardi Gras. This sparked some anger and a Change.org petition called for her to be dropped from the panel and that sponsorships for her attendance should be cancelled.

Her crime? According to Rational Wiki, in 2017, Scarcella did a collaboration with  YouTuber, Jaclyn Glenn. They did a rebuttal of trans YouTuber, Riley Dennis and her partner, Fiona.

Scarcella and Glenn were accused of misrepresenting Fiona’s arguments, allegedly claiming that Fiona supported conversion therapy.  Fiona (and Riley Dennis) was arguing that lesbians who refuse to date transwomen were transphobic.

A social media war between Scarcella and Fiona erupted. Scarcella refused to back down from her remarks.

In the aftermath, Fiona allegedly received a hate campaign, which led to the collapse of her channel.

It was this spat that sparked the calls for her dis – invitation from the Mardi Gras.

(Just a note: I got this information from Rational Wiki. However, I think whoever wrote the entry is being quite unfair on Scarcella).

Scarcella on Outsiders

Scarcella went on Sky News Australia’s Outsiders after the Mardi Gras cancellation. She talked about the Mardi Gras snub and her video I’m A Lesbian Woman and I’m Leaving the Left. 

One issue Scarcella has of the modern Left, especially LGBTQ+ advocates, is the way labels are — especially lesbian — are misused. She finds it lesbophobic.

She also takes issue to non – biological women, and who don’t look like women, invading women – only spaces. As you could imagine, this got much respect from hosts Rowan Dean, Rita Panahi and James Morrow.

Dating preferences: should cis – gender LGB+ people date trans people?

The Outsiders’ discussion with Scarcella on dating preferences and transphobia is what spurred me to write this post. Anyone has read any of my blogs know I do support trans rights and do validate non – binary people.

However, I have always found the push for cis LGB+ people to date transpeople problematic. While I don’t think it’s necessarily like conversion therapy, I think it’s bullying to pressure someone to date a person whom they aren’t attracted to.

People have the right to be true to who they are. They should be free to date/ love the people who they’re attracted to. Or not, of course, (i.e. in the case of many aromantic/ asexual people).

 

 

What I think about Arielle Scarcella’s channel

I’ve watched a few of Scarcella’s videos. Ages ago, I saw a video she did on asexuality without knowing who she was!

I really like what I’ve seen of her channel so far. Contrary to what her critics say, I think she is incredibly inclusive, including of trans people. And she doesn’t deny the validity of gender non – binary people. To me that is a huge plus.

So to Scarcella’s critics, get off her back! I actually think she is a massive asset to LGBTQ+ commentary.

 

 Are you a fan of Ariel,e Scarcella? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

Categories
Gender/ sexuality LGBTQ rights

LGBTQ+ Muslims deserve our support

Islam symbol and mosque (top), LGBTQ pride flag (bottom)
Images: iStock.

 

One thing I like about the broadcaster, SBS is how they often present minority and diverse communities.

Sometimes, minority identities clash. LGBTQ+ Muslims often feel this clash.

Last Thursday in the lead up to 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, SBS Pride published an article on a Muslim Pride event coming up in London. It’s set to happen on April 11 after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Unfortunately, the organisers and participants can expect backlash.

LGBTQ+ Muslims face opposition among Muslims and the LGBTQ+ community

It’s no secret that there is often hostility between Islam and LGBTQ+ people. Countries and provinces that implement Sharia law often outlaw homosexuality. The punishments for this ‘crime’ often include execution or other barbaric practices, such as flogging.

LGBTQ+ Muslims who grow up in Western countries are often ostracised and abused by their families and community. Lebanese – Australian, Hussein Hawley told the ABC his family tried to “beat the gay” out of him before kicking him out of home.

Like many other LGBTQ+ people, LGBTQ+ Muslims are at high risk of suicide.

LGBTQ+ people of colour face discrimination in LGBTQ+ spaces

Muslims are not the only people who struggle fitting within the LGBTQ+ community.

People of colour, (including non – Muslims) report being discriminated against.

According to Stonewall UK, 51% LGBTQ+ people of colour have experienced racism within the LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, this number rose to 61% for black people. This is not right and needs to be condemned.

LGBTQ+ Muslims and the no true Scotsman fallacy

When I was reading some comments on Facebook, I was disappointed, although not surprised. The whole ‘let’s see this happen  in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc’, came up. As if LGBTQ+ Muslims are responsible for theocratic and totalitarian regimes. Are LGBTQ+ Christians responsible for the likes of Steven Anderson or Roger Jiminez? I don’t think so. No doubt, LGBTQ+ Muslims may face uncertainty and de – programming and find their way through their beliefs. Many LGBTQ+ people of faith face similar struggles.

Plus, there was the No True Scotsman statements, i.e. ‘you can’t be gay and Muslim’. Here’s the thing: you can’t choose your sexual orientation or gender identity. And you can’t change it. Ask any LGBTQ+ Christian pushed into conversion therapy.

However, all people should be able to freely choose their faith. Everyone deserves the right to explore their faith and relationship with the divine.

LGBTQ+ people of faith also deserve the opportunity to participate in a community. And the LGBTQ+ community needs to be a viable option if their faith community isn’t.

The LGBTQ+ community often campaign for inclusive and non – discriminatory policies. Maybe it’s time that some of them walk the walk.

SBS’s coverage of Mardi Gras reflects diversity

SBS did a great job in broadcasting the Mardi Gras. I liked how they reflected the diversity within the LGBTQ+, including ethnic  and religious diversity. They’re often good like that.

 

I can only hope that all LGBTQ+ people will be able to feel welcomed in the future. I hope that Pride and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole will become a place where everyone can be their true selves and be embraced. I hope LGBTQ+ spaces become safe spaces for those who need it most.

 

Are LGBTQ+ spaces exclusionary to people of faith or colour? Have you felt excluded from an LGBTQ+ space? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

 

Categories
Culture

Study shows children’s books lack ethnic diversity

Boy reading book in library
Image: iStock

Competency in reading and writing in school – aged children has been a major concern for parents, teachers and commentators for some time.

In 2018, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Report claimed Australia’s 15 – year – olds were just above average in literacy. All the results in English, Mathematics and Science were the worst they’d been since 2000.

Children books lack ethnically diverse characters

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Edith Cowan University professor, Dr. Helen Adam studied the cultural diversity in books aimed at kindergarten/ prep aged children.

Out of 2413 books, only 18% (approximately 434 books) featured non – white characters.

Even the most anti – politically correct crusader could see something wrong with this. Right?

The UK has been worse, with less than 5% of children’s books having at least one non – white character.

 

Immigration and ethnic diversity is a reality

Immigration is a major part of Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2016 Census, most of Australia’s immigrants come from the UK and New Zealand. However, between 2006 to 2016, the rate of immigration from those countries slightly decreased.

Conversely, immigration from Asia has increased. There has been soikes in immigration from China, India and Nepal.

Could this disparity lead to white supremacy among children and young people?

The Sydney Morning Herald feared lack of diversity in characters could create white supremacy in Caucasian children. To be honest, I think that’s a bit alarmist.

However, when I first read the article, my immediate thought was how would it affect the education of children? Would children from non – White/ non – English speaking backgrounds and their families feel so discouraged that they’d isolate themselves? Maybe refuse to speak English at all? If we expect migrants and their families to assimilate, I think we need to meet them half way. They should be included in  all facets of society, including in literature and pop culture.

 

Will their ethnic diverse authors in the future?

Looking briefly at Booktopia’s Top 50 Favourite Australian Authors of 2018, most of the authors listed were from a European background. The exception was Vietnamese – born, Anh Doh.

Authors should be able to write about characters who are not the same as them. Characters can have different ethnicities, sexual orientations, life experiences, etc. Not all characters have to reflect the exact identities and experiences of the author/s.

Having said that, it’s not surprising that most authors create characters who somehow reflect their knowledge and experiences. And ethnicity may play a role in that.

Will diversity in characters change in the future? With our current trends in migration – an increased South and East Asian migration rate, it’s possible that we’ll have more authors from different ethnic backgrounds, hence characters.

Of course, publishers need to be open to potential authors who were not born here. Then there’s the Australian market. How popular are books from non – European migrants/ second generation Australians going to be? Only time will tell.

 

All children deserve a decent education. Children should be able to read about characters they can relate to. This includes children who’s family has cone from overseas.

 

What do you think about ethnic diversity in children’s books? Is there enough? Do you think it’s important? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary

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.

 

 

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary

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).

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary

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?

Categories
Retail and Marketing

David Littleproud attacks Coles over milk. Too little, too late

Coles sign on side of store

MP David Littleproud attacked grocery giant, Coles for not passing extra A$0.10 from their milk on to farmers. This has triggered an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry.

Apparently, Coles have finally buckled, donating an extra A$5million to farmers.

Why has anyone only spoken up now?

Coles and the other grocer mammoth, Woolworths were in a longstanding war over grocery prices.

Woolworths entrance
Woolworths has been part of the ‘price wars’ since 2011, resulting in them quashing competitors.

This started in 2011. Both supermarkets offered low prices and started a home brand that has covered a wide range of items.

The “down down” prices have proven to be sinister.  A number of smaller, independent grocers couldn’t compete went out of business.

Coles and Woolworths were accused of quashing small businesses in rural and regional areas.

To add insult to injury, last month, the price wars ended. Prices rose again. Everyone has lost out instead of Coles and Woolworths.

 

Yet, to my knowledge only recently has any MP publicly spoken out against Coles and/ or Woolworths. What took them so long? Is it just save face and make itlook like they’re doing something for the farmers after the disastrous Murray Basin plan?

Aldi: a saviour?

However, it’s not all bad news. Coles and Woolworths do have a competitor – German supermarket, Aldi.

They first opened stores in Australia in 2001.

Since then, Aldi has had its hits and misses. Many people like their prices, not just for groceries, but also household appliances like Dyson vacuum cleaners, which are cheaper than in other stores.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t bring back any small businesses in rural towns that have collapsed.

 

 

I think the Federal Government has really shot themselves in the foot over the grocer wars. Put simply, Coles and Woolworths are too big. Criticising them now is pointless.

 

Coles and Woolworths have proven to have no regard for the ‘little guy’. They’ve been able to bully their way to dominating a major part of the retail sector.

If they had no regard for the independent businesses, then why would they care for farmers? Unless it tarnishes their image (and threatens their bottom line).

U.timately, the CEOs of Coles and Woolworths only about one thing, and that”s profit.

 

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary

Is it time for corporations to drop ‘woke’ inclusion policies?

 

ABC studio entrance
Image: iStock

The ABC has faced criticism for surveys that asked about employees’ gender identity, ethnicity and sexuality.

*Facepalm*.

First, why do the need to know? I mean asking about someone’s sexuality or gender identity? I have real issues with that. LGBTQ+ should be safe to come out if and when they feel comfortable. They shouldn’t be put on the spot like that.

This is just the latest of corporate ‘virtual signalling’. At worst, it may achieve the exact opposite of what they intended.

Corporations should learn from the Rugby Australia fiasco

(This is the LAST time I am ever writing about this).

The recently settled legal feud between Rugby Australia and former Wallabies player, Israel Folau shows how ‘inclusion’ policies can backfire.

You’ve probably heard the story a zillion times (I know I have), but for those who haven’t, here’s the quick  rundown.

Folau posted a paraphrase (NOT A QUOTE), of  a modern (and sometimes contested) translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 on Instagram. It’s commonly used by the Religious Right in the U.S. It’s used to condemn LGBTQ+ people.

Rugby Australia CEO, Raelene Castle then sacked the Wallabies player for an (alleged) breach of contract.

I wish she hadn’t. For months and months, journalists, particularly from Newscorp have obsessively defended Folau and attacked Castle. They painted Folau as a victim of discrimination because of his Christianity. LGBTQ+ people and their so – called allies have been made to look like the ones discriminating.

To add to the shit show, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (who’s gay and was vocal for same – sex marriage), has been accused of getting in Castle’s ear, creating pressure on her to sack Folau (Qantas is a key RA sponsor).

The Australian Christian Lobby has played the victim card for Folau. After Folau lost his GoFundMe page, the ACL Managing Director, Martyn Isles set his own donations page for Folau’s case. It gained A$2.2 million.

You read that right. A$2.2 million was raised for multi – millionaire ex Rugby Union. All because of what RA did.

 

Just this week, the Folaus (Israel and his wife Maria) and RA made a settlement outside court and apologies have been made. Israel Folau has received a payout, although the exact amount is not known to the public.

 

This has definitely blown up in Castle’s face. What’s more, it hasn’t done anything to further LGBTQ+ rights. In fact, it’s made conservatives dig their heels in, demanding ‘religious freedom’.

Virtue signalling does not encourage empathy

People are getting sick of political correctness. Many straight people don’t see why LGBTQ+ people need extra protection, more ‘rights’, etc. And why should they? Think about it. Straight people don’t have worry about coming out or have their identities questioned or demonised.

Generally, straight people of faith don’t have to struggle to find a community that is going to accept them for who they are.

Straight people are the majority who don’t have to think about these things (and more). I think that’s why many get frustrated for having LGBTQ+ issues ‘shoved down their throats’ all the time.

Better way to foster inclusion

Keep it simple. Foster a workplace culture of respect. Have policies that says that abuse is not going to be accepted, period.

i think it’s time corporations stop singling minorities out. Everyone is tired of it. Everyone should stick with their job description: Rugby Australia, focus on Rugby, Qantas, focus on getting people from A to B, etc. Leave LGBTQ+ protests to Mardi Gras.

 

What are your thoughts on the Israel Folau/ Rugby Australia saga? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.