Categories
Opinion/Commentary Politics

The Left will get what they protest against

 

Violent protests broke out last week when Canadian commentator Lauren Southern and philosopher, Stephan Molyneux were speaking in Melbourne. According to Andrew Bolt, Victorian Police made a controversial move and billed Southern just under A$68,000 to keep protesters under control.

I’m not a great fan of Lauren Southern and I know she’s controversial. Her views on immigration and Islam in particular are seen by some as hate speech. It’s got to be said that Southern denies the accusation.

The more I see Secular Talk on YouTube, the more I buy the argument that free speech should  be (almost) absolute, (excluding threats of violence and defamation). To my knowledge, neither Southern, nor Molyneux have been guilty of any of those offences, either in Canada or anywhere else (feel free to prove me wrong).

 

There is something else.  Intimidation and violence are not only morally wrong, they are a sure – fire way to not get what you are supposedly fighting for. It won’t make people more empathetic towards refugees and asylum seekers. It didn’t make the US get Hillary Clinton as President. It could have destroyed any chance of Australia winning same – sex marriage, (luckily things picked up in the end).

It seems that everything the extreme Left touches turns to dust. Campaigns become unwinable. And history shows us that when there is retaliation against the extreme Left or Right, the pendulum almost always sways too far the other way. Extreme multiculturalists end up giving power to neo – Nazis. Islam sympathisers and the like achieve talks about the Qu’ran being banned as what was debated in Holland.

History has seen huge pendulum swings both ways, both often having deadly consequences. In the 20th century, Russia and Cuba have been two extreme examples. Maybe Iran could be mentioned to. In Europe, where immigration has exploded in recent years, there has been a worrying rise of far – Right and Neo – Nazi parties and groups. Australia hasn’t had such a backlash (yet), but a rise in Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party does suggest that people are unsatisfied with how things like immigration debate is going.

In 2016, the Left was sent a warning with Donald Trump becoming President of the United States and Republicans holding the power in both SCOTUS and the Congress. This set panic to many on the Left, with the Republicans being condemned for their stance on immigration and has also worried people  about LGBTQ+ rights. While no one in the Repulican Party has challenged or planned to back pedal SCOTUS’ ruling on nationwide legalisation of same – sex marriage (yet), the status of transgender and gender non – binary people, as well as same – sex couples and their right to access goods and services have been challenged. A number of the Republicans, like Sarah Huckabee – Sanders and Betty DeVoss are known for being behind banning transgender people from the US Forces and suggesting that Government – funded schools should be able to legally fire staff or expel students for being LGBTQ+.

 

UPDATE:

On Saturday, Andrew Bolt wrote a scathing attack on the New South Wales Police after they told Southern to move away from a mosque in Lakemba, Sydney in order to avoid a ‘breach of the peace’.

At first glance, I understood Bolt’s defence of Southern. Then, I read this comment:

Comment on Andrew Bolt’s blog regarding Lauren Southern’s interaction with NSW Police

The comment reads:

May I suggest that the police concern is not that Southern is a young woman, but that she is going to the mosque with a microphone, a camera crew and a ‘security detail’ in tow.

A couple of weeks ago, a male Daily Telegraph photographer went to a mall one (sic) his own and caused a breach of the peace. He picked out a target group purely on the basis of their appearance. This group had done nothing wrong and were behaving exactly as other groups of people the same age act, who were not considered worthy of media attention. But the group was black, and the photographer wanted a picture to go with a story on ‘African gangs’. A confrontation ensued, police were called and the photographer got and reported his story, never mentioning the part he played in producing it.

These kinds of confrontation narratives are self – fulfilling prophecies.

Comsider what Southern was wanting to achieve. People are peacefully attending a place of worship and a camera crew and reporter with a microphone (who describes herself as anti – Muslim) arrive and ask worshippers to justify themselves. These are more than a little tired of having to justify themselves to the media because of the actions of criminals who share their religion. There may well be a confrontation. That is what the police pfficer is trying to avoid.

I don’t know how much truth their is to this commenter’s narrative about one of the Daily Telegraph photographers, so I’ll leave that alone. I do get the person’s critique about Southern, though. Couldn’t she at least have given worshippers and imam a heads up and ask permission to be filmed or interviewed? Most libraries and community organisations, at least, have to ask permission and a signature of consent before taking and using images and footage of clients/ users and distributing them on social media. On one of my assessments in Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing, I had to seek consent and a signature before filming a discussion I needed to have for an assessment. If Southern didn’t, why not?

ANOTHER UPDATE:

Southern was on The Bolt Report tonight insisting that she wasn’t trying to cause a stir and that she had conducted similar interviews in the UK without any issue. Now I’m not sure what to think. Make up your own mind.

 

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary

Madeline should not have been let off for opposing same – sex marriage

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kbf7kY4lD5w

18 – year – old, only known as Madeline, was let go from her contract at Capital Kids Parties, Canberra, after putting ‘It’s OK to Vote No’ filter on her Facebook profile.

Her contractor, Madlin Sims made a Facebook post saying that she let go of Madeline because she thought her views were “hate speech”.

There are feelings that there is more to this story, but I’ll go with purely the issue of unfair dismissal and anti – discrimination.

I don’t think people like Madeline should be let off purely because of their political or religious beliefs. And, as long as they are not advocating for the killing of LGBTQ+ people or they are openly hostile towards people because of sexuality, gender, race, etc, they shouldn’t be sacked/ lose their contract.

However, I’ve got a funny feeling that some people who defend Madeline also want businesses to be legally be able to discriminate against people based on their relationships, gender or sexuality. It should be all or nothing. Sims should be able to discrminate against conservative Christians, or it should be unlawful for a business or servicecto refuse to employ or serve LGBTQ+ people. All of one or the other.

 

There is something that I think has been left out of this discussion. Madeline is only eighteen. She’s probably just finished Year 12. She still needs time to grow and I do feel for her. She’s had her work and her beliefs scrutinised in the most public way. Her character has already been debated,bsparked by Sims’ Facebook post. Regardless of who you agree with in this, Madeline is still so young. She has her whole life ahead of her and she’s been subject to public scrutiny already. All over a Facebook filter. That to me, is extreme.

 

I feel for Madlin Sims, too. By the look at her Instagram picture, which supince has been taken down, apparentky,bshe’s also incredibly young. And the abuse she and her brother have allegedly suffered must be condemned. Why this hasn’t been talked about and condemned by mainstream and independent media, I don’t know. (You already know how I feel about the whole ‘debate’ and ommissions,bso Ivwon’t repeat them here).

 

Unfortunateky, I think this case has put a bad light on the ‘Yes’ side, again. It’s also exposed my worst feears about same – sex marriage; a values clash between the Left and conservatives that I believe needs to be sorted before (if) same – sex marriage becomes legal in Australia.

 

What are your thoughts on anti – discrimination laws? Should there be any exemptions on moral grounds?

 

 

 

 

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:

IMG_0520
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
Opinion/Commentary

Silencing debate will not help the LGBTQ community

TV talk show host and comedian, Ellen DeGeneres has  disinvited gospel singer and preacher, Kim Burrell after a video of a controversial anti – gay sermon went viral. Burrrell and Pharrell Williams were meant to perform together on the show. She confirmed the cancellation of Burrell’s invitation on Twitter:

Degeneres can have whoever she wants on her show. She can invite – or not invite – anyone she pleases. In one way, you can understand why she did it. To come out so publicly must be real hard, also, considering the backlash she received afterwards.

Since then, she’s been a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community, especially gay youth. She spoke out after a number of LGBT teens committed suicide in 2010, one of which was Tyler Clementi, who took his own life after a video of him kissing another man went viral.

LGBTQ+ community and allegations of censorship

Degeneres isn’t the only one who’ve refused anti – LGBTQ people a platform. In fact, it seems to be common for the mainstream LGBTQ community and supporters to silence opponents, or at least give them less space/ advertising to spout their views. Australia has seen a similar phenomenon. In 2015, channels 7 and 10 refused to air an advertisement by conservative group Marriage Alliance.

Controversially, the same year, SBS pulled an anti same – sex marriage advertisement from Australian Marriage Forum during the airing of the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Channels 7 and 9 ran the advertisement. SBS copped criticism from MPs and a commentator.

More recently, publisher Connor Court refused to publish a book by Australian Marriage Forum’s Dr. van Gend, which argued against same – sex parenting. To me, this goes too far.  Why couldn’t Connor Court publish it, have it on shelves, have it read by prominent commentators and have it discussed on  The Morning Show, The Project and Studio 10,  etc. I doubt that any of the hosts on those shows would agree with the content, but what’s the harm of them expressing that and offering a chance for the public to respond?

The only exception I would put is if van Gend deliberately went out of his way to vilify the LGBTQ+ community. That should be off limits, period. Other than that, this is only a bad look for same – sex marriage supporters and the LGBTQ+ community.

Personal limits and mental health

Late last year, I listened to Mia Freedman’s podcasts where she aimed to “burst her bubble”. This was after the U.S. Election and the announcement that Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States.

Throughout a number of the podcasts, Freedman expressed how she had to stand back and not read or expose herself to anything about the U.S. Election because of how it affected her emotionally. I get that. In the context of same – sex marriage, it is a very hard – hitting and emotional debate for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Sometimes, you need to sit back and not read or listen to anything about that topic. I felt that way a bit last year, actually. But generally, I think we – the LGBTQ+ community and supporters, need to let other people speak and be heard.

 

We should be  willing to challenge false assumptions if need be. Listen to people’s concerns about issues like freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Confront and argue against absurd misconceptions. But banning speech, airtime, etc from same – sex marriage opponents is not going to win any hearts. In fact, I think it’ll do the opposite.

 

I’m not saying agree. I’m not saying that we should sit back and let ourselves get abused by others. All I’m saying is let others speak. And be willing to challenge. At least then, if, or when, same – sex marriage is legal in Australia, the other side can say that it was a fair fight and, hopefully, the LGBTQ+ community can continue gaining acceptance without backlash.

 

What do you think?