Petition against petitions



I’m tempted to petition against petitions. And as absurd as that sounds it’s not out of the realms of possibility given some of the things I have seen being signed lately.

In the early days of the online petition (and at the risk of sounding like a woman on a rocking chair on the porch whittling wood and shooing kids off the yard) there was great power in the petition. It felt like signing your name, or giving access to your Facebook page was going to make a great difference. It felt powerful to be able to add your name to the noise and the rabble and stand up for something that you truly believed in or stood for.

There were big issues being petitioned against – torture, detention, child slavery, animal cruelty, oil spills. Huge issues that allowed you to feel part of something, if not a solution at least a support.

But the tide has changed. It seems like everyone has a petition now. Just last week I was asked to sign a petition by a 7-year old for more toys in an elite Eastern Suburbs play centre. I didn’t sign.

And while I make my indifference heard in my silence there are some petitions that just make me laugh with deep anger (not a pleasant sound). For instance one I saw making it’s way around Facebook this morning.

First some background.

Jamila Rizvi was interviewed on The Project after the debacle we have come to know as the US election. Steve Price was on the panel that night as well.


“Appearing on the panel of Channel Ten show on Wednesday night, they engaged in a fiery exchange after Price claimed Rizvi interrupted him while they were discussing Hillary Clinton’s loss.
“It shows you that people in real America, in small town America, weren’t buying the bulldust coming out of the elites,” he said, before Rizvi jumped in.
“Sorry, can we cut this bull**** about the idea of there being a ‘real America?’” she hit back.
“I’m sorry, I was speaking before you interrupted,” Price replied tersely.
“Is it okay if I speak?”
After Rizvi pointed out the question was directed at her, he appeared to become more annoyed.
“This is the reason why Donald Trump won,” he said.
“Because people like you lecture and heckle people.”

Immediately after seeing that I tweeted “I’m with Jamila Rizvi” because if I am not a petition fighter I am at the very least vocal about women being able to speak without being called lecturers and hecklers.

This morning I saw a petition calling for The Project to apologise to Steve Price live on air. Yes, apologise to Steve Price, the very same man who called Van Badham hysterical on Q&A and refused to apologise for that.

I read the petition and realised the man who penned it is clearly irate. Irate enough to start a petition. Irate enough to elicit that angry laughter that comes when I read something written by someone who so badly wants to reframe something so he looks like the victim.

If we can’t petition against the petition can we at least call for writers of petitions to come up with some substantiated facts or even to sound a tiny bit educated in what they are arguing for. “In every single facebook (sic) post detailing the exchange” it says “the people of Australia have expressed their outrage of the leftist bullying that occurred, coming out in support of the conservative commentator”. Clearly he hadn’t read the Facebook post his own petition was appended to.

Some 30 000 conservatives afraid a TV program could go to air with left leaning views have signed the petition. A petition of which the writer says “at the core of this petition is a person (sic) right to freedom of speech and how political correctness is degrading it. The left have slowly eroded this right to the point that if you do not agree with their opinion, you are branded a racist, sexist or other deformities. Instead of opening a discussion to debate issues, they merely insult and put down.”

Maybe he will start a petition against being decent, I mean political correctness.

It’s these petitions that reach the news and have people giving them power that makes me despair for the petitions that are truly important.

Ever started a petition? How many do you sign a week?

Does it matter if Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke look beautiful or not?

Source: Instagram/lonelylngerie

Source: Instagram/lonelylingerie

The newly released images of Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke are absolutely awesome – in fact they make up what is probably the best underwear campaign I can remember seeing – but let’s be real I don’t spend a lot of time remembering underwear ads.

Lonely, the underwear brand says the campaign “features candid portraits of inspiring women in their natural environments wearing Lonely in their own way” which is lovely marketing talk. But naturally, everybody else is talking about how the two girls look in their undies.

[Read more…]

Why do men think women want pictures of their bits?

There are some things I don’t think I’ll ever get, like maths, coriander and dick pics. And while I am happy enough to live a life with maths and coriander, I don’t believe anyone should have to put up with unsolicited pictures of someone’s manhood.

The whole thing came to a head (yes, I know) when I read about an exchange between a woman in the UK who wrote a review for a restaurant on Facebook. Shortly after her very innocuous appraisal “amazing food and the staff is so friendly! Definitely recommend” she received a message from one James O’Leary in response to the review. James asked her to check her private messages saying “Hi Samantha, check my Facebook dm please I would like to know your opinion”. It was in that private message that he said “hey” and sent a picture of his penis and then the message “you have pretty eyes”.

All the class. [Read more…]

So many accidents involving kids. Who is to blame?

Of all the things my son has ruined, my ability to sleep for a whole night is the one I miss the most. And I don’t even think that was an accident on his behalf – it’s just one of those things that babies do. Then they grow up and have real accidents.

Kids climb into zoo enclosures when they shouldn’t, they steal Chupa Chups from the supermarket checkout when we aren’t looking, they put toast in the DVD player (in the good old days when we had such things), they break toys (sometimes willfully), they cut their siblings hair and make them look like they need special attention and they eat the dog food. They are kids, they do stuff like that. And more. If you have a kid you know that they’ve done some spectacular shit that you try to laugh about after some simmering down time has passed. [Read more…]

Mums can be sexy, but sexy doesn’t have to look like a centre fold

I’ve long subscribed to the belief that women over 50 should dress any way they like. After fifty years of dressing and a lifetime of being told how to act, how to dress and how to speak, there comes a time when you should be able to dress in whatever makes you feel comfortable.

But my hard line belief has started to take a bit of a battering lately, and interestingly that coincides with my creep towards 50. It’s not that my body is starting to show its creep – my arms are not quite as taut as they once were, my skin has known many a good summer and my whole frame has known the joy of many meals savoured, and devoured. But quite frankly that’s what a body who’s been around for half a century looks like. That doesn’t worry me.

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Omid and the people behind the story

It’s not often you cry in the opening minutes of a meeting. But then it’s not often you get to hear stories that pierce your heart has you sit poised to work out strategy.

Yesterday I sat in the lounge room of one of the amazing women who convene the Sydney Mums 4 Refugees Working Group. It was the first meeting of this group I’d been able to attend and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the women would be “my kind of people”, I knew they’d want the same outcomes as me and I knew they all cared.

What I didn’t know was how much I really didn’t know.

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Dear PR Company…

On any given day I would receive tens of emails (can you tell that I am not exaggerating here – just being honest?). Many of them are from PR companies. Lovely, hard working people who work in public relations and are “just doing their job”.

The problem is that most times doing their jobs is asking bloggers like me to advertise their client’s products to my audience. For free. Or, if I am particularly “lucky” for a free product that I do not want or need. In fact I get offered a lot of baby products. My son is 15. I need non-alcoholic alcohol not teething rings or baby food. [Read more…]

Would you want your son singing this song? Joining this group?

Trigger: Hideous misogynist song lyrics

As my son progresses into his teens our talk as parents has moved from issues like extra curricular activities and braces to scary things like alcohol and parties. It’s a reality we have to confront; however much we preach abstinence and think “not my child”, it’s happening. And even though we went through the very same thing when we were teens, now that we are the responsible ones it seems very different. Scarily different.

So when the first drinking episode occurred in my son’s year group at school talk began in earnest about rules we are implementing, punishments we would dole out, fears we have for our kids and you know, general talk about locking them up in soft padded cells with no outside access and no internet till they are 18. Or maybe 21.

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Passing on life’s important lessons

There is a nine-year old girl making news right now for er, breaking news. She’s just nine and she wants to be a reporter. Recently she reported from outside the scene of a murder where she interviewed the police and the neighbours.

There is a whole lot of grief out there about this young girl – how dare she pose as a journalist when she has no experience and has never studied, how can she be reporting outside a murder scene when she is so young, why is she so precocious. Gosh she’s even getting trolled by haters. Yes, you read that right, she’s nine-years-old and she’s getting hate mail.

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These are the Australians whose voices we need to hear

I was angry when I left the house today to attend the #LetThemStay rally outside the Department of Immigration. I was angry at Malcolm Turnbull, I was incensed by Peter Dutton and inside I was a seething mess because of the whole hideous situation in Australia. It continues to astound me that anybody could behave so heartlessly as to send people who had escaped persecution to hell. To a destination devoid of hope, a place of horror and abuse. It sickens me. Makes my insides curdle when I think about it. Brings tears to my eyes.

[Read more…]