An Australian Facebook User Called the Prime Minister a ‘Slut’ to Her Face | Motherboard

By Brian Merchant

Drew Boyer is a young man, just 19 years old. He went to Wanneroo Senior High School in Perth, Australia. And he just called Australia’s prime minister a “slut” to her face. But the Australian media hasn’t made much noise about Drew Boyer, because he did it on Facebook.Prime Minister Julia Gillard recently took part in an event billed as the first of its kind: a live Q+A on Facebook where citizens were offered a direct line the country’s top official. Seems like a trendy, progressive way to connect with young, plugged-in voters; sort of like Obama’s much-discussed Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. Unfortunately, it also soon acquainted the Gillard administration with another novel aspect of social media platforms: they unleash the trolls, allowing the repressed assholes of the world to speak their mind with no fear of public recrimination.So as soon as Gillard had logged on to the hour-long event, which was intended to focus on the prime minister’s education policy, the filth started flowing. SkyNews details what happened:

A Facebook question and answer session with Prime Minister Julia Gillard on education turned sexist and nasty, with her office forced to remove offensive comments. Ms Gillard took to the social networking site on Monday to talk about her education policies. But the discourse turned ugly, with one man calling the prime minister a slut. Another man asked how her father was. John Gillard died last month.

‘Get my dinner ready’ posted another man, while one asked if her ‘pubes’ were as ‘radiant, shiny and glorious’ as his own. A number of other Facebook users labelled her the worst prime minister and criticised her voice, with one saying her voice and demeanour were like nails on a blackboard.

In a town hall or a real-life Q+A with Gillard, none of these people would have had the gall to say a word of the above. In fact, in any other forum, many of those comments would qualify as straight-up sexual harassment. Yet the semi-anonymity of the internet, the inherent sense of distance and disconnect from other real live organ-filled people, and the unreality engendered by staring alone into the reflective abyss of the laptop screen had, for a bunch of dirtbags, once again turned the act of responding to actual events into a fantastical video game. An ugly, juvenile, and sexist video game; the sort played on Facebook by millions of idiots every day.

The interesting thing here is that these users weren’t even cloaked in actual anonymity. These were people with verified Facebook profiles with photos up front and center, willing to call the prime minister a SSSSSSLLLLLUUUUUUUTTTTTT.

The guy who wrote that, for instance, is our 19 year-old manboy Drew Boyer, who uses the alias UglyStonerr.

And this is essentially what Drew Boyer did: he called the Prime Minister of Australia a “slut” to her face. She was sitting right there, after all, on her computer, in real-time, as Mr. Boyer typed his inflammatory comment. The digital words sprang into being as quickly as real ones, in the same amount of time. His name and identifying icon were right there on the screen. It’s quite possible that, in this case, it was clearer who made the comment than it would have been had Mr. Boyer shouted such a statement from a crowded debate hall. So I repeat: Drew Boyer called Prime Minister Julia Gillard a ‘slut’ to her face.

But consider this: If Boyer had indeed been sitting at a town hall meeting where Gillard was speaking, if he stood up and yelled “SSSSSLLLLLLLUUUUUUUUUTTTT,” he would have made the national news cycle. Easy. Australia would know the name of Drew Boyer. But barring the cameras and the bellowing, this was precisely the same thing: The same number of people, or more, were online for the Facebook Q+A as would attend a live debate event, give or take. Gillard, her aides, and the audience registered Boyer’s message just as clearly. A concise, sexist insult delivered directly to the Prime Minister, for all to see. So why is the media cutting Mr. Boyer and his ilk so much slack, when such actions would be roundly decried by punditry across the land if they were spoken aloud instead of tapped out on a keyboard? Why are we so slow to apply the same social standards to the digital spaces we’re increasingly occupying and communicating across?

The media, and many older folks in general, tend to look upon Facebook and Twitter and YouTube as either objects of curiosity or juvenile toys, and therefore take less seriously the messages scrawled out there. The younger, for their part, have grown accustomed to treating these platforms as an almost alternate plane of reality, where they can get away with saying stuff they typically wouldn’t in real life. Both are bullshit. These may be (relatively) newly shaped conduits for transmitting your ideas, but you’re still responsible for those ideas. Especially if you choose to share them publicly, in a chat room with the elected leader of your country.

Because, come on man, it’s as public as anything. As public as the fact that according to his own Facebook page, we know that Mr. Boyer prefers to use the free lubricant included in Four Seasons brand condoms and is against gay marriage.

So what is the phenomenon that makes Boyer feel comfortable making insulting sexist remarks about Ms. Gillard, while she’s sitting right there, reading them? He’s surely aware that all this information is easily transmitted. Judging by his profile, he’s used Facebook extensively. He knows how this works. So perhaps he’s simply not registering the significance of remarks made on Facebook. It’s not like he said them on TV or something. Those words just somehow seem less real on the internet, and he knows nobody is going to criticize his sexist views over some dumb comment he made on Facebook. The medium changes the message — except that it doesn’t.

There has to come a point when will we grant the space more gravity, when we absorb intuitively the fact that people who make such offensive comments should be help accountable for them. The point will come when we begin to treat these platforms with the scrutiny we do with other more formalized modes of communication, when we calibrate the strange blend of casual transmission and permanent record-keeping that defines social media.

But I guess it’s possible some people will always see Facebook and Twitter and whatever comes next as screw-around houses and nonsense receptacles, where our bad impulses and unseemly ideas can be deleted the next morning or six months or six years from now when we have that job interview. Maybe they’ll never actually absorb the new-found accountability social media demands of our comments. That Facebook doesn’t offer immunity to the composers of misogynistic or otherwise offensive remarks. The Drew Boyers of the world may simply never consider the fact that his future would-be employers might Google his name and find this article.

Source

An Australian Facebook User Called the Prime Minister a ‘Slut’ to Her Face | Motherboard.

Here’s Drew

Here's Drew. Very average outside very ugly inside.

Here’s Drew. Very average outside very ugly inside.

(and here are the worst of the comments on Brian’s article. )

gillard1

Serial Internet pest, self-appointed moral compass and defamatory troll Peter Tolmie kicks off,  followed by Whingin’ Chris Smalley.

gillard3a

The Moral Defamers are joined by Alison Laing. Hummy then gives us an incoherent rant about fluoride (??) and a fake joins in with a cut-and-paste from every dreary far right piece of drivel out there.

gillard4

Constitutional “experts” Fred and Brian kick off, interrupted by yet another Moral Crusader in the person of Brian Palmer.

Hey fellas, you are starting to sound jealous with all this obsession about people’s private lives.

Then again no one is too impressed by someone whose education consist of  “Mafia Wars”.

gillard5a

Ewan Lambert, whose main activity is playing Facebook-based games,  joins the moralists.  And marching on centre stage is Peter Tolmie’s intimate friend Ivan “Waste Transfer” Tipp, yet another serial Internet troll.

We’ll be sure not to have any dealings with Eric Hallforde and Viking Concrete either

gillard11

Ivan also goes under the name of Ivan Havel. We can hear the great Czech humanitarian, poet and statesman Václav Havel spinning in his grave at the thought of having his surname hijacked by this far right fail.

Too many spills off the Harley can bring on brain damage Ivan.

Mark Berney and Dean Pollock continue the defamation and the best description of  the contribution of the Family Snitch to the standard of political debate in this country can be summarised by the cartoon.

gillard6

We don’t think anyone will f$#k Craig either.

And here’s a pic of Ivan and Peter so you can avoid them when shopping.

Elderly Internet besties Ivan Tipp and Peter Tolmie. All trolls all the time.

Elderly Internet besties Ivan Tipp and Peter Tolmie. All trolls all the time.

157 thoughts on “An Australian Facebook User Called the Prime Minister a ‘Slut’ to Her Face | Motherboard

  1. So…much…stupid!

    Why so much caps lock? It doesn’t make their point any better, indeed it just tells me that I can safely ignore them.

  2. Whenever you give people the ability to act out, consequence-free, in front of an audience, the shithead brigade tends to come out of the woodwork.

    On Usenet and web forums of days gone by, this sort of behaviour was relatively consequence free. You might get banned or your posts might be edited, but nobody you know in the real world would find out what a shithead you really are. Now, with modern social media, such behaviour carries a much greater risk.

    The sort of transparency and openness provided by social media carries with opportunities to challenge racist and misogynistic attitudes. You might not change the mind of the person you’re arguing with, but you never know how many people are sitting on the sidelines.

    I know this is a bunch of half-formed thoughts and opinions but it’s late, I’m tired as hell and this is the best I can do right now.

    • Tired you might have been Scott but you make a very good point. Social media is a two edged sword just as television is. It can be a source of great good, but also, unfortunately, a dung pile full of maggots. (apologies if the metaphor is weak but I’m tired and preoccupied.)

    • Julia’s attitude towards marriage is no different to the oppositions attitude towards marriage. What gives you the right to call our prime minister a “b*tch” ? Just because because someone believes marriage is something between a man and a women does not make it acceptable to insult them with derogatory remarks. Consider yourself Mr Mikey Bear.

      • So two wrongs make a right? Julia Gillard is the Prime Minister of Australia. She should know better. Anyone who denies me the right to being treated as an equal citizen will get the wrath of my anger. I have the right to call her anything I want. She is unworthy. And she is a b*tch.

        • So, apart from enjoying yourself, name calling people you disagree with, or people you think aren’t doing enough to support the cause achieves nothing? Don’t you think you’re hurting your own cause?

          Like I said, Julia Gillard has supporters, the Labor party has supporters, people wbo think that women in power, or the PM should be not called a c**t all have supporters, who often agree with gay marriage, or are at least sympathetic to it. Gay marriage is an issue which has a lot of support, even though a lot of that support isn’t actively trying to change the law. All these groups, you’ve pretty much said you don’t want to try and encourage to actively push for gay marriage-they’re your enemy, far more so than someone actively objecting to gay marriage. Is that not short sighted to you?

          I guess I’m just concerned. You and I agree on a lot, ultimately we want the same thing. But I really get sad when you, or anyone else in a social change group, really cuts their own throats by either doing something extremist which makes them feel good, or gets attention, but loses the support of people who mgiht otherwise support them, or complains that those in the middle aren’t doing enough, and loses the support of people who might otherwise be doing more. I remember I had dinner with an environmentalist who was about to go on a same-sex marriage rally. In the course of one dinner he called me and my wife traitors for getting married when others couldn’t, and called my friend evil for working for an evil fossil fuel company. This guy was an idiot, pretty much saying that unless you’re willing to not get married, or quit any job that could be linked to something bad, you don’t get to belong to the cause, yet somehow thought he’d eventually change the world, excluding people as he goes. But you’re not an idiot.

          Gay marriage is going to happen in our lifetimes, Michael. But it’s not going to happen on convicing arguments alone. It’s going to happen because of numbers. And at the moment, the public support is behind gay marriage. If we had a referendum on the topic, it would pass. You have a majority of people who support you-why try to lose them by saying “If you’re not with me, you’re against me” and saying things that add nothing to the cause but make you look bad? Is feeling self-satisfied after insulting someone really worth losing support for the cause you’re passionate in?

        • I appreciate your dedication in trying to get me to see the errors of my ways. I know I can be abrasive, and I make no apologies for that. I didn’t come here to change hearts and minds. I do that elsewhere.

          Perhaps it’s a good time to refer you to the wonderful wisdom of Tim Michin and his Pope Song. You could learn a lesson from his message. Warning, don’t watch it in a place where profanity may be inconvenient.

        • One small difference between Tim Minchin and yourself. Tim Minchin is a comedian. When he sung his “Pope song” which he loved, he’s not changing anyone’s minds, or attempting to. He’s singing his view to people who largely are sympathetic to his view. That’s great, but changes nothing.

          Plenty of comedians are working to change society, Corrinne Grant leaps to mind, and Wil Anderson and Adam Hills do their part, like you, by showing how ridiculous some beliefs are (I love Wil Anderson’s point that as Australia has more children out of wedlock than in, lemon ruskies have a more important role to play in producing children than marriage), but even then, they’re not trying to convince people to join any cause (Possible exception of Corrinne Grant there), they’re just trying to entertain.

          Like I said before, if you’re trying to change the world, or even the country, you don’t get a time where you say “Well, I wasn’t trying to convince you or anyone”-you’re always on call. If you want something bad enough and need to change the world, whenever you talk about what you want you are, directly or indirectly, influencing peoples’ views on that topic for good or ill. I know whenever I talk about refugee rights, I am working to change people’s views, maybe even their votes, not because I want to, but because I simply don’t have a choice. And if I want to have time off, the only thing I can do is not talk about refugee rights and hope no one asks me.

        • Mikey knows he can be abrasive, but makes no apology for that. You are the type of person we are talking about. would you like it if someone said what you have said about the PM to your mother? Being gay does not excuse you for anything, you talk about your rights and equality but then you describe a women with the c word. Charming. You do this because you think that there are no consequences and other people are doing it, so you can get away with it. This website is about highlighting where people should be made accountable. Take the advice you are given.

        • Dear Holier Than Thou,

          Julia Gillard is an oppressor. She is saying “Homosexuals are not equal to Heterosexuals and they do not deserve the rights that heterosexuals are entitled to, even if, as me, they have no intention of raising a family or do not have the capacity to do so”.

          Se is duplicitous, bigoted, homophobic and not worthy of being in public office.

          When you can get your head around the fact that I AM A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN then you might understand why I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT JULIA GILLARD and I certainly don’t care what her unborn children think about the names I call her.

          Sincerely,
          A PISSED OFF SECOND CLASS CITIZEN.

        • The PM not having children does not make her any less of a women. Not every women has children for a range of reasons, I cant believe people would attack something so personal. Mikey I dont even have a strong opinion on gay marriage. I dont think gay couples should be able to adopt or have a surrogate. Naturally a gay couple can t conceive, so really if you are gay you should n’t be having children. Infertile couples are the ones who should be adopting. Life is complicated enough, every opportunity should be made for a mother and father in a childs life. As for being a second class citizen, that label you have given yourself has nothing to do with your sexuality, you really need to consider yourself. I wonder whether you would call Tony Abbot the same things?

        • The PM not having children does not make her any less of a women.

          I made no statement about Julia Gillard being less of a woman. You fabricated that and it is arrogant of you to insinuate I implied that. My point was that she does not have children, yet she insists that couples who cannot biologically have children to each other should not get married. I made no reference to her gender. That she is a woman is irrelevant. She remained childless and it would be the case if she was a man, which she isn’t, through no fault of her own, not even the Romans.

          I dont think gay couples should be able to adopt or have a surrogate.

          Oh really, Miss Moral Authority. Maybe you’d like to ban interracial marriage too? And what about heterosexual parents who abuse or neglect their children? Maybe you’d like to prohibit them too? Your audacity is unbelievable.

          Naturally a gay couple can t conceive, so really if you are gay you should n’t be having children.

          Because who said we shouldn’t? Is there some instruction book that says gays should not have children? I know plenty of gay couples who do have children, actually, and they make mighty fine parents. My partner is a gay parent, with two children. Maybe I should tell him to hand them back to their heterosexual mother because he is a bad parent because he is gay. Honestly!

          As for being a second class citizen, that label you have given yourself has nothing to do with your sexuality

          Actually, I am a second-class citizen because the law prevents me from marrying the person of my choice. I cannot marry my partner of 4.5 years. Why not? Because he doesn’t have a vagina.

          You really need an attitude adjustment, because you are so full of bigotry and intolerance, and I would hate to be your children, if you were ever to become a parent.

        • Mikey you did make a comment about the PM not having children. You extend whatever meaning you want from it, I did not say you were claiming the PM was less of a women i m just simply making the point she is not less of a women. You are the person who has made the fabrication. But I guess a person who cant take advice to moderate their own offensive behaviour you would expect no less.

        • I’m not interested in debating the gender of the Prime Minister. It’s her cunty attitude that is her problem that makes the lives of so many good people in this country a misery.

        • We’d like same sex marriage to be legal. We’d like asylum seekers to be processed onshore and housed in the community. We’d like the government to take a fresh look at single parent benefits and Newstart. We’d like the Intervention to be rolled back and local Indigenous communities and the governments working together for solutions.

          But we know that swearing at the PM will not get any of these things done. And the alternative PM is immeasurably worse.

        • But we know that swearing at the PM will not get any of these things done. And the alternative PM is immeasurably worse.

          No one ever said that swearing at the PM would ever cause a change in policy, but it feels good. If she is going to be disrespectful to my relationship, I’m quite comfortable being disrespectful to her. And if you’re offended by my language, and not what the PM is doing, then you need to question your priorities. Which is what I was saying earlier when I referred to Tim Minchin and his Pope Song:

          If this motherfucking stupid fucking song offended you,
          With its filthy fucking language and its fucking direspect,
          If it made you feel angry, go ahead and write a letter,
          But if you find me more offensive than the fucking possibility
          The pope protected priests when they were getting fucking fiddly
          Then listen to me motherfucker – this here is a fact,
          You are just as morally misguided as that motherfucking,
          Power-hungry, self-aggrandized bigot in the stupid fucking hat.

        • I ve said I dont think gay couples should be adopting children. why carry on about interacial marriage? Thats got nothing to do with gay marriage. My husband is from Estonia and I have a two year old. Dont think you know what my views are on unrelated topics.

        • There were bigots who once thought that difference races shouldn’t get married. And look, you’re shining evidence of their bigotry being misplaced. And similarly, one day you’ll realise that your bigotry about same-sex couples not being able to adopt is misplaced too. Now might be a good time to reflect on why you think gays should not adopt, because I know gays who have adopted, and in one case, turned a 7 year old son of an absent mother who was drugged out of reality and unemployed with no way of giving her son the care he needed into a healthy, well-adjusted teen who is thriving and has a huge potential for a fantastic life ahead of him, something he would never have had if he had stayed in the care of his mother.

        • Michelle, as a person who has friends who are or have gay parents, I have seen that these families have just as much love as the heterosexual families I also see. Why are you against gay couples having children, what’s the problem with them? Firstly, there is no way to stop gay parents from having children-preventing adoption or formal surrogacy may block an avenue, but if a couple wants to have a child, they will have a child.

          And that’s the great thing about gay parents, especially now that the sexuality is becoming more accepted. The child will always know it was wanted, it was planned, it wasn’t a surprise for anyone. What a wonderful start for a child, knowing that absolutely it was wanted, and loved, and that its birth was looked forward to from even before conception. Heterosexual couples can give children the same great start, but as we all know, accidents will happen. With homosexual couples-they don’t!

          “Naturally a gay couple can t conceive, so really if you are gay you should n’t be having children. ”

          If we go for the natural argument, well gay people can conceive a child just as naturally than a sterile couple, and many do. To produce a child naturally you need working male and female reproductive systems-and a gay couple would have at least one set of these. An infertile couple may have none-so if we say naturally that gay couples shouldn’t have children, then shouldn’t we say just as well that infertile couples should not be naturally allowed to have children?

          “Infertile couples are the ones who should be adopting.”

          Well, in Australia adoption is rare, and when it happens, is more likely to occur across family members (ie, taking care of a child when their primary care giver is unable to care for them through circumstances, illness or death). In that case, shouldn’t a child stay with a gay couple they have a strong relationship with, than a more distance heterosexual relation?
          And when we’re talking about international adoption, which we are for most other adoptions, we’re not dealing with a shortages of children needing adoption. We’re not choosing between adotpion by a gay couple or adoption by a straight couple, we’re choosing between adoption by a gay couple, or possibly not being adopted. Which is better?

          ” Life is complicated enough, every opportunity should be made for a mother and father in a childs life.”

          But life isn’t that complicated. Life is the easiest thing in the world to do-I’m doing it right now. What harm is there in having a planned, expected child raised by two loving parents who know what they were getting into and had time to prepare?
          And in the case of adoptions, family law actually encourages blood relatives to retain a connection with the child, meaning that there is a strong incentive to have a mother and father involved in a childs life, even if the mother and father are not married to each other, or one of them is gay. Isn’t that enough?

          I know your annoyed by Michael’s words, which I agree, I don’t like his tone at all. But in the issue in general, he’s on the side of history. We already have gay parents, that isn’t going to change. Adoption will allow children who need love to be raised by parents ready to give them that love.

        • Michelle, I think what Michael was getting at in the case of mixed race children, is similar arguments against mixed race children have been made as has same sex parenting.

          “Life is hard enough without having to deal with mixed cultures”
          “Kids will get picked on or treated ill if they have parents from two different cultures”
          “Mixed race children should be taken away from their aboriginal parents and raised in an environment where they would be encouraged to be white, to allow them a better future”

          Each one of these arguments has been said in regards to same sex parenting as well.

        • The prime minister has not made my “life a misery” I don t find anything wrong with her attitude either. I think she is an ambitious women and a role model for many women. I think the criticism she has received has been unfair. She has a nice partner, she holds herself well, she should be praised. Whathave you done Mikey?

        • The prime minister has not made my “life a misery” I don t find anything wrong with her attitude either. I think she is an ambitious women and a role model for many women. I think the criticism she has received has been unfair. She has a nice partner, she holds herself well, she should be praised.

          I’m sure Penny Wong is just fine and dandy that Julia Gillard is stopping her from marrying her partner Sophie. They cannot raise their baby as married parents, but must succumb to a lesser status in society. And if the kid grows up and goes to school and gets teased because it’s parents can’t get married, then are you going to blame the parents for bringing a child into the world or are you going to blame the government for not allowing the parents to get married? I bet you’d not be supporting the latter based on your previous comments.

          Gillard may be a role model in some ways, but she is not a role model when it comes to human rights, equality, reducing youth suicide and the myriad other issues that come with intolerance of homosexuality (etc).

          I am not going to praise Gillard until she evolves her views. She is a hindrance to the well-being of Australian society, and as much as I loathe the prospect of Abbott becoming PM, I’d be happy to see Gillard deposed at the coming election.

      • And further (because I’m fucking furious and you won’t have the last word on this), her attitude toward my relationship is derogatory. When she can pull hear head out of her arse and get with 2013 I will muster up the necessary respect for her as a human being. Until such time she will remain unworthy.

        • How is Julia Gillard stopping you from being in your relationship? How is she affecting your relationship? It is the nation that is still of the opinion that marriage is between a man and a women, she is representing the nation. I do not see how a person who sees no need to change marriage laws is worthy of criticism of this kind. Nothing is stopping you from living with your partner.

        • Thing is, Gillard could have called for a binding vote, but she sucked up to de Bruyn and his mob and went for the gutless conscience vote. And in any case, this is not about Tony Abbott, as reprehensible as he is.

        • You won’t get a binding vote through on same sex marriage with the current ALP Caucus.

          Things are improving as the old Irish Catholic influence disappears but if you are waiting for a binding vote you will wait years. Even a PM sympathetic to same sex marriage would not push that onto the present Caucus.

          If enough Coalition MPs cross the floor along with the indies (Windsor, Oakshott and Wilkie will support any bill) you may get it through the House but it still has to get through the Senate.

          You should be lobbying your MPs and Senators, not heaping coals on Gillard. She is not faultless, no PM is. But forcing a binding Caucus vote is political suicide.

        • Oh yes, there is plenty of lobbying going on, and I’m pretty close to the action. She is still playing games with my life at the expense of her career. She could go to the election being on the right side of history rather than the wrong side, and if she loses the election with any shred of remaining dignity intact, she can at least know she didn’t lose the election for being a gutless wonder. But if she doesn’t change her position, then she just remains a failed politician and a rather compromised one at that.

        • Everything you are saying is based largely on your feelings.

          ” She is still playing games with my life”

          She is not. She doesn’t have any reason to be particularly offended by you – that is unless you act like an utter prat when you meet her. You’d get a negative reaction if you met with me and were an utter prat.

          “She could go to the election being on the right side of history”

          Your opponents use a similar line – the far right fundamentalists use emotions and misinformed appeals to history and scripture to rev up their followers. They also paint gloomy pictures of the demise of the “traditional family” (what is a “traditional family” anyway and who the hell has a “traditional family” these days? The Amish?)

          You can do better by being focused and pragmatic.

          The bleeding heart might make someone feel dewy-eyed but at the end of the day practicality wins out.

          That is something Bob Brown understood very well because he was a scientist, a GP by training. This is what is currently missing with his old party.

          Just look at his success in raising awareness of and support for environmental issues.

          Why don’t you for instance use your supporters who are SDA members to team up with the far larger number of straight women in that union who are pissed off at de Bruyn for other reasons, form a bloc and get the numbers for an extraordinary general meeting, and tip the old bastard out?

        • I love it when people tell me what I should do. I wish they’d take their own advice and do some of that themselves. I don’t have enough time in the day to do what I want to do, let alone what everyone else wants me to do. Thanks for the concern.

        • Michael, you’ve just spent a lot of time on this site, inadvertently convincing people not to join your cause. You have had huge arguments with people who support your cause, calling them part of the problem, and guaranteeing these will not be people joining you on letter writing campaigns, rallies, etc. So let’s not pretend you’re way too busy to do anything.

          Gay marriage is an issue which some Australians strongly support, some strongly oppose, and most support, but strongly enough to do anything about it, because it doesn’t directly effect them. Calling the last group enemies, while tempting, does not make them want to join your movement, and will instead make them less likely to support you. To give an example:

          Asylum Seeker Resource Centre-a non-government funded agency that supports asylum seekers, winning over supporters and sponsors through rational and impassioned arguments to that middle ground of people. Result-it has been around for over 12 years, growing every year.

          The APP-a non government funded political party which thinks all non-whites should be expelled, which tries to win over supporters by calling people who disagree with them fools, who are blind to the truth, losing even close family and friends in the process, then blaming any failure on weak members of their own party, and idiots in the Australian community. Result-it has failed in every election, and is tearing itself apart in blaming everyone for that failure.

          Which group do you more want to belong to? The one gaining more support every year, or the one failing and achieving nothing?

        • “How do you quantify “failing and achieving nothing”, especially in light of the amazing results that occurred in Tasmania recently?”

          Tasmania’s move involved attempting to convince many different groups to support gay marriage? It didn’t get through, but it’s a great first step which allows other states to follow-particularly Victoria.

          But, excuse me if I’m wrong, but in Tasmania the strategy wasn’t name calling anyone who supported the cause for not supporting enough, and saying “If you don’t support my methods, you’re the problem”. I repeat, what gain is there in insulting people who disagree with your cause, or even worse, agree with your cause but question your methods?

        • I repeat, what gain is there in insulting people who disagree with your cause, or even worse, agree with your cause but question your methods?

          Mountains and mountains of personal satisfaction. Honestly, it feels sooooo good to heap it on the PM. Really, she deserves it bad. If you disagree, so be it, but we can’t all agree on everything. Agreed? 🙂

        • Wait, breast feeding is the definition of good parenting? so if a woman is unable to breast feed, or if a mother dies in child birth, that parenting cannot proceed?

          Incidentally, this also allows for lesbian parenting. And how!

      • So lets get this right Mikey you feel that because you and your partner can not get married you feel you are somehow being discriminated against.
        I m a heterosexual male in a commited relationship and I am not married, I quite frankly I dont have the time or money right now for it. Even if its in another few years time I dont see it as anythink other than tradition, it wont change my life at all. Marriage in the trafitional sense of the word has always been heterosexual by definition, gays ha ve the exact same rights as a married couple so I don t see what the fuss is about. Marriage is about raising children yraditionally, naturally this comes from a heterosexual relationshjp. call your relationship a union or something else, but by definition it is not marriage. Most people dont need marriage for recognition.

        • “Marriage in the trafitional sense of the word has always been heterosexual by definition”

          Traditional marriage? which one? The polygamous one (Common in all communities if you go back far enough)? The biblical one (Also polygamous, and often incestuous)? Funnily enough, we don’t have marriages like this anymore-it has changed before, and will change again.

          ” gays ha ve the exact same rights as a married couple so I don t see what the fuss is about.”

          They want to be allowed to marry the people they love. As a married heterosexual guy who, in many countries 50-100 years ago, would not be allowed to marry his partner due to the colour of her skin (No doubt with people such as yourself saying “Non whites have the same rights as us, so I don’t see what the problem is) I can see why they’re not happy.

          What I don’t see is the fuss from an unmarried person, not particularly concerned about being married, that some other people may get married? How exactly would gay marriage effect you?

          “Marriage is about raising children yraditionally, naturally this comes from a heterosexual relationshjp”

          Then why are sterile and childless couples allowed to get married?

        • Grant, the difference between you and me is that you have chosen not to get married. I don’t even have that choice. As for marriage being for kids, try telling any single mother out there that and you’ll get a welcome reception. A little empathy would be appreciated.

        • Michael, why are you friendlier to the person who openly objects to gay marriage (Using emotional and rational arguments to explain your case), than you are to any other person here, most, if not all of whom support same sex marriage?

        • I wish you all the best in your marriage Jm, I was in a three year relationship with a women whos parents migrated from China before I met my current partner, I was only ever supported in my relationship to someone of dofferent heritage. My experience was o.ly positive from pretty much everyone who k.rw us. I didn t think there was ever an issue in this cpuntry of marrying someone of different heritage. Marriage between man and women is different than same sex in that it is child bearing. I am of the belief that a child shpuld have the opportunity for a mother and father in their lives. I believe this is important. I am grateful I was given this chance.

        • Absolutely your right in that not all biological parents are up to scratch, but put it this way my girlfriend is a natural with kids, she picks up a baby confidently knows how to comfort a crying baby and when we baby sit she is the best. But I m the one that makes the kids laugh. I think young kids need women, personally I would not be able to do a good enough job without a women.

        • You’re so yesterday Grant. France just passed marriage equality legislation, as did Uruguay. New Zealand is next. We may even see something in Tasmania soon.

          Gay and lesbian couples are already raising very well adjusted children, on par with their heterosexual peers. Wouldn’t you rather see those children raised in the most supportive environment, strengthened by the security of marriage, than left to defend the validity of their relationships and their parenting ability?

          Please put your prejudices aside and look to the better qualities of same-sex parenting, rather than succumb to the bogan qualities of bigotry.

          Michael.

        • “I went to primary school with a two kids whos father left the marriage for another man. ”

          That’s terrible, and harmful for the kids. But, if homosexuality was more respected he wouldn’t have been in a marriage with a woman he was not attracted to, preventing the harmful breakup. And marriage is one great way of making homosexuality more respected.

          Incidentally, having gay marriage isn’t going to lead to more men fleeing their marriages to their wives for the comfort of other men. Sexuality doesn’t work that way.

          “The kids were picked on about this unfortunately and I wpyld not call the kids well adjusted. ”

          Of course, breakups are hard on kids, the worst thing ever. So, why not allow more couples who love each other to get married, rather than create a society where homosexuals are encouraged to hide their sexuality and marry someone who can never be fulfilling to them, increasing the risk of divorce later?

          Incidentally, a friend of mine had her parents separate due to the father starting a relationship with another man. And she’s fine. She’s straight, and has the love of a mother, a father, and two step dads. Examples of gay parenting, like examples of straight parenting, can be both good and bad.

          Incidentally, kids will pick on other kids for any reason. If we say we shouldn’t allow gay parents because of how kids would be teased, we would also need to not allow fat kids, skinny kids, tall kids, short kids, freckles, etc.

          “If we allow same sex marriage in the next five years ill hake your hand and penis, like the inland aboriginal greeting.”

          I think when we allow gay marriage, and we will, eventually, you can be left alone to your hand and penis greeting.
          It’s a really odd turn of phrase, Grant. That, with the vague implications that men are fleeing to other men make me wonder if you’re frightened that gay marriage is trying to turn you gay. I can’t speak for your personal experience, but this is not the intention of gay marriage.

        • Good points Jay Em. For the record, my partner has two kids, 19 and 21, both really well adusted for 19 and 21 year olds, and guess what, he has been the primary care-giver for most of their lives. He’s pretty much raised them single-handedly, as their mum wasn’t able to be too involved after they parted company 7 years into their marriage. Prior to me coming into Gregory’s life, 4.5 (that’s four point five, not 2, or 2.5, or 3…) years ago he had some previous partners, each of them living with him and his kids. The kids have had continuous access to their mother, and Gregory and her have remained on good terms. Anyone that brings sexuality into parenting, aside from saying that gay parents are as good as non-gay parents, have no idea. No idea whatsoever.

          My first partner found out at the age of 45 that his mum and dad, years after they had died, were not his parents, but had adopted him. That shattered him beyond belief, destroyed his life for a while and had the most psychologically profound effect on him. Can you imagine what that must have done to him? He was the result of a single mother from Adelaide being kicked out of home, sent to give birth to him in Melbourne, and then forced to put him up for adoption. The point I’m making here is that parenting is a complex arrangement, not always ideal, often fraught, sometimes unpredictable, and never anyone else’s business to judge the appropriateness of one or two people who want to raise a child in a loving, caring, supportive, healthy, inclusive and positive manner.

          It would be a good point in this conversation to turn the attention from moral high ground finger pointing about gays and whether we are good enough to be considered equal citizens (just like African Americans or women…) back to the matter at hand, why some people find it necessary to slag off Julia Gillard in an acceptable fashion (as opposed to some people who slag off to her in a potentially unjustified, bogan fashion).

          Yes?

        • Michael, what you’ve been doing is slagging off Gillard in an unacceptable fashion. Calling anyone a c**t doesn’t do you any favours. If you said “I hate her because of xxx” or “I can’t support her because of xxx” that’s one thing, but when you start name calling, that’s where all rational conversation ends.

          Let’s put it this way. You and I have actually had some good conversations now. Why? Because we’re talking in detail about beliefs. Same with between us and Grant. If we called each other a wanker, would we really be having this conversation, or would we just be insulting each other?

          If you say “I hate her because of xxx” you’ll probably find more often than not people will respond with “Yeah, I hate that too, but what are you going to do-the opposite is worse?” at which point you can say exactly what they can do-helping the cause. But once you turn to petty name calling, no matter how satisfied it is, there’s no way you can go from “She’s a c**t” to helping the cause. Anyone who has any respect for Gillard won’t want to help, anyone who hates the word won’t want to help, and anyone who sees that action as mysoginistic won’t help.

          To put it simply, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

        • I know, my mother constantly reminds me of that, but I like to think that sometimes it’s necessary to get angry and express my rage. That too has its merits. It clears way for the moderates to get a listening. I have seen it work quite successfully. People know Michael Barnett, because I make myself known to them and they want me to go away. I get my message across quite clearly. They may detest me, or hate me, or find me a damn nuisance, but they certainly come away with an understanding that there is a problem in the world and that it won’t go away until they do something about it.

        • How does getting angry achieve anything? If someone comes screaming at me, I don’t stick around to hear what a moderate person has to say, I get the hell away from them. And yes, getting angry gets you well known, but that doesn’t help if the result is no one wants to be near you or have anything to do with you. Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as bad publicity.

          And if they detest you, you haven’t sent any message apart from “tHat angry man was crazy. Let’s not listen to the crazy man” which there are plenty of in the world. Anger and outrage are easy things to make, to the degree that people now ignore it, especially if it’s coming through the internet.

          When has this sort of method-the frighten people with the crazy guy so they listen to the moderate worked? As a bit of a moderate refugee advocate, I can tell you in the world of refugee advocacy, the angry extremists, the ones who break into detention centres, free refugees and storm the fences are detested by the moderates. Because whenever they do something like that, they set all the behind the scenes negotiation, or the public awareness campaigns back, and instead of convincing people to be welcoming to all people, we have to explain “Yes, we support refugees, but we’ve got nothing to do with those guys who attacked the detention centre” (Also we don’t like them because refugees “freed” from detention centres in such riots are eventually caught and deported. End of story).

        • Cool, Michael, that’s your right. If you want to ignore me because I use a pseudonym, even though you spoke to me earlier, that’s entirely up to you. I just hope that in the future you’re better at getting a message across than you have been here, because if not, you’re not going to help the gay marriage cause at all. Just ask yourself, how many people have been one over by my anger? Who, after hearing me rage on someone, turned around and listened to moderate views instead of running away? If you can’t think of too many in either case, maybe it’s time to change your tactics.

      • So Michael, you believe you’re more likely to get support from someone who entirely disagrees with gay marriage, thinks its unnatural or potentially harmful, than you are from someone who does support gay marriage, wants it to be law, but isn’t doing enough in your mind?

        Please, Michael, tell me all the successes you’ve had with that method. Tell me how much you’ve achieved by telling people who support you that “You’re part of the problem, bitch!” and telling people who call gay marriage wrong “Try and have some empathy”. I want to know how many people you’ve won over, more than the number of people you’ve lost. What achievements have you made, apart from making yourself feel good that you could shout at someone for a little bit? I don’t see how you’re succeeded in doing anything except alienating more and more people who would otherwise be symapthetic to your beliefs.

        Grant

        “I didn t think there was ever an issue in this cpuntry of marrying someone of different heritage. ”

        All cultures, at some point, have said marriage between different cultures is wrong, either through social rules or formal laws. Traditionally, an asian and european marriage would not be the norm. But now it is. Things have changed.

        “Marriage between man and women is different than same sex in that it is child bearing.”

        But not all marriages can or will bear children. We allow elderly couples who are well past child raising ages to wed, as we do sterile couples, or couples who have no interest in children. Moreover, when a heterosexual couple marries, there are not qualification, no test they need to past to prove they will be suitable parents. You could get married in a t-shirt saying “Babies are the other white meat” and still be legally married, as long as your partner is of an opposite gender.

        “I am of the belief that a child shpuld have the opportunity for a mother and father in their lives.”

        But marriage has nothing to do with that. If a gay or lesbian couple really want to have children, they will have children, and its up to them how they work it out. Having or preventing marriage will not effect this at all, it will only effect the amount of security the child has in later life (A married couple with a child will legally have joint custody of the child, whereas with a non-married couple it would be harder to prove).

        • So Michael, you believe you’re more likely to get support from someone who entirely disagrees with gay marriage, thinks its unnatural or potentially harmful, than you are from someone who does support gay marriage, wants it to be law, but isn’t doing enough in your mind?

          I’m not asking for your support. But if I deflate every bigoted argument again marriage equality, including the Gillard Special “Because I said so.” then there’s nothing left for the bigots to use to argue against equality.

          I am not asking for your support. You are grown-up enough to know the difference between good and bad. If you can’t make your mind up for yourself, there’s no point me trying to make it up for you.

        • Michael, that’s not what I asked. I’m wondering whether it would be better to convince the moderates who support gay marriage, though not in an active way, to activate, instead of trying to convince people who object to gay marriage to change their views.

          If you really think that the extremist bigot will listen to reason and arguments, you must be new here. I would love if that were the case, but it’s too often not, especially the more extreme you go. It doesn’t matter how well thought out your argument is, if someone doesn’t want to accept it, they won’t change their opinions. There’s been quite a few times I’ve argued about immigration, deflating each anti-migration or anti-brown people argument, only to be responded to with “Well, I still want a white only Australia”-reason only goes so far.

          And that’s what dissapointing me about you, Michael. You don’t need to convince the majority of Australians, the majority of Australians according to all polls already agree with you, and a poll proportion that is likely ever to increase. But instead of trying to convine these people that already agree with you to do more, you call them enemies, you complain that unlike you they do nothing, and seek instead to try and convince more people who are opposed to gay marriage to change their minds. It’s far easier to convince a person who already agrees with you to do something to help you, than it is to convince someone who disagrees with you to change their minds. You have a group here, filled with people who support gay marriage. How about saying what we can do to support the cause? Wouldn’t that be more useful for you than tell us we’re not doing enough, calling us enemies, and name calling people you disagree with?

          You have a passion for your cause. And it’s great, and don’t ever lose it. But no one has made any significant social change by trying to lose supporters you don’t feel are doing enough.

        • Thing is, I’m not trying to gain or lose supporters on this forum. Honestly, I didn’t come here to do that. I came here to tell the world that I think Julia Gillard is a c*nt and why I think she is. That’s the topic, isn’t it, why bogans (and maybe others), want to slag off the PM?

        • But that’s exactly what you’re doing, intentionally or not, Michael. You’re losing support. I doubt anyone will change thier minds 180 on gay marriage because of your actions, but an all or nothing attitude does prevent people who may want to join an action group, a rally, or a petition, for doing anything for fear that they’ll be hassled for being too moderate, or a Labor supporter, etc.

          We both want social change. And if you want social change, you don’t get time off. I would love being able to take a break and call anyone who disagreed with me racist bigots who don’t belong to my country, it’s so much easier than challenging their views. But then if someone a bit more moderate sees these comments, they’d think all people who support multicultualism or gay rights do is name call and have no real arguments.

          Social change is hard, but it’s worth it in the long run. But it means you’re always winning or losing people, whether you want to or not.

        • I’m losing support? People will stop wanting to remove discrimination against intersex people and same-sex attracted people because I call Julia Gillard norti names? Really? I don’t understand the logic in that. Perhaps they won’t want to listen to me, but then I didn’t come hear for a popularity contest. I just wanted to make a point, quite successfully I must add, about the fact that Julia Gillard is a homophobic politician who is gutless, spineless and cowardly, with only her own selfish interests at heart. Hardly what I’d call a Leader.

        • Michael, even that is better. Criticise the view, criticise and explain as much as you like, but when you use meaningless names you don’t help anyone. Like I said, if you say “I don’t like Julia because of x” you get support, even among people who like Julia. You say “I think Julia is a c**t” you lose support from people who respect the PM, or who don’t like treating women with those words.

          And no, I doubt people will change thier views completely due to you using petty insults. But if a person is deciding whether to become more active in a cause, or to do nothing, knowing what treatment they receive helps.
          If they think “I agree with that group, but all they do is just shout insults at people who disagree with them” they’re likely to stay at home. If they think “That group actually tries to convince people, and works hard to change things, trying to convince people to support them, rather than trying to reject them” they’re more likely to help.

          Saying you don’t want a popularity contest minimises the point. If people do not like who you are and how you’re communicating, they will not accept or consider what you’re saying. If a skinhead nazi came to me and screamed a reasonable solution to the North Korean situation, I’m not going to listen to him, because he’s a skinhead nazi screaming at me. It doesn’t matter how reasonable what you say is, how much you’re impassioned by what you say, if you say it in the wrong way.

        • Michael,
          Ignoring the childish threats for a moment I have a few questions for you.
          Has your lot achieved any of its goals? Is gay marriage law or is it still a long way off? Don’t get me wrong I support civil marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, but when I see people like you on my side … I cringe.

          Could your approach of abusing Julia Gillard in much the same manner as the troglodytes in the Murdoch press or talkback radio be counterproductive in any way? Is the use of hyperbole effective in achieving your goals? To quote Dr Phil, “How is that working for you”?

          Being captain obvious here but you have not been able to achieve your goals. Your abuse of Julia Gillard and others is counterproductive. The strategy of gay marriage proponents has been one of reliance on its inevitability and the slurring of those who don’t jump when you crack the whip.

          Perhaps start looking at successful campaigns of the past like the one against workchoices and to a lesser extent Say Yes Australia. Both movements that relied on a positive message and stayed on task without getting bogged down in abuse. A bit of reflection on your strategy is certainly in order Michael and I would say the way you have gone about so far has ‘come back to bite you’ already..repeatedly.

        • Oh for fuck’s sake. I don’t give a toss what you think about me or what I do or don’t do. I bust my guts spending hundred of hours in activism, at rallies, writing letters, meeting politicians, and I am still told I am a second-class citizen. What the fuck have you done? Now if you’re not part of the solution, Davoe, you’re part of the problem.

        • Again, Michael, is telling people who actually agree with what you believe, but not the way you plan to achieve it, against your cause, really something that’s going to help you?

          You know what I love about Australia. Extremism fails. That “All or nothing, my way or the highway, if you’re not with me, you’re against me” never lasts. It’s part of the reason why the socialist parties get nowhere (They’re too busy hating each other) and the extremist right wing parties get no where (They’re also too busy hating, slandering and trying to kill each other).

          The message is clear-to win at anything, you need to convince people to join, not force them to leave. Rather than sending insults that will achieve nothing, how about looking into States that are already gay-marriage friendly, working with political parties that want to push for gay marriage (Victorian Labor and Greens parties), request a firm commitment, and demand the same from opposite parties. In Victoria, particularly, you’ve got a not particularly strong government, and an opposition which is fairly unknown, but is supporting gay marriage. Make them make it a policy (put it in writing), advocate for that, say that if they do the rallies you organise will be supporting them in the next election.

          Gay marriage will come all throughout Australia, but the way to achieve it is not to insult politicians at a federal level, it’s seeing where it can already succeed-pushing for that change, then supporting it to spread all over the country.

    • Disagreeing with a (admittedly pretty horrible) political stance is one thing. Childish name-calling and raging about the “wrath of your anger” makes you sound juvenile and sad, and helps nothing. The world would be a better place if we learned to talk constructively instead of embarrassing ourselves in our rage.

      • Andrew, I’m quite capable of constructive conversation, and have penned dozens of polite, respectful missives to the politicians in my electorate and elsewhere around the nation, blogged ad infinitum and done so much more, but after a while, over a period of years campaigning paitiently and respectfully, the pressure builds up and sometimes the release valve goes off where I let out a rather unpleasant comment in the way of the latest bigot or homophobe or douche-canoe or fuckstick.

        To be told that my relationship to my partner of 4.5 years is somehow substandard to that of a married man/woman couple if deeply offensive and to be frank, cunty.

        So please excuse me if I call Julia Gillard a range of unpleasant terms while I fight for my equality.

        • But Michael, who gains anything by calling any politician a range of unpleasant terms, much less the prime minister of the country? The politician won’t change her views by calling her a bitch, just as you don’t change your view if someone calls you a disparaging term.

          And you don’t gain support-no one changes their opinion on a subject such as gay marriage because they were won over by the insults they heard. Instead, you lose support of any Gillard supporters, any people who think that women shouldn’t be insulted in such a way, and any person who thinks the office of the PM should not be treated with such contempt, while at the same time damaging the image of your belief to those who shout down and insult those who disagree with them, just at the same time that same-sex marriage lobbies in other countries are winning people over with reasoned and rational arguments. So what gain is there?

          I understand your anger, but I really don’t see what your current methods actually help the cause at all.

        • Rage feels good. I remember in the anti Iraq war rallies we all had a great time shouting “Howard is Bush’s bitch” etc, screaming how much he was weak and Bush was evil, every disparaging name and lewd allegation you could think of, and it felt great to turn your anger over something that you objected to into something to attack and hurt those we deemed responsible….

          I also remember that those rallies didn’t exactly stop, minimize or prevent the Iraq war in anyway.

        • It gives me satisfaction knowing that she is a bigoted, compromised, half-rate, gutless unworthy politician not worth her position. I don’t have an iota of respect for Gillard while she wants to maintain social apartheid in this country.

        • And what does that satisfaction achieve? Come on-what? If you want to feel happy, there’s a lot of easier and more productive ways of doing it which don’t involve setting your own cause back and lose support.

          And why is it that you are never criticising the other side of politics which is even more restrictive on voting for same sex marriage?

        • Wow. Michael is part of the misogynist section of the Gay community .. trying to resist the temptation to call BS on Michael…too late…
          Anyone wondering why the Gay community can’t and won’t achieve gay marriage for a generation – just look at the example shown by Michael Barnett. A keyboard “activist” who has probably never left his desk for his cause. His “writing to politicians in his electorate” probably amount to the abuse emails that simply get filed to the trash can. His “attending rallies” probably amounts to sharing an announcement on facebook. His “4.5 year relationship” probably double counting. In other words the exact same kind of character as the sexists featured on this website, same as the homophobes only he is not hiding his sexuality like the homophobes.
          “Part of the problem or part of the solution” – a favourite slogan of the idiot left. A slogan coined by Eldridge Cleaver a woman-hating convicted racist who briefly led the Black Panthers – probably someone who a misogynist like Michael looks up to.

        • You’re welcome to your worldview Daveo.

          But just to show you I am genuine, here is me and Gregory with Anna Burke:

          http://mikeybear.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/meeting-anna-burke-federal-mp-for-chisholm/

          And you can see my hundreds if not thousands of photos I have taken at countless Equal Love rallies:

          http://mikeybear.wordpress.com/tag/equal-love-rally/

          You’re welcome to call bullshit on anything I write Davoe but I can prove every claim, as much as you think it’s a figment of my imagination.

          My name is real, my photo is real, my relationship is real, my partner Gregory Storer is real, we have been together since Nov 2008 and really, if you have any other questions that you need answered, happy to oblige.

          It might be nice if you took me on face value though, because so far I have shared a lot more about me than you have about you.

          Michael.

        • JM (oh how I detest anonymous names),

          I criticise Tony I’m a clueless git Abbott as much as I criticise Barren-ess Gillard (yes, that is low) but this is not an attack-the-Abbott slag-off. I have plenty of venom for that ingoramus.

          MB.

        • So what is your problem with childless women? You sound like one of the Coalition bully boys.

          Are you aware that some women are not childless through choice? And whether they are childless through choice or not it really isn’t anyone’s business.

          Not yours, not mine.

        • So what is your problem with childless women? You sound like one of the Coalition bully boys.

          I’m glad you asked. I have no problem with childless women, never said I did, never even suggested anything remotely close to that. Strange that you should think I do.

          My point is that for a person who wants to deny same-sex couples the right to enter a marriage, on the grounds of a religiously based “traditional marriage” standpoint, Barren-ess Gillard is perfectly placed to understand what it feels like to be in a same-sex relationship, you know, one without kids (no matter how hard each partner tries to impregnate the other). And she should therefore experience a greater deal of empathy for same-sex couples, rather than callously tell us only breeders deserve marriage rights (or should that be rites, it’s so hard to tell these days…).

          So, I am not judging Dear Leader, just making an ob-servation that as a childless woman, through no fault of her own, she really isn’t in a position to be telling same-sex couples who can’t have kids, through no fault of our own, not ever the Romans, that we shouldn’t get able to get married.

          I love this banter. It’s so what I wanted to engage in tonight. Not.

        • Michael, I’m still waiting on an answer to my question:

          And what does that satisfaction achieve? Come on-what? If you want to feel happy, there’s a lot of easier and more productive ways of doing it which don’t involve setting your own cause back and lose support.

          I’m don’t care if you don’t like my pseudonym. But I do care that your methods seem only to hurt your own cause. Look at this page-most people here, the vast majority, support gay marriage. You’ve managed to put them all off side, and appear happy about this, so you can maintain your right to name call the prime minister, and declare anyone who isn’t working with you to be a problem. How is that productive to your cause, or any cause?

  3. I think there are some aspects of the critique that are lacking:

    1) “The media” as it is refferred to here, does not exist. There is no such thing as “the media”; a monolithic entity that can be meaningfully labelled. The Australian media landscape has many different types of media, that can be analysed as having varying degrees of quality (SBS and ABC are more credible than The Daily Telegraph, for example).

    2) With 1) in mind, media outlets have different relationships with social media. I find the ABC quite adept with Twitter for instance.

    I get the point about how the platform is viewed by the user as somewhere that it is ok to post nonsense, but it’s becoming more widely known that, should you misuse it, you will face consequences. I hope this little cunt Drew Boyer is publicly embarrassed for what he did.

    • I find that some people are unaware that social media is a public space and are genuinely shocked when you actually challenge their views. In my opinion, you should never post something on Facebook if you wouldn’t be comfortable saying it in person to everyone on your friends list.

  4. Unfortunately this kind of shit isn’t a one-off, I see this sexist, bogoted shit all the time, on any Facebook group that uses it’s “freedom of political speech” to spew hate, lies and pathetic rhetoric.

    I’m from Perth, and I happen to be mutual friends on Facebook with a friend of this shining star of an intellect, I’ve just found out. :\

    • You’re finding out the hard way that that freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from the consequences of saying stupid shit.

  5. good luck with future job interviews drew and grow up . if slut is all you can come up with i’d hate to see your grade’s. must be a lesson julia there are millions of dickheads out there who are just dying to have faceless abuse to hurl at you .
    politic’s they don’t get,policies forget it.

  6. Brian Merchant, you the author of this horrendous piece of opinion are a douche, to support such a slimey, conniving, repugnant, anti-respecting so called PM only details so much about yourself. The Prime Minister is the chief of command, and should be upright, humble, caring, sensitive, and above all in demeanour. The current PM who, as noted by others, was never voted in by the people of Australia. The current PM has been bullying other MPs, especially from the opposition, name calling the leader of the opposition, acting ill-manneredly and yet you are to her defense because she is reaping what she sowed? There are only a few who respect her and they are blindly doing so as they have no true opinion, and some who are simply loyal to the Labour Party. I am one who has never voted against Labour, however, I will do so this coming election. My loyalty has not changed, however, for change to be made within the Labour party we the country must vote against them for true change to come within. For the MPs of the Labour party to comprehend the true damage that the current PM has brought upon them.

    • 1. Please spell the name of the governing party correctly. It is “Labor” not “Labour”

      2. As far as I can see and based on the info I have from people who actually know her, the PM is a warm caring person with a great sense of humour and a prodigious work ethic. Unlike Howard, she is comfortable with children – he was stiff and awkward despite being a father and grandfather.

      3. In our system of government WE DO NOT DIRECTLY ELECT THE PRIME MINISTER Got it idiot!!
      If you want to vote against Gillard you will have to move to her electorate. Since you live in Sydney I guess that’s a big ask.

      4. You never were a Labor supporter so don’t waste our time pretending you were.

    • Karpri I don’t agree that the PM has bullied other MPs. The prime minister does not have to be anything in demeanor, they are the person fit to run the country not anything else. John Howard could not bowl a cricket ball and I don’t know how warm and charming he was, but he ran the country and did his job as prime minister. Julia Gillard is doing the same thing. A person does not become prime minister because they are warm and charming and good with children or any other reason other than their political abilities. You or I could not walk in and perform this job, it takes years of experience and knowledge in politics to get to the top job. People are human and you can never please everyone, but Julia Gillard is performing her job as PM.

    • Nope, you’re wrong. The Gillard government will go down in history as an average government, the only thing of note is that see was the first female and atheist prime minister. As any credible economist, the economy is chugging along just fine, really no better or no worse than it would have been if she didn’t win the election. Social issues, again, will go down as an average government. Made some positive moves in some areas, moved backwards in others.

      The coalition will probably win the election this time round because two reasons. They have run a ‘good’ marketing campaign, not ethical but good, and it is the Australian cycle. A party will generally be in for two/three elections then it will switch, barring some major event. The past two elections have been rather steady and uneventful years in Australia, the economy has grown and shrunk within the standard fluctuations and we managed to avoid the GFC. That was due to a few things, Kevin doing a solid job (again, as any credible economist), China spending trillions on building new cities and other stimulus and the mining sector providing confidence to the economy. The mining didn’t add that much in terms of raw dollars, but it made everyone believe that the economy had a strong base, which kept the loans coming and the people spending, hence keeping the economy moving.

      This all adds up to a altogether unsurprising change of government. And again, go down in history as average.

  7. If ever there was a case for censorship and post birth euthanasia this would have to be it.
    Everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, however there is such a thing as a moral compass. People need to stop being so unjustifiably harsh and actually use constructive rhetoric instead of small minded gibberish.

    You want to say something, how about having a unique idea about the government that comes from your own thinking as opposed to through a series of Chinese whispers and abhorrent sources.

    The only facts we have are that:
    A wet behind the ears drop kick from Western Australia is behaving like a child. He obviously has no political knowledge and is angry at his parents for trying to instil some values into him … even though they’re probably already too late.

    This kid should do the world a favour and stop thinking.
    As for the support that is being shown to him … you people are scum, especially those that should know better.
    If you want change, then use your voting power, don’t have a cry and moan all the time. The number of people that complain about having to vote … and then the number of people that complain about politics is absolutely ridiculous … since when did Australia go from the chilled out lets have a beer country to the land of the whiny pleb that constantly bitches?

    • Michael so far you have said that you know calling the PM stupid childish names makes you feel better, and that you’re allowed to do so because she is oppressing you.

      By that logic I presume you think it’s ok if homophobes bash gay men because it makes them feel better. And it’s ok to abuse gay activists if you are a Christian because they oppress the expression of your religion.

      That would be ok with you would it?

      • Vanda, your logic is flawed. Australia is not a religious state. If it were, and if the law of the land declared homosexuality illegal and immoral, then it would probably be reasonable for you to claim that “homophobes” could get away with oppressing homosexual people on religious grounds However given that Australia does not tolerate religious intolerance of homosexuality, there is no equivalence in your argument between me being denied civil rights and religious fundamentalists feeling threatened by homosexual people.

        No, it would not be ok with me. What you are suggesting is flippant and peurile.

        • Michael, you’re missing Vanda’s point. She is stating that you like calling Gillard names, as well as supporters of your cause, because it makes you feel good, and that’s all you need as a justification.

          She is saying that if this is your only justification for this, then what is stopping homophobic men from using the similar words to attack gay people, or individual gay politicians, on the justification that it will also make them feel good?

          Of course, you’ll ignore this, because the person who previously posted under the name of “Mikey Bear” is apparently against people talking to him while using a pseudonym, despite having talked to such people on this page for over a day before realizing he objected to this (Coincidentally I’m sure, right after I asked him when his method of “frightening people with the crazy guy so they listen to the moderate” resulted in people actually listening, instead of avoiding the entire cause). Funny that.

        • I don’t like engaging with people who aren’t prepared to be accountable for what they say. That’s really it. Unfortunately my profile on WordPress sometimes defaults to the pseudonym “Mikey Bear” and whilst I mostly manage to override it, sometimes I forget to.

          I have had enough of dealing with anonymous people over the years to reach the conclusion that if a person is too gutless to sign their name to their posts, they’re not worth responding to.

          Michael Barnett.

        • “Unfortunately my profile on WordPress sometimes defaults to the pseudonym “Mikey Bear” and whilst I mostly manage to override it, sometimes I forget to.”

          So why do you have a pseudonym at all, considering how much you hate them?

          “I have had enough of dealing with anonymous people over the years to reach the conclusion that if a person is too gutless to sign their name to their posts, they’re not worth responding to.”

          Yet you responded to me for over a day. And continue to respond to people who use a pseudonym or do not give a full name, seemingly unless they are stating things that challenge your actions and methdology. Why is that?

        • Dear Bot,

          I set up a pseudonym on my WordPress account years ago and I am not really sure where it is stored now, as it generally doesn’t pose an issue for me.

          Right now I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the origin of my pseudonym on WordPress suffice to say that if you are too gutless to sign your next message with your real name this will be the last interaction we have.

          Michael.

        • Okay, so you set a pseudonym years ago, just like me, and it stuck, just like me, and you’re used to it now, just like me. But you using the pseudonym including as a title of your blog, under your picture on your blog, and as the url of your blog, even though you could get a wordpress blog with your own name on it, is apparently fine, and never questionable, but for me to ever use a pseudonym is gutless. Yeah, that seems fair.

          Anyway, I’ve done what you’ve asked now, so I hope we can continue our conversation. Here’s the topics that ended because my pseudonym is not as allowable as yours;

          1- If satisfaction is your only justification for name calling, then what is stopping homophobic men from using the similar words to attack gay people, or individual gay politicians, on the justification that it will also make them feel good?

          2- If you’re so against pseudonyms and think anyone who uses them isn’t worth talking to, why were you talking to me for over a day, until I asked questions that challenged your methodology? why are you continuing to talk to people who use nicknames, first names only and not full names? As Lostralian pointed out:

          ” Even your own blog gets its reposts from pseudonym-ed members of the blogging community (or do you subsequently flame them too, demanding their actual identities before the reblogging of your work?).”

          3- How does getting angry achieve anything? If someone comes screaming at me, I don’t stick around to hear what a moderate person has to say, I get the hell away from them. And yes, getting angry gets you well known, but that doesn’t help if the result is no one wants to be near you or have anything to do with you. Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as bad publicity.

          And if they detest you, you haven’t sent any message apart from “that angry man was crazy. Let’s not listen to the crazy man” which there are plenty of in the world. Anger and outrage are easy things to make, to the degree that people now ignore it, especially if it’s coming through the internet.

          4- When has this sort of method-the frighten people with the crazy guy so they listen to the moderate worked?

          5- Look at this page-most people here, the vast majority, support gay marriage. You’ve managed to put them all off side, and appear happy about this, so you can maintain your right to name call the prime minister, and declare anyone who isn’t working with you, in your exact way, to be a problem. How is that productive to your cause, or any cause?

        • Okay, so you set a pseudonym years ago, just like me, and it stuck, just like me, and you’re used to it now, just like me. But you using the pseudonym including as a title of your blog, under your picture on your blog, and as the url of your blog, even though you could get a wordpress blog with your own name on it, is apparently fine, and never questionable, but for me to ever use a pseudonym is gutless. Yeah, that seems fair.

          What does my blog site have to do with this? My identity is not masked. I have my photo on the front page of my blog. I am not trying to hide anything.

          Anyway, I’ve done what you’ve asked now, so I hope we can continue our conversation. Here’s the topics that ended because my pseudonym is not as allowable as yours;

          Thank you John.

          1- If satisfaction is your only justification for name calling, then what is stopping homophobic men from using the similar words to attack gay people, or individual gay politicians, on the justification that it will also make them feel good?

          It’s not just about feeling good John. It’s about responding to being oppressed. I am not calling Gillard a plunt just because I feel like it. I am doing it because she is saying my relationship is inferior. Anyone who takes a swipe at gays because it makes them feel better without just cause is clearly in a different category. You will note that I am not attacking Gillard as a woman, but as a fuckstick politician. I am not attacking her personally but professionally.

          2- If you’re so against pseudonyms and think anyone who uses them isn’t worth talking to, why were you talking to me for over a day, until I asked questions that challenged your methodology? why are you continuing to talk to people who use nicknames, first names only and not full names? As Lostralian pointed out:

          ” Even your own blog gets its reposts from pseudonym-ed members of the blogging community (or do you subsequently flame them too, demanding their actual identities before the reblogging of your work?).”

          I have no issue with pseudonyms. I have issue with people who don’t declare their identity. I find it especially impersonal having a conversation with someone who may not be really who they are. In fact even though you have stated a name here John I have no idea if that is who you are, but at least you’ve shown an iota of goodwill. I would rather everyone posted with a real identity, unless their existence was in danger because they were doing so.

          3- How does getting angry achieve anything? If someone comes screaming at me, I don’t stick around to hear what a moderate person has to say, I get the hell away from them. And yes, getting angry gets you well known, but that doesn’t help if the result is no one wants to be near you or have anything to do with you. Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as bad publicity.

          And if they detest you, you haven’t sent any message apart from “that angry man was crazy. Let’s not listen to the crazy man” which there are plenty of in the world. Anger and outrage are easy things to make, to the degree that people now ignore it, especially if it’s coming through the internet.

          Why do you care?

          4- When has this sort of method-the frighten people with the crazy guy so they listen to the moderate worked?

          I have seen direct evidence of this in some of my activism.

          5- Look at this page-most people here, the vast majority, support gay marriage. You’ve managed to put them all off side, and appear happy about this, so you can maintain your right to name call the prime minister, and declare anyone who isn’t working with you, in your exact way, to be a problem. How is that productive to your cause, or any cause?

          All of them are off-side? You’ve taken a survey? I said earlier, I didn’t come here for a popularity contest. I came here to state my opinion that Julia Gillard is a plunt, much like Tony Abbott is a plunt, although he’s not what this article is about.

          I don’t understand what you are trying to achieve in debating this with me John. I will not change my opinion about Julia Gillard until she reforms her opinion about my relationship, while she remains in public life. I will continue to express my feelings about her, happily so, and if people choose to tune out then so be it. I suspect though that most people who are genuinely passionate about equality won’t be so offended by my name-calling and perhaps even be so inclined to share a wry smile when they encounter it.

        • “I am not calling Gillard a plunt just because I feel like it. ”

          Previously when asked what you achieve by name calling the PM, you said “Satisfaction” and when pressed said “Mountains of satisfaction”-I think your adding justificaction after the fact.

          “You will note that I am not attacking Gillard as a woman, but as a fuckstick politician. I am not attacking her personally but professionally.”

          But you are Michael. You may not mean to, but you are. When you first posted here you didn’t say “Julia is an idiot, a coward who won’t stand up for the rights of gay Australians” you said she had a c*nty attitude to marriage, a very gendered term. If you had said “I hate Julia because x” this would be a very different discussion topic.

          “I have no issue with pseudonyms. I have issue with people who don’t declare their identity. ”

          So, you don’t have a problem with people who don’t use their real name, just with people who don’t use their real name? How does someone have a pseudonym, as many people including yourself do, without being gutless and hiding their identity?

          And again, why were you talking to me for over a day, until I asked questions that challenged your methodology? why are you continuing to talk to people who use nicknames, first names only and not full names?

          “I would rather everyone posted with a real identity, unless their existence was in danger because they were doing so.”

          Which, incidentally, many posters and editors on this blog are.

          “Why do you care?”

          Why, Michael? Because you and I have the same goal. We both want gay marriage, we want it now. If you were some crazy nazi guy who wanted to reintroduce the dulux colour chart in immigration policies I’d let you go on alienating people who may agree with you, because I would want you to fail. But I don’t want you to fail, I want you to succeed, but what I can see of your attitude, your opinion of people who aren’t active in the cause compared to those who object to your cause, and methods seems wittingly or unwittingly to result in having as few people as possible support gay marriage actively.

          If you support gay marriage, but respect the PM, then they wouldn’t want to work with you, because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of being called a Labor apologist.
          If you support gay marriage, but dislike gender based attack (And use of the word c*nt is a gender based attack), then they wouldn’t want to work with you, because they don’t want to deal with that sort of behaviour over and over again.
          IF you support gay marriage but haven’t been involved in a rally yet, they wouldn’t want to work with you, because they don’t want to be told that they’re working against the cause.

          You know how revolutions happen, how huge changes in society happen? Reasonable leaders making reasonable arguments with reasonable people, creating reasonable results. People don’t join causes by being called “Against the cause”, they join the cause of people they like.

          “I have seen direct evidence of this in some of my activism.”

          And the result of this was? Tell me what happened, be specific. Tell me how you shocked someone into listening into a rational argument, and what the result of that was.

          “All of them are off-side? You’ve taken a survey? ”

          I think it’s a fair assumption to say that despite the vast majority of this page supporting same sex marriage, and wanting the same result as you, none of these posters will be joining you in any active sense.

          That’s my theory, based on the quotes of people who have posted in response to your comments. It’s easily falsifiable-if anyone from this page signs up to a same-sex action you’re organising, let me know.

          ” I said earlier, I didn’t come here for a popularity contest. ”

          Michael, it’s not all about your popularity. If you want to go out and alienate people who might otherwise enjoy your company, that’s your right. I don’t care. But you aren’t doing that. You are a strong supporter of gay marriage, by your own admission an activist for the legislation of same sex marriage, and that means….you don’t get to choose where and when you get to be a representative of the same sex movement.

          Like I said, I’m a refugee advocate. Nothing too huge, not in the media, but it’s what I spend my days doing. And I don’t get a break. If I go onto a anti-migrant page and call everyone a c*nt, guess what-that would just lend the image of refugee advocates just running around swearing at everyone. So instead, I have rational arguments for those willing to listen, respectful corrections for those who don’t, and let those who hate destroy their own position by being the crazy swearing person in comparison.

          “I will not change my opinion about Julia Gillard until she reforms her opinion about my relationship,”

          You really don’t get it, do you Michael? It’s not abotu your opinion about Julia-that’s yuor right. But in your words you are hurting your own cause. And when I ask what comes out of you swearing about the PM, the only answer you could give was “It makes me feel good”

          “I will continue to express my feelings about her, happily so, and if people choose to tune out then so be it.”

          That’s the wrong answer, Michael. Why do you want same sex supporters to be a small group? What methods are you actually doing to try an achieve same sex marriage if you consider those who are apathetic actually harder to work with than those aggressively against gay marriage; if you consider those who are not doing enough to support gay marriage to be enemies of the cause; and are happily to lose supporters if your language and behaviour cause it?

          “I suspect though that most people who are genuinely passionate about equality won’t be so offended by my name-calling and perhaps even be so inclined to share a wry smile when they encounter it.”

          That’s the wrong answer again. Why are you so eager to lose people who aren’t “genuinely passionate” about the cause? Those who are actively engaged already in the cause, true, probably would not be put off by your name calling, because they are already active, and have learnt to put up with those whose behaviour and actions may differ from their own, but whose beliefs are the same (A lesson you would do well to learn).

          But here’s the problem that you and many other activists forget. You’re not trying to convince the people who are “genuinely passionate” about the cause to be active in the fight for gay marriage, because they’re already involved. A speech preached to the choir is a waste of a speech. The goal should be, as it is in all social movements, to get people engaged who would otherwise not be engaged. You don’t want those who are “genuinely passionate”, you want those who are “positive, but not active” or “uncertain” or “doesn’t really worry about it, but supposes it’s okay” – you want the middle ground, because the middle ground changes the world.

          And like I said before, the majority of Australians support gay marriage. The reason this support hasn’t translated into a change in law is because that same majority isn’t making their support for gay marriage known to politicians, to their friends, to anyone beyond the pollster. And when a same sex marriage advocate who is happy to lose thier support if they don’t like the words he’s using is not going to encourage them to become active.

          You seem to treat advocacy like a special club, or a fandom, like political vegans. It’s not enough to support the cause, it’s a matter of how much you support it, what you’ve done to show your support, and if you’ve not done enough, then, you’re not a real supporter and you’re not wanted or needed. That’s fine if you want a special club or fandom, but if you actually want to achieve something it’s suicide.

          The reason I’ve been posting so much so often is not because I’m trying to change your mind about Julia, because, like I said, your opinion is your opinion, and in 6 months it’ll all be academic anyway. I’m trying to understand your plan to achieve same sex marriage, and I’m worried because it seems like you don’t have one.

          Social change doesn’t just happen by making a lot of noise and getting angry when nothing gets better. You need a plan. What’s yours? What are you doing to achieve change? How would that change come about through this action? What would need to happen for this change to occur? What evidence have you seen of this action resulting in similar change?

          And most of all, Michael, if you have no intention to increase your supporters to beyond those who are “genuinely passionate” about the cause (Which, like in all causes, is unlikely to be more than a third of the population), how can you hope to achieve anything lasting?

          To give an example of my own activism for asylum seekers, back in 2011 I was part of a campaign to prevent the Malaysian deal the government was trying to put through. And this did not occur just through rallies, or by name calling any politician supporting it with meaningless gender based insults. It occurred to a strong multi-headed campaign, firstly by letter writing to the UNHCR expressing concerns for the proposed plan, secondly through supportive media to express the concerns and heartlessness of the scheme, and finally through a legal challenge in the Australian High Court. The result- the UNHCR refused to publically support the deal (Though not denouncing it either), the media turned against the policy, and finally we won at the High Court. Result – the Malaysian deal entirely fell through.

          That was one small policy though. You’re trying to change the law. So you’ll need a better plan than “Get aggressive to alarm people, hoping some of the people will stick around to hear someone more reasonable (Hopefully someone who supports me!), and then get involved, but if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, I only want passionate supporters of gay marriage anyway”

        • To give an example of how people can get turned off from an activist group even if they support the cause-storeis from the Iraq war protests.

          I grew up in Geelong, and the anti-war rallies there were big. They were a mixture of student groups, unions, peace protestors, church groups, everyone was welcome to join in, protest the war, and explain why they thought it was wrong. In the group you had a mixture of political beliefs, religious beliefs, and histories of activism.

          Compare to the experience at Monash University, where the anti-war group the very next year lectured me that the reasons why I thought the Iraq war was wrong were incorrect (Turns out my belief that it was an unneeded war based on a lie was the wrong answer-the right answer was “Imperialism”).

          The first group had large rallies, well large for Geelong, got lot’s of media attention, and lead to local politicians supporting the cause.
          The second group never had any rallies, and quite frankly I left after the first meeting never to return, because if I want to get lectured at aggressively, I’d prefer it come from people who disagree with me, than those who are supposedly agreeing with me.

          To be succesful is to be inclusionary. To encourage more people to be involved, and allowing more people to find out how. But what I’m seeing from you is an attempt to be deliebrately exclusionary, which I can’t see as resulting in anything but self-defeating. But if you can tell me how a group can achieve social change by being exclusionary please, let me know. I’m eager to learn

        • Well, that whole “I will only talk to people who use names, not pseudonyms” lasted long. A whole one comment to go from “I will not talk to you because you will not use your full name” to “I will not talk with you because…just because!”

        • Michael, how does someone talk to you on issues of importance without “lecturing”, while still showing a difference of opinion? Or is it a case of all disagreements would be lecturing?

        • Why would I want to meet you Michael? I’m fairly confident if we did, and I suggested any critcism of your methods, or any challenge to your plans, then any attempt at a conversation would be ended by you saying I’m lecturing you and the conversation would get no where.

        • Believe it or not, Michael, I was talking to you here because I agree with what you want entirely but honestly believe you’re hurting your own cause with exclusionary, aggressive, “Well, if they’re passionate about this, they’ll won’t mind, and if they’re not passionate I don’t want ’em” style tactics. Like I said, I want you to succeed, but I don’t think you will any time soon with this mindset.

          That’s why I was speaking to you online. But as to why I won’t meet you in person, are you really surprised that I’m not exactly excited about travelling to wherever it is you are, on my weekend that I normally spend with my wife whom I don’t get to see enough of due to conflicting work schedules, for absolutely no guarantee we’ll have a chat like you suggest, but instead an almost certainty that I’d receive an abrupt “I don’t feel I’m getting anywhere,” and storming off when I say the exact same things that I’ve said here? Is that surprising that I don’t actually want to do this? Especially considering when I asked you why I would want to meet you, you could not give a single reason as to why. To put it simply, your values and passionate belief in a cause make you worth the effort of talking to online, but not the effort of meeting you in person.

          Plus there’s the little thing about you always setting the goal posts further out when you get what you want. You hear some stuff you don’t want to hear and so you make up a rule of “I don’t talk to people using pseudonyms” on the spot. Then we talk to you without pseudonyms, then it’s “There’s no point in talking online, perhaps if we met and had a chat in person” No doubt if I did make an offer to meet in person, you’d say “There’s no point talking on a weekend, how about we talk during business hours” and then “There’s no point talking during business hours in Australia, let’s talk in Spain” and so on.

          The truth, Michael, is that you are hypersensitive to any criticism or complaint, and very proud. You don’t care about pseudonyms or talking online, you care that people are saying things that aren’t unqualified praise but a fair, reasoned and usually respectful critiques of your actions. Thinking things over would imply that you may not have gotten it right the first time, and you can’t abide that. And the worst part, I’m guessing, for you is it isn’t coming from homophobic bigots who want to lock up all the gays, you could handle that, it’s coming from people who more or less agree with you, and want the same things. It’s not so easy to dismiss a difference of opinion when it’s not a hateful one, you can’t just say “You’re a bigot” and have everyone cheer you as you stylistically depart.

          Do you even want gay marriage, Michael? I hear you saying you do, but I also think you’re absolutely scared of what you would do if gay marriage became legal. You like having a little club that only truly passionate people can join, like getting together to fight for marriage equality- would you still see those people once gay marriage is recognised? Like those university socialists, so eager to ask for the impossible (Free university, a new communist government, end all companies), so happy to exclude those who slightly disagree with them, because if they achieved their goals they would have to deal with their greatest fear-what they would do with their lives if they had nothing to protest, and don’t have much in common with the people they’ve been spending all their time with apart from a cause that no longer is needed.

        • You are just a little patronising John. I don’t want to engage because I don’t have the time you demand to flesh out a topic I don’t have the slightest bit of interest in discussing with you, here. I have a million more pressing priorities. If you’re prepared to put the time aside for me, in person, then I’d reciprocate the gesture. I’m decent like that.

          As to what I want or don’t want, what’s it your business? You’ve availed yourself of your right to marry your partner of choice. I’ve never had that right, so I don’t know what I would do when I get it. I’ll let you know when that day comes.

        • “You are just a little patronising John.”

          Well, I tried being respectful, and looked where that got me! You accuse me of all these things Michael, lecturing you, being patronising, etc. What forms of conversation are acceptable to you that still can involve disagreeing with you?

          ” I don’t want to engage because I don’t have the time you demand to flesh out a topic”

          Michael, I don’t demand anything. If you don’t want to discuss a topic or flesh out a particular belief, then no one here is going to make you. But if you are not to prepared to have your beliefs challenged there is no point talking to anyone.

          ” I don’t have the slightest bit of interest in discussing with you, here.”

          Let’s be honest, Michael, you’re not interested in discussing anything here. So… why are you here? Why are you on this site repeatedly telling people you don’t want to talk to them if you aren’t interested in discussing anything?
          When you posted on this site the first time, did you really think no one would challenge what you were saying or doing? Do you think you’d only have blind acceptancewhat were you hoping? That everyone would go “No, you’ve got a point. We should be allowed to use gender based attacks if it makes us feel good,” and you’d get blind acceptance? Instead of a discussion we’ve got line after line of you calling nayone who disagrees with you in anyway an apologist, hurting your cause, etc

          Incidently, for a guy who complains that I’m “lecturing” at him for….shock horror, disagreeing with his methods for achieving a goal we both support (The scandal!), you seem to be highly resistant to having the whole second voice in a discussion. You’re happy hearing your voice, but when you hear a response which is different, that’s something you can’t seem to abide. Kinda like a lecture, isn’t it?

          ” I have a million more pressing priorities.”

          I know. You’ve told us all about them, on this site. Repeatedly. Over many days. In fact, telling us how busy you are (In special non-descript ways) has been your second most common topic of conversation, between “Right, that’s it. I’m outta here” and “Everything I do is right, and I don’t care what other people think”

          ” If you’re prepared to put the time aside for me, in person, then I’d reciprocate the gesture. I’m decent like that.”

          Again, why would I want to? What possible benefit is there for me to go out of my way to agree to meet at person when there’s no guarantee that:
          A) You’ll turn up.
          B) The conversation will be anything different from what has gone on here.

          What’s even a benefit for you there? Considering you are a very very busy person, how could you afford to have time to schedule a meeting then have that meeting, when you barely have time for a decent discussion online?

          “As to what I want or don’t want, what’s it your business? ”

          Because I want same sex to be recognised in this country. That’s how it’s my business. It’s a cause I believe in quite strongly, can see it about to be achieved, and professional protestors who are more concerned about protesting than actually achieving anything are not helping.
          If you are actually advocating same sex marriage not because you want to, but you enjoy protesting, complaining, and being with other like minded protestors, I’m sure I can point you in the direction of many other groups whose goals are far less achievable, which you can get all the gains of being in a protest movement, without the downside of actually harming a popular cause in its attempts to become a reality.

          “I’ve never had that right, so I don’t know what I would do when I get it. ”

          You’ve really missed the point. I’m not saying it’s not the right to marry, or the lack thereof that scares you. It’s losing the topic to complain about, something to fill your time. You’ve spent all your time being this soldier, it’s terrifying to think “What if the war was over?” so you try, perhaps unconsciously, perhaps not, to make the war ongoing.

  8. So what are you going to tell your kids Mikey when they walk in on you giving oral sex to your partner? How are you going to explain that?

    Probably the same thing you’d tell your kids when they walk in on you giving oral sex to your partner. 😀

    In Russia you would be put in jail for the things you have called the PM you realise.

    Lucky you don’t live in Saudi Arabia.

  9. To summarize Mikey “Bear” Barnett.
    1. I’m oppressed and can use the most filthy sexist slurs and slanders against Julia Gillard because it makes me feel good.
    2. You can not tell me that my tactics are counter-productive and I expect a pat on the back when I use slurs and abuse in the same way as the douche-bags on talk-back radio.
    3. I use hyperbole about the gay marriage situation – I’m a second class citizen. Ignoring the fact that I’m well-off enough to have internet access and to have sufficient time available to blog, and I have not experienced the heavy hand of the state like previous generations of LGBTIs. Never mind indigenous Australians, people of a low socio-economic background and asylum seekers without contacts in a strange country – I’m a second class citizen because we do not have equal marriage rights ..yet.
    4. I’m so ignorant of politics now that I hope arch-homophobe Tony Abbott wins office, just because Julia Gillard hasn’t come round to the position of supporting gay marriage yet. And I should get a pat on the back for that.
    5. I should not be considered a bogan in any way – despite my use of appalling language and my sourcing of quotes from a convicted rapist.
    Sorry Michael there is no difference between you and most of the sexist bogans featured on this site. You’re a sexist douchebag who is beneath contempt. What’s more it is people like you that stand in the way of achieving your proclaimed goal of marriage equality. GFY

        • Why do people say someone or something is a failure, but don’t say why?

          Is it because they have no idea why someone or something is a failure?

          The first Keith

        • While Tony Abbott maintains his unenlightened views and refuses to “evolve”, letting the rest of the Western world by-pass him, I don’t believe he has anything useful to offer Australian society, and will be the worst thing this country could have inflicted on it (next to Bob Katter, Danny Naliah or Fred Nile).

        • People only ends a conversation because they have nothing useful to write or they scare of the truth?

          Like complaining others are lecturing them, when they are doing a very good Job of lecturing others.

  10. everything that you do say or think gets returned to you.. sometimes with interest added.. i choose to be careful with my reaction to things.. what do you guys choose ?

  11. drew boyer, you have an enormous amount of personal growth to be learnt. i suggest you keep your opinions private. i imagine that you are now learning a lesson in human decency. better to grow as a person from a young age. there are many people in this world who as adults, still refuse to mature their thoughts. what is happening to you now is a reaction to your original action. action =reaction. karma….. its a universal law; it never fails !

  12. So Michael, if you are going to vote on one issue, and one issue only, what are you going to do in September? Vote for the coalition?

    I’m not going to go into the issues with you calling Julia Gillard a ‘cunt’ – that’s been done here well and truly. But your input to this discussion does not show a very nuanced or wide understanding of politics or the current political dynamics. In abusing Julia Gillard the way you have, you are in fact standing shoulder to shoulder with those who loathe gay people and object to gay marriage. You are using their language, their simple slogans, their way of thinking. You are no better than an Alan Jones’ fan, no better than those who would spit on you in the street. You are helping their cause.

    • Cheers Vanda. Talking to Michael is like administering medicine to the dead in Thomas Paine’s words. Unfortunately people like him will only cotton onto his errors when it is too late.

    • Hi Vanda,

      A pleasure to engage with a person on this forum who has the guts to share their true identity. I respect you for that.

      You ask what my intention is regarding my vote in the upcoming federal election. I am genuinely surprised you suggest I’d vote for the coalition, especially considering I find it objectionable that Julia Gillard is against marriage equality. I would not vote for any political party whose leader is against equal rights for all people, and moreso when it’s enshrined in party policy, or at least part of an “unbreakable” promise by said party.

      No, I would not vote for the coalition. And I would not vote ALP either. I would favour any party that is genuinly supportive of true equality (not some half-baked form of Equality Lite TM such as that which the ALP seem to kicking around the place). To that end, parties such as the Australian Greens, the Sex Party, and any other party or independent, no matter how minor or seemingly insignificant, will get my vote, in order of their ability to increase my rights to the same as everyone and in order to send the message to the ALP that they are a massive disappointment (oh, and to tell the Libs that they are just a waste of space led by a buffoon). The coalition will likely come as close to the bottom of my ticket, just above all the fundagelical wingnut parties and that ilk.

      I have been dragged into the world of politics because my rights have been trampled on by John Howard and his successors. I generally don’t get involved in politics because I have far more important issues to deal with in my life and am happier to leave politics to political animals. However given that I want equality under the law, I need to engage in political debate (however it happens) to change the law and remove the existing discrimination in the Marriage Act.

      You said my attitude toward Julia Gillard puts me on par with those people who wish to deny me equal rights. I disagree entirely. She devalues my existence by saying that same-sex couples are not worthy of the same rights as opposite-sex couples. She fails to quality her remarks and seems incapable of substantiating her attitude, which really is most remarkable for a person who is so incredibly articulate, intelligent, competent and who allegedly declared to support equal rights for homosexual people (although I way to test the veracity of the latter). And if Julia Gillard is going to tell me that the relationship between my partner and I is less worthy than that of the relationship between her and her partner Tim, then I believe I am entitled to express my disappointment at her callousness and her disrespect for our relationship.

      I drew attention to Julia Gillard’s “barren” relationship and compared that with the relationships of those people she believes should not get married, because according to the religious right, we cannot procreate and would not make ideal parents. I was chastised by some for doing so and was told it makes her no less of a woman (something which I had not stated or implied). To that end, if Julia Gillard not having children (whether by choice, circumstances or biological inability) makes her no less of a woman (and therefore Tim not having kids makes him no less a man, and together, them no less a couple), then the extension of that logic is that any person or couple are no less if they don’t have children, even same-sex couples.

      And so if same-sex couples are no less because they cannot have children, then it really is a case of monumental double standards for the Prime Minister to tell a section of the society they cannot get married, without providing reasonable justification. And sometimes when I hear this it makes me angry and makes me want to express this anger at her. And so, sometimes I swear at her, because I’m human and I have emotions. If I bottled them up it may not be good for my health.

      As to those whom you say I am no better than, I beg you to clarify exactly how you compare me to someone who wishes to oppress me and keep me from having equal rights. No doubt those who don’t want gays to have equality would rather we had all our rights removed from us, perhaps even making homosexuality the crime again that it is in their religious texts. These people are not affected by my rights in any way whatsoever. They have no personal vested interest in the rights I seek to gain, yet in their spiteful intolerance, they wish to deny me them. No, I am not the same as these eople. They are vengeful, misguided, deluded, ignorant bigots.

      You may not like the names I call Gillard (and Abbott), but as I have said, referring to Tim Minchin, if you find my epithets more hurtful than their actions, I suggest you need to question your priorities.

      Thank you Vanda.

      • Using the same language to attack J Gillard as The Coalition supporters like Alan Jones.

        But of course Michael is not a Coalition supporter himself?

  13. “They are vengeful, misguided, deluded, ignorant bigots”

    Some of your content in this thread paints you in the same manner, Mikey.

    And what exactly is with the bile directed toward people using pseudonyms on the interwebs? You realise that is how forums generally function right? Even your own blog gets its reposts from pseudonym-ed members of the blogging community (or do you subsequently flame them too, demanding their actual identities before the reblogging of your work?). A quick suggestion if I may, if you weren’t such an arsehat to the other contributors on the thread (the majority of whom completely support your right to marriage equality) they might be inclined to share puersonal information and meet up, you know for a chat in real life, where the usage of actual names might be not only polite, but necessary for the purposes of identification.

    And how exactly does posting ones name on the net or a forum give someone guts? Or are you suggesting all of the bogots featured here are in fact braver than the forum hosts, forum contributors and anonymous members actually sending in the screen shots of internet ugliness? (And how you can be exactly certain of said individuals “real” name after a brief interaction over the net anyway, I have no idea).

    Through out this thread you come across as spiteful, demeaning and massively entitled. How exactly has not being able to get married RIGHT NOW affected your relationship with your partner? What? It hasn’t? Not in any life changing, reality altering manner? Oh… so… being an angry dick on the net is just….. Fun? I guess.

    Annoying pseudonym.

  14. people say julia gillard was not an elected leader . well neither was tony abbott ! he only got so close because of the mountain of lies he continually tells, and because people are gullible enough to believe him. good things in life seem to happen slowly, so patience is required . something we all need to learn.. while bad things tend to happen like an out of control freight train . I know that if tony Abbott becomes PM then our country will be run by a total moron. I really don’t want to have to say i told you so !

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