This already ain’t a respectful debate

This webpage is proud to have its very own resident progressive, Iffiayah Wazza-Lefte.
She has come out of the closet for the plebiscite and has some inciteful remarks about the homophobic hate-speech that our nation is already enduring


It’s such a shame.

Already the battle for ‘marriage equality’ has descended into the gutter. As such, and as a new age Muslim aunt of a gay dolphin trainer who just wants the freedom to be publicly adored by society for marrying whatever he may want, I despair about our nation’s future.

Before I get into the hatred that’s already on display, I also want to make some important and self-evident points.

Diversity is important. It is literally what makes the sun come up every day.

Diversity is also strong. But it is weak and needs protection.

That’s why those who are members of a vulnerable minority need to be shielded from hateful words of disagreement that are hateful by the very fact of disagreement. The vulnerable, despite the strength that they bring to our nation, simply cannot cope with outdated and bigoted views.

So they need protection too.

And they will be protected when we accept that diversity means recognising difference. That’s why it is so important that we change our language to eliminate words like husband and wife, mother and father, he and she.

Diversity means acknowledging that, despite our differences, we are all equal. A truly diverse nation would eliminate any gender, sexual, racial or other stereotypes or language that highlight unfair or negative variance. In fact, in a truly diverse nation, we would all be described in exactly the same way because we are all the same underneath and we would all be welcome to embrace any aspect of the fullness of humanity.

It is only then that we would all have the freedom to accept our differences. It is only then that we could all have the liberty to live as we choose. It is only then that we could all be anything we want, which means there would be no limits and no differences. We would be so truly diverse that we would all be the same.

That is where we need to head. And people like me won’t have children until we achieve such a world  – a world where they can be truly free.

Until such a time comes, therefore, it is important that progressives work hard to remove harmful and negative family influences that are currently affecting the very lives of children others have so irresponsibly and selfishly brought into this world.

And one of those influences is the ‘Dark Ages’ understanding of marriage that still festers in our laws today.

It must go.

And we know that the Australian people want it to go. Every credible opinion poll has shown this. That is why it is so careless to allow a public vote. There is a strong possibility that negative scare campaigns could lead to the wrong result.

That is why this debate needs to be respectful, considerate and informed.

So it saddens me to see how dangerous it has already become. And I am not referring to hate-filled Christians who should have no right to speak or vote on this issue at all.

I am speaking directly about those who should know better: our progressive leaders.

Take Mia Freedman from the usually respectful website, Mamamia. She’s normally so sensible.

After all, she did smash Bernard Gaynor’s disgusting comment that he would not let a homosexual teach his children with a fine open letter that included this line:

“Looking back, I have no idea what ‘values’ my teachers held. And the same goes for my children’s teachers.”

Exactly. You go, girl!

And her 19 year old son has just yesterday penned a breathtakingly open, honest and caring article promoting his healthy pornography habit that included this gem:

“Talking honestly about porn is the way we can help raise sexually healthy, feminist men who respect women in and out of bed.”

So if I ever subcontracted my pregnancy out to help a struggling cis-woman from Thailand, Mia is the kind of mother that I would like to model myself on.

But then, yesterday, she also posted this:

Obviously, I do not need to explain why this is so hurtful. So hateful.

Indeed, posts like this are the reason young, vulnerable gay people are taking their own lives. If this hate-speech keeps up many of them won’t have just temporarily boycotted the plebiscite to hell. They’ll have boycotted it in the most permanent way possible.

That is why the backlash online against Freedman was so swift.

One benefit, at least, is that Freedman appears to understand how damaging such ill-considered remarks can be. They contain latent and unconscious homophobic bias and she apologised profusely.

I, too, now take this opportunity to grovel in advance as well, just in case I have shown similar disrespect in my writing. It’s the least we can all do to show our support for the cause.

But it is not just Freedman who has been hurtful.

The Victorian government is spending $15 million to build a Pride Centre in St Kilda. This is the kind of project that taxpayer money should be spent on.

Sigh. Just imagine if the Turnbull government had simply passed marriage equality and allocated the $122 million cost of the plebiscite to similar projects in other capital cities.

Because we surely need them, as the Victorian Pride Centre project shows.

It might be forward looking, as this Facebook post demonstrates:

But just last month at a community consultation event for the Pride Centre project, the convenor greeted the audience with the words, ‘ladies and gentlemen’.

There were several non-binary people at this event and they were naturally deeply offended. Such language is transphobic. And not just when trans persons are present.

It is transphobic. Full stop. All. The. Time.

Again, such language could see vulnerable people self-harm. And so do attitudes from the Victorian Pride Centre that indicate the building will be given a ‘safe space’ for biologically-female lesbians. This will discriminate against those who are freeing themselves from the constraints of the gender unfairly assigned to them at birth. We need to be mature enough to accept that men can be lesbians too.

This kind of unconscious bias shows that transphobic attitudes are rooted deep in society, even within the LGBTIQ+ community.

It needs to stop.

And if the LGBTI community is going to be so heartless to use the sexist, binary and outdated phrase ‘ladies and gentlemen’ with seemingly gay abandon, one can only despair at the other hate-filled comments we are likely to endure over the coming weeks as this entirely anti-democratic plebiscite rolls on.

The only solution is to let rip. We need to see more of this:

Author: Iffiayah Wazza-Lefte

Iffaiyah Waazah-Llefte is a modern, secular, progressive Muslim feminist, deeply concerned about the loss of social justice and humanitarian values in today's deeply divided and fear-filled world. Embrace the love is her motto and it applies to all.

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