A recent petition is being circulated to stop Clem Ford from talking at a Lifeline event due to her “kill all men” rhetoric. It wants me to sign. Should I?
Adam is counting on me.
10,000+ other people have signed this petition and I should too?
I don’t want to let down Adam, especially when he’s so close to his goal. He makes a valid point, but do I agree with it completely? The pressure is on.
What would Elle Woods do?
Sometimes I am guilty of reading the headline of an article or web page, and using only the wonderful editor’s catchy clickbait heading to make my mind up/react. This was true for being sent sent the following link from my aforementioned wonderful editor.
I love Clementine Ford, unwaveringly so. It’s hard being a woman on the Internet, and I admire women who are braver than me who can say things I wouldn’t dare because of fear of backlash. Sometimes I don’t agree with the points she makes, but the respect I have for her never diminishes. It’s great to have a fighter on your side, and I see her as that for women.
So when I was sent that charge.org petition seeking to remove her as a speaker at an upcoming lifeline forum, my initial reaction was something along the lines of “so we can have men keep their paid jobs in the public eye after literally being convicted of violence and sexual assault of other people whilst we can’t let a woman speak because she wrote words on twitter…”
I don’t want to make assumptions, but I’m gonna. I’m willing to bet a great deal of people who have signed the petition are similar to if not the same people who comment on articles about social justice issues and say that political correctness has gone mad and defend their right to free speech of calling someone a slur.
The knife cuts both ways here.
I also don’t mean to make light of Clem’s twitter posts because they carry a sentiment I don’t share and are a serious statement:
It is right to ask the question of her suitability to talk at this forum.
Lifeline does phenomenal work in this world, and the branch of their organisation they’re probably best known for is their team of heroes on their suicide prevention line. The rate of male suicide in Australia is a scary 3:1, males vs female respectively. With an event hosted by lifeline, it would beg the question: why they would align themselves with someone who so freely writes the phrase “kill all men”, for their event.
Except that the event (here) has nothing to do with suicide whatsoever, and, interestingly enough, isn’t linked from the petition once – a bit of a vital piece of information, to be honest. The event is about domestic violence, a topic on which Clementine has built her name and reputation reporting. She is a gladiator in this area.
I understand that Adam, who put the petition together, has done his research in finding all those tweets where Clem has said all men must die, but he didn’t bother doing research into what the event was actually for.
“As lifeline is a service that is crucial to people experiencing high levels of emotional distress, many of them suicidal over bullying experiences… It is extremely important that they remain distant from the hateful comments previously made very loudly and consistently by Ms Ford.”
Even if the panel was about bullying, Clem would have a place there. This woman hid the fact she’d become a mother because she was concerned that people would send her threats regarding the baby. She receives all kinds of filth on a daily basis and receives more abuse for posting it. This is a person who can’t do their job without someone calling her another word for a woman’s body part (I’ll give you a hint… it’s not boob). Sure sounds like a bullying experience to me.
It’s hard not to have disdain for a group of people who are relentless in trying to make your life miserable. I’ve heard men joke about killing women on television, radio, online and once even in a boardroom at work, yet they have all managed to keep their high-paying jobs. One journalist writes it on twitter and all of a sudden the world goes crazy. This equality thing is a two-way street we know, but when one direction is a four-lane motorway and the other is narrower than a laneway it’s hard to feel like an eye is being taken for an eye.
For the event, I really hope lifeline ignore this petition and don’t lose an opportunity to have a woman with such a wealth of knowledge and compassion on their panel.
As for the petition, there’s no bloody way I’ll be signing it. 20% because I don’t agree with it, 80% because I can’t stand getting copious emails from change.org in my inbox.