Discrimination is like a cancer. Imagine this:
Two people walk into a hospital feeling sick. The two patients have the same symptoms. Both look essentially the same, but one has cancer, the other does not.
Who should the doctors prioritise?
Many people’s interpretation of “equality” is that the equal symptoms should receive equal treatment, but for the cancer patient, their symptoms hold much more significance in terms of their broader illness. Their immune system is already compromised – these symptoms could be the attack on their body that kills them.
For the otherwise healthy patient, their symptoms represent a temporary discomfort, but ultimately they will recover and be fine once again.
Discrimination – racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, ableism and the multitude of its forms are a cancer. When we face the symptoms of discrimination our immune systems are already compromised.
When you complain about “double standards” as a person in a position of privilege and power you are the otherwise healthy patient demanding equal treatment to the cancer sufferer.
When you complain that we “overreact” you fail to see that a symptom that is insignificant to you can have major consequences for us.
When you get defensive and aggressive, you’re distracting the doctors from helping both of us. In the meantime, the symptoms of my cancer (the discrimination) can build to the point that it stops me from living a happy and healthy life or could even kill me.
So, what kind of person in the hospital will you choose to be?
The person who shows patience and empathy for the cancer patient?
Or the person who helps my cancer grow?
P.S I’d like to add to this that I recognise I still hold a lot of privilege in my life. Yes, I’ve faced discrimination as a gay man – but it pales in comparison to many in the community. Much like actual cancers, some are more aggressive than others and I lay no claim to being at the worst end of the spectrum.
My hope in writing this is that it can articulate why these issues matter so much to me and why I can’t just stand back and say or do nothing when this is happening to others.
We’ve seen a lot of the “symptoms” this week and the discussion has become about the relevance, severity and validity of those symptoms. It’s time we talked about the cancer.
Attn: Professor Warren Bebbington
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide
Dear Professor Warren,
I write in regards to the Options for Radio Adelaide discussion paper.
Radio Adelaide changed my life. At the age of seventeen I joined the University of Adelaide community as a Radio Adelaide volunteer. Radio Adelaide was my introduction to the university and my introduction to the value and importance of community broadcasting in a healthy community.
Gradually transitioning Radio Adelaide into a new entity is only viable if the organisation is given the appropriate time and resourcing to develop sustainable new business models and partnerships for the future. Aside from maintaining the status quo, this is the only option that can be done in a respectful and considered way, but I believe the university would lose a major asset.
Would transfer of the station to a new owner at 30 June 2016 (Option 3) better enable Radio Adelaide to develop for the community audience in the future with a viable and robust financial operation?
I would be extremely disappointed if Radio Adelaide was given such a short and unrealistic timeline to secure its future. This option seems highly unlikely to be viable or realistic.
Are there possible alternative owners to the University of Adelaide in the community, with the capacity to underwrite costs of the scale required?
I maintain the view that the University would be giving up a major asset by transferring ownership to another entity.
Are there other viable options not canvassed by Letch-Tonks?
Given the university’s profile and influence in the community I am surprised the university cannot be more influential in securing outside sources of funding to support the station’s operations.
I thank you for the opportunity to comment. I hope that the university that gave me so much has not lost its heart and secures a strong and viable future for Radio Adelaide.
A number of prominent Australian media outlets and personalities have spoken out about violence against women in the last few weeks. It’s a long overdue discussion that Australians have needed to have in order to have any meaningful impact on the issue. With it has followed the usual (and highly predictable) cries of “what about violence against MEN?” in comment sections and on social media.
All this serves to do is consciously derail meaningful conversations about violence against women and achieves nothing for men who are victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence prevention is not a competition.
Many of these commentors cry that we need to fight ALL violence, but domestic violence is a diverse issue with diverse causes and solutions.
This attitude is like saying we should stop producing vaccines, because it’s stopping us from developing a magic super vaccine that will stop all diseases ever.
Diverse social problems need diverse solutions. We need to discuss domestic violence against women in its own right to be able to come up with solutions for its highly specific and gendered nature. There will never be a one size fits all solution to violence – so we must have the ability to discuss its many contexts without it being derailed by people whose real agenda has more to do with shutting down women than supporting men who are victims of violence.
Stop the competition. If you’re genuine about helping stop violence against men then expend your energy discussing how to solve that issue instead of making things worse by blaming women and being a destructive force in the fight to stop violence against women.
“- One in five said they find it hard to treat same-sex attracted people the same as others.
– Six in 10 said they had witnessed first-hand people being bullied for their sexuality and four in 10 said they had seen people bullied for the same reason on social media.
– A quarter said terms such as “homo”, “dyke” and “confused” are “not really that bad”.
– Four in 10 either agreed that they felt anxious or uncomfortable around same-sex attracted people or did not disagree that they felt this way, while 23% think it’s ok to say something they don’t like is “gay” and 38% wouldn’t be happy if a same-sex attracted person was in their friendship group.”