There was something unusual about the recent allegation that Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted the then 14-year-old Anthony Rapp. Not that it happened, or that it was a widely known but unreported secret. What was unusual was that one gay man was alleging abuse by another man. I am not suggesting that men don’t sexually abuse younger men, it is an unfortunate reality that this happens. However, it is my experience that this abuse is routinely normalised and discussed without being acknowledged as abuse. It becomes part of the coming out story: ‘I thought about guys when I was a kid, […]
Archives for October 2017
The kid next door is screaming again. It’s a scream that could melt the shell off a snail in the garden where he’s playing. Every day this kid drops a tantrum bomb on the neighbours. Or more specifically, on me. Because every day, I’m at home to hear his breakfast tantrum, his playing-outside tantrum, his dropping-food-on-the-floor tantrum, his one-in-the-morning tantrum. It must be the hardest life any two-year-old has been forced to endure. But I get it. When you’re choking on the mucus of the things you don’t understand, sometimes screaming seems like the only way to cope. I used […]
Ruth Orkins: American Girl in Italy Last year I called the police on a man who was jerking off in a school car park. He had his phone pressed against the glass while it played hardcore porn and children walked past with their parents. The police thanked me for my call. I saw him there again a week later. I wonder, in a case like Harvey Weinstein’s, whether the fact of his great power excuses other men. It’s an extreme situation: a Hollywood heavyweight, a serial predator. He’s spent years systematically abusing his power to make women think they […]
When I was out drinking and dancing during my university days, I would always feel put out when men would come and try to dance with me. I knew it was just a means to an end for them. But for me dancing was the whole reason I was out. It felt wonderful to bust a move on my own. It was less fun trying to bust a move with a drunk idiot trying to feel me up while asking if I was actually eighteen. Perhaps it was because my body got so much medical attention that dancing alone and […]
I dreamt of Sam last night. His hair was still the colour of straw but longer than I’d ever seen it. He had a rough fringe at the front and it reached his shoulders at the back. I wonder if he looks like that now, it’s been years since I’ve seen him. The image was hazy, like a photo filter with a softening 70s colour scheme. He was leaning against the trunk of a gum tree and seemed sad, kind of down and out, and he was wearing the old kind of John Denver glasses he had when I first […]
Nobody knows what intersectionality means. I certainly don’t, and the more I read about it the more confused I become. There are a few things I think I know …
A blue sky canvas frames a couple of vases,
a couple of bowls, and the fifth wheel:
a small plate crossed diagonally …
Shakespearean verse, complete with loving intention. It held the sweetest of sentiments, just not quite eternal. Nick, who is middle-aged, proper English, and wears serious glasses (even when he’s not injecting thunderous lasers of light into your body), does not appear to have any tattoos himself. It’s one of the first things I ask him. ‘No,’ he says. He passes me a form. It reads: Do you drink alcohol? Do you smoke? Do you spend time in the sun? The editor in me thinks he could sum this up with one question: What mistakes are you currently making? I’m not […]
Their throats are torn and bellies ripped open.
Tubes and organs, red and purple. Fat green blowflies crawl and swarm in their low army hum …
The sense of tumescence lingers without the equivalency of action. A haunting thought or reminiscence that would have previously aroused me is no longer a precursor but now, a reminder of what once was. I have had a radical prostatectomy. The disassociation I feel is multilayered. I was not unwell—or, at least, I didn’t think I was. My GP’s suggestion to see a specialist after finding that my prostate specific antigens (PSA) had risen was a little bewildering. The reading wasn’t particularly alarming as the PSA is not a reliable indicator, though it can suggest the presence of cancer. In […]
Language is relied upon as comedic safety net. It’s hard to imagine the same men who quickly jump to call out marginalised people that they disagree with—not just the Julia Gillards of the world, but women and non-binary people who are socialists, those who would most benefit of a distribution of wealth and opportunity—actually investing time to support them. It’s hard to image them uplifting minorities who are being unfairly levelled in the here and now, with sound policies, and actually putting in the time to spotlight and support women who share their views of a better democracy. They still want to be the ones up on the podiums, hogging the mic, because it puts an abrupt end to the boredom and self-reflection that comes with listening, from silence.
There aren’t any official figures available on how many people appear without a lawyer at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. Police Prosecutors don’t record them, and ‘unrepresented’ isn’t a field that the aging Courtlink system processes. But spend a day shuffling between the Mention Courts and you’ll see more than enough to make you question the system. Sometimes it’s simply a case of cash-strapped people saving on an appearance fee and asking for their own adjournments until their lawyer is ready. But all too often people fall through the cracks of Victoria Legal Aid’s stringent requirements for representation. Sometimes it works […]