The Israel Folau sacking, campaigns to block far right activists from entering into Australia, the high court decision to uphold the sacking of the public servant Michaela Banerji. Free speech is everywhere in the news at the moment, yet despite it being central to both the politics of Benjamin and Simon we've never done an episode on it. This week we dive in head first. What even is free speech, why do we talk about it so much, and does it matter?
Simon interviews writer, lecturer and consultant Jarryd Bartle across a range of topics relating to sexual and criminal deviancy, queer and otherwise. Jarryd talks about the uses and limits of the criminal justice system, whether the current focus of queer politics is a useful path to social change, and why he no longer considers himself “queer”.
We talk about sex a lot on the podcast, but what about people who don’t feel so comfortable about it? In the first episode of a two-part discussion challenging the role of sex in queer communities and politics, Benjamin and Simon talk sexual anxieties, how queers might overcome them, and whether that’s something we even want.
With the announcement that Australia’s longest-running queer publication has effectively closed its doors, Benjamin and Simon reflect on the value of queer media in an age when queer news is increasingly covered by mainstream publications. The question at the heart of the issue: what do we lose when we lose community-controlled queer publications?
In the jumbo-sized Anzac Day episode you didn’t know you wanted, Benjamin and Simon ask why it’s okay to commemorate war in some ways but not others, and wonder what’s really at the heart of these taboos. Plus, a bonus discussion about loneliness and isolation in queer communities for Gay Star News’ Digital Pride.
Why isn’t sex a bigger part of public discourse around queerness? Looking at a classic essay about the revolutionary potential of gay sex, Benjamin and Simon get filthy and dig into the roles sex can play, in theory and in practice, when it comes to queer politics.
‘Cocksucking as an Act of Revolution’, by Charles Shively
Benjamin and Simon have another crack at figuring out what individuals can do in the face of structural problems, and while the conversation stays on track this time they still end up in the weeds. What’s the relationship between collective action and structural change? And is community-level activism an effective alternative?
Benjamin and Simon sit down intending to record an episode about what individuals can do in the face of structural problems like homophobia, but an article about violence against women sparks a disagreement between the hosts over the question: to what extent can and should we examine individual participation within broad structures of oppression? It’s the most we’ve ever disagreed!
‘Men of Australia, it's time to pick your side’, by Clementine Ford
On a trip to Port Moresby, Benjamin interviews an advocate with Papua New Guinea’s only queer community organisation, Kapul Champions, to discuss the political priorities for queers in the country, and the impact of LGBTIQ political discourses in Australia.
For more information about Kapul Champions, visit: https://rainbowpng.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/group-kapul-champions/
While traveling in the United Kingdom Simon interviewed the PhD student Annie Kelly. Annie is studying at the University of East Anglia, researching the online anti-feminist groups Return of Kings, A Voice for Men and the Reddit forum Kotaku in Action.
Simon and Annie talk about the ideologies and ideas of these groups, their differences and similarities with each other, and the connections between anti-feminist groups and the broader far right. They also discuss Annie’s article in the New York times on ‘tradwives’, a community of women in the United States who advocate for a return to traditional gender roles.