Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Do feminists have a duty to care about ‘Our Schapelle’?

I’d written a piece for the ABC about “Our Schapelle”. As is often my approach it was largely a think piece. Not a condemnation, not a defence, it was simply some observations – some talking points – about…

Pitching the saga of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby as one of gender inequality is laughable. AAP/Mick Tsikas

I’d written a piece for the ABC about “Our Schapelle”.

As is often my approach it was largely a think piece. Not a condemnation, not a defence, it was simply some observations – some talking points – about Australia’s unrelenting fascination with the case. I contended that Schapelle Corby’s endurance as a media spectacle is grounded in her appeal to both bogans and their detractors alike.

Facetious, sure, but that’s my bent.

This morning, I woke to a meaty handful of … interesting tweets. A few particularly unique ones stood out; my favourite alleging my apparent kinship with Rupert Murdoch. Another daring to “spotlight” my contempt for the working class. A phone call came mid-morning where I was asked, point blank: “Did you read my tweet? I called you a rabid dog.”

Nice.

I’ll take being called a Nazi, a “toadie” (whatever that might involve), a dog, a capitalist, whatever on the chin. These are the kind of low-hanging, default jibes deployed by those with differing views. The bit that really stuck in my craw however, was the accusations of me being a bad feminist. A witch-burner. That I’m on some kind of crusade to condemn Our Schapelle based on her being a woman.

Feminism wasn’t actually mentioned in my ABC article article at all so I daresay this brouhaha stems from some hasty Googling. I’m okay about this: I’m, as they say, copacetic with my politics.

What I’m far less okay with is Schapelle’s incarceration being turned into some kind of Heather Osland case. That my daring to ask some questions about media coverage, about public preoccupations, somehow makes me opposed to gender equality.

For the record, I don’t think Schapelle’s gender is unimportant here. On the contrary, in fact, she got lashings of undue media coverage because she was female, because she was white and because she was sufficiently feminine. Whether such coverage helped or hindered her case is open to debate, but many a rock would need to be turned before we found someone who couldn’t identify her in a lineup.

And this boils down to her being photogenic-enough.

So Schapelle happens to be a woman. Not all that interesting: roughly 50% of us identify with this descriptor.

She’s a woman but she’s also a person who was convicted of drug smuggling. She wasn’t locked up in Afghanistan for “adultery”, she wasn’t arrested in Saudi Arabia for driving a car, this wasn’t a case of prosecution on the grounds of her gender. She was convicted of trying to smuggle drugs into a country that prides itself on mind-bogglingly tough penalties.

Sure, she has lady bits. Does this make it a feminist case? Does it present feminists with some kind of obligation to rally around her? No. it bloody well doesn’t.

I’m not going to offer a potted history of the many different “feminisms” here. Suffice it to say we’re a broad church, persistently – and vigorously – duelling with one another. And yet of all the many issues we battle over, I can’t think of any of our factions who could spin a feminist defence of Schapelle here.

The idea that women should show carte blanche loyalty to our “sisters” – even when those sisters are convicted of crimes – is hilarious. It smacks of the worst kind of reverse discrimination, of wishful thinking and is pretty much proof of residence in fantasyland.

Feminists can, and do, criticise each other. While my feminism hasn’t quite “progressed” to ringing other women up and calling them dogs, hey, we’re a broad church.

I’m not sure this church, however, has room for an immediate assumption that just because we dare disagree with one another, that this is evidence of treachery, of a brewing cat fight or some kind of post-feminism agenda. In fact, these are the very allegations that misogynists use to distract us, to turn us against each other and to paint women as petty.

I don’t actually have strident views on the contents of that boogie board bag one way or the other. I’ve never really cared all that much. At my disposal, however, is Schapelle’s conviction and, more in my realm of interest, unrelenting media coverage.

What I do know – and what I do care about – is that there are actual political prisoners in jails around the world whose causes ache for even a skerrick of the attention Schapelle has been given. Equally I know that the day we publicly care for Renae Lawrence to the extent that we seem to for Our Schapelle is gobsmackingly unimaginable.

There’s infinite frames to examine the Schapelle story. Pitching it as one of gender inequality is laughable.

Join the conversation

159 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. Craig Myatt

    Industrial Designer / R&D

    My sentiments exactly. If people actually read the Sex Discrimination Act, it is very easy to see that Sex Discrimination cuts both ways and confers equal obligations to comply with law:

    "Affirming that every individual is equal before and under the law, and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law, without discrimination on the ground of sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, breastfeeding or family responsibilities:" (Preamble, Sex Discrimination Act 1984 C'wealth)

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/sda1984209/

    report
  2. John Crest

    logged in via email @live.com.au

    Should males have a "duty of care" to every male criminal?

    No.

    Does that help answer your question?

    report
    1. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to John Crest

      Yep but the question was "duty to care" not duty of care. In other words is there a feminist issue involved in Corby's case i.e., sexism, homophobia, sexual assault …

      The legal question in Corby's and Lawrence's cases is whether the punishment fits the crime for which they were convicted. Justice is served through this ratio.

      report
  3. Craig Myatt

    Industrial Designer / R&D

    ...to clarify my earlier comment, however...I believe that Ms Corby's situation was widely believed to be that of a person who was wrongfully convicted, and in that I wholly support any efforts to address injustices to her, regardless of her gender.

    report
    1. John Crest

      logged in via email @live.com.au

      In reply to Craig Myatt

      You are saying that you "support any efforts to address injustices to her" because it "was widely believed [she] was wrongfully convicted"?

      So the actuality of her guilt (or innocence) is not a factor for you?

      report
    2. Craig Myatt

      Industrial Designer / R&D

      In reply to Craig Myatt

      I think she is in the same broad category as Jock Palfreeman. Both contested their cases, protested their innocence, and plausibly could be the victims of injustices. Fine point, I know, but certain elements surely must be present to state that a person could be the victim of an injustice...

      report
    3. John Crest

      logged in via email @live.com.au

      In reply to Craig Myatt

      The overwhelming view (I feel) is that if she's didn't do it, someone in her family did.

      report
    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Craig Myatt

      " ...to clarify my earlier comment, however...I believe that Ms Corby's situation was widely believed to be that of a person who was wrongfully convicted "
      widely believed Craig?, by who?
      From my other post:
      " So the Schapelle innocence theory is that some shifty baggage handler just happened to have a body board shaped slab waiting in the knowledge that some one was going to front up with a body board in a bag and what a scruffy looking Bb too.
      If you were going to some place like Bali, would you really take a Bb all the way there when you could likely buy one for next to nothing.
      And then tell me this too, if you had picked up your Bb in a bag of a carousel would you not immediately realise a 4 Kg weight gain?
      I certainly would and would immediately drag it to one side and get all that stuff out. "

      report
    5. Craig Myatt

      Industrial Designer / R&D

      In reply to Craig Myatt

      ...perhaps not so widely believed now, as you say. The point of a court system to to uphold justice, or fairness, and IF there was an injustice, then it is a very human response to be concerned...irrespective of her gender.

      report
  4. Kim Bax

    logged in via Facebook

    As the above article is direct response to my interactions with Lauren Rosewarne, and given the seriousness of these issues, I have formally asked for an equally high profile right of reply. That request can be found by Googling: Schapelle Corby A feminist asks for a right of reply & then clicking on the top link.

    report
    1. Elizabeth Bathory

      9-5 project drone.

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Kim Bax - Women (or should that be 'womyn'?) who justify their request for a 'high profile right of reply' by condemning other women for wearing makeup are sheer abominations. I too consider myself a feminist, but your base, offensive and completely uncalled for comments make me more than ashamed to possess the same genitalia as you.

      Ew. Just ew.

      report
    2. In reply to Kim Bax

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Kim Bax

      No "Condemnation" Elizabeth - just pointing out a clear fact, and hi-liting Naomi Wolf's cogent critique of the beauty industry. You can take or leave Wolf's incisive commentary, but given the deeply personal & gratuitously insulting comments Rosewarne made about Schapelle, her family and her supporters at the "The Drum," it's interesting to note Rosewarne's fan club can't take the medicine their heroine so freely dishes out.

      report
    4. Miles Ruhl

      Thinker

      In reply to Kim Bax

      I fail to see the issue in this or the Drum article (which I just read). Was it her noting that she was white that got under your skin? Or the "pretty-ish" comment? (A little bit snide, perhaps, but I still laughed as that is LR's style - facetious! Even stated as such, explicitly!) Surely is wasn't the comment about the "She's the idiot who let her less-than-savvy family make the whole thing worse by letting them front the press" comment? That was just a, seemingly, factual observation. Kind of the bread-and-butter of opinion pieces really isn't it?

      Read it again and still don't see the issue. Just a pathetic counter-swipe (just as snide) about the author's use of makeup.

      Personally, I think her critique of the Schappelle imbroglio was spot on and needed a long time ago, before the madness took hold. I don't always agree with Ms. Rosewarne's take on things, but she's on the money here.

      report
    5. Jan Burgess

      Retired

      In reply to Kim Bax

      @Kim Bax - What on earth - I've just read the top link from your google suggestion and I fail to see ANY relevance at all to this article, which seems to me to be a pretty straightforward comment on why this particular Indonesian drug story has received so much media attention and why it should not be a feminist issue.

      Are you sure this article is in response to your "interactions" with Lauren. Perhaps you are mistaking correlation for causation.

      Incidentally, I also was at Greenham Common, and what that has to do with Schapelle Corby or Lauren's make-up or your academic history has me completely baffled.

      Quite frankly, given your "reply" to this article and your 12 comments (to this time), I think you may need to review your medication schedule.

      report
    6. Susan Costello

      Public Servant

      In reply to Kim Bax

      I read Naomi Wolf's book decades ago and found it fascinating. Interesting that you have mentioned it here. I notice you wear quite a lot of makeup yourself. Double standards?

      report
  5. Michelle Singh

    Tutor in Gender Studies & Sociology at Griffith University

    Good grief Lauren, I've only seen a tidbit of what's been thrown your way and I'm horrified :(. I've always liked Linda Jaivin's (and your) description of feminism as a broad church, myself.
    Taking issue with your viewpoints about this case is one thing, and perfectly legitimate if people disagree. Abuse and insults are ... not.
    And then I noticed this case being used to attack the ABC - including claims that the ABC has exempted itself from FOI legislation, and ACMA...
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You have my sympathy, as I'm sure you do from many others.

    report
    1. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      So sweet, maybe you could send Rosewarne flowers too? ;-)

      report
    2. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      So strange that my first real experience of genuine trolling was from a so-called feminist who apparently feels righteous in calling me a dog.

      Anyhow, I do appreciate your sentiments - thank you. Fortunately I'm not distressed or upset. A tad gob-smacked but hey, I'll survive :)

      Thanks for reading!

      report
    3. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      PS - And one more quick point, in order to grandstand more effectively, Rosewarne completely misrepresented the feedback she got from me, skewing it to her own ends, and quoting out of context. But you'll never, ever know the details of that, because although plebs like me are good enough (apparently), to get lambasted in a front-page articles at "The Conversation," we're far too low caste have an equally high profile gig (as I was formally told). As I was the muse for her outburst, I refuse relegation to the comments section with an essay that would leave her dire creation at the starting gate. My time is far too valuable for that.

      report
    4. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      Actually Rosewarne, I was using metaphor, as in "Lynch mob dog" - and comparing your behaviour to the ignorant fools who hounded and abused Lindy Chamberlain (look up the history). For instance, this quote directly from you is truly disgusting, and illustrates my point perfectly "Here's Schapelle with her Bold and the Beautiful name and her bogan fish-and-chip shop family." You think that's any less offensive to the targets of your mindless venom? But hey sweetie, don't let the facts get in the way of good sob story, will you? Anyway, you've already wasted too much of time - and I note you and your mates are too scared to allow me an equally high profile riposte, which is probably just as well, because I'd leave your garbled rubbish for dead.

      report
    5. Michelle Singh

      Tutor in Gender Studies & Sociology at Griffith University

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      You're made of sterner stuff than me, Lauren. And you're welcome - I always enjoy reading your articles. Which doesn't mean I take everything you say as gospel - I had a good look at all contributions to this debate (quaint little habit of mine), made up my mind to the extent possible, and then posted my comment. To you. And it was very kind of you to reply.
      Look forward to your next offering; stay well :)

      report
    6. Raine S Ferdinands

      Education

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      Great article and good thought provoking questions. Well done Lauren. Some people don't know the difference between opposing views and personal, vindictive insults. They are essentially unhappy people. Keep up your good work. By the way, I don't agree with all your expressed views but they are thought provoking nevertheless. Well done,

      report
    7. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      Yes, and it says a great deal about people's apalling prejudices when they fail to call Rosewarne on truly revolting (and vindictive), insults like this"Here's Schapelle with her Bold and the Beautiful name and her bogan fish-and-chip shop family."

      report
    8. Raine S Ferdinands

      Education

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      Kim. perhaps you need to examine your self and your lack of good grace. In a democracy like ours, we don't get to shoot the messenger. Differences of opinion is a great thing but how we disagree and put forth opposing views is more important in a civil society.
      Indonesian legal system is not out there to crucify Aussies. A drug smuggler is a drug smuggler; gender or nationality should never be an issue.
      Be gracious in your expressions, eh.

      report
    9. Michelle Singh

      Tutor in Gender Studies & Sociology at Griffith University

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      Raine, and this is a compliment by the way, nicely said. I agree completely. The lack of courtesy is an issue in a number of exchanges on TC, unfortunately (as I'm sure you've noticed), but particularly nasty here. Graciousness should be in the water supply - I'm getting onto Change.org right now!

      report
    10. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      Hell's Bells, Lauren. I read your articles and (though a conservative) really enjoy your approach. You have, however, gone up even further in my estimation due to the calm, professional manner in which you are handling this incredible level of invective and abuse. It is just astonishing that anyone could think it is ok to treat someone this way. Sure, we all have our moments but this is a sustained, vicious and irrational attack. Kudos to you, Ms Rosewarne.

      report
    11. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      "truly revolting (and vindictive), insults like this"Here's Schapelle with her Bold and the Beautiful name and her bogan fish-and-chip shop family."
      Quite right Kim. Terrible business, isn't it? When in fact, the SC's and her family are as refined as say the Turnbull family. Mercedes would be given an adjunct lectureship in rhetoric and perhaps and honorary doctorate for her poise were it not for all these appallingly prejudiced academics, eh?

      report
    12. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Michelle Singh

      Many thanks, John. In fact, I'm feeling rather Teflon about it all. Only because I think people's true colours - and true levels of competence (or lack thereof) in articulating their case - is illustrated in these kind of forums. I'm happy for the madness to continue - I think it's only doing good in spotlighting really bad Internet behaviour. (And really bad phone behaviour as I was treated to yesterday!)

      And, because I'm feeling so chirpy, just this once I'll forgive your error of Conservatism. Just this once :P

      report
  6. Kim Bax

    logged in via Facebook

    I really don't have any further responses to post on this article. All the relevant info is in the Women for Schapelle blog post, which I've hi-lited in one of my comments above. The embedded links in that post point to a wealth of background research and evidence - and I really don't have the inclination to burn time on people who refuse to check it out themselves. Bottom line is, I can easily tear up Lauren Rosewarne's hit piece (with more skill and bite than her poorly written piece), given the opportunity. However, I very much doubt "The Conversation" are willing to provide that opportunity (even though it's me Rosewarne is responding to). I've obviously stirred up a hornets nest, given the swiftness and vitriol of her reply - but I think it's a hornets nest both Rosewarne and "The Conversation" are too gutless to grasp. Time will tell.

    report
    1. Michael Courts

      Editor at The Conversation

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Hi Kim, our rules very clearly state that to qualify to register to write for us you need to hold a current and relevant academic affiliation with a university or research institution. Unless you have that affiliation, we are unable to offer to you a separate piece to respond to Lauren's. Of course, you are free to leave comments on this piece, as you already have been doing, provided they don't breach our community standards.

      For what it's worth, there's no such thing as a 'right of reply', so simply repeating that will get you absolutely nowhere.

      report
    2. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Thank you for that response Michael. Interesting your "Rules" preclude a much more interesting, incisive and well written essay from Rosewarne's target (me). Gets you off the hook rather nicely, doesn't it? ;-) No worries, I'll leave you to your ivory tower. Though one last point, as a practising Registered Nurse, some academics should be very grateful I (and my professional colleagues), don't do our jobs with such careless disregard for the facts as some of them. It might make your next trip to your local A & E rather dicey if we did, and our patients likely to slip off this mortal coil at a rapidly accelerating rate. Have good day :-)

      report
    3. Eric Vanderduys

      Ecological Researcher

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Wow, that got vitriolic pretty quickly. I'm trying to work out what facts have been abused in either The Drum piece or this piece. I thought Lauren Rosewarne expressed pretty clearly the intent of her post - I too have wondered why "we" care about Corby, but less so Lawrence or Rush, or any number of injustices that really do cause moral outrage such as imprisonment of political prisoners, stoning (to death no less) of adulterous women, etc etc. I only wish she could have given me the definitive…

      Read more
    4. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Kim Bax

      I'm an admin on Schapelle's page - so I'm too busy over there right now (as you can imagine), to burn any more time on the incestuous and self-congratulatory academic cliques at "The Conversation." So no, I'm not "Spending any more time" in this wasteland. And if you pop over to the People for Schapelle Corby Facebook page, you'll see what I mean. The shares, likes and comments are exploding off the scale. Take a trek over there and get an education, because you won't get one here. However, it's satisfying to note my rapier remarks hit such a tender nerve Rosewarne was incited into responding in such a high profile way (quite literally), within hours. As a psych nurse of over 35 years experience, I'd say I pressed her buttons - not to mention vulnerabilities and insecurities.

      report
    5. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Kim, why don't you just copy your essay and post it into the comments page here.

      report
    6. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Kim Bax

      If I'm going to put in that amount work, it will be widely distributed in an appropriately high profile manner, which is on the agenda, according to my sources at another well read outlet.

      report
    7. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Kim Bax

      I'm not supporting your position Kim I'm just advocating that you get the opportunity to present your views.

      report
    8. Susan Costello

      Public Servant

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Why do keep commenting here if you are so, so busy elsewhere. I am rather surprised that a psych nurse with 35 years experience, as you claim to have, can make such unkind and irrational comments.

      report
    9. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Susan, I am appalled that someone who works with vulnerable people could think that it is an acceptable thing to do, to deliberately 'push someone's buttons' and then express satisfaction in thinking that she had done so.

      report
    10. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Kim Bax

      Is this the same Julie Thomas who admitted publicly that pushing someones buttons is exactly what she does and, in that act, takes satisfaction? I know it was Lauren who introduced the word "unhinged" but are you two going to jump on the pathologising bandwagon here or have you something to say about the selective media attention given to Corby.

      report
    11. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Kim Bax

      That is me Jena. Guilty about the pushing buttons thing lol but there is a difference between someone advertising her professional expertise and then being very unprofessional and what I was doing.

      Surely not really jumping on? That is a bit harsh.

      I don't know what the media has done about Corby because I don't watch that sort of thing but I do read Lauren's stuff and like other people who read her without having much of an opinion but find it interesting sometimes. This type of behaviour that she describes in this article is bullying, don't you think? And the unfairness of the response to what Lauren apparently wrote - again I don't read The Drum - too right wing - so I don't know what she wrote - was confirmed by the response of the other very angry and abusive person.

      She was a bit in need of some anger management and other versions of insight therapy. Don't you think?

      Is that okay with you?

      report
    12. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Kim Bax

      No, Julie, it's not.

      report
    13. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Kim Bax

      On what basis do you make this judgement Jena?

      Is there a rational argument that you can make to support this judgement?

      So very dismissive of you to just give me one line reply when I made an effort to explain my actions to you.

      I am disappointed but not surprised. :)

      report
  7. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    " I contended that Schapelle Corby’s endurance as a media spectacle is grounded in her appeal to both bogans and their detractors alike."
    Is it that you are thinking alike with the hunchy one Lauren for Derren also right from the get go said it was all about some womanly bits.
    Just think of it, no stranger bedfellows in thoughts at least.

    report
  8. Lynne Black

    Latte Sipper

    One of the major differences between Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence was how we perceived their innocence/guilt. We all wanted to believe the crooked baggage handler story and gave Schapelle the benefit of the doubt. In Renae's case, it was hard to forget the footage of Indonesian customs officers unstrapping kilos of heroin from her body. We saw it again and again.
    We Aussies love a working class hero (Ned Kelly, anyone?), and Schapelle Corby fit the bill. And the way the narrative goes, well, even if she did smuggle the stuff in, it's only weed, not the hard stuff. We are a very forgiving lot.

    report
    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Lynne Black

      " We all wanted to believe the crooked baggage handler story and gave Schapelle the benefit of the doubt. "
      Does the " We " refer to all Latte Sippers Lynne or just a few of you?
      So the Schapelle innocence theory is that some shifty baggage handler just happened to have a body board shaped slab waiting in the knowledge that some one was going to front up with a body board in a bag and what a scruffy looking Bb too.
      If you were going to some place like Bali, would you really take a Bb all the way there when you could likely buy one for next to nothing.
      And then tell me this too, if you had picked up your Bb in a bag of a carousel would you not immediately realise a 4 Kg weight gain?
      I certainly would and would immediately drag it to one side and get all that stuff out.

      report
  9. David Wolf

    logged in via Facebook

    When freshly cured, pristine marijuana flowers without dust or mold that "filled the courtroom with the pungent aroma of high grade marijuana when the bags were opened" was presented in court as 6 month old marijuana from Australia... When the outrageous assertion that tourists to Bali were so fearful of the local dealers because they work for the Bali Police that other tourists sell pot in competition with these local Bali dealers and never get caught the issue has nothing to do with Schapelle, her gender or her looks. No one questioned whether there really was a market for Australian marijuana in Bali or whether Australian drug dealers in Bali were legendary in their cleverness or bothered to find out that Indonesia grows the most potent marijuana in the world - they just don't sell that to tourists. The issue concerns an Australian media that deliberately mislead the public. Either that or they were as dim as the public they were betraying.

    report
  10. Chris Harries

    logged in via Facebook

    Females have a sense of solidarity with other females, often regardless of circumstance. This seems to stem from the fact that females are generally discriminated against in society and this has led to a general sense of solidarity between people who all feel that i some sense they are victims of their gender. I won't argue with that, because there are good historic and deeply imbedded cultural reasons for that psychology existing. If she was a bloke languishing in an Indonesian gaol on the very…

    Read more
    1. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Chris Harries

      No, Corby's story is much about innocence and corruption than anything else. Check out my newly added comments below (they should be simple enough, even for academics), and start demanding a Royal Commission into the appalling graft at Australian airports. The causes you've mentioned are worthy, but don't trivialise Schapelle's issues by suggesting her experience is any less serious. And while we're on the subject of "Racism," her Indonesian lawyer confirmed in a fax to John Howard the highest sentence (ever), given to an Indonesian for possessing a similar amount of marijuana was (and remains), just 5 years. That's also confirmed by Arifin Wardiyanto (Google the name), a leading Indonesian human rights activist.

      report
    2. Michelle Singh

      Tutor in Gender Studies & Sociology at Griffith University

      In reply to Chris Harries

      Thanks for that post, Chris - interesting thoughts. I agree with most of what you've said in the first paragraph, except that we (women, that is) don't always feel reflexive solidarity or sympathy in cases like this - and if we do, we're rational enough to consider other factors, too, that may be far more important :).
      I think a lot of us are painfully aware of what seems to be disproportionate attention paid to one person over others (as a few commenters have noted). When Van Tong Nguyen was executed in 2005 in Singapore (just one example, I know), many people were deeply saddened; one can't help contrasting the apparent lack of sympathy for this young man.
      I sincerely hope that 'N' (whose story you shared above) is granted some version of a 'happy ending', but then I hope that for anyone seeking asylum. The ongoing detention and the waiting, and lack of closure, takes such a terrible toll.

      report
    3. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Chris Harries

      In fact Chris heterosexual females rarely publicly support lesbians and this extends into academia.

      report
  11. Mike Pope

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    “Our Schapelle”. Our convicted drug smugler is more accurate.

    Isn't it time the media left Corby alone to get on with her life and let us get on with ours?

    report
    1. In reply to Mike Pope

      Comment removed by moderator.

    2. Raine S Ferdinands

      Education

      In reply to Mike Pope

      O' Kim!! Please get off your Lauren ,,, Lauren … Lauren .. obsession.
      Life is full of differing views but good manners is a constant.

      report
    3. David Wolf

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Pope

      This article, amazingly, was published the day before Schapelle's verdict was announced. I was stunned by its lack of logic - a hostile place to buy drugs because all the dealers work for the police but a great place to sell drugs in competition with the police. Then there was the main witness of Moore's article, an irate father complaining that dealers had pestered his children to buy Aussie Gold and knew the price of this marijuana by the kilo and by the ounce, and it was expensive. So after…

      Read more
    4. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Pope

      Read through that article again Mark, note any credible or NON "Anonymous" sources quoted? No, I thought not (because there is none) - and when I directly confronted the author of that article to provide some, they point blank refused. They said I'd have to "Take them on trust." How about using some critical thinking, and not swallowing yellow journalism whole? And for more detail re what I mean about "Yellow journalism," Google the term & click on the top Wikipedia entry.

      report
    5. David Wolf

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Pope

      Unfortunately Mark, I had no choice but to stand up against such blatant propaganda. Matthew Moore wrote that article and here is the kicker. Every Australian media organization said, "Okay, it's now written in stone." It completely reversed what everyone at that time knew to be true but not a single journalist discussed it, debated it, tried to get a photo scoop of Australian dealers in action, investigated, did an in depth, or even asked our government if they were concerned that Australian drug dealers were taking so much marijuana to Bali that it had it's own trade name. I linked to my critique because no one else did one. Now, apparently we joined Afghanistan and Columbia as a drug exporting nation except that UN statistics claim that no drugs are being exported out of Australia. So which is it?

      report
    6. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Pope

      Quite frankly, David, I've never been to Bali (I feel it's a bit like exploiting a third world country), nor have I purchased marijuana , here, or overseas, so I really don't know. Neither your website, nor Mr Moore's article are linked to any reliable source, so I still don't know?

      report
    7. Henry Verberne

      Former IT Professional

      In reply to Mike Pope

      I am not in a position to comment on the claims you make but I know one thing: you do not advance your cause by being insulting and abusive to those who disagree with you.

      Surely as a psychiatric nurse you know this or are allowing your emotions to rule your head?

      report
    8. David Wolf

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Pope

      There are no reliable sources and that is the legacy of this case. I don't ask people to accept any data I provided but I do ask them to exercise common sense. Bali is dangerous. Tourists are picked up the moment they agree to purchase drugs or any illegal service from the many street vendors who seem to operate with impunity. We are told that Indonesia is tough on drugs in a justification of Schapelle's sentence and yet these street dealers pester every tourist to the point of being annoying…

      Read more
  12. Julie Crews

    Ethicist at Edith Cowan University

    Well done Lauren on this article! Some individuals cannot accept difference of opinions or views without personalising it and attacking the character of anyone who may hold or express a view that doesn't align with them. The reaction to your article is absolutely appalling. If Schapelle had been less 'attractive-ish' with less media-attractive family-member history I doubt she would have stood out from any of the countless other prisoners. Your point about Renee Lawrence illustrates this well but unlike Schapelle she had the drugs strapped to her body. However, even if she didn't she would not have received the media coverage that has been bestowed upon 'our Schapelle'.

    report
    1. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Julie Crews

      Hi Julie - thanks for reading and commenting. I continue to be surprised by the personal attacks directed at me regarding this issue. That said, I'm also aware that such attacks are the default tactics of conspiracy theorists. The attacks might be personal but I'm not taking them personally: in fact, I think they are working nicely to paint the Women4Schapelle and People4Schapelle groups as substantially unhinged.

      Cheers and thanks again.

      report
    2. Michelle Singh

      Tutor in Gender Studies & Sociology at Griffith University

      In reply to Julie Crews

      That's pretty much what I was trying to say, Julie, when I commented yesterday - but you've articulated it much better. Must be that ethics training :).

      report
    3. Kim Bax

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Julie Crews

      PS - And there is a very progressive, very widely read anti-racist, anti-sexism Australian news site I will be contacting re these issues - and you will be getting a very widely read article/essay in reply. You are completely dishonest in representing the support base for Schapelle, which as you know (from the the info Tweeted to you, and which you refuse to share), is very broad and very multi-cultural.

      report
    4. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Julie Crews

      how does one strap 4.5kg of marihuana to one's body?

      The point I made (above) relates to the fact that Lawrence is a known lesbian. Feminism is not confined to the heterosexual or heterocentric domains and the question here in relation to the difference between Corby and Lawrence relates to Lawrence's sexuality. As such it is a feminist issue but "duty to care" is not a productive ethical framework in which to think (verb) this problem of selective media attention.

      report
    5. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Julie Crews

      To be fair Lauren your comments about Corby in The Drum article were pretty personal. You must be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions if you choose to work in this field.

      report
    6. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Julie Crews

      I have no qualms about accepting consequences. Equally so, I have no qualms in spotlighting when those consequences are severely disproportionate.

      The intention of my ABC article was to illustrate some frames which (at least partly) explain why we've all spent 10 years following this story. My intention wasn't to label Schapelle - who has already been thoroughly labelled by the media and, in turn, in the public imagination - but to simply highlight that she has great appeal to two very wide sections of the Australian audience based on her apparent embodiment of a caricature.

      report
    7. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Julie Crews

      Julie, you mewl for the poor mile, Renae, though not a peep about the eight BLOKES she was jailed with.

      report
    8. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Julie Crews

      Jena, are you seriously saying that if Schapelle were a lesbian, there would have been a media blackout, ignoring her all these years?

      report
    9. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Julie Crews

      And from an "ethical" perspective the difference in sympathy towards Corby and Lawrence reflects the different levels of acceptability among Australians of marijuana versus heroin!

      report
    10. David Wolf

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Julie Crews

      Lauren, I don't have a problem with you but as a member of this nations academia I am disappointed that the simplest of things escaped you. The media created "Our Schapelle" in emotional terms drawing the public away from the damning facts of the case for the women's magazine market and their male counterparts and the readership followed from innocence to guilt without exercising their intellects. You described your article as a "think piece" but any gardener or cook knows that herbs don't keep for 6 months in a plastic bag and so Schapelle was convicted on 4.2 Kg of fresh Indonesian marijuana. You and your learned colleagues missed that along with about 1000 other equally interesting points. But you continue to write about those who get emotional about "Our Schapelle", the Royal Family, or the Kardashians because it seems that this is where academia in this nation has fallen.

      report
    11. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Julie Crews

      My ABC article was all about media construction of Schapelle so I'm not sure what point your making. As for the actual evidence or the nitty gritty of the case, I am ready to admit that I am not sufficiently familiar with - or interested - in that level of detail.

      I write and research about gender, sexuality and the media: my interest in the story, therefore, are about the issues in my fields of experience.

      You noted that I neglected "1000 other equally interesting points". I'd like to think I don't need to write this but I will anyway: no 800 word article can every cover more than one or two points. I always focus on the minutiae. There are other people and other venues for those "1000 other equally interesting points". to be addressed.

      Cheers!

      report
  13. alfred venison

    records manager (public sector)

    dear Lauren Rosewarne - i read all your stuff, more often than not i don't get it, i'm not much of a pop cult guy, but i keep trying.

    i get this one though and i just want to say thank you for being my voice on this issue. it has emphatically never been "my" schapelle corby (nor ms kiewa's for the sake of completeness) and i am stunned - really surprised - to hear that some people think there's feminist issue there. but what would i, as merely man who lives with a feminist, know, eh?

    and i'm all for broad churches too, so see you at mass, eh? i don't know if you've seen this article, but in recognition of all the crap you've endured over this & nasty accusations of quisling, i will take the risk of offering you something you may have already seen.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/178140/feminisms-toxic-twitter-wars?page=full#

    in parting i say: "the medium is the message". yours sincerely, alfred venison.

    report
    1. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to alfred venison

      Many thanks for reading and commenting, Alfred - I appreciate it. I have seen The Nation article. Years of writing public opinion pieces online and never before have I been subjected to such levels of nasty - and, frankly bizarre - accusations. On the upside, my sense of humour gets a kick out of the particularly outrageous ones.

      Cheers!

      report
    2. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to alfred venison

      Well done Lauren. It is quite unbelievable the way that person is attacking you personally rather than having the decency to address your article. And you are right to not take it personally. She does the same to anyone who disagrees with her so it seems to be a personality problem and these are difficult to treat even when the person recognises that they have a problem.

      But did I see some male fool above say that women support each other - some of them - men that is - think they know so much about womym don't they?

      But to keep your sense of humor alive you might enjoy this post about feminists and duty. I did but there is much bad language.

      http://wonkette.com/541270/wellesley-women-dont-know-much-about-art-but-they-know-what-they-dont-like

      report
    3. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to alfred venison

      that's one heck of sense of humor you have, good one. what doesn't fell you, makes you stronger. all the best. -a.v.

      report
    4. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to alfred venison

      The feminist issue relate to the different ways in which females are selectively scrutinised - presented, represented, promoted - by the media and the reasons for that attention.

      We are distracted here by the to and fro between Kim Bax and Lauren Rosewarne but there is an interesting feminist issue to discuss that does not relate to duty.

      report
    5. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to alfred venison

      its also a media story. this whole thing is manipulation to sell soap. we would not have anything to talk about if media had not beat it up to sell soap. people who are concerned for poor ole schapelle are being used. and the extent to which they think they are leading is the measure of the success of their manipulators. -a.v.

      report
    6. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to alfred venison

      For clarification, there is no to and from between Kim and I on this page. I have however, responded to comments made by the other people who have not spent days spewing bile at me.

      Cheers!

      report
    7. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to alfred venison

      Yes, you have responded well to those who have complemented you and condemned the other.

      report
    8. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to alfred venison

      You have conducted yourself with dignity and composure in the face of vitriol being spat at you. I am pleased you didn't dignify your attacker with a response in this thread. By not rising to the troll bait you must be making her furious :)

      Unhinged, indeed.

      report
    9. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to alfred venison

      let me be abundantly clear.

      i agree that the feminist dimension lies in the comparative - as you say: "the different ways in which females are selectively scrutinised - presented, represented, promoted - by the media and the reasons for that attention".

      defending schapelle corby is not a feminist thing.

      as an aside, in my opinion the reason for media attention that manifests as selective scrutiny, presentation, representation and promotion of women is to sell soap; t.v. exists to stream advertising, programs exist to impede us turning it off. the reason for exploitation in our time is capitalism. -a.v.

      report
    10. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to alfred venison

      an indirect comment made through another is a circuitous and backhanded method.

      report
  14. Jena Zelezny

    research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

    As the writer of the article points out, there is a vast difference between the media attention given to Corby and the media attention given to Lawrence.

    That this is so is noteworthy from a feminist perspective. For the media Corby perhaps represents a type of young female Australian - attractive, heterosexual (as far as we know), under-educated, involved in the 'beauty' industry and from the Gold Coast. Lawrence is a known lesbian from Newcastle and worked in smash repairs as a panel beater. Both were convicted and incarcerated for drug trafficking and given the same sentence (I think). The question now could be, where is the parole for Lawrence?

    Why is one person seen to be of interest and the other not?

    report
    1. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Yes, Lauren has articulated exactly what many of us have thought from the day of the arrests.

      It's a pity that some can't debate divergent views in a civil manner.

      I'm a bit like Alfred V, know nothing about 'pop culture', but always enjoy Lauren's essays, here, and at the Drum.

      report
    2. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Jena, I'm completely shallow, and find Lauren's writing entertaining!

      report
    3. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      and yet the aims of The Conversation state that the articles have academic rigour as well as journalistic flair.

      report
    4. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Jena, er, Colby was not filmed lifting up her shirt, revealing a tonne of heroin strapped to her stomach.

      report
    5. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Andy, I'm sorry, but the image of any woman, hiding a tonne of anything under her skirt gave me a laugh!

      report
    6. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Both Corby and Lawrence were convicted of their respective crimes and given the same sentence. I am asking where the parole is for Lawrence and/or what is it's status?

      report
    7. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      an 800 word opinion piece is hardly an essay.

      report
    8. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Now I'm laughing even louder.

      Yes, where is Lawrence's pardon/parole, or, for that matter, where are 'Team Lawrence'?

      report
    9. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      True. Wanted to just leave it as 'true', but 'too few characters'.

      report
    10. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Ask the writer of the article Mark, it was she who introduced Lawrence as a counterpoint to Corby.

      report
    11. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      i will add to this that some of Lauren's comment about Corby in The Drum were personal and could be framed as classist.

      report
    12. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Exactly. Lawrence of course, is nowhere feminine enough, or photogenic enough, or boasting a carnival of characters as captivating as Schapelle to, apparently, be worthy of media attention in our culture. So she, lamentably, gets forgotten about.

      report
    13. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      As I have explained to you before, academics are notorious for demonising bogans.

      report
    14. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      some people are known to abuse anyone for no apparent reason - bogan is an offensive class designation no matter who says it.

      report
    15. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Mark, on whys and hows of whom bogans do and do not demonise, and the extent to which said sneering is an activity of which said bogans are 'notorious', I shall have to take your word on the matter.

      report
    16. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      The reasons why Corby has been released earlier than Lawrence are largely the result of the different ways the two have acted while in prison. Every prison on earth rewards good behaviours over bad.

      report
    17. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      'bogan is an offensive class designation no matter who says it.'

      Jana, you should get out to the suburbs. There you will meet folk who believe that youz, really is the plural of 'you', that the 'g' at the end of '...ing' is just some toffy nosed pronunciation, and that the 'l' is optional in 'Austraya'. I'm not joking, they are proud to be called 'bogan'.

      report
    18. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Mark, I live in Department of Housing flats. I'm aware. But still I insist "began is an offensive class designation no matte who says it."

      Our society here in Australia is frequently lauded as being egalitarian and that class does not exist. this is not so.

      report
    19. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Lauren was the first to mention Lawrence Andy and I agree that selective media attention is apparent.

      report
    20. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      My view is that the lives of lesbians are as important as the lives of heterosexuals, yes.

      report
    21. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      I don't know who claims this place to be egalitarian. Class does exist, and some (not necessarily the top) are proud of where they fit in the pecking order. I work with folk who are proud to be 'bogan'.

      report
    22. Raine S Ferdinands

      Education

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Good God! Now we have "classism" thrown at someone who has a different view. Reminds me of a past PM who ranted and raved about 'misogyny" and "class war fare" that ultimately left some of us embarrassed for that PM's behaviour.
      The question I am keen to ask is why do some resort to hurling abuse or branding people or simply getting hysterical when confronted with opposing views from others. Would make an interesting research. Hmmmm.

      report
    23. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Me too Mark. There are people I love who defiantly boast of being bogans and I wear ugh boots and thongs I'm proud of that.

      report
    24. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Raine, yes the invention of "classism" was the last straw for what remained of radical leftism. Completely out of ideas, and silly words, they found "classism". Never mind that the whole edifice of the left-wing project was a sophisticated understanding of class as a material phenomenon. Their "rediscovery" of class is stripped of material foundations, and reduced to an analogy of sex and race; another excuse for them to take to Twitter enraged over yet another transgression they find "offensive", as though that is some sort of argument, trump card even. A logical understanding of "classism" would be people who see social dynamics and structures as mediated by the materialism of "class". Thus, Marxism would be an example of "classism".

      report
    25. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      dear Andy Cameron - maybe you can help me, you seem to have a grasp of marxism, i'm only a fellow traveler ;-) so, does "classist" work both ways? if i say corporate managing directors & vice chancellors & barristers are paid too much am i being classist? or am i only "classist" when i'm cutting down short poppies? -a.v.

      report
  15. alfred venison

    records manager (public sector)

    dear ms Rosewarne - back from a day out with ms kiewa, i've finally read the piece at the drum & what a load you copped there for no good reason! it is certainly not racist nor is it condescending to the working class - it may be condescending to the lumpen proletariat, but in my opinion that occurs by way of calling a shovel a shovel. it is short, succinct and clear as a bell - and, putting on my leonard malton voice: i'd give a 10 out of 10. by the way, i think you use an appropriate amount of colloquial for someone talking about popular culture; i'd read you less if you read like a media studies textbook. alfred venison.

    report
    1. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to alfred venison

      Thanks for your feedback. I've, obviously, never tried to mimic a textbook style in any of my writing. I appreciate that this might alienate some readers, but I certainly don't mind that: I don't imagine myself as someone who writes in the hope of universal appeal.

      I didn't think my ABC piece was racist or condescending either - certainly being such was never ever my intention. The article was about media portrayals and appeals to certain sectors of the public as part-explaining why we've spent 10 years heading about this case. I suspect that anything else that readers construed in there was indicative of their personal convictions as related to the case. I, of course, appreciate that people come to any article with their own set of prejudices, but of the hundreds of opinion pieces that I've penned, never before have I experience such fanciful misinterpretations of my agenda as the comments on that ABC article and on this follow-up piece. Strange business!

      Cheers.

      report
    2. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to alfred venison

      I agree that Lauren's appearances on tv have been effective and I wholeheartedly support her efforts to clarify matters of sexism in the media.

      report
    3. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to alfred venison

      Andy from someone who has no hesitation in abuses of all description now and in the past?

      report
  16. Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

    Constitutionalist

    My wife (81 years) and I are both having the view that Shapelle Croby was grossly denied justice because of the way the Australian Government concealed relevant details from the court. Whatever Shapelle's facial attraction might be I can assure you it had no influence upon our views. She is a Australian who should not have been left to rot. Those who concealed evidence and by this perverted the course of JUSTICE should be themselves incarcerated for 20 years, this so they and others get the message not to inflict this upon another human being. Considering the baggage smuggling by the handlers I view no one could legitimately hold her to be a drug smuggler, regardless of the conviction. While I heard very little about Scott (Bali 9) I was pleased to hear that his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Nothing to do with his gender either.

    report
    1. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

      You need to read "Sins of the Father: The Untold Story Behind Schapelle Corby's Ill-fated Drug Run" by Eamonn Duff.

      It is out of print now but you would be able to pick up a copy from your local library.

      It changed my mind.

      report
    2. Michelle Singh

      Tutor in Gender Studies & Sociology at Griffith University

      In reply to Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

      Ta daa!! indeed. Just read the piece by Duff - er-mah-gerd! Puts your own recent events in a fascinating albeit disturbing and icky context. Does Duff know anything about what's been going on with your columns, Lauren? I guess he wouldn't be surprised...
      There's a thesis/research study going begging here, for anyone crazy enough to take it :)

      report
    3. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

      thanks for the tip - i read it - wow. sounds like the mafia: stand over, intimidation, targeting family & friends & employer & publisher, nuisance court actions. how can this thuggish behaviour possibly be justified in the name of their love for their champion?

      i offer my transcription of this short excerpt from an interview with marshall mcluhan, found at ubuweb - "rock" is a metaphor.

      >> everyone in this room is being subjected to a new form of oral education. literacy is still officially…

      Read more
    4. David Wolf

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

      I am not one of those "Our Schapelle" supporters. In fact, I have fought this media-created emotionalism within the Corby support movement for ten years now. But Duff's garbage that was published without any follow-up comment, debate or critique was given the golden pass of public acceptance in a manner that no other author could ever hope for.

      To illustrate, let me take just one example of many. He claimed Schapelle was upset and anxious on the flight to Bali. He went to great pains not to…

      Read more
    5. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

      My assumption is that the behaviour is justified because Schapelle is framed as some kind of political prisoner. Something I, obviously, find laughable at best. But if you watch the video on their website - which I did, all in the name of research :) - this is certainly the line they are running with.

      report
    6. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

      I haven't actually read the Duff book. My recommendation of his article was purely to shed light on the orchestrated attacks he experienced - and which I, across a much shorter duration, have similarly experienced - on anyone who dares say anything that doesn't support the Schapelle supporter's conspiracy theory.

      report
  17. Forcedto Changemyname

    logged in via Facebook

    Excellent piece Lauren - I couldn't agree more! My major observation of the Schapelle Corby case has been how it contrasts so starkly with the level of media attention accorded other grotesque crimes of incarcerating people for petty offences (or acts that are not even crimes in much of the world - such as driving while female, or adultery - also while female).

    I'm glad someone is rave enough to tramp this particular track. I thoroughly agree with you that the day we (and I include feminists here) have the same kind of compassion for Renae Lawrence (or, for that matter, all of the world's women who are languishing in prisons or awaiting the death penalty for gender-based 'crimes') will be one to celebrate our humanity, finally located.

    Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran - why don't these non-white males deserve our attention? Their plight is the death penalty for a mistake I'm quite sure they won't be repeating. Where is our outrage and compassion on their behalf?

    report
    1. Forcedto Changemyname

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Forcedto Changemyname

      *brave enough, not 'rave' enough! Oops, that'll teach me to proof before posting...

      report
    2. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Forcedto Changemyname

      Great comment Forcedto and pleased to see that the conversation is now back on track.

      report
    3. Raine S Ferdinands

      Education

      In reply to Forcedto Changemyname

      Chan & Sukamaran are also guilty of being blokes, non-white and with little or no connection to drug king-pins and internet trolls.

      Most amassed to read Duff's intimidation by the undesirables. What have we become? Is this really happening in Australia? Find it difficult to believe these goings on in my country!! Wow!!!!

      report
  18. Pat Moore

    gardener

    Nothing to do with feminism Lauren. You plugged into the class war, pressed the green, Hostility Go button with the class prejudicial terms you used in the Drum article. "Bogan" (remember it's originally an edible moth that hibernated in the caves of the Dividing Range) and "fish and chip shop owners" are now both emotive tropes in the class and political wars. Westies, bogans etc are originally terms of dehumanising and belittling abuse used by the Eastern/ Northern Beaches privileged class against…

    Read more
    1. Pat Moore

      gardener

      In reply to Pat Moore

      PS In your Drum piece calling a real person a 'caricature'("a deliberate exaggeration, distortion, imitation, a bad likeness") is dehumanising and insulting and your last sentence suggesting the long-suffering, popular media-consuming public has endured something akin to 9 years in a Bali jail is a sneering belittling and dismissing of her suffering. The attitude of superiority expressed in these terms would have served to further alienate and enrage some of your readers out in the battlefields on the Western front. Have you heard the old Australian expression "to get your Irish up"? You got the "Irish" up.

      report
    2. Lauren Rosewarne

      Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne

      In reply to Pat Moore

      I appreciate your feedback. And unquestionably my closing line - about my being subject to endless Schapelle media coverage being akin to 10 years in an Indonesian jail - was, of course hyperbolic. The body of the article however - references to racist and bogan stereotypes - were not reflective of my views at all. Rather, I was discussing the frames this story has been spoken about; about two opposing ways that Schapelle has been shaped in popular discourse.

      As for bogan being classist. This is a very tricky issue because - and the topic deserves its own article if I can carve out that time - I don't think the term bogan actually has anything to do with socioeconomic status or class whatsoever. I for example, think of Shane Warne as a bogan. He earns in a year more than I'd probably earn in a lifetime. It's not about money, it's not about class, it's about perceptions and prejudices.

      report
    3. Eric Vanderduys

      Ecological Researcher

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Hi Pat,
      As far as high know "bogong" moths have nothing to do with bogans. Correct me if I'm wrong. I always assumed bogong moths were named after the Bogong High Pains, one of the areas where they amass (and were hunted by people).
      Hooroo, Eric

      report
    4. Eric Vanderduys

      Ecological Researcher

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Hi Lauren,
      I admire your Teflon attitude. I'd love to hear your "off air" comments. I reckon you'll find some things do stick to Teflon if you find the time to write something on bogans. Yikes! I wouldn't go there. Hooroo, Eric

      report
  19. John Newton

    Author Journalist

    I have no interest in Corby other than my belief that no one should be locked up for even a day for supplying a harmless and non-violent drug.

    What I do object to Ms Rosewarne is your qualification of the word 'unique' with 'particularly.'

    As a senior lecturer and writer should know, unique cannot be qualified by almost, very, fairly or even particularly.

    Unique is stand alone out there totally and utterly unqualified one of a kind.

    Unique.

    report