Mamamia founder Mia Freedman’s op-ed on marriage equality has been shellacked in the hours since its appearance online, with readers pretty bloody confused at how the commentator managed to frame the issue so poorly.
ICYMI: Freedman, a straight married woman, argued that since same-sex marriage won’t invalidate or devalue straight marriage, there’s no real reason for heterosexual Australians to support a plebiscite on the issue.
She wrote that Aussie parliamentarians should instead simply conduct a conscience vote on the issue, instead of running the costly and non-binding plebiscite.
That’s all well and good. But, as a means of convincing pollies of public support for same-sex marriage, she also devised a campaign whereby married Aussies take selfies with their wedding rings, accompanied by the hashtag #married4marriageequality.
Freedman provided the campaign’s inaugural selfie, showing her smiling and pointing to the glistening rock on her ring finger. While the intention may have been sincere, damn near everyone called it out for being tone-deaf, and show-offy.
How the H-E-double hockey sticks is gloating about your ability to get married a supporting gesture for our cause, Mia? pic.twitter.com/bohsj18DHj
— Padam Vers (@chrisopotamia) August 8, 2017
That post has since been deleted, and Freedman has issued a response to the criticism. In a series of tweets, she writes:
As a passionate advocate for #marriageequality I believe it’s vital for the straight community and those of us who are legally able to marry to stand alongside our LGTBQI brothers & sisters, sons and daughters, mothers & fathers, workmates & colleagues & fight for their rights.
Marriage equality is a human rights issue & is supported by the vast vast majority of straight, married people. If I inadvertantly offended anyone by calling for legally married women to raise their voices in support of those who can’t legally married, I unequivocally apologise.
I was using my public profile to support #marriageequaility as I always have. I’m mortified if that’s been a distraction in any way.
Mamamia & I have worked closely w Australian Marriage Equality for several years & will continue to do so until all Australians can marry.
While the offending selfie has been removed, the tributes have not.
Australians confused by the whole deal have posted their own mocking takes on Freedman’s photo, with trolly images now totally outnumbering the few sincere posts by married folks.
— Jordan Raskopoulos (@JordanRasko) August 8, 2017
— matt (@grumsal) August 8, 2017
— John Gloveman (@SPSSS) August 8, 2017
— Amy Spiers (@waituntilcalled) August 8, 2017
— Matt (@MLenn93) August 8, 2017
— James Deg (@JamesM_Deg) August 8, 2017
Others have gone meta with the hashtag, using it to critique the entire concept of brandishing privilege in such an oblivious manner:
The re-emergence of the plebiscite as government policy is calling out for a large-scale and organised pushback, but it’s evident #marriage4marriageequality ain’t it.