Mia Sanders

A pin could have been heard dropping in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park in the moments before the result of the postal vote on marriage equality was announced on the morning of November 15.

Lovers stood with their faces pressed into each other’s chests, whitened knuckles held shaking hands, friends stood shoulder-to-shoulder and rainbow families held each other in tight embraces. Even the blustering wind that had dishevelled our stall all morning seemed to have been holding its breath. All was silent as we braced for the result.

It is disappointing to see our postal survey victory marred by racism from No and Yes campaigners alike, as they descend on Western Sydney, which turned out 12 of the 17 highest No voting electorates in the country.

But not only is the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant dog-whistling that shapes this assault on people who live in the west more or less overtly racist, it is also a poor analysis of what went wrong in the west.

The waving of the rainbow pride flag at a concert on the outskirts of Cairo has triggered a backlash of state repression against the LGBTI community.

Several flags were raised at a performance to 35,000 people by the Lebanese indie-rock band Mashrou’ Leila on 22 September. Mashrou’ Leila is fronted by lead singer Hamed Sinno, one of few openly gay musicians in the Middle East. Sinno paid tribute at the concert to the late gay icon Freddie Mercury.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has reported a huge disparity in the superannuation that women retire on compared with men.

Last year, the mean superannuation balance for women across all age groups – from workers just starting out to retirees – was $68,000, compared with $112,000 for men.

Women who retired in 2016 had an average super balance of $157,000, while men had an average balance of $271,000.

International students in New South Wales face higher cost of living expenses than their counterparts in other states. This is one of the reasons students at Western Sydney University (WSU) have decided to launch a campaign calling on the state government to grant them public transport concessions.

“New South Wales is the only state where international students do not have the same rights as domestic students and cannot access the same facilities,” Daniele Fulvi told Green Left Weekly.

Feminist NGO Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) is urgently seeking funds to keep the phones switched on at the NSW Rape Crisis Centre (RCC).

The NSW RCC is the last remaining public 24 hour, 7 days a week sexual assault counselling service in the state.

A voluntary euthanasia law has passed in Victoria’s Legislative Assembly after a marathon four-day sitting. The bill passed 47 votes to 37.

The proposed law will now head to the Legislative Council. If it passes there, the bill will allow terminally ill Victorians with less than 12 months to live and who are suffering unbearable pain to access lethal medication to end their lives.

A new report, entitled Don’t send me that pic, has reaffirmed what most women and girls already knew: sexual abuse and harassment are incessant, it starts young and it is on the rise.

Commissioned by Plan Australia and Our Watch, the survey collected responses from 600 girls and young women aged 15–19 across Australia.

In the wake of US film producer and former studio executive Harvey Weinstein’s outing as a sexual predator, who infamously preyed on young actresses, the hashtag #MeToo, which women are sharing to say that they too have experienced sexual assault or harassment, is now trending as an international discussion ensues about sexual violence and power.

So far more than 12 million women have shared the hashtag.

You can never be sure what will follow when a baby boomer begins to ask the (always rhetorical) question: “Do you know what the problem with your generation is?”

OK, Uncle John. I’ll bite. What is it this time? IPhones? Video games? Avo on toast?

Millennials (also known as Gen Y) have been broadly stereotyped as the “cripplingly lazy” and “irresponsible” generation. But are the crises of unemployment and housing really about Millennials or is the problem with the end of the millennium itself?

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