Flat White

Meanjin’s #MeToo snafu goes nuts

6 June 2018

12:37 PM

6 June 2018

12:37 PM

It’s clash of the virtue signallers over in the left corner – and this time it’s beyond parody. Here is the proof we have long suspected; life in identity politics is exhausting and perilous.

The editor of Australian literary magazine Meanjin has apologised following criticism of its latest issue. It had scribbled out its Indigenous title to put in place the #MeToo hashtag. Inside the magazine, the reader(s) can look forward to an essay by Clementine Ford on the movement.

Editor Jonathan Green, who’s also a presenter on ABC Radio National wrote on the Meanjin website:

The blindness to the subtext of obliterating the word Meanjin with the hashtag #MeToo was mine… I was wrong to do it. Meanjin is the Turrbal word for the land consumed by what became Brisbane. It has been the title of this magazine since its foundation in 1940. To put it simply, the word is more than just the name of a magazine, and it shouldn’t have been mine to obliterate in a design flourish.

Because magazines must never display creative flourish, ever.

He continued in his grovelling statement:

Compounding that error was the complex story of the #MeToo movement, a movement created a decade ago by American woman of colour Tarana Burke.

The cover had been called out by several Indigenous women including Indigenous journalist Amy McQuire who said it felt “weird” to see “Meanjin” crossed out because the “destruction of land, cultures and language is fundamentally tied to violence against Aboriginal women.”

Green grovelled and then grovelled some more.

I regret it… I should, therefore, have known better.

He did, however, stop short at begging for mercy.

Delivering an added twist to the nutty debate, two non-Indigenous writers who contributed to the magazine, Ford and Anna Spargo-Ryan pledged to donate their fees to a cause for Aboriginal women.

Well, Spargo-Ryan tweeted on behalf of the pair because “Clem is currently on a tweet ban”.

You couldn’t make this up. Perhaps this is a new comedy sketch show for the ABC?

“The power of this erasure should not have been lost on us,” she wrote in their joint statement. “This is precisely part of the ongoing trauma caused by whiteness in this country.”

This is how they spent their days; immersed in “ongoing trauma caused by whiteness”. Sounds taxing. And tiresome.

No confirmation yet on who Ford has been hurling digital abuse at this time.

But we’re not done yet. This gift has more to give.

Another contributor Harry Saddler also apologised but said he could not donate his fee as “I’m having wisdom teeth surgery this month & it’ll cost me $1000, so to be honest I really need the money.”

Left them eat cake.

Think this is ridiculous? Me too.

Still, it’s good to know Meanjin has a hefty budget.

Illustration: 20th Century Fox.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments