40 Comments

Terrific piece. Raises so many issues for me. About journalism fundamentally. We talk about mainstream media as if it still exists. Does it? I’m not sure. Even the ABC feels less and less mainstream to me.

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Jun 23, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Thank you, Julie. Faith in the media stalwarts, for me, has almost completely disappeared. There was no real effort to disentangle the threads surrounding the Posey Parker event by the ABC, the Guardian, the Age or the SMH. The media outlets I have relied on for most of my life have capitulated to the loudest and shrillest voices, and failed to undertake an analysis of a regressive and illogical ideology.

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Jun 22, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

I don’t know about other subscribers, but I’m happy to read thoughtful pieces written well whenever they come - I’m subscribing for quality not quantity, and I’m happy for my paid subscription to start now. I hadn’t even noticed that you’d said you’d deliver fortnightly. On of the (many) things pleasures of Suzanne Moore’s Substack is her pieces arriving in my inbox without any obvious timeline - not knowing when they might arrive makes them all the more appreciated as a happy surprise when they do. If I want predictable words with a predictable delivery date with a predictable lack of intellectual rigour I’ll go to the dailies - no need for you to confirm to that dreary disciple when you’ve got so many interesting things to say.

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Jun 22, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

I have had a recent discussion with two very well educated and intelligent professional and progressive friends about their inviolate trust in the ABC as their main source of news. It is something of a sacred cow to them, believing it to be immune from commercial agendas (as if that is the only kind of virus that can infect the communication of facts to the masses). Thank you for the ammunition in demonstrating to them that almost all mainstream media, public and commercial across the political spectrum, deliberately skews the facts they present to their customers, often by omission or the bastardisation of copy to suit their goals. I find myself increasingly drawn to facts and opinions that mainstream media refuse to publish or cannot meddle with.

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Thanks once again Julie. I find myself reflecting on the policing of three social issues that have I have been involved in over many years and more recent times, and for which open and accountable reporting and debate has been denied. The Family Court and how it harms mothers and children, the public Guardian and Public Trustees and their exploitation and poor management of people under their ‘care’ and now this whole Trans issue. Reporting on the first two are silenced by laws which make reporting on these matters a criminal offence (amazingly the ABC has taken on the Public Guardian issue and had some success in gaining permission to report) yet debate on this third issue is being silenced by mainstream media themselves - with the exceptions you mentioned). Maybe you can delve deeper in future pieces from your now unfettered reporting platform on finding explanations as to just how, and why, politics and the media are in such dangerously unquestioning thrall to a movement which denies reality, promotes absurdities, at its rabid extreme fringes bullies and harangues opposing voices of truth-telling and still manages to have the media promote the message that they are the ones being bullied. And meanwhile hundreds of children are being irreparably pharmacologically and surgically mutilated for what would have been for the majority, a passing phase. Please stay strong and keep going, having truth and common-sense on your side is a great help.

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Jun 23, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Welcome Julie to we group of Lefties who've been left by the Left as it rushed off to crazy town.

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Jun 23, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Julie, once again I'm finding your voice is one that, more and more, needs to be heard, just as your words need to be read. And when I read you, I cannot but be reminded of Victor Serge's comment in 'The Case of Comrade Tulayev.' He wrote: "After all, there is such a thing as truth." It is a rallying cry, as valid during Stalin's reign as it is today.

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Jun 25, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Many thanks for your work. I think the time has come when quite a few of us will have to climb that hill.

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Jun 23, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Thank you for your thoughtful, balanced piece. Keep up the good work and your passion.

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Jun 29, 2023·edited Jun 29, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

I'm so sorry about the way The Age treated you. I found it went downhill after Nine acquired it, but I always appreciated your nuanced articles.

I am a progressive and have come to the conclusion that embracing "gender ideology" is not a progressive stance. I think most lefties go along with it until they start to question some of the illogical and offensive ideas we're expected to accept, because it's been sold as the next frontier after gay rights (the TQ now overshadows the LGB). But the interests of same-sex attracted people - who have suffered documented oppression throughout history - are not the same as those who want to identify out of their biological sex, and often are at odds. I bought into it originally, believing we were talking about a small minority who were so distressed about their bodies that only drastic body modification would allow them to find some peace in the world, but as I sought to "educate myself" and understand my "cis privilege", I increasingly became uneasy with the claims of gender proponents. How is it progressive to tell little kids that if they prefer activities and clothes more commonly associated with the opposite sex, they must be the opposite sex at heart but "born in the wrong body"? How is it progressive to claim that strong female leaders - Elizabeth I of England, Hatshepsut for example - were really trans men or non binary because they said they were at heart a king? (Elizabeth's Tilbury speech can be translated as, "yes, I'm female, and I get you're used to being led by men, but chill out - I've got this", not "I'm using this occasion to announce my gender identity isn't really female".) How is it progressive to tell gay men and lesbians that they're bigots for not being interested in opposite sex partners who claim to be the same sex as them? How is it progressive to cheer on vulnerable young people who undergo experimental treatment and debilitating surgeries, only to turn your back on them when they realise they made a horrible mistake? How can "gender identity" be innate and immutable when one symptom of dysphoria is supposedly little boys liking pink, which was a masculine coded colour until the 20th century, and sex dysphoria arises overwhelmingly among young people who are neurodivergent and/or suffered severe trauma? How can self-identified progressives claim to support body acceptance (which I agree with - you don't improve public health by convincing people to hate themselves) yet embrace the idea that if you don't feel at ease in your sexed body, you should change it to fit your personality, clothing preferences and hobbies? None of it makes sense.

I agree with RubbleofEmpires that it is a trauma response, not an innate natural phenomenon, especially when it comes to ROGD. I remember myself as a 13 year old girl in the 1980s, horrified at my changing body, distressed and frightened at my emerging sexuality (I was attracted primarily but not exclusively to boys, but even heterosexual attraction terrified me) and unwanted male attention; by 14 I developed a significant eating disorder and if someone had said I could avoid growing into a woman by identifying out of it and putting on a breast binder or undergoing a mastectomy, I would have jumped at it. I feel very lucky I wasn't born 30 years later.

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I am here because of the Media Watch story. I am here because of growing alarm about suppression of opinions, particularly in the Greens. David Bell.

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Jun 25, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Hi Julie,

I am disappointed to learn you were sacked by The Age editor; despite his fancy footwork of excuses, it comes down to the fact that you weren't toeing the line. On the other hand, I am glad you will continue to write about transitioning and other aspects of transgender b/c I think 2 things: if these matters are not talked about they will continue to bubble away below the surface in an unhealthy way and secondly, I am astonished at the level of ignorance about transgender and its attendant social implications. A few friends I have spoken to do not seem to see how the rights of women who are thus through biology and gender could be under threat.

Among the many aspects of this huge social change what I find fascinating is one hears less about women who wish to transition and participate in sport. One cant help wondering why this is so. It doesn't take a Ph.d to figure out the reason!!

I was wondering too whether you or someone else could clarify. I have understood that an individual can self-declare being male (or for that matter female) having been born the opposite sex but I was reading somewhere that to do so would require a medical or psychological statement of support

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Jul 11, 2023·edited Jul 11, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Thank you Julie for your honesty. A real pity your pitch for an article on nationalising education didn’t go ahead. That is the only way to halt the advance of the private school lobby. Last night’s Four Corners was a clear indication of the power of the Lobby to make martyrs and villains.

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Jul 6, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Watching Australian institutions that are in the business of truth telling (no matter how uncomfortable), cower away from debate on an issue that has widespread societal and legal implications for women, girls and LGB’s, has been deeply unnerving to me. Watching Dan Andrews call the women attending a Let Women Speak rally Nazi aligned hate-filled bigots and the media, largely letting him get away with it, was a moment for me that I probably lost any naivety I had about left wing politics and left leaning media. I’m happy that the hill you’re prepared to die on is ‘journalism’ - because it seemingly has no answers on how to report coherently on this issue and it needs those fearless enough to take this on to do it.

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founding
Jun 25, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Sad to read this powerful piece, though not surprised. Massive loss for The Age and its readers. But you will be supported because of your journalistic integrity and the intellectual rigour you bring to your work. Not to mention your sense of irony. And humour. Have a rest. You readers will wait for you !!

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Jun 24, 2023Liked by Julie Szego

Julie - thank you for your openness and transparency of what occurred . There is is a passage in there which I believe requires some clarification " I said I had no firm view on paediatric transition. (You don’t have to believe in unicorns to see the affirmation model at its highest; an attempt to save kids from life-crippling distress and stigma.)" Are you saying that you believe that there are at least some merits to paediatric transition on the basis of the child's mental health but overall you haven't reached a conclusion as to whether it's a good idea or not. Please elaborate , if you feel comfortable , about your thoughts regarding paediatric transition. PM me if you like . Thanks, Danny Mann-Segal

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