That Deveny…she’s always causing trouble. And good for her.
She recently appeared on a panel debate show on Australian TV, Q&A, with Peter Jensen, an Anglican bishop. Jensen is smug, smarmy ass: when he wasn’t whining that we need a respectful discussion about the issues, he was announcing that women should submit to men in marriage, that same-sex marriage is unbiblical, that homosexuality is a disease, and no, the homophobia of the church can’t possibly contribute to gay teen suicide rates. He’s one of those guys who puts on his politeness with his clerical collar, and thinks both make him absolutely right, and able to say the most vile lies with smooth confidence.
Catherine Deveny was brash, smart, and assertive, and openly atheist. She is also a woman. She spoke the truth — that the church is a medieval institution promoting homophobia and misogyny, and that the facts and an unbiased morality of equality do not support Jensen’s claims.
Guess which one got all the negative press?
…I should not have been surprised at the fall-out from Catherine Deveny’s appearance on ABC’s Q&A this week. Deveny’s opposition to Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, resulted in an onslaught of vitriolic criticism and abuse – even from those who claim to support her positions on asylum seekers, same-sex marriage and women’s equality.
Even the Australian weighed in with an editorial reprimanding Deveny and the ABC for failing to show the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney ‘proper regard’ and ‘respect’.
While the Australian characterises (or more accurately, caricatures) Deveny as mocking, crude, crass and intolerant, Jensen is ‘frank, concerned and conciliatory on homosexual health issues’. Deveny, we are told, was guilty of ‘shouting down’ the Archbishop.
Don’t they realize that the proper regard and respect to show a leader of institutionalized dogma is to turn him away at the door, and to spit in his eye every time he demands a respect to his position that he won’t show to women, gays, the poor, the disabled, the disenfranchised? Catherine Deveny, rather than being excesively rude, showed remarkable restraint at having to sit next to the poisonous old fraud.
But no, Chrys Stevenson documents the insults flung at Deveny — she was a crazy bitch who should shut up and brought down the whole tone of the event by dominating the conversation. What about that?
Curiously, as this was one of the rare Q&A’s where the women (Catherine Deveny, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Anna Krien) outnumbered the men, the male guests (Peter Jensen and Chris Evans) still managed to dominate the conversation 55 per cent to 45 per cent.
To the contrary of her critics, I think the other panelists were all dreary bores who said a range of things (some sensible, some odious) and Deveny was the only person who made the event interesting. But this attention that the public pays to mouthy women (even when she clearly gave everyone else a chance to speak their piece) ought to be recognized for what it is: being nice is a tool of the status quo; complaining about tone is an attempt to silence the passion and outrage of the oppressed; privilege perpetuates itself by labeling difference as deviancy.
Keep on speaking up, Catherine Deveny!