Wednesday, September 07, 2005

When I was at 3CR yesterday, I got handed my first piece of actual mail. It was actually addressed to ME (c/- Women on the Line, 3CR Community Radio, PO Box etc etc). I was quite excited. There was no return address. Goodness, a secret admirer! So I opened it up, and was greeted with this:

[I don't have a scanner, so this is my piss-poor attempt at a reproduction]
I'm not sure if my artistic talent has really allowed you to see what's going on here, but, basically, the note was folded at the bottom and sticky-taped. Ooooh, a 'sealed section'. Which I duly opened. After appropriately bracing myself. And this is my piss-poor rendering of the fully opened note.
So there. I had to read it a few times and still was quite uncertain that I 'got' it, but I noticed that I was feeling quite humiliated, so I ascertained that the note was not a nice one. But WHY?

Okay, I did my Women on the Line show this week, and, as the post mark for this letter is the 5th of September, the day the show aired, it maybe has something to do with that. But, jeez. The show wasn't any crazy shit. It was about TOLERANCE. Well, it was about the recent Australian Values debate, and reasserting the importance of tolerance and shit into a debate in which some pretty fucked things have been said, and being critical of those who say fucked things. Yes, I did say 'anglo-saxon' twice when referring to the dominant culture/population in Australia. YOU GOT ME! Anyway, in the show, there was an Islamic woman talking about the Sophie/Bronwyn calls to ban hijabs in public schools and the climate for Muslim women in recent years, a teachers' union woman talking about Brendan Nelson's nine values for Australian schooling and his modelling behaviour for the kiddies - 'if you don't like it, clear off back to where you came from, niggaz', and an academic woman talking about multiculturalism and the current tone of the political discourse. In my mind, these are not dodgy things to be talking about. But, I guess my audient disagrees.

This note does piss me off. I mean, what's directed at me isn't really hate mail, it's more "Elanor, GET BENT" mail. So that's not beyond comprehension, even though it feels quite yuck and unsettling, and I really don't enjoy being made fun of for being some feminist type who is not feminist enough to hate Muslims, having far too much unfeminist respect for what a Muslim woman has to say about her community. Also, I'm bummed that MY Enlightening and Devastating Show about the critical necessity of tolerance managed to activate someone into writing some anti-Islam, clash of civilisations and by the way Elanor SUCKS letter. Hello! I'm supposed to be changing the world here! So bummed about that.

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