Culture

Is Marriage Good, Bad, Or Increasingly Irrelevant? Come To Our Next Junkee Take On

A wide-ranging panel discussion featuring Clem Ford, Tom Tilley, Senthorun Raj and Cara Suttner, answering all of your curliest questions.

In March this year, Senator David Leyonhjelm signalled he’d introduce a Marriage Equality Bill to the Australian Senate, spurring outrage amongst those who want to preserve the so-called sanctity of marriage. In the very same week, Channel 9 announced it was slapping that sanctity right in the face with a controversial new reality show, Married At First Sight.

In April, it was revealed that the government had spent $2.5 million administering its ultimately failed marriage counselling voucher scheme, and in May thousands rallied to support a free vote for Labor’s same sex marriage bill. Earlier this month, as Tony Abbott finally acknowledged the building momentum, pushing for a bipartisan approach to marriage equality, SBS’s Insight aired an episode dedicated to the resurgence of match-making in Australia.

Today, comedian Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance is released in America, a widely-circulated excerpt of which discusses his parents’ successful arranged marriage, and the occasionally damaging abundance of choice in the world of online dating. Meanwhile, as Australians continue to find new creative pathways to protest the Marriage Act and debate the intersection of marriage and feminism, we’ve been drowned in outraged opinion pieces about That Canberra Couple.

It’s fair to say that marriage is having a moment right now. Which is why we chose it as the topic for our next Junkee Take On: a new panel series we present once every couple of months at Sydney’s Giant Dwarf Theatre, where thinkers, writers and creators get stuck into topics that matter.

Our next panel will be held on Tuesday June 30, and is called ‘Marriage – For Better Or Worse’. CLEMENTINE FORD (Daily Life), TOM TILLEY (Triple J’s Hack), SENTHORUN RAJ (LGBTI advocate) and CARA SUTTNER (match-maker with J-Junction) will be taking on the changing face of how we meet and how we marry; the tensions that exist between marriage, feminism and equality; and what parts of matrimony we think are worth fighting for.

take on marriage landscape_UPDATE

CLEMENTINE FORD is a writer, feminist and loud mouthed banshee from Melbourne. She writes for Daily Life and The Age, and speaks at lots of angry women events. She is not married but would do it for the bar tab.

As the host of Triple J’s Hack program, TOM TILLEY has become one Australia’s leading voices in youth current affairs. He’s interviewed a huge range of people from Prime Minister Tony Abbott through to Noam Chomsky. Before hosting Hack he travelled the country reporting on all kinds of people, from all kinds of places.

SENTHORUN RAJ is an LGBTI advocate with a passion for law, popular culture, and social justice. Sen writes on topics ranging from migration law to Grindr. He is currently completing his PhD and teaches at the Sydney Law School. Prior to academia, Sen worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.

CARA SUTTNER has been a volunteer relationship matchmaker for the last four years at J-Junction, an introduction service for Sydney’s wider Jewish community. She’s a mother of four and has been married for over nine years, and recently appeared on SBS Insight’s ‘Matchmakers’ episode.

The panel will be moderated by LEX HIRST, event co-producer of the Junkee Take On, co-director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, and romance editor at Penguin Random House Australia.

Junkee Take On: Marriage — For Better Or Worse? 

Featuring CLEMENTINE FORD, TOM TILLEY, SENTHURAN RAJ and CARA SUTTNER, in conversation with LEX HIRST

Tuesday June 30, from 7pm at Sydney’s Giant Dwarf Theatre

Head to the Facebook event page here; or book $15 tickets here.

Got a question for our panellists? Send it to [email protected]