Friday Fizz: The Week That Made Bigots Shift Uncomfortably In Their Seats

Naomi Osaka is refusing to be a part of the PR machine at the expense of her mental health. Image: Instagram

Ah Friday, how we love you! You bring us rest, you bring us peace, you bring us after work bevvies, and most importantly, you bring is all we need to know about women in the news this week.

First up, a good news story, with Germany crowning its first transgender Next Top Model. Alex-Mariah Peter won the day on Tuesday on Heidi Klum’s model search show, celebrating in typical German fashion: “I’m going to eat a schnitzel now.” Sure, the whole “rewarding people for being pretty” idea is still problematic beyond the pale, but the importance of seeing trans women represented in this way can’t be overestimated. As the parent of a trans young man, I know how important it is to be able to see people like you doing well in the public sphere. So bloody well done, Alex-Mariah.

Alex-Mariah Peter is the trailblazer we all need.

And while we’re on the gender stuff, a big round of applause to Bonds this week for releasing their first genderless range. Because it doesn’t matter how you identify when you want to slop about the house in grey marle.

And yes, I know that sometimes women’s and men’s bodies can be different, but Bonds promises that each piece comes in a “relaxed fit” and can be worn by anyone, whether they identify as male, female, or non-binary.

“At the heart of everything we do is you,” Bonds said.

“No matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you stand for, we believe everyone deserves to be comfy.”

That’s bloody refreshing, don’t you reckon?

Equal opportunity sweats. Finally.

Great work by women for the Archibald Prize this year, with the portrait competition achieving gender parity in its entries for the first time in its 100 years – 26 men and 26 women. And the Packing Room prize was won by Kathrin Longhurst for her portrait of Kate Ceberano. (Incidentally, it’s the second time a portrait of Ceberano has won the Packing Room prize – she must be a lucky charm.) The official winner of the Archibald will be announced tomorrow, so let’s see if the celebrations can continue.

From inclusivity to being the top banana: mining magnate Gina Rinehart was named Australia’s richest person by the Financial Review, being worth $31.06 billion. Apparently she made $2.2 billion in the past six months thanks to record iron ore prices, which will be handy when it comes time for Christmas shopping this year. And look, we know Rinehart is not a particularly sympathetic figure but how rad is it that a woman is on top of our rich list? The only other woman to make it into the top 10 (along with her partner) was Melanie Perkins, the genius who created Canva. We give thanks for Melanie every single day around here – and she’s worth every penny of that $7.98 billion.

This may not be a true representation of Gina Rinehart. Source: Instagram

Now let’s get our political pants on for a moment, because Attorney-General and alleged megadouche Christian Porter dropped his defamation case against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan. You might remember that Milligan published an article about a historical rape allegation made against a Cabinet minister, without naming names, after the woman who made the allegations withdrew her complaint with the police and then tragically committed suicide. Porter complained that although Milligan didn’t name him in the article, he could be identified from the article, and decided to make a legal stoush of it. Now he’s dropped the case and the article remains online, which Porter hilariously called “a humiliating backdown by the ABC”. Bless. The ABC must be mortified it no longer has to defend itself against bullshit allegations. Porter has also confirmed he’ll be running again at the next election, so there’s still more opportunity for him to look like a right dick.

Speaking of politics, Australia could be getting our very own Kennedy, with Caroline Kennedy – daughter of JFK and Jackie – being touted as our next US ambassador. What does it all mean? Nothing really, but it might come up at your next trivia night so keep that one in your back pocket for later.

Ah Camelot returns!

And finally, our legend of the week is Naomi Osaka, who has pulled out of the French Open after winning her first round match, due to mental health issues. We reported last week that Osaka had said she refused to participate in post-match media conferences, and was willing to wear the fines that action would bring her way. Dodging the media after that first match cost her about $20,000 but the increased pressure and attention was too much for Osaka to carry on and she came right out and said so. She apologised for the timing of her withdrawal in a tweet.

World no. 2 Osaka’s honesty and vulnerability is being lauded by many as a watershed moment in professional sport, and will hopefully lead to a more open dialogue about mental health and the importance of protecting ourselves – both in sport and in our day-to-day lives. Of course, she’s copped it from all sides too, with Billie Jean King saying she wouldn’t be the well paid athlete she is without the press, and French Open officials describing the whole incident as “disappointing”. But clearly professional sport is a high pressure environment that makes a few people and breaks a whole lot more. Osaka has been a class act from the start – if you need proof, take a look at this beautiful interaction with teen sensation Coco Gauff when she was struggling to deal with the pressure. We wish Osaka a quick recovery and that she knows how inspirational she is to lots of people who have felt like they needed to hide what they were going through.

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Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.

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