When I started at the University of Melbourne in 2000, the Pro-Life Society was all but defunct.
The requisite sum of on-paper members ensured it stayed on the Union’s books, because if its registration ceded there was no way the Union’s office-bearers would permit its revival. But there were no active members. The club was a spent force. Why? Because the radical feminist groups on campus had realised that if they ignored the Pro-Life Club, its raison d’etre — not to mention its profile — would wane.
By the time I graduated in 2005 the Pro-Life Club was resurgent. Why? Marcel White — a savvy (and über-provocative) law student — had become president and goaded the radical feminist groups to such an extent that the Pro-Life Club was roundly condemned at student protests and repeatedly attacked in the pages of Farrago. The number of members dutifully multiplied.
There’s a lesson in this. An online advertising campaign started this week, which is embarrassingly transparent in its attempt to rouse religious ire.
Catholics could oblige and raise their voices in indignation. That’s a great way to make ourselves feel better, but it also ensures the campaign’s success, and could even encourage similar endeavours in the future.
Or Catholics can ignore it. That doesn’t feel so good, but it will do more good.
In the meantime, I’m gonna go buy some Vegemite. There’s nothing better than a load of butter and a scrape of Vegemite on toast!