Category: Identity Politics

St Kilda shows us the importance of free speech

For some, the recent rally at St Kilda beach provides evidence of far-right bigotry in Australia. Those who hold racist, anti-immigrant views must be shut down in an effort to ensure that there are “no Nazis, never again”, as the counter-protestors’ chant went.

These counter-protestors are anti-hate speech and actively tried to stifle the views of the so-called ‘far-right’ individuals who are criticising Australia’s immigration policy. While the counter-protestors have the moral high ground in opposing racism, they fail to realise that their previous actions have given weight to the ‘far-right’.

This is due to insistence by those same types that public debate be politically correct and free speech be limited for those who have differing opinions. Such restrictions on speech are proving to be dangerous, leading to polarisations uncharacteristic of Australian political debate.

As Noam Chomsky said: “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So … Read the rest

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When it’s facts versus feminism at the Guardian, it’s down the memory hole with the truth

The one thing that you can rely on The Guardian to be is inconsistent. On Britain’s recent Royal Wedding they published one article celebrating Meghan Markle for being brown skinned and another  late last year criticising her for not being brown enough. Would it not be better to abide by Martin Luther King’s exhortation to judge people by the content of their character rather than their skin colour? But then I would say that being a privileged white male of impeccable character.

There was more predictable lunacy recently in the Guardian, from Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, who wrote an article praising the historian Dan Snow because he lied to his children by telling them that there were female spitfire pilots in the RAF during World War Two. Miss Cosslett thinks it’s a wonderful idea to lie to children about history if it doesn’t mirror the past the way she thinks … Read the rest

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Offence and the guilt game

This article is based on a talk given by Anthony at LibertyFest Brisbane Conference 2018.

Let me state up front what this presentation is about: trying to make others feel guilty so as to silence them because we don’t like what they are saying comes a dear cost! In recent times attempts have been made to make the public (largely the white public) feel guilty because our national anthem is supposedly racist and that a caricature of a Black American tennis legend is allegedly racist. And at the time of writing this article, Australia Day is only a few short months away so we can expect more attempts to make (white) Australians feel guilty. Humans have been trying to make other humans feel guilty since the dawn of time with claims like “I’m offended,” “How could you?” and of course the classic: “That’s racist!” And here I am going to … Read the rest

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Why staying safe isn’t victim blaming

Recently University of NSW emailed their staff and students reminding them about personal safety. To me that demonstrates a caring employer. But not everyone saw it that way. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald, stated that the “email has received backlash from students for placing the onus on victims of sexual assault and harassment to stay safe.” Perhaps they were expecting the staff to place posters around campus stating: “Please don’t sexually Assault anyone”? A casual staff member of the university was quoted as saying the email read like a “rape myth bingo card.” Of course, as does so often happen, there were accusations of ‘blaming the victim,’ an accusation which is meant to make some feel guilty.

Suggesting that there are reasonable measures one can take to safeguard against being the victim of someone else’s criminal, immoral, neglectful, or just plain nasty behaviour is not blaming the victim. … Read the rest

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The myth of political merit

There is much current debate around gender quotas in politics. The popular case against quotas says that politicians should be chosen according to ‘merit’. Outside of politics this makes sense – you want the best doctors operating on you and the best lifeguards patrolling your beach etc, regardless of other superficial characteristics. But when it comes to politics, these commentators are calling for something other than the best politicians. ‘Merit’ in politics means playing the political game most effectively, as measured by whether you win. The ballot box victors are by definition the most talented individuals that society has to offer, in that particular pursuit.

In the fairly-tale version of politics, people like to imagine politicians doing things other than politics: ‘running the country’, ‘managing the economy’, ‘representing the people’ and other such inanities. Less euphemistically, we could say interfering in people’s lives, meddling in the economy and shilling for … Read the rest

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How inclusive is your childcare?

Last week, while organising an event on Eventbrite, I stumbled across an event organised by Inclusion Support Queensland, a key architect of Australia’s childcare industry’s National Quality Framework and Standards. Targeted at early childhood teachers and titled ‘National Quality Standard: Inclusion in Practice’, the event promised to ‘explore how inclusion underpins the National Quality Standard.’

The term “inclusion” is problematic in the context of the childcare industry’s National Quality Standards, since it refers to both disability access and cultural inclusion. While there’s a general expectation that the industry complies with anti-discrimination law in ensuring accessibility and inclusiveness of all children regardless of their cultural background or disabilities, the “inclusion” imperative can become a multi-headed hydra, used to impose narrower and more ideologically driven cultural inclusion policies that many parents may find problematic.

Australia’s childcare system is regulated by National Quality Framework (NQF), introduced in 2010. The NQF comprises: Read the rest

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Eurydice Dixon: we’re trying to fix the wrong problem

The murder of Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne last week is a tragedy, as is every murder of an innocent person. The randomness of this attack makes it all the more haunting and my heart goes out to her family, friends, and fans.

We’ve seen this before. The murder of Jill Meagher bears gut wrenching similarity both in the crime, and in the reaction. The randomness of the attack, the rape and murder, the public outcry, the marches and vigils.

But we’re making the same mistake we did after the Jill Meagher murder, and every other random murder of an innocent woman: We’re ‘fixing’ the wrong problem, and that leaves the REAL problem un-fixed.

The mistakes are many, but let me articulate the ones that undermine our efforts to actually protect women:

A: We’ve made this a ‘group’ issue, but all violence is committed by an individual, against an individual. We … Read the rest

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The other side of the gender inequality coin

Author: Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

Over recent years there has been a growing concern about ‘gender inequality’ (see for example the Workplace Gender Equality Agency) with claims that women are systematically paid less than men. Many of these claims are refutable – see for example the writings of Judith Sloan.

But there are other aspects of ‘inequality’ that are not generally raised by the WGEA and activists. That is: men pay more tax and receive less social security. Men live fewer years. And men are more likely to die violently.

LIFE EXPECTANCY

Take life expectancy. The most recent life tables show that a new born male can expect to live to 80.4 years, a female to 84.6 years – an additional 4.2 years. And, sadly, undertaking a sex change operation from a man to a woman will not add years to your life.

For those aged 65 (relevant to the discussion … Read the rest

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Of Kanye and coconuts

It would have been hard to ignore the outburst of pure rage that met recent claims that Kanye West had suggested “slavery was a choice”. Kanye, who has become famed for his provocative comments, seemed to have gone too far this time. The rage quickly spread through liberal media outlets, with CNN reporting, for example that “Kanye West just said 400 years of slavery was a choice”.

Among my own Facebook and WhatsApp circles, the anger was palpable. I’d have gotten angry too, if I still believed much of what I read on Facebook or WhatsApp. But given that most of today’s outrage tends to be based on exaggeration and misinterpretation – if not outright lies – it was worth sitting back and considering the facts and context.

First question: are there ulterior motives for attacking Kanye? Absolutely, yes. In black and left circles, Kanye had fallen out of Read the rest

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