An unpleasant man, who is the Executive Director of The Sydney Institute, a conservative think tank, talks some drearily familiar unpleasant crap about Jane Caro and sexist epithets and destroying the joint.
Who would have thought that a throwaway piece of old fashioned Australian slang could, within a few days, become a matter of international interest? But that’s the modern world of instant communications , home to the ”IIA” syndrome. Meaning ”insult, indignation, apology” in that order.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If the “throwaway piece of old fashioned slang” (of whatever nationality) is a sexist or racist or homophobic epithet, it’s not automatically a bad thing if someone kicks up a fuss about it and attention is paid and there is discussion of the idea that epithets of that kind are bad and harmful. Lots of things used to be a “throwaway piece of old fashioned slang” and are now labels that non-brutal people don’t use.
When walking my dog Nancy early Sunday evening, I turned on to BBC Radio’s World Today Weekend program. Feminist Jane Caro was banging on from Sydney about just how sexist Aussie blokes really are.
Caro soon downloaded how 2GB presenter Alan Jones had recently declared: ”Women are destroying the joint.” The reference was to the former Victorian police commissioner Christine Nixon and the Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore. Then Caro commented how one-time Liberal Party operative Grahame Morris had called 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales a ”cow”, after her interview with Tony Abbott.
Shocking, when you think about it. But not if you think for long. For starters, leftists such as Caro are invariably telling us that Jones is a mere shock-jock. Shock-jocks attempt to shock. That’s what they do. As to Morris, well he was born in country NSW. Calling a person a cow in such abodes is so common that the word gets an entry in G.A. Wilkes’s A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms.
And? “Bitch” is extremely common in the US, too, but that doesn’t make it benign. It’s not benign.
A sense of perspective might help. In the meantime, Morris should be counselled against using 19th century colloquialisms in these oh-so-sensitive-times. And Sales should desist from getting offended about not very much at all. At least it would free up the BBC for some real news from the antipodes.