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Hat tip to Andrew Bolt on this one:
WHY is it bad to hack and expose photographs of a woman’s naked body but apparently OK to steal and make public the contents of a man’s soul?
This is the question that should burn in our minds in the wake of the Barry Spurr scandal.
For just a few weeks ago, when a hacker invaded the iCloud accounts of female celebs and rifled through their intimate snaps, there was global outrage… To peer into a woman’s most intimate moments was a “sexual violation”, said a writer for Guardian Australia…
Fast forward to last week, and some of the same people whose jaws hit the floor at the audacity of those who leaked these women’s private, unguarded pics were cheering the hacking of Spurr’s private, unguarded words.
Spurr, a professor of poetry at the University of Sydney, has had his private emails pored over and published by pseudo-radical, eco-miserabilist website New Matilda. In some of his emails, in what he has since claimed was a cheeky competition between him and his friends to see who could be the least PC, Spurr used words that would no doubt cause pinot gris to be spilled if they were uttered at a dinner party.
He described Tony Abbott as an “Abo lover”, referred to a woman as a “harlot”, called Nelson Mandela a “darky”, and used “Mussies” for Muslims and “chinky-poos” for Chinese. He now has been suspended by the university.
Many people will wince on reading those words. Just as we will have winced if we happened upon those photos of well-known women doing porno poses or engaging in shocking sex talk in videos shot by their boyfriends.
And that’s because these behaviours, both Spurr’s knowingly outrageous banter and the actresses’ knowingly sluttish poses, share something important in common: they were private acts, not intended for public consumption. They were things done or said between intimates, far from the eyes and ears of respectable society. Yet where right-on commentators and tweeters stood up for the right of famous women not to have their private nakedness splashed across the internet, they have relished in the exposure of Spurr’s soul to the panting, outraged mob.
A most worthy argument from one of the lefties I truly respect.
Marcia Langton’s objections to the repeal of 18c in today’s Oz where she said:
“As a victim of frequent racism, I have tried to think of racist behaviour that would not be exempted by the proposed repeal bill and cannot think of one,’’ Professor Langton says.
“None of the requirements of good faith, accuracy, genuine, reasonable, public interest are provided for in the exemptions, and I have concluded that the repeal bill, if it were passed, would provide me — and other victims of racism — with no protection at all from low-level racist abuse, or abuse that a ‘reasonable, ordinary Australian’ would not deem to be intimidatory, in the media, in public, on social media, in the workplace, in educational institutions, or other public institutions.”
Professor Langton says the repeal bill would encourage racists to be more emboldened in public and to use subtle forms of intimidation and aggression, “which I know from personal experience can be just as dangerous and distressing as overt forms”.
She says that, amid increasing racial attacks on public transport, the passage of the bill would expose victims to further attacks.
“The reluctance of most victims to make formal complaints or to contact police compounds this problem of their vulnerability to increased attacks by those emboldened to behave in even more offensive and aggressive ways on public transport and in public places,” she says.
Professor Langton goes further, arguing that the bill would undermine the success of multiculturalism and reconciliation in the community and lead to more events such as the race riots in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla in 2005.
And she warns: “The youth suicides that result from cyber bullying may well increase, and so too would internet bullying among school students.’’
Thinking back to her last appearance on QandA where she (and the ABC) had to apologise for her outburst against Andrew Bolt made me wonder just how a woman so blighted with racism managed to get herself into a safe and secure academic position and how she came to be consulted so often by governments on matters indigenous. I also can’t help wondering if she might be mistaking reactions to her antagonistic, confrontational and abrasive personal style of public discourse as racism when its her total lack of respect and generosity to all of her interlocutors that generates and equally terse response to her whenever she discusses the issues with others. Strangely enough in this country where we have manged to do tolerance and “multiculturalism” pretty well its antagonistic people like Langton who try so hard to grandstand about “racism” that are a problem, at least as significant as those very few individuals who are actually racist, because their whole ego and self image are totally tied up with the notion of ” being oppressed” that they want to magnify and exaggerate the whole issue of ” race” enough to justify their own bigotry .
We have a country that does diversity, equality and tolerance pretty well and long may that be so but we won’t do it any better if people go out of their way to find offense when and where no offense was intended, we can and I hope will, continue to do better to promote inclusion and acceptance of diversity as a nation but the strictures of blame and well nurtured resentment over long past events will not help anyone.
From my appearance with a (now greying) red beard, blond hair and blue eyes its pretty obvious that I have some measure of Anglo Saxon blood in my veins, thanks to the period of English history when the Saxons were ascendant . What would people think if I were to begin to insist that I am a Saxon? Or if my children were to do the same and therefore ignoring the fact that their Opa was a Dutchman from Rotterdam? Or that their Grandmother’s family were all good Irish Catholics? Under the way of thinking of those who sued Andrew Bolt I or my children should forever be unquestioned were we to insist that we are Saxons (even though my daughter has dark hair and hazel eyes ) if my family insisting that we are Saxons is a shallow a conceit, and one that I could insist upon would it make someone a bigot if they were to question that conceit? I might certainly dislike my conceits being questioned, I might even feel offended , insulted even a bit intimidated because I have had something as fundamental as they way that I ethically self identify but would it mean that those who ask those uncomfortable questions are “bigots” ?
Yesterday in the senate our Attorney General said in answer to a question that “every Australian has the right to be a bigot” it was a nicely put argument that has got the latte sippers choking on their milky brews because I gather that many on the left are rather certain that being a bigot is about the worst thing that its possible to be unless you are an adult with an unhealthy interest in the contents of a child’s underpants which is of course just a (little) bit worse. Strangely enough Pat Condell published a vid yesterday in which bigotry is quite cleverly considered, its only a short rant so please consider this:
What Condell’s rant tells us with some clever wit is that the politically correct want to control the way that people speak , often for rather noble reasons, but noble reasons or not the result is more toxic than the intemperate speech that the PC police would have silenced. Which brings us back to the clause in the racial vilification act that the government proposes to seriously amend.
The problem that our friends from the left far too often use a claim of bigotry as a sort of universal shut up when there is a truth that they find uncomfortable, a certain learned gentleman of this blogs acquaintance was very fond of insisting that anyone who thinks that marriage should only be between one man and one woman is a bigot. Our learned friend is obviously wishing to see the standing of homosexuals in our society raised and more respected. Likewise our own Ray Dixon is extremely sensitive about the way that Muslims and Aboriginals are perceived in our society he has the most noble motives in his desire to see multiculturalism work and to ensure that those from outside the majority are do not have to endure any kind of prejudicial treatment. The problem with wanting to enforce any sort of superficial niceness is that the result is a sort of bullying that Pat Condell so eloquently rails against in his video it ends up protecting that which, in a civil society, should be free to explore ventilate and maybe reconsider. Thus when 18c was used to shut Andrew Bolt up so that the notion of self selected ethnic identity by those who sued him under 18c would remain unconsidered, our society lost a good opportunity to take a long hard look at ourselves and just what it means to have any sort of ethnic identity. Some who harshly ventilate their own feelings or beliefs of such issues may certainly meet the definition of bigotry but the way to counter such views is not with the blunt instrument of a widely cast law but by their fellows convincing them that the prejudice is both wrong and more importantly unproductive and unlikely to “win friends or influence people”.
What George Brandis was saying is an iteration of the famous Voltaire aphorism , namely “I utterly disagree with what you are saying but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it” its not a principle that we should disavow at all if we want to enjoy a truly free and pluralistic society but its a sad reflection of of friends from the left who are both very keen to be the champions of free speech and to enforce”niceness” is it any wonder that they are being called hypocrite?
So lets defend free speech and encourage niceness in social discourse because, to cite another aphorism you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink.
The ABC are to be congratulated for apologising but they also deserve to be admonished for not pulling Langton up for making such a vile and unwarranted slur in the first place. I put that down to the rather common view that anyone who is not white can not possibly be racist themselves. The simple fact is that accusations of racism are an a to common resort of scoundrels who don’t want to burrow down and explore the deeper ethical questions about public identity, especially when some of those identities offer the qualification for particular government largess.
While I don’t always agree with the things Andrew says I do warmly welcome his return to the Sunday morning TV schedule because I just love to see the counterpoint of his show compared to “Insiders” on a Sunday morning
Its amazing just how many of the left just about have kittens at the thought of Andrew on the airwaves , Gee anyone would think that the left can not stand any voices that come from a conservative view point…
Stay tuned Comrades
Luvvies of the left are probably pre-emptively foaming at the mouth already about this:
Before the election, Senator Brandis had promised to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act so speech that is found to be offensive and insulting is no longer defined as racial vilification. He said yesterday he would be engaging in consultations about whether the amendment should go further and wind back other potential grounds for liability.
The changes would be in the first bill he presented to parliament, but because of the consultations it might not be introduced until early in the new year. He predicted the changes to the Racial Discrimination Act meant the government would be accused of condoning racist behaviour. He rejected that and said it was one of the initiatives aimed at supporting freedom of speech. “You cannot have a situation in a liberal democracy in which the expression of an opinion is rendered unlawful because somebody else . . . finds it offensive or insulting,” he said.
The decision to examine more extensive changes to Section 18C comes after several commentators, including Brisbane academic James Allan, had argued that the threat to free speech from the Bolt case meant the entire provision should be repealed.
– See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/business/attorney-general-george-brandiss-first-task-repeal-bolt-laws-in-name-of-free-speech/story-e6frg97x-1226755431421#sthash.yARBakmd.dpuf
We Grown-Ups are, on the other hand, quite relaxed and comfortable that our rights to offer even unpopular opinions are going to be protected from vexatious “shut up” litigation. Without the right to offer unpopular opinions our whole society is diminished and I for one will be happy to see the whole of 18C revoked.
- Will Brandis boycott the anti-boycott movement? (crikey.com.au)
- Abbot Government will target Racial Discrimination Act (muslimlegalnetworkwa.com)
- In defence of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (colourmycolour.wordpress.com)
- I Hate You. So Shut Your Face. (theaimn.com)