A recent article from the SMH discussing political correctness and its effect on education from the perspective of Tony Abbot, Alan Jones, and author Kevin Donnelly left me absolutely flabbergasted. (yeah look, old-timey views call for old-timey words).
First things first, let’s get something straight. How any white straight cis man thinks they can give valuable insight into political correctness is a farce. When any white straight cis man begins their argument that “political correctness has gone mad” – they are not only wrong, they are completely blind to the privilege they’ve had their entire lives and it’s only now when that privilege is challenged that they suddenly care about “political correctness” as it doesn’t revolve around protecting their privilege.
In this article, so-called author and fellow at the ACU, Kevin Donnelly, espouses his beliefs that political correctness is destroying education and your child’s future in his book of the same name.
Not only is the title a completely ridiculous statement, its one that’s ignorant and fearmongering from an old man that wishes times were like the 1950s when “political correctness” wasn’t a thing…
What he actually means is that he longs for the past when his racist, homophobic and misogynistic views weren’t being called out. He wishes that the bubble of middle-class white privilege within which he grew up still enshrined him today. Where Mum and Dad protected him from such scary things as gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs that weren’t Christian, and anyone that wasn’t white.
Often you hear the same line when dinosaurs like this come out of the woodwork – “things were different back then”. And yes, they were. They were horrible, shit times for anyone that wasn’t the status quo. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING TO EMULATE OR BE PROUD OF.
The reason why we aren’t like that anymore is that we’ve grown. We’ve learned, we’ve listened, we’ve understood that our worldview is not the only truth. We’ve tried as best we can to live in someone else’s shoes and experience life through their eyes.
What’s it like to be an indigenous Australian? What’s it like to be gay? To be trans? To not be white? To be a woman? If you’re not one of the above, then before you open your mouth to voice your opinion on an issue relating to that community, try to understand what it’s like to be discriminated against and often hated because of something you can’t control (and shouldn’t have to).
Why white people, and white men, in particular, are often unable to do this is because they’ve probably never experienced a life that hasn’t been protected by privilege. That privilege is the same reason they believe that they’re entitled to give their opinion regardless of a life experience that would validate their voice.
The insecurity that causes old men like Donnelly to create these books and spout this garbage is that for perhaps the first time in their lives, they are realising that their worldview is very narrow and that, shock horror, they might be the epitome of all of the names that they’re being called. Their ego is also taking a bruising as men like this realise that they are in fact old and irrelevant in today’s society.
Why Tony Abbot or Alan Jones still have a platform is beyond me.
Tony Abbot is a vile, homophobic, and misogynistic asshole that uses his faux Christian dedication to undermine social progress at every turn. As an elected official, he’s ignored his constituents, ignored science, ignored minorities (sexual and ethnic) and instead solely pursued his own interests in a selfish and egotistical attempt to become the Prime Minister again.
This man does not deserve an ounce of respect and should be removed from his platform to quickly dissolve into his own irrelevance.
Alan Jones is also a vile mouthpiece that uses his inflated sense of self-worth to deliver sentence after sentence of aggravated bullshit to further his political ties with the Liberal party and potentially ruin anyone that stands in his way. Worse yet, people seem to think his influence is greater than it is and thus he gets his way.
If you thought that men like Abbot and Jones have been getting louder of late, then you’d be right. They’re getting louder because they’re scared. They’re scared of their irrelevance. Scared that their worldview is not correct. Scared to be seen as “weak” ( a byproduct of toxic masculinity) in the face of the overwhelming negative press and a society that’s in almost complete disagreement with them.
They are frightened because they have a choice that’s frightening. Do you admit that you’re wrong and therefore much of what you believed to be true is also wrong, or do you stand your ground until the bitter end because it’s easier on you and your ego to do so regardless of who gets hurt?
If men like this what to think that the 50s were a great time, or that treating all people equally is “political correctness gone mad” then they can think that. They’re entitled to their opinion. However, it doesn’t mean that their opinion is right. And it certainly doesn’t give them the right to spew forth speculative garbage under the guise of protecting the future generations.
Future generations want to be more inclusive of gender, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. They are more environmentally conscious, more welcoming, accepting and understanding of religious beliefs including not being religious, and finally, they are not afraid to step-up to an outdated patriarchal system and scream in its face that we won’t be silenced, stepped-on, or damaged by your uneducated, hateful and ignorant opinions.