Let’s put aside the fact that it is stupid of Australian students to protest the democratic election of a US president (I have covered my issue with people calling it undemocratic in some detail in a previous post). Students were protesting an election result at Melbourne. And a pro-Trump demonstrator decided to mix in amongst the anti-Trump protestors.
Roz Ward, academic and co-f0under of Victoria’s safe schools program, was photographed trying to pry a hat off the head of the said pro-Trump protestor. I know, what a grievous injustice, right? In all seriousness, the man is probably not mortified by the attack on his trusty cap, probably doesn’t keep it locked in a safe at night to protect it against anti-Trump vigilantes. Still, it is worth looking into what it means. Many supporters of Ward are quite perplexed and worried when her involvement in the Safe Schools program is mentioned; as if it is the result of the right-wing trying to use propaganda to portray a warped image of her.
For example, from an article written by Jo Hirst in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Scary buzzwords straight out of the 1950s have been invoked in an attempt to assign political ideology to the Safe Schools program. Words like ‘Marxism’ and ‘genderless theory’ that are actually unrelated to the Safe Schools program, have been used by conservatives to try and undermine it”.
Inevitably, in a world full of a broad spectrum of opinions, it is quite natural that every public figure will have some aspects exaggerated. However, although in a sense Hirst is correct, if one takes the time to process a little further, it becomes clear where the Marxist and genderless theory come from. In regards to the Marxist: Ward was spotted with a copy of Red Flag, a left-wing newspaper based on Marxist socialism principles. She actually contributes to the newspaper as well.
A quick summary of the newspaper will be provided, paraphrased simply from their information page. Basically, capitalism is the root of much evil in the world, it’s “full of lies, distortion and right-wing bias”. The aim of the newspaper is to be an alternative press, free from the corruptions of big business and government. The aim of the publication is supposedly to tell the truth, support resistance, fight for socialism, and intervene in struggles. There is a lot of discussion about the oppressed. The reason people identify her as Marxist is because the very essence of Marxism, is a loathing for capitalism, big business, and oppression and exploitation of the poor by the capitalists, which the newspaper is motivated by. The origins of such systems come from Karl Marx; anyone interested would benefit from looking more deeply into the history of Marxism going back to him.
It is tempting to see capitalism as evil, especially for those that are downtrodden – it is easy to blame all one’s troubles on successful people. It seems strange though that Red Flag are against government spin. In essence, the socialism ideal requires a massively centralised government: It is a nice utopian dream – who wouldn’t like there to be no oppressed people in society? Certainly most people don’t like the fact that people live in poverty even in our western societies. However, the socialist alternative is, I think, worse. Because most people are oppressed. In such a regime, there have to be necessary restrictions on freedom. At the moment we have, to some extent, the best (and worst) of both worlds: the freedom of capitalism, and elements of socialism and bureaucratization (the bad, but also welfare etc.).
I am surprised that it is claimed there is a right-wing bias in the media. Most places I look, I see either left-wing bias, or if not, people who conform to left-wing ideas somewhat, perhaps out of fear. But obviously the left-wing would claim a right-wing bias.
This brings us back to Roz Ward. Jo Hirst claimed that Safe Schools is being given a bad name by conservatives, labelling it as genderless theory. Of course that’s not true, gender-studies wouldn’t have an absence of gender (genderless), and thus there is a reference to gender. Rather than genderless, it is gender fluidity, along with fluidity of sexuality:
“Looking at sexuality as something that’s fluid and always changing is pretty cool”.
People are simply expressing their dislike for the idea of gender fluidity. In that sense, they are being conservative: they are trying to conserve the role of gender which has been (basically) the norm for millennia. To reproach people for trying to conserve that, insinuating that they are bigots, haters etc. shows us that “left-wing” gender advocates cannot make argument, but can only call names. It is the exact kind of persuasion that people who are concerned with political agendas warn of. Rather than have a debate about it, people are called hate-inspired names, so that “conserving” your culture becomes a mean thing; this is in attempt to silence dissenters, so that governments will introduce this into schools. And they have. And you were told by Hirst that these mean conservatives are trying to “assign political ideology to the Safe Schools program”. In a way which becomes obvious upon closer inspection, that seems actually correct.
The other thing left-wing advocates can do to shut down arguments is grab hats. Stop laughing. The person who is in favour of “anti-bullying” is also in favour of stealing people’s property from their bodies in front of others. And we let that. Well, we don’t. Some people speak up. In the end, it is promoting exactly the values which are supposedly denounced. The act of the hat grab isn’t life-altering in itself, it’s what it symbolically represents. For people who believe in honest debate rather than politically motivated encroachments on liberty, it is deplorable, in the moral it portrays to the pro-Trump demonstrator: “I have a right to publicly stand up for my beliefs, but you do not”.
And what has disgusted (some) people is that Ward is supposed to be against bullying. Imagine this pretend scenario. If you had a son at school, and he was wearing a hat that a girl didn’t like, would you find it morally just for the girl to try to rip the hat off of his head. People that are outraged are outraged because they have principles.
The link to the Safe Schools that people like Hirst neglect to notice, is that such left-wing ideals are also being imposed on our school children, starting with Victoria. Many “conservative” people (and possibly left-of-centre people too) are of the view that sexuality is something partly determined biologically, and partly determined by a growing child’s interactions with his or her culture. In such a view, forcing state-imposed sexual teachings is something which should not be done. And yet it is scheduled.
What’s more; the photographer who snapped Roz Ward has shut down his Twitter and Instragram accounts, because he has received threats, abuse, harassment, and he hinted that he would in all likelihood not be welcome at left-wing rallies in the future. So much for liberty and free exchange of ideas.
I’ll leave you with one question. Where’s that right-wing bias?