To be PC or not to be

A long time ago in a land far away I was a media teacher. In my Year 8 class (13 year olds) I would conduct a simple exercise that explored the placement, problems and power of stereotypes in Australian society. I would write 4 headings on the blackboard (I did say a long time ago), one of which was the word, female. Then I would ask the class to call out words they associated with female. For this exercise, I said, don’t limit yourself. The list grew very quickly. The class had plenty of words they associated with females. Note, I deliberately did not use the term, stereotypes, let alone, negative stereotypes. I just let the class randomly call out words that came to mind.

The list was filled with either shocking or barely two-dimensional descriptors about females. Once the list was exhausted we demolished it by asking a very simple question. Are all females …? Or, are all the females you know …? As students said no to each phrase written under the heading female I would wipe the phrase off the board. It was a powerful exercise. In less than ten minutes it described stereotypes and immediately showed them up for their absolute falseness. Their absurdity and their myopic view of the ‘other’. More than 30 years ago 13-year-old school students could easily grasp the difference.

The McGuire story that has played out over the last week is quite incredible. On a denotative level it might be about Eddie and Caroline Wilson. In connotative terms it is about something much bigger. On a denotative level it is a grubby, grubby little episode about men behaving terribly and trying to get away with it by defending their conversation and behaviour as banter, a joke.

In connotative terms, what a fantastic story it is! If it was a script it would be spell binding. Could Suzanne Collins have written a more basic yet compelling plot? Could Arron Sorkin have written more believable yet unbelievable dialogue? Could Ibsen have created more flawed characters? We are all part of the bigger story.

The public reaction (a significant player in this Restoration comedy) was a sight to behold. On one hand, magnificent, considered and piercingly insightful. On the other, dull, unsightly and bordering on unhinged.

Pause for an aside: a lingering negative stereotype of female is that of hysterical. Consider what is implied in Sam Newman’s comment, “people want a little bit of logic”. As opposed to the emotional (feminine) over-reaction hey Sam? Interestingly, McGuire supporters response I would contest was generally hysterical in nature, whereas Wilson supporters drew the line in the sand and dared their opponent to test their argument in the open.

McGuire eventually gave a fully committed apology (well, as fully committed as we are likely to imagine he could give). Besides realising his power was disintegrating before his very eyes, I venture to suggest that the reason he did so was that someone showed him the social media responses that backed him. I reckon he read things he couldn’t fathom. Yes, he saw the belly of the beast. And it was a mirror image of his least best self.

People wonder why this story stayed current in the public imagination as long as it did. I believe it is because we looked into the mirror of our own history and imagined future and did not like what we saw. I think this is a moment (not the moment) that forced expectations of gender relations to make that arduous Rubicon crossing. Throughout the suburbs the situation was considered. We took stock of the context, cast and arguments and then voted in favour of the female, admonishing the male for his transgression. Admonished the male for behaviour seemingly set in stone. Alea iacta est, as they say. This may be hyperbole, but I wonder. In 1993, when Nicky Winmar pulled up his jumper and pointed to his skin he could not have imagined what he set forth. I think this incident is a correlative moment.

It was not, as many a pursed lipped opinion posted (masked by a haughty voice of faux-reason) PC gone too far. Because Political Correctness cannot go too far. For that to happen, in gender relations and other struggles, the ‘political values and equity’ pendulum would have to swing so far in favour of female perspective as to significantly alter the Political, Judicial, Religious, Business and Media structures of our society. And remain altered for at least 100 years! So until that happens, do not buy the bullshit that if but for Political Correctness, we would be able to find a reasonable resolution to this, er, discretion. Being more Politically Correct is the only way forward.

In highlighting Eddie’s imbroglio for the public to consider Erin Riley and The Outer Sanctum (great name for a podcast) damned the torpedoes. Wrapped up in Eddie’s Army’s blunderbuss was the fence-sitter, that wizened eyed social and professional commentator indicting Political Correctness for taking the matter “too far”. Erin and TOS and others cut through all the confusion to expose the salient factors of fairness and equity. Or lack thereof. It is incumbent upon people who want a lot more than a “little bit of logic” to follow Erin and TOS and PC to the truth of the matter to see what equity might look like.

What is Political Correctness anyway? Educator, Hebert Kohl reckons neoconservatives appropriated the idea of Political Correctness and redefined it “to insinuate that egalitarian democratic ideas are actually authoritarian, orthodox and Communist-influenced, when they oppose the right of people to be racist, sexist, and homophobic”. That’s more than enough reason to wear the PC badge.

I’m proudly PC. I couldn’t be without being PC. I couldn’t raise children without being so. My only quibble is the phrase itself. I prefer Personally Correct. After all, isn’t the personal political! My PC radar has been the most useful tool in trying to consider the multifaceted issues raised by this. I’ll wear the PC badge proudly. Or at least until the ‘political values and equity’ pendulum visibly starts moving. Past “first” African American president or first female president or first any of those firsts. Eddie and his mates’ behaviour and language has been the normalised mode for as long as I can recall. That the public backlash against him and his kind is a first (or second or third in Eddie’s case) is great. It definitely won’t be a last.

When I was teaching all those decades ago I would start each class checking if anyone had a joke to share. If the jokes kept coming and that took the whole period it wouldn’t matter. That would be cool. Because we were communicating. Laughing. Sharing. I had one rule. No sexist, racist or bigoted jokes. Even back in 1985 that wasn’t a hard rule for kids. We told jokes and laughed and got to know each other a little more.


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About Rick Kane

Up in the mornin', out on the job Work like the devil for my pay But that lucky old sun has nothin' to do But roll around Heaven all day


  1. Nice article Rick. Agree with all that you have said. I read recently to understand being PC, just replace it with the words “being nice to people”.

  2. Thanks Rick. A terrific thoughtful and engaging read. Wish I could place and frame words and thoughts together the way you do.

    Most compelling week of dialogue, interviews articles and of course, the thousands of snippets of opinion from the ‘second tier’ media. ItS probably an understatement to say that I’ve been hooked upon the unfolding drama of it all. But from the moment I first saw and read what had transpired, , like a good book, I couldn’t put it down.

    Any way, I suspect this could well be just the opening chapter.

  3. The Wrap says

    Good one Trucker. I was over in Hobart when all this broke. It was the lead story in the Mercury for a few days too. And before you start, yes, there is the odd slow news days over on The Apple Isle – Tasmanian devil attacks tourist on Maria Island, we regret to announce the afternoon flogging has been cancelled due to inclement weather, and Malcolm points out that Bill’s pant appear to be on fire – but they’re hardly items for which you’d stop the press, but surely the goings-on in the Triple M studios are even further away from Salamanca Place. So from whence has come the resonance on this one?

    Caro hasn’t shirked an issue in her life, and that can make you unpopular in areas that are issue prone. (Like the Oval Office Wrap? – Ed) Like the Oval Office Ed; I’m glad you’re keeping up with me here. This isn’t the first time she’s been singled out for ridicule. The boorish Sam Newman has trumpeted his way through several crude personal attacks on Football’s First Lady. He followed up with another on Thursday night. I’d better fess up at this point; I haven’t heard the full transcript of what was said. Just hearing the raucus guffawing has been enough.

    Nor have I linked the excruciating apologies drawn out by pressure from above to the various sources of the pressure, although the one that followed the announcement that the sellers of Australia’s Own Car were not happy had a clear& pressing link. Even Hologram Man managed to respond to the feedback from the AFL focus groups in a little under a week, which, it must be said, is pretty close to a record for Jellymont House.

    But in keeping with the PC element in T. Slim’s header, should we be asking ourselves whether the depth and longevity of the topic — as being newsworthy — has as much to do with cutting down some tall, albeit obnoxious, poppies as it has to do with violence against women?

    And while it’s a good reason to censure the moronic blokiness of elements of the commentariat on PC grounds, maybe the PC can be spread about a bit on this one. Or at least commercial common sense. Radio & TV station managers, there’s a big turn-off going on around the dial. Or at least a re-scanning of it.

    And while I’ve got you there, Craig Hutchison could do well to lift his game. Some of his interactions with Caro are fingernails down the blackboard stuff. Maybe his producer is scripting it into the show, although it doesn’t come across that way. Whichever it is – Craig being Hutchy or part of the act – it’s not working.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Many perceptive observations here Slim, yet as you state, even a year 8 class could work it out. The term ‘Political Correctness’ came into vogue in the US almost immediately after the fall of Communism to deter those ‘Lefties’ that believe in genuine equality for all and the advancement of women and minority groups.
    A form of linguistic McCarthyism?
    It has morphed into a sometimes pejorative term which may be equated to wowserism or not having a sense of humour. You just have to look at those who use that defence to see how transparently ignorant it is and it is mainly conservatives who struggle with change and I’m talking masculine working class conservatism here, which is often more violent, defensive and underpinned by an absence of the ability to articulate further than slogans. It is also no coincidence that conservatives are generally wary of education as it may give power to those that they have long been used to stultifying with words and actions.

  5. jan courtin says

    Very interesting article Rick. Thanks.

    What has actually changed since the Suffragettes at the turn of the 20th Century and the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s? Not that much. With no internet or far-reaching media outlets back then, people fought their battles in isolation and in a restricted environment.

    Despite the sexist, racist and homophobic comments that continue to be spewed forth, with today’s all-encompassing digital media, one hopes that the more we listen, talk and question the more the chance of positive change.

  6. Matt Quartermaine says

    Excellent Ricky. Spot on about PC. Always thought it was an attempt to correct that which was incorrect. Some people have a lot of problems with new words though. Having said that, I will have to Google some of the words you used.

  7. Trucker- your final paragraph is as profound, as simple, as true as needed. Brilliant.

  8. Wonderful Rick . Thank you

  9. Stephanie Holt says

    Great perspective. And some wonderful ideas for us teachers in there!

  10. Stone Cold Steve Baker says

    I’m proud to be PC too Rick.

    Like Matty Quartermaine and DJLitsa, I’ve always understood PC as meaning to just be a decent person and respect the people around you. I reckon Herbert Kohl is on to something there..

  11. John Butler says

    Some acute observations here Trucker.

    I’d like to think that Rubicon was crossed this week, but I remain unconvinced we’re a society with sufficient genuine self awareness to truly claim that. Yet.

    Though I think we’re getting better. And PC has played a clear role in that improvement.

  12. “Political Correctness cannot go too far”. Of course Commissar.
    The Anglican Church used to be called the Conservative Party at prayer. The Almanac is rapidly becoming the Left at play. Peoples Republic indeed.
    Political Correctness is the extremes of moral relativism. In the name of tolerance it is intolerant of different opinions. It mandates rather than persuades.
    It values short term kindness above long term consequences. It is humourless and po-faced.
    I suspect it is part of the reason why I now read the People’s Elbow elsewhere.
    It is a Hawthorn Threepeat Celebration Dinner.
    Good to get that off my chest.
    My preference is Voltaire’s “I disagree with you passionately but will defend to the death your right to say it”. Ridicule prejudice don’t seek regulate it away. It flourishes in the dark.

  13. John Butler says

    PB, don’t know what I make of much of that.

    But – “It values short term kindness above long term consequences” identifies PC’s clear potential weakness.

    But can’t kindness have its own long term consequences?

  14. JB – Two main thoughts. That Rick drew too long a bow in using Eddie etal’s asinine comments to make a broader point about PC which I think creates as many problems as it solves.
    That any forum can become too much of an echo chamber.
    Australia is many different nations and values.

  15. John Butler says

    Definition, and the clear lack of general agreement on definition, is a clear element of this broader discussion.

    I agree that claiming the moral high ground in debate is a fairly effective way to ensure you only speak to the converted,

    But Kohl has a point. He identifies some of the Right’s main motivations perfectly. But he omits the other part of the equation: how whatever passes for a left nowadays has proved an unconvincing and inconsistent defender of those very principles it claims.

    At least you can rely on the Right to argue its own self interest. So said a man of the left, who has his own contradictions of legacy to deal with.

  16. E.regnans says

    Interesting, PB.
    “Political Correctness is the extremes of moral relativism. In the name of tolerance it is intolerant of different opinions. It mandates rather than persuades…. It is humourless and po-faced.”

    I think this is a question of knowing yourself. At its core the PC label here seems to be a type of “do unto others…” relativism. And the application of it depends on the individual. (Life experience, energy levels, etc). In knowing yourself, you will ask yourself questions about what you accept as fair and right and what you do not. (E.g. Trucker’s: No sexist, racist or bigoted jokes. E.g. Phil Cleary’s call for Prime Ministerial apology to victims of domestic violence: “If we don’t apologise to those women murdered as a result of institutionalised indifference and denied their basic human rights in court, how will we ever marginalise the boys now smarting at Eddie’s apology and laughing about the mock drowning of a “troublesome”, independent woman? Without an apology to these women, how will we ever convince “the boys” that their ranting only gives succour to the “wife bashers” and killers?”

    The idea that embracing a PC culture will result in uniformity of voice doesn’t follow. Would it not lead to the same variety of views being discussed except in fair and non-harmful ways?

    Voltaire’s “I disagree with you passionately but will defend to the death your right to say it” is a handy line, but of course the devil is in the detail.

    As white men of the Earth, neither of us has any real idea.

  17. Bill Martino says

    Hey PB, I think you’ll find Voltaire never actually said that, despite it being a favourite ‘quote’ of smug, supercilious smartarses such as ABC radio’s Jon Faine, and if you don’t happen to know who Faine is, consider yourself lucky.

    Yes, E.regnans, it certainly is “a handy line’, but I’m willing to bet that most of those trotting it out in the course of their railings against “PC gone mad” would run a million miles away if they were ever called upon to actually live up to it.

  18. Rick Kane says

    Hi everybody, I’ve been out at the Preston Markets this morning, then on to find our daughter a “breathable” raincoat and then I took our son to his basketball game. So, what did I miss? … Oh.

    First, PB good luck to your position on Political/Personal Correctness (which, from the quote I offered suggests that you are suspicious of what/how egalitarian democratic ideas emerge, form and change our lives and understanding of each other for the better. That’s cool. Odd but that’s your bag).

    Long bow, PB? Fine. If that puts me in the company of the Courageous Conversations campaign, Phil Cleary, Victoria Police Deputy Chief Commissioner Wendy Steendam, The Outer Sanctum and the very funny/satirical drawing of Eddie McGuire by artist James Fosdike then I’m comfortable with how far I drew the bow. (Psst, I actually acknowledged that it might be hyperbole – time will tell).

    Thank you, everybody, for both your kind words and additional thoughts and ideas.

    I am under no illusion that anything much changed because of the moment. Power structures (being what they are they) will continue to fight to maintain their privileged position. However, I interpreted this as a moment that startled everybody connected to football. And the reaction was under-scored by a rights based expectation of equity. That’s the good fight. Keep pushing till it’s understood.

  19. Mr Martino – “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere”. Voltaire.
    Take your pick, but is personal abuse of Mr Faine and an argument over the direct or indirect origins of an 18th century quote the best you can do?

  20. Bill Martino says

    So, PB, is that the best you can do, rushing off to google “voltaire quotes” in the hope that I was wrong, and getting your panties in a twist over some adjectives? Still, I can see now that it might have been more amusing to have ended that sentence straight after “smartarses”… LOL

  21. I hope we can take the personal attacks out of this debate.

    It is an important debate.

    One thing that definitely needs to be expressed very clearly and strongly, PB. You are reading The People’s Elbow elsewhere by choice of The People’s Elbow. He will attest to that if you ask him. The People’s Elbow reacted to a piece which he felt was inappropriately critical of him and he chose to remove his pieces from the Almanac site. I find that disappointing and disheartening. However I do not interfere with his decision to do that.

    I don’t care how critical people are of me or of the site, but I will be stirred from my liberal acceptance by any misrepresentation of me or of the site.

    Secondly, I find the spirit of this discussion a little sour.

    I think the best thing to do would be to look at the background to the emergence of contemporary notions of identity which are about the social construction of identity itself and the social construction of things like gender, ethnicity, race, age, and all the elements of who we are. Among other things. For me the deconstructionists have provided us with seriously useful intellectual tools and the understandings which have emerged have had a significant impact. It also has its limitations. And the tool in the hands of some becomes a weapon.

    If anyone would like to suggest a general account of the rise of this contemporary understanding – what is deconstruction and how does it fit into the scheme of things – I am sure many on this site would be interested and grateful.


  22. RK – this is a beautifully constructed piece. And very thought provoking. But I do have a few issues which I need to think through in order to get clarity in my own mind. Essentially though, I am wary of zealots. Even PC zealots. I am wary of any language that professes to be the solution. If zealotry prevails then the pendulum merely swings from side to side and careful thinkers are shut out of the conversation. I don’t believe that anyone has the right NOT to be offended.

    And I would like to take issue with my old mate Lord Bogan, who contends: “It is also no coincidence that conservatives are generally wary of education as it may give power to those that they have long been used to stultifying with words and actions.” Now, Mr Bogan, far be it for me to leap to the defence of the dastardly conservative, but in the interests of historical accuracy I think this contention requires challenge.

    Was it not the thinkers, the writers, the poets, the educated academics who were slaughtered during the great socialist and communist uprisings? It was certainly the case in China and Cambodia. It was certainly the case in some parts of the great Russian and French upheavals. And whilst you might argue that these people were slaughtered because they represented the ruling elite, you can’t argue that the revolutionaries replaced the educated elite with a universal education for the people. On the contrary. Education was massacred and replaced with propaganda, thought control and fear. Hardly utopian.

    I point you to Ireland, a country often regarded as one of the most conservative in the world and a country that has a long and proud history of educating the people. It was education that saved the Irish from the English tyranny. It was education that allowed the Irish to so successfully export themselves across the globe. And I point you to North Korea, the last great communist experiment, where an educated people are feared far more than the US First Fleet. Ditto North Vietnam.

    Who would have thought that such a grand conversation as this would have emerged out of some bone headed comments made by a football bully.

  23. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Dips, I agree with you mate. My comment also highlights the danger of working class conservatism which can easily morph into repressive, nationalistic communism as you have pointed out.

    Brexit came about because of this kind of backlash, people who fear that their identity may be under threat, their jobs, the future of their children, their race, religion. You think Farrage and Boris really give two shits about the average British worker ? Education might just be able to help them see through the bullshit rather than relying on the rantings of Murdoch lackeys whose real agenda is to divide people through fear and mistrust while depicting anything remotely left of centre as unhinged, pc thought control.
    I make my call after spending 20 years working with young and old minds as an educator. My biggest question is : “Where do you get your knowledge/information?” Predominantly the response include “Family/Media” and a distrust or aversion to books and conversing beyond the ‘echo chamber’ as PB argues.

    I’m no PC zealot and still have so much to learn, often from writers like yourself, Rick, PB, ER, Elbow, JTH, JB, Mathilde, Matty Q and Yvette to name a few on these pages. As my old mate Aristotle argued: “Education is the ability to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

  24. Apologies for my intemperate sour language. I guess I was trying to make a forceful point, but not very clearly. As JB says its a question of definition as to what we mean by “political correctness”. As for tolerance and mutual respect – I’m with you all the way as hopefully my comments on other Eddie/Caro threads indicated.
    Dunno where I am on the political spectrum these days – probably closer to a Benthamite small “l” liberal as anywhere. Big on personal responsibility, but all for equality of opportunity – not outcomes. As suspicious of government regulation and welfare dependency as of corporate greed.
    This from the Age on 24/6 – “La Trobe’s student union and the women’s officers at the University of Sydney issue warnings for content relating to classism, colonialism, Islamophobia, ableism, body image, child abuse, mental illness and weapons. They go as far as warning students about content relating to needles, insects, food, pregnancy, eye contact, slimy things, skulls, vomit and blood.”
    Is society so antiseptic that uni age students need “warnings” before discussing these things? And warnings tend to become implied prohibitions. Like keeping children away from dirt, we ultimately get more infection from under-developed immune systems.
    I am a big Noel Pearson fan of applied tough love and anti soft left tokenism. And anti what Pearson calls “soulless cosmopolitanism”. This is Martin Flanagan on the issue.
    Part of Pearson’s thesis in the RANZCP speech was that alcohol has done more damage to aboriginal health and culture than a lack of constitutional recognition. Practical not symbolic reconciliation.
    That is where I think “PC” (as I understand it) can and does go too far and become counter-productive.
    I was always taken with the thesis that the Left was soft hearted but too often soft headed. While the Right was hard headed it was too often hard hearted. I try to find practical interventions and policies that are soft hearted but hard headed.
    “If horses were wishes, beggars would ride.”

  25. Crikey, hasn’t this got the neurones going Trucker? Good upon you. But could we be looking at this through a wider lens? I personally find the PC argument the refuge of the bereft. What if the person being drowned — the drownee — was a bloke? What if, for argument sake, it had been Gerald Whateley in the gun; Gerald Whateley who has an equally deserved reputation for calling a spade a spade — which I believe he deserves. Would the Collingwood President, the ex Richmond coach & the North Melbourne President have been guffawing as loudly? Would they have guffawed at all? Would the Collingwood President have even made the gratuitous crack?

    (What if had been Waleed Ali Wrap? He also speaks his mind – Ed) Good call Oh Mighty Decipherer of Meaning. A very good call indeed. But can we leave that for another day? The nurse will be here soon with my medication, and I’ll need a lie down after I take it.

    Sticking with GW as our example, I’ve never seen him without a smile on his face or a lilt in his voice. He makes his point without having to fire arrows or glare down the camera. Carro on the other hand delivers her homilies with all the fire & brimstone of an evangelical denouncer. More strength to her arm of course; I’ve never witnessed an undeserved target of one of her tirades. And it’s one of my favourite segments over the week. (True, she was misinformed about the Hird dismissal, and her genuine & continuous contrition has only added gloss to her armour for mine) However, and while it may be a bit of showmanship for the viewers, it does tend to dress her up as a bit of a bullseye.

    In some respects she’s admitted that, and accepts that she’s going to draw some less than friendly fire. But she, and any other equally intelligent persons, would expect that fire to be directed at the argument , not the agent of the argument.

    That the Triple M team, and later (as well as previously) the Clown Prince of Crass, Samuel Newman, chose to make it personal would suggest they are scraping around in an empty locker for any ammunition at all to fire back at Football’s First Lady.

    But really, the thing that’s stuck in my mind, as Dips points out above, has been the longevity and depth of the discussion. For my mind, it’s been as much about a sort of reverse bullying as anything else. In one sense, Eddie Everywhere has been knocked off his perch and driven from the field. In another sense, the persistent attack on him, from all sides, has forced him out of town and away from his beloved Collingwood in their hour(s) of greatest need.

    Spud Frawley has been censured by St Kilda for his part in the ugly episode. And as North go from blunder to blunder, James Bradshaw must be going through his own personal and administrative purgatory. Some of the more spiritual Students of The Game may even suspect that a higher authority is overseeing this sorry saga.

    ( I thought you were going to write something about Eddie fleeing the coldest Melbourne Winter on record to spend time on James Packer’s yacht in the Adriatic, buoyed by the hope that Bucks would have resigned or frozen to death by the time he got back Wrap – Ed) There you go gentle readers; now you know the source of all the vitriol that comes out of the Wrapcave.

  26. Stainless says

    Rick – To my mind political correctness is not exclusive to the left nor right. PC manifests itself when its perpetrator – individual or institution – seeks to conform with what they understand to be the prevailing norm by suppressing their own genuine beliefs out of fear of criticism or causing offence. It’s a sort of mealy-mouthed passive aggressive form of control and very different from being tolerant or mutually respectful.

    The key point here is not the content of the PC view. That is usually less important than the lack of sincerity behind it (see my piece which stems from the same Eddie/Caro issue). Essentially what I’m saying is that you could have two sets of identical words about a subject. One, delivered in a carefully scripted package (maybe in the form of an apology), screams “PC” because there’s no sense that the person speaking actually believes what they’re saying. By contrast, the same words, delivered with spontaneous sincerity, can be powerful enough to change the world. I think this is where you’re going with your “personal correctness” concept?

    Great to have this sort of discussion on a footy website!

  27. Guidance please. When i barracked for Geelong, back in the 20th century,if they lost they were often accused of carrying handbags. That term now seems out of vogue, as it’s many years since i’ve heard it mentioned.

    There’s a lot that can be said about/against/for whats deemed PC,. I try to follow the approach of treating people the way you want to be treated. That’s how the Brothers taught my father and his generation, and it makes sense for me.

    No sympathy for Maguire or any of the types who use their presence in the public arena to humiliiate people they don’t like .


  28. Glen – is answer to your request for guidance, you should never have stopped barracking for Geelong.

  29. Rick Kane says


    Thanks for your contributions and the range of ideas flowing in. If nothing else it tells us something about our deep curiosity in regard to the way our society ticks and making the best we can of what we have and who we are. It also highlights that we bring much more to football than football brings to us.

    We all have varying different views on that and not for a moment do I claim to have the solutions or the right directions. Our world view is a mixture of our parent’s (and mentors) values, the road we travel, what one might call common sense, the universal adage, “do unto others” and learnings through the ages (historical, contemporary and cultural). I’m just struggling through trying not to fuck up too much.

    Football clubs use the concept of visualisation to stimulate players and help them focus.

    As a way to try and disentangle many points raised through this discussion a quick exercise of visualisation wouldn’t hurt. Visuals white people being used as slaves to build the wealth and status of the US or visualise being dispossessed in your own country and not even being recognised as a citizen for close to 200 years after being dispossessed or visualise being told that because you got married you must resign from your job. Obviously I could go on and on and that’s the point. When Scot Morrison tried to compare how he is treated to how gays are treated was pathetic. There’s a reason there’s a Gay Pride march and not a ScoMo Pride march. (Caveat, I have focussed on our own country and the US. Not because I think these are the worst examples of how one group treat another group (deliberately or inadvertently) but because they are significant to the incident that triggered this debate and the greater debate. Dips raised a number of examples which highlight that issues are not right or left specifically in political terms but they are about power and control.)

    Nobody denies the incredible achievements and work that white males have contributed to the world. What is being questioned is exclusion and the language and actions that then reinforce that exclusion. It is a painful journey to fair and equitable inclusion. But that is the coach I have hitched my ride to. To want that, to desire that, to believe in that and to fight for it is, in simple terms, what I call PC. As I indicated in my article PC along with other titles (feminism, greenies etc) are given negative connotations by power structures. They are derided. For what? For calling out injustice and demanding equity? I can live with that.

    I stand with PC because for me and the times I am living in I find it the best reference point to how to be. I don’t think that makes me anymore “po-faced” than someone who doesn’t align with being PC and I reckon I have a pretty good sense of humour. I would contest that there is more zealotry in those maintaining power structures than those challenging. I would argue the same about humourlessness. But I have as much proof for my assertion as anyone does for theirs.

    My lean is to scepticism and sometimes cynicism and in regard to this incident I just don’t believe Eddie or others supporting him. People didn’t react to the Erin Riley and Josh Finn blog or The Outer Sanctum podcast because they are PC zealots or shrill or they are just looking for a narrative. At least I didn’t. Nor did anyone I spoke to. The reaction was disbelief. My attention was drawn to the reaction even more than the incident.

    In our times, which is a time of multiculturalism and rights movements (that I support) I find PC the best rule of thumb. Here are a couple more examples to explain why: The white male has never been forced to chose to stand in the middle of a race-track as horses came thundering down the track, knowing they would die, just to draw the attention of the media and general public to the fact that their gender is being treated as second class. Workers have had to fight and die for their rights (and continue to do so) and I stand with that struggle. Historian Clare Wright, author of the award winning The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, exposed many facts (150 years after the event) about one of the most seminal moments in Australian history. Until now they had remained unwritten in the history books and untaught in lessons to generations of children. These facts included a women who died at the Stockade (no mention in any history books until Forgotten Rebels) and many women who were integral to the events. Visualise your gender being written out of the history of your country.

    We are moving from an understood fixed idea of the world to a plurality of interpretations of ourselves and the way we relate to each other. Meta-narratives are being challenged and structures (taken for granted – at least by those most protected by them – since they were imposed and formed via the Industrial revolution) are being reconceived. And in that space voices are gaining support that otherwise might not. For me this is a great time to be alive, even though it is challenging and awash with risk. It is forcing us to think and rethink who we are and what we are. That’s a good thing.


    I hope I have at least touched on ideas raised but as I was writing I found it difficult to keep the ideas and tangents together. I will note that I can identify one clear difference between what I wrote and challenges to my argument. That is, the definition or conceptualisation of political correctness. That’s cool, I expect a community as wide and pluralistic as the Footy Almanac to have many differing views. Cheers, again

  30. Correction Rick – as a white male I spent countless days and years of my life on race courses and in TAB’s watching race horses thunder by, knowing full well that it would kill me if I kept it up. Nearly did.
    Part of the reason I’m voting for Nick Xenophon’s party in the Senate. The big parties are too beholden to the corporate gambling industry.

  31. I don’t think the Brothers would have liked to have had done unto them what they did to others.

  32. The Wrap says

    You want guidance Glen? You want to see those Navy Blue & White Handbags with the horizontal stripes again? Just turn up where The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires are billed to play a team they don’t think comes up to their mark of superior skills. You’ll see them by the truckload on those very special occasions.

    And thanks Mr Slim for getting the ball rolling on this one. She’s been a bottler. And I’ll be voting for the X-Man on Saturday too Mr B.. The country needs more of that homespun Snowtown philosophy in Canberra.

  33. “Snowtown” Wrap? I guess you are suggesting that Mr X knows where the bodies and the dirty money is buried deep in the Lib/Lab coffers.
    If I were still a betting man I reckon a hung parliament is a fair chance with Mr X’s candidates in SA; Tony Windsor giving the Mouth from Louth his cum-uppance; and assorted Greens in the latte’ belt. Sounds just about what the Emperor and the Bag Man deserve.

  34. Like the way you’re talking Mr B. As I’ve always maintained, you don’t need a republic to entertain republican thoughts. In fact they may even flourish more strongly without one, eh?

  35. Now PB i’m still a betting man . You can bet on one candidate but i wanted a trifecta of Bandt, McGowan and Windsor, oar at the very least a quinella of the first pair but you can’t lay a bet with those combinations.

    How bizarre ?


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