Ho-hum, it’s business-as-usual out there, as reported by Mark Richardson …

The following are excerpts taken from recent log entries at Conservative Central‘s blog, Oz Conservative:

In left-liberal Sweden they actually have an “Equality Minister.” He has come under fire, though, because the unit he set up to implement gender equality in employment has only three men in a staff of 28. Not unreasonably he was asked by journalists “how he expected to bring equality to society if he couldn’t even bring it to his own equality unit.” His excuse was that not enough competent men were coming forward to fill the positions. Which ought to have led him to consider the fact that men and women differ in their natures and will not be interested in doing exactly the same things. Which is why understanding “equality” to mean an equal number of men and women in all fields is such a grossly ill-conceived piece of social engineering.

Here in Melbourne a booklet has been produced to challenge the “homophobia” of ….. [yes, you guessed it …..]

kindergarten children!

The taxpayer funded booklet has been sent to over 2000 children’s centres. It encourages staff to use books, posters, games, dolls and role plays to “promote awareness of homosexual issues” amongst ….. [yes, you guessed it again …..]

pre-school children!. [For any who may not know, pre-school is the year before kindergarten—so, these people want awareness of homosexual issues for children before kindergarten.]

The booklet even suggests that Father’s Day should be changed to “A Day for Someone Special” and that the terms [yes, you guessed them …..] Partner A and Partner B should be used on forms instead of Mum and Dad.

There ought to be a competition for liberal double standards. Consider this. Flic Everett is a British mum who is worried about the tide of porn her 12-year-old son is subjected too. So she wrote an article for The Guardian newspaper complaining about the sexualisation of popular culture and noting that “The old argument that no-one’s being exploited—we’re all adults—no longer works, chiefly because we’re not all adults.” Now, as a teacher of 12-year-olds I can only sympathise with her concerns. These children often know way too much and are too precocious in their attitudes to sex. So what’s the problem with Flic’s article? A google search quickly reveals a Flic Everett to be the author of books such as “Sex Tips for Girls,” “How to be a Sex Goddess,” “Fantasy Sex,” and “The Sexy Bitch’s Book of Doing it, Getting it and Giving it.” […] It’s not uncommon for liberals to accept such double standards. […] In other words, Flic may well think that breaking down restraints on the sexual behaviour of women is an acceptable part of liberalism and “empowering” for females. But it’s not so easy for a woman to accept the same breakdown of sexual constraints on men. It threatens the chances of women finding love and fidelity in a man. [Emphasis added.] The problem is, of course, that it’s hard to operate double standards. If you preach sexual liberation to women you can’t expect too much success preaching sexual restraint to men.

The Melbourne Age ran a story recently illustrating the limitations of an “ethics of consent.” It was about a young university student, Anna Neylan, who falls pregnant and who after “peeping through the keyhole of motherhood” knows that her preference is to have the baby. Her boyfriend, though, wants her to have an abortion. She wrestles “with the burden of choice” and speaks to social workers and counsellors. She writes that, “Each time, I leave feeling strong and certain. In my heart I know that I want to have the child. I know that I’m not too young. I know I’d make a wonderful mother.” But the opposition of her boyfriend leaves her in doubt. She confesses, “I’m a mess; I trust him more than I trust myself. He comforts me with the promise that I’ll eventually be the mother of his children.” So she has the abortion and awakes in a “room full of blanketed grief.” Nor does she recover well in the coming weeks. As she describes it, “Waves of guilt lull me into troubled sleep at night … I feel numb when I have sex. My partner doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to talk. When I try to talk or when I just want to cry, he tells me that he can’t help me.” A month later the boyfriend leaves her and she sinks “to dangerous black depths.” So an ethics of consent did not serve Anna Neylan well. It left her open to a kind of exploitation at a time of vulnerability in her life. […] For [conservatives] there is an inherent right or wrong in different behaviours, and a moral code, reflecting the wisdom, the moral strength and the moral ideals of generations, should exist to guide individuals toward right forms of behaviour. A liberal may well label such a moral code as oppressive […]. But is a moral code really oppressive when it helps to protect the most vulnerable from exploitation and harm? Or when it helps us to overcome our own weaknesses of will by buttressing our better moral natures?

In the news lately has been the story of Douglas Wood, the Australian kidnapped in Iraq and then rescued by US soldiers. Today Douglas Wood told of the ruthlessness of his captors who executed two Iraqi hostages next to him and who beat him up for understating the amount of money he kept in his office safe. At a press conference, Mr Wood called his kidnappers “a—holes”. Most of us would understand his use of such an uncomplimentary term. But Andrew Jaspan, the editor of The Age, Melbourne’s second newspaper, did not. Andrew Jaspan called Douglas Wood “boorish” for using the term. As Jaspan himself explains it,

“I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood’s use of the a—hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through … The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive.”

Labor Party speech writer Bob Ellis went even further in expressing his respect for the kidnappers by praising them as “honourable men (with) a well-treated captive.”

My point here is not to make a judgment about the morality of the war in Iraq. It’s to point out the capacity of some members of our cultural elite to identify with “the other,” even to the point of defending cut-throat terrorists.