Scott Morrison is tweeting like a Trumpster. One of his recent little gems contained the following in response to a “Daily Telegraph” article about a course to help teachers identify students who may be transgender:
“We do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.“
Now there’s so much here that I’m almost at a loss for words… Which some might say is the first positive achievement for Scottie. I could start with the absurdity of taking anything a Murdoch paper says as being remotely connected to reality…
Speaking of Murdoch Muck, here in Victoria, the government tabled 80,000 pages of documents which showed that the Opposition leader, Matty “Family” Guy, spent over two million dollars of taxpayer money to settle a legal case even though the advice was that they’d have an excellent chance of winning the case. As far as we know, it didn’t go to a Liberal donor or the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, but the strong suggestion was that he did it to save his job. This was only worthy of a small article on page 3. However, the next day when it was discovered that the 80,000 pages also contained some privacy breaches of private citizens, this was front-page news. Balance?
Anyway, I’ve decided to start with some statistics. There was a county in the USA which had one of the lowest rates of people per square kilometre in the country. There were no big factories and the cities were all relatively small. It had one of the highest rates of cancer in America. Why? Ok, I’ll give you the answer later.
All right, back to gender issues…
Speaking of gender issues, isn’t Julie Bishop a beacon of light these days? Now that she no longer has much power to do anything about it, she’s speaking out about the terrible culture of bullying in Parliament. Ok, I shouldn’t be too cynical. After all, Julie has always been a supporter of women. All right, she did say that she wasn’t a feminist but that’s ok, because you don’t need to be a feminist to believe that women should be selected on merit and if there aren’t a lot of women in the Liberal Party that’s because there are no women of the calibre of George Christensen, Craig Kelly, Tony Abbott or Kevin Andrews. But one has to remember how Julie sprung to Prime Minister Gillard’s defence after her misogyny speech telling us:
“I think the Prime Minister’s problems have got nothing to do with gender, most of her problems are her own doing and it has to do with her competence, her honesty and her trustworthiness…I don’t think it is a question of toughness, I think it’s a question of competence and I think we’re overdoing the women have to be tough, women have to be competent.”
Bishop’s stand now seems quite different from her approach when we had a female PM, but, in terms of forgetting one’s past statements, she doesn’t even rate a bronze medal. Scott’s statement at the end of his tweet about letting kids be kids wouldn’t be so bad if he hadn’t – as Immigration Minister – been happy to lock them up on Nauru and ignore any suggestions of abuse because these are operational matters.
Of course, the whole idea that somehow teachers and counsellors are encouraging people to become transgender would be laughably absurd were it not for the fact that after the election of Donald Trump people are often happy to believe that laughably absurd is happening.
The implication of Morrison’s term “gender whisperer” seems to be that some people are going around slyly trying to convert kids into adopting a transgender personality.
Now let me quite clear here. I know so little about transgender people that I’m way out of my depth. I personally know of several. However, I have never talked to them about it, nor have I ever counselled someone going through any issues associated with it. In one case, I talked to one about poor attendance when she was a female student, but I have no idea if her poor attendance was relating to gender issues because nothing she told me gave me any inkling that she had any. In short, I am a complete moron on these matters and, as a teacher, it may have helped if I’d known a bit more about how to identify what was going on so that I could have referred her to someone who would have at least helped her work through these and not drop out of secondary school.
But even as a complete moron, I understand that the concept of satanic teachers whispering evil thoughts into students’ heads is neither likely to be happening, nor very likely to be effective. This is akin to the old idea that if you don’t talk about something then kids won’t know about it and they’ll be safe from it. This has been applied to such things as sex, suicide and same-sex attraction. And, as with all those things, people don’t suddenly change because you mentioned it.
I mean, if I say: “Have you thought of joining the Liberal Party?” I doubt that many of you are going to rush out and sign up in the next few minutes, but if I ask why you haven’t joined GetUp! then I may just give some of you a nudge which has you sending your hard-earned money to that terrible organisation trying to unseat Dutton.
Now the article which inspired Scott to tweet after taking as fact something from Rupert’s propaganda unit pointed out that since there was a significant increase of over 200% in people wanting to change their gender in the past three years and it suggested that was because teachers were being trained to identify possible transgender kids. This may be true. After all, there was a significant increase in the number of left-handers once schools stopped giving corporal punishment to anyone trying to write with their evil hand. Prior to that, there was no such thing as a left-hander and it’s only political correctness that allows the left to exist.
But back to the USA county with the high rates of cancer. Did you work out why? Yes, it’s because it has a small population. The county next to it had the lowest rate of cancer. If you only have a small sample then two or three can make an enormous difference. For example, homicide rates over Melbourne won’t vary much from one year to the next. but if there’s a triple murder in one street then the murder rate in that street will probably have jumped quite substantially. It doesn’t mean that the street is suddenly less safe. Similarly, a jump of 200% is pretty meaningless unless we know if that’s six kids instead of three, sixty instead of thirty or six hundred instead of three hundred.
Perhaps it’s time to stop expecting consistency from our politicians and accept the fact that Scott can change from the stern Immigration Minister who ignored reports about the sexual abuse of children to a kind person who just wants kids to be kids.
Unless they’re on Nauru where they need to be punished for the “sins” of their parents.