Aussie Life

Aussie Language

8 May 2021

9:00 AM

8 May 2021

9:00 AM

Brauer College in Warrnambool, Victoria made the news for having required all the boys at an assembly to ‘stand up and apologise’ to their female peers on behalf of their gender. In other words, the boys were made to apologise for being boys. This gesture was based on the notion of ‘toxic masculinity’. The expression ‘toxic masculinity’ grew out of the SNAG (‘Sensitive New Age Guy’) movement of the 1980s and 1990s. The original idea behind the expression was that men should be ‘freed’ from expectations that they would be masculine. They had to ‘get in touch with their feminine side’ and eschew the horrors of their masculinity.

But this expression was then taken over by radical feminists as a way of verbalising their view that masculinity is essentially evil. Just having testosterone makes a person guilty. Perhaps the answer to that charge is that testosterone not only wins football matches — it also wins freedom. On D-Day, 6 June 1944, 132,000 young soldiers — many of them only 19 or 20 — charged out of landing craft and up the beaches of Normandy into a wall of bullets from German machine guns. More then 10,000 of them died. Testosterone made that sort of courage possible. That victory was fired up by testosterone — and that’s why today’s anti-male radical feminists have the freedom they have. Testosterone is nothing to apologise for, boys!

Given Australia’s experience of the pandemic compared to many other countries there are more and more people (both politicians and commentators) using Donald Horne’s famous expression ‘the lucky country’ to label Australia having so few Covid deaths. However, their use of the expression might be more ironic than they realise.

When Donald Horne coined ‘the lucky country’ as a book title in 1964 he did not mean it in a positive way. In fact, what he said was, ‘Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck.’ Since the start of the pandemic in 2020 it is arguable that we have seen state premiers behave like Donald Horne’s ‘second rate people’ — badly organising security for hotel quarantine and locking down whole states full of uninfected people on the basis of just one infection, in one suburb, in one city.

Despite this, the Queensland and WA premiers have been rewarded with thumping great election wins. Australia truly is a lucky country —in this case being an island nation quarantined by water from the rest of the world — and (in Donald Horne’s words) ‘run by second rate people who share it’s luck’.

So those who use this expression with simple-minded enthusiasm are being more ironic than they realise.

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