Culture

Precious Flower Cory Bernardi Is Very Upset That Bill Shorten Called Him A “Homophobe” Today

If only there were some program teaching people that name-calling is bad.

Terrible news, everyone. South Australian Liberal Senator and precious, fragile butterfly Cory Bernardi is upset. He has hurt feelings. Someone called him names and now he feels bad in his little porcelain heart.

Pray for Cory.

Specifically, Cory is upset because Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called him a “homophobe” in a televised exchange at Parliament House this morning. Not to get dramatic, but that is the worst thing to happen to anyone ever in the history of everything. How dare you, Bill Shorten. Calling someone with a long and well-documented history of fighting against the rights of LGBTI people a “homophobe”! Describing someone who fits the literal dictionary definition of a word with that same word! Can’t a man walk down the street and claim marriage equality will lead to legalised bestiality without people showing some manners? For shame, sir.

But you can’t call Cory Bernardi a word like “homophobe” and expect to get away with it, no indeed. Controlling his quivering lower lip, Cory bravely took to the Senate chamber a short while later to call Shorten out on his shameful exercise in linguistic accuracy. Describing it as Shorten’s “Mark Latham moment”, Cory was so upset his tongue briefly ran away from him, reducing his noble efforts to say the phrase “homophobe mode” into a mumbling mess of vague “moo” sounds.

It’s okay, Cory! Trying is the important thing.

Around the same time, Cory opened up about his harrowing experience with workplace bullying on Twitter, saying how disappointed he was that someone of Shorten’s stature would engage in “name calling”.

You’re absolutely right, Cory. Name-calling is a horrible thing to do. If only there were some way we could teach people how hurtful name-calling can be; a way to educate people on how nasty, thoughtless comments and behaviours can have devastating impacts on the recipient, especially if the victims of that cruelty already disproportionately suffer from mental illness. Some kind of program.

In completely unrelated news, that original exchange took place while Shorten was holding a press conference attacking the government’s decision to investigate the Safe Schools Coalition, a program running in nearly 500 schools that teaches acceptance and understanding towards sexuality-diverse, gender-diverse and intersex people.

The inquiry into Safe Schools is largely the result of Bernardi’s incessant complaining about it. In his words, teaching school-age kids about diverse sexual and gender orientations — a vital component of reducing the rampant bullying, abuse and isolation LGBTI kids endure at school — amounts to “propaganda” brainwashing kids to believe the sinister “social engineering agenda” pushed by LGBTI activists, known in hushed whispers throughout the land as ‘Big Gay’. In fact, since Bernardi started speaking out against Safe Schools, the people who run it have been inundated with abusive and threatening messages.

Shorten was disagreeing with Bernardi’s view when Cory himself happened upon the press conference, and the following exchange took place:

It’s one thing for someone like Cory Bernardi to have a giant sook about being called a “homophobe”, and to whinge about the dangers of name-calling while simultaneously angling to axe a program that combats anti-LGBTI bullying in schools and stirring up homophobic sentiment in the community. It’s another to do all that while being the one who started the whole name-calling thing in the first place. Shorten wouldn’t have said a word if Bernardi hadn’t called him a “fraud” and tried to hijack his press conference in front of a bevy of TV cameras.

In light of that, you’d be forgiven for maybe thinking that Cory Bernardi should suck it the fuck up and stop dishing out what he clearly can’t take. That’d be your opinion.