Australia’s Biggest Old White Man Sooks Of 2016
Our country is full of old farts and it's well past time they had the wind taken out of them.
2016, you were a shitty year. You took David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Patty Duke and (briefly) BBQ Shapes. In return you gave us Brexit, One Nation senators and Donald Trump. You’re an asshole 2016, and we’ll all be glad to see the end of you.
Speaking of assholes, 2016 was yet another year of spectacular Old White Man fails. Spat dummies littered the year as one Old White Man after another threw all their toys out of their cots, took their footballs and their mixed metaphors, and flounced into the public spotlight to sook about how mean the world is to Old White Men everywhere.
And look, Old White Men have a point. Apart from being represented by at least 70 percent of senior members of the parliament, the judiciary, the media, the arts, the corporate sector, the sporting elite, the entertainment industry, and academia, where can they go to have their voices heard?
Junkee won’t pay me to write a book-length edition of Old White Men Sooks of 2016 [Ed note: um, nothing has been ruled out], so here’s a shorter selection of the most notable.
IDK, it’s tough to choose just one and call it the Latham Sook Of The Year. He angrily defended his god-given right to use racial slurs, and complained about the damage Rosie Batty does to men with her shocking statements about domestic violence being a bad thing.
Then there was his 1,000 word tanty, delivered in one of Australia’s most read newspapers, about white men in Australia suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous discrimination. The bulk of his argument came from the facts there are unemployed men in Western Sydney, and Penny Wong has a good job. And let’s not forget his witty excoriation of Clementine Ford for having the inexcusable audacity to be a successful and respected writer and advocate. How very dare she?
Maybe we just congratulate Latham for his work in maintaining his status as a role model for drunk uncles everywhere, and move on.
Another Old White Man with a history of “gaffes” (aka injecting racist, misogynist rubbish into public discourse, followed by sullenly reading out sorry-not-sorry statements written by exasperated PR reps).
Eddie was very sorry that he couldn’t publicly talk about drowning a woman without people getting all twisty knickered about it. He was also very sorry that women are so sensitive and can’t take a joke. He’s a Good GuyTM and, one time, he made them put a ladies’ toilet in a football club, so clearly he’s a white knight for oppressed women everywhere.
Australia, you made him so sad he had to go take a holiday on a yacht. I hope you’re happy with yourselves.
Poor Andrew. It’s been a tough year for him. How can a controversial columnist get any attention when people like Pauline Hanson, George Christiansen and Mark Latham keep taking all the outrage limelight?
His demotion as Australia’s Offender-in-Chief has been very difficult. No one even cares that he is trying to save the world from 18C and Malcolm Turnbull, who are coming to grind all our babies into a fine paste and spread it onto biscuits for gay, Muslim environmentalists. He didn’t even win the gold Ernie this year, despite having a good whinge about how difficult it was for him to debate MP Linda Burney because she’s an attractive Aboriginal woman.
“It’s not always old white men, you silly, silly woman.”
Ray and caller Mick were terribly upset when Greens senator Larissa Waters made wry comments about old white men getting involved in the abortion debate, after an old white man interrupted her at an abortion law reform rally. They bemoaned the lack of senate inquiries into vilification of old white men, and Ray had a little sook about how he couldn’t get away with saying that young white women invariably support the Greens, and made that point very strongly by pointing out that it’s invariably young white women who support the Greens.
Larissa, apparently, can get away with saying anything, and never cops any backlash. Being asked in parliament if she’s married or having photos of her six year old daughter on the front page of The Australian is exactly the sort of thing that happens to old white men all the time.
The diverse range of old white men among the 2GB broadcasters is the perfect example of how the constant weight of ageism and reverse sexism is making old white men so downtrodden.
Hankies out for Ray, Australia.
Can you believe what happened to Steve Price this year? Not once, but twice, he had to deal with a woman disagreeing with him. In public. WITH FACTS.
First Van Badham’s ovaries made her all “hysterical”, so she started an informed discussion about structural violence against women, right there in front of him, if you can believe that shit. So impertinent. Then, Jamila Rizvi deliberately didn’t sit in awed and submissive silence while Steve was bloviating on The Project.
This is just appalling behaviour. How can Steve be expected continue to bravely stand up for old white men’s right to joke about violence against women with all these women carrying on as if their opinion matters just as much as his?
Especially when he’s only got a regular TV spot and his own daily radio show for expressing his views. Cry Australia. Cry me a river, for poor, oppressed Steve.
And now I’ve run out of room, which is disappointing because there was still Scott Morrison, Joe Hockey, Donald Trump, Donald Trump’s Twitter account and most of the Senate crossbench to cover. And I haven’t even started thinking about men in sport, men of Tinder, men in universities, men in comedy, men in music, and, well, men in all the other places.
But is there a point to it? Apart from it just being fun as all getout, yes, there is.
All these men, brought up gazing into the world and seeing versions of their own face reflected back at them, have a reason for their tantrums. Other faces are starting to appear in their world. Brown faces. Black faces. Gay faces. Female faces. Trans faces. Disabled faces. Young faces.
It’s ridiculous of course. Those faces have always been there. But they’ve never impinged this far on the world of White Men, who have always been the hero and the focus of every story. The only threat to their position was other White Men, who might have been a threat to their personal power, but not to their inviolate right to that power. It was a fight among equals.
It’s the essence of what Eleanor Robertson described in an article for Junkee as Old Fartism. “The Old Fart is a position of social insecurity,” she wrote. “Old Fartism can be found in people of any age or gender, but it is most prevalent among those who have lived in a world where their viewpoint and interests were reflected by default, to the exclusion of other subject categories. The winds of egalitarianism destabilise the topsoil of their privilege, exposing the bedrock of unthinking arrogance on which their experiences are based.”
It’s well past time the old farts had the wind taken out of them.
As for the ones I’ve missed, that’s what the comments section is for. Have at it Australia, and here’s hoping for a great 2017 for all of us.
Jane Gilmore is a Melbourne based writer and editor. She blogs at janegilmore.com and tweets at @janetribune.