Well, I think that’s a sufficiently eye-grabbing title post to catch attention. Don’t worry, the title and the post are linked.
Julia Gillard, Australia’s Labor Prime Minister (PM), (a politically backstabbing woman who recently affirmed her opposition to same-sex marriage and who I have little love for. If you want to know more, Nash has a far better understanding of Australasian politics than I ever could) was recently interviewed by Australian radio station, Fairfax Radio. Ms Gillard has decided not to have children with her partner of 7 years, Tim Mathieson. He partner also works as a hairdresser. She was then asked, given her partner’s job, was he was gay?
One of Julia Gillard’s finest moments:
You heard right. Working as a male hairdresser leaves questions open to whether you are gay. Now, leaving aside why this information would be of any interest to the public, or whether it was any of the DJ’s business; I’m still left in a state of disbelief and dismay at the stupidity of humanity where a supposedly ‘feminine’ job would lead to someone to wonder whether a man is gay.
Getting back on how this is in anyway relevant to the general public you only have to turn to Norman Tebbit’s (my personal arch-political nemesis and the effectively former right-hand man to Margaret Thatcher) interview in the Guardian yesterday. Now yes, to a degree Tebbit represents very much a far older generation, not just in terms of age but also in terms of culture. And while he’s still going strong writing his columns for the Telegraph, at 82, he ain’t going to be around forever. Sadly though, for the time being Tebbit still does represent a mindset felt by many individuals in modern-day society. When it was pointed out to Lord Tebbit that before Roy Jenkins became Home Secretary in the 1960s (a time since Tebbit argues “society has got less civilized. Most of what has happened in becoming a more permissive society has featured alongside a society which has become much less agreeable.“) that “it certainly wasn’t safer back then if you were gay.” he deemed it appropriate to mutter back “Well, particularly if they flaunted themselves as such,“.
Norman Tebbit, hard at work:
Ultimately, this is the reasoning, in the second decade of the 21st century, we are still having to deal with: the ‘I’m not homophobic but, I’m going to make it obvious in my reaction that seeing gay people makes me feel uncomfortable.’ attitude. Yes, we’ve come a long way from the era where open homophobia was the norm and widely accepted with Peter Tatchell’s infamous Bermondsey by-election in 1983 where homophobia was used by his opponents. What we have is an acceptance that open homophobia, sexism and many other forms of discrimination are now publicly unacceptable. Consequently, they have take upon the form of subtle and often subliminal methods as seen with Tebbit’s interview and Gillard’s interview.
To a degree, the majority of homophobia, sexism, etc is held among the older generations and (this is not meant in any malicious way) over time, will largely and literally die off. But there is still so much more to do. So much more to do to challenge the relevance of the sexuality of one’s partner and the absurd association that if you hold a ‘feminine’ job as a man it raises questions over your sexuality.
In the 1960s, the left may have won the culture and social ‘war’ on the public front, to a degree the ‘war’ on the private front is still ongoing.