Random Writings on Gender

26/08/2022

The following collection of miniature essays is partially random in that they are answers to short answer exam questions I wrote this week for university. Given the stunted word limit of 330 words, I thought I’d elaborate on some points, and add thoughts and content I couldn’t include in the assessment. The particular unit this was for is Gender and Global Politics, a political science unit from the perspective of those much derided, but incredibly useful and fascinating, gender studies. As a straight cis man, studying such topics and applying a feminist lens to global politics is insightful, in much the same way studying Indigenous politics last semester was as a white person.

Each section will start with the question, followed by the exam response then any additional points at the end with references.

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Conservatism As a Disposition and a Conservative Anarchism

28/01/2022

There is much debate about whether conservatism is a fully fledged ideology or merely disposition, a way of looking at the world that looks to the past to inform the present and carefully guide the future. This is the argument, always presented as a question in textbooks or other material on conservatism but is never answered, and it is adopted by conservatives themselves to justify or explain their positions on political, cultural and social arenas. I think there is merit to the disposition argument, but more often than not it is used as a shield against genuine criticism.

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Laurel Hubbard and the Olympic Uproar

05/08/2021

I have no interest in the Olympics, or sport, or physical activity of any kind. The only news coming out of the Olympics this week that has interested me is seeing the occasional symbolic protest, or that situation with the Belarusian woman seeking asylum in the Polish Embassy. Ok, the video of the Qatari and Italian jumpers sharing the gold was wholesome.

But if there is one “issue” that has swept Olympic commentary, it is Laurel Hubbard, the trans woman from New Zealand that made mildly interesting history and a staggering number of headlines. I wonder why?

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On George Orwell

08/05/2021

George Orwell is a name everyone learns, at least in the West as far as I know, during school. Animal Farm and 1984 are the two books written by him that we are told to read and write some analysis of. They are both antitotalitarian works, with Animal Farm being based on the Russian Revolution and led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks, and 1984 being a scary predictor of surveillance. And that’s about it. That’s all I learned about him in school. Of course, there’s much more, and not all of it is good.

The Twitter hellscape was quick to mob me on that.

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Sydney Morning Herald Protects Morrison, Swipes at Labor

02/05/2021

Annika Smethurst recently wrote an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald entitled “Religion is at the heart of the PM”. What it is, essentially, is an attempt to paint Morrison as a genuine and good guy at heart (despite his “many faults”), while deflecting certain criticisms by throwing them at the Australian Labor Party, making them and their supporters seem hypocritical and antagonistic. In some ways, perhaps, but as someone who says to hell with both factions of the capitalist hegemony, lets throw in a little balance and blunt truths.

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Sky News’ Rita Panahi Spreads Lies About Victoria Anti-Conversion Bill

08/02/2021

Like all other Sky News’ hosts, Rita Panahi is a textbook example of how vacuous sycophants will reject and oppose anything so long as they get paid large enough sums to do so. The more outrage and clicks it can generate, the better – facts and science be damned. Yesterday, she rambled (and on occasion stumbled) on about how the “radical left” can fool the “apathetic masses” by using ostensibly pure naming to “[ram] through radical policies”. Antifa, BLM, the Labor Victorian government – surely, she’ll consider all the facts on hand!

Heh.

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Why I’d Vote for Biden

An anarchist, voting? Oh no, that’s not allowed, that… that’s the other kind of anarchy! Let alone for Biden! Well, let it be some consolation that I cannot vote in the US election because I have the fortune of being born elsewhere in the world and vote there instead. But I do not view the act of voting in a capitalist electoral system as entirely contradictory to the anarchist belief of abolishing authority, even that of the State itself. Let me explain, because this is a piece for the “left”.

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The “Protest” Against the Brisbane Drag Queen Duo

13/01/2019

What I thought would be a rather small, local story in the South East Queensland area, having first seen the associated video on a Facebook group for QUT, has turned into a national story with the Guardian, the ABC, and social media (mainly Twitter) taking hold of it. I’m surprised that I’m surprised about that, and I decided against writing a post about it last night, but with more information coming to light and some interactions I have seen take place, I feel it’s worth discussing a few points.

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The Babylon Bee: Satire Done Wrong

30/10/2019

Satire is a brilliant form of comedy that keeps the world bearable. It’s observational humour smacked with parody, mimicry, and no small amount of hyperbole and absurdity. It can often be quite clever and, at times, even confronting or insensitive, joking about topics in a raw and uncensored manner. The best satire relies on a keen understanding of the topic you are satirising, and this is where I think the Babylon Bee, a Christian satire website, fails miserably.

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