Pretentious perspectives on politics

Milly Ellen asks us to look beyond the walls of Sydney Uni and start a Bogan Revolution

Photo: hellofish
Photo: hellofish
Photo: hellofish

The bogans of Australia make up the majority. They’re a charmingly patriotic bunch, however, they don’t seem inclined to delve into the news they consume to pick out the white/straight/male bias that permeates a swathe of our media sources. And it is the bogans who gravitate towards misogynists like Abbott and determine elections. How could a party ascribing to such archaic views of women (amongst other things), possibly have been elected with a margin large enough to comfortably fit Gina Rinehart’s arse? Blame the bogans.

‘Feminism’, for bigoted idiots, conjures images of elitist, leftist, radical, messy-haired loons.  The notion of women achieving equality, for the average VB-swilling, Ruby Champion smoking, sport loving Australian bloke, rates lower in matters of importance than… probably everything. And we saw this apathy expressed, however disappointingly, in the 2013 Federal Election.

Generous media coverage and social-media rants have been distributed regarding the horrors of Abbott’s white/straight/male cabinet (among other failures), but who is actually reading this commentary?

Probably you. I am presuming that you are semi-intelligent. That you are capable of thinking laterally, critically, objectively and independently. Ergo, I assume that you have some notion of the importance in seeking gender equality. This view, however, is inherently perceived as a tad bit highbrow. For the majority, that feminist-fist-of-rage you’ve been waving around is a bit extreme.

We need to target the mullet-grooming, Murdoch-loving conservatives who regard The Daily Telegraph as a holy text and Abbott as a man with daughters they’d definitely root. For our population of bogans, catchy tag lines and glittery flyers aren’t going to achieve much. Beyond the Hogwartian walls of our progressive University, your student activism is about as revolutionary as the ‘Kony 2012’ campaign. Remember that? No? That’s because it was pointless.

As the most privileged (yet starving and poor) minority in the country, it’s strange that we haven’t stumbled upon a successful method of disseminating progressive social policy agendas and liberal ideas amongst those who don’t attend University. We have no clue what goes on in the minds of these elusive bogans.

Yes, it’s important to encourage women, people of colour, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community to get involved in political debate and discussion. I would argue, however, that it’s imperative to include the people who discriminate against these groups in an open dialogue.

Disregarding the pretentious tone this piece has surreptitiously adopted, I’m not truly vehemently opposed to bogans and their (terribly misguided) views. I just have a little suggestion. I know I’m not the only one who’s been awkwardly trapped in a conversation with a racist/sexist/homophobic drunk. Next time, instead of habitually ignoring them, perhaps we could endeavour to speak to those raving loons about why they think that way. It probably won’t work. But it might.

Grab a beer and start the Bogan Revolution.

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