Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thinking a Bit More

I have been thinking a bit more about Margaret Court. Now, Margaret Court doesn't really matter, being as she is a mad old bat with no more sense of reality in the 21st century than a time-travelling Neanderthal, who thinks it's reasonable to cite the number of Wimbledons won as proof of the correctness one's views on homosexuality. However, I think it does matter how we think of said mad old bat.

Because the thing is, Margaret Court is a bad person. She's not just a loveable daffy old goose who's not quite "up to date". She's not a great Australian who deserves respect despite somewhat "un-PC" views. She's not your grandma. She's nasty and she's hateful and she wants to ruin the lives of perfectly nice, decent human beings purely to satisfy her superstitions. She is a bad person, and it's important we remember this.

And it's important that we remember that in remembering this, we do not get sidetracked by red herrings about "freedom of speech", as those who get a kick out of being as nasty and hateful as Court is try to convince us that disagreeing with her, and calling her out for what she is, is "censorship". It's important to not give ground to those who claim, when a person is given a public platform in Australia's most-read newspaper to spread vicious, senseless hatred, that the "real issue" is whether she's entitled to her opinion. Everyone already knows she's entitled to her opinion, and we're entitled to ours. Which is that her opinion is repellent.

It's important to remember this because this is a matter of progress. The fact is, if Margaret Court had written a column about how, as a 3-time Wimbledon champion, she is absolutely certain that blacks and Asians are disobeying god's law and were an abomination to good Christians, nobody would be wringing their hands about the mean lefties who won't leave poor old Margaret alone. They'd just call her a racist bitch, and rightly so. That's because consensus is that blacks and Asians are people. It would seem that we're not quite there with gay people. It would seem that we still believe that any rights we grant them are our "favour" to the gays. Because gays don't actually deserve any rights or privileges or respect - we're just nice enough to give them a few if we're feeling magnanimous. So if they complain, they're just being whiny. If they object to being labelled evil, or a lesser form of life, they're being ungrateful, or just mean to our great national treasure Courty. We apparently have not progressed to the point where we're willing to say, those folks who like sexytimes with members of their own genital persuasion merit the same rights as any of us purely by virtue of the fact they exist as human beings. They don't need to earn it, they don't need to play nice, or pipe down and smile politely - they just need to be treated the same as everyone else, because that's what they are.

But we're not there yet. And that's why Margaret Court can vomit up the trash that she does, and that's why she can be defended by her fellow bigots hiding behind the skimpy veil of free speech. And that's why we've got to slash that veil to ribbons and tell the bigots that bigots they are, and that they will be left behind while we move on.

And move on we will, and move on we are. Margaret Court and her cohorts lash out like this, because they know we're winning. We're winning and they're losing and every time they scream about immorality or redefining marriage it's nothing but the strangled yelp of a battered old dog that knows it's never going to win this fight. We're winning. They're losing. Our world will move on. Our species will skip happily into the future, and our enemies will be left in the past, whimpering. Margaret Court knows it. They all do. That's why they scream so loud, and cry so pitifully about bullying and censorship when their screaming is treated with the contempt it deserves.

The history of the human race is the long, slow, painful story of society trying to catch up to decency. We're closer than ever, but there's still so far to go. But we're going to get there. We'll reach that peak. As long as we know, when confronted by the bigots and hatemongers who want to drag us backwards, to shout aloud, to call them what they are, take them head-on, swat them aside like the petty mosquitoes they are, and leave them in the dust where they can't hinder us any more.

That's why it's important what we think of an unimportance like Margaret Court. And it's important to say what we think. Because every time we tell the truth about these people, we move that tiniest bit further forward.

To the victory that both sides know is coming.


Sarz said...

Ben Pobjie, I wish I could more eloquently express how majestic this piece is, and what it makes me feel. Instead, I'll just say to you a Fucking Well Done and a good day, Sir.

Rebecca said...

*cough "gay" not an umbrella term cough*

Great article, I prefer the term QUILTBAG myself

goldberry said...

best article I've seen written yet on this point, and really a perfect riposte to anyone who drags out the free speech argument to protect homophobia. Really it seems with a lot of people that homophobia is the last bigotry that can show its face in public...
excellent work on the article!

MadOldBear said...

Loved this article.
Thank you.
Here have a smiley face and a kiss.
:-) X

dommy said...

Well said, Pobjie. As a Grade A Poofter, I normally don't pay any attention to wrinkly old bigots who believe gays are tearing apart the fabric of society (as if we'd ever hurt fabric), but I took exception to Court's particular brand of hatred masked as free speech. Well done for so eloquently reminding the world the score on these issues.

shellity said...

I like this as much as I like biscuits.

Jo said...

If this issue were a person, you would have just put on X-Ray goggles and seen its nuts. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

And you can bet:

'A dog will return to its own vomit" 2 Peter 2:22

Doug Quixote said...

Perhaps the lady's actual words are of interest :

"Let me be clear. I believe that a person's sexuality is a choice. In the Bible it said that homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh. It is not something you are born with. My concern is that we are advocating to young people that it is OK to have these feelings. But I truly believe if you are told you are gay from a young age, soon enough it will start to impact your life and you will live it. If somebody is told they are gay they often start to believe it.

end quote)

Amazing is it not, in the 21st century that anyone with access to the substantial body of evidence on this matter could make this claim? The evidence is that homosexuality is existential - you are what you are.

Only ignorance can (partly) excuse such nonsense.

She goes on :

"We are living in a society that takes the easy way out. But we have to work at life and make things better. You need to be disciplined. I became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon because I trained hard and worked towards it.

It's why I believe so strongly in the sanctity of marriage. It takes hard work. Children need a mother and a father - stability from a male and a female - and I think we are losing sight of this."

These are views more commonly held, and though they are wrong in my opinion, she is entitled to her opinion.

But that homosexuality is a choice? And elsewhere that because some of them were abused, they became gay?

Beyond belief.

goldberry said...

Agree with what you say Doug.

Unfortunately, whether they admit it or not, I think there are a lot of people around who do still think homosexuality is a choice or that people can somehow 'snap out of it'. I mean, how else do you explain the phenomenon that Ben speaks of, ie people are far more tolerant of criticism on the basis of sexual orientation than on race?

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic article - a masterpiece of literature and morality rolled into one.

Jeremy said...

Brilliantly put.

Jeremy said...

Brilliantly put.

Bilby P. Dalgyte said...

I really like the things you say and especially the way you say them.