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.