The principal of a Victorian school now concedes it was “inappropriate” to shame her male pupils into standing before the women and girls to atone for the sins of their gender. One might have wished for a little more contrition from the head of Warrnambool’s Brauer College but, since responsibility is collective rather than personal these days, inappropriate is probably the best we can expect.
As Thomas Sowell writes: “We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.”
The delusion that the culture war is being fought in a far-off land is shattered by events at Brauer College and countless other incursions into our everyday lives. …
In critical theory, guilt is determined not by wrongdoing but by membership of the wrong class. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explained this system of justice in The Gulag Archipelago, quoting from the Russian revolutionary newspaper, Red Terror.
“The first question you should ask him is what class does he belong to, what is his origin, his education and his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused.”
The new radical feminism in which leading politicians are now entangled is very different from the liberal feminism that greatly advanced the position of women in the 20th century. … Feminism has taken a harder form, turning men and women into class enemies. Women, along with gays, are the victims of “toxic masculinity” …
Toxic, or hegemonic, masculinity has become the dominant frame of reference in Australian popular feminism. Male violence — physical, sexual and verbal — is no longer merely socially unacceptable or criminal behaviour for which individuals are responsible. It is a trait common to all men that serves to reinforce the patriarchy, denying women their just position in society.
This poisonous opinion is no longer confined to the radical corners of the academy. It is the unchallengeable assumption of most graduates entering the workplace, reinforced by HR departments and government bureaucracies that take the theory as read.
Fair-minded Australians are entitled to feel dismayed. Aggressive behaviour towards women by men has never been acceptable or even excusable in our liberal democracy. Until recently, swearing in the presence of women was considered an offence in middle-class Australia. The most obvious determinants of physical violence in crime statistics are not gender, but employment status and socio-economic disadvantage.
Hard evidence, however, is not enough to overturn postmodern theory. …
The Prime Minister could give a thousand press conferences, all word-perfect, and still not assuage his critics, simply because he is male. …
White men and women alike are guilty of bearing invisible knapsacks of white privilege. Boys as young as 12 must stand in shame at Brauer College for complicity in misogyny, domination, and violence.
Woke, in other words, is no joke. It represents the biggest threat to liberalism, Australia’s riding philosophy since European settlement, since the rise of totalitarian ideology a century ago. For liberals, there can be no leave passes from the culture war until this alien ideology is defeated.
Woke generates many enemies, and allies who are mostly fearful of it. Like all extreme left movements, it gets into an unsustainable purity cycle then eats its own. If we all oppose it it will die quicker, without as many causalities.