Wadham, Ben: Militarisation and hate

Wadham, Ben

Yumi and Ben: the militarisation of Australia and the democratisation of hate‘, The Conversation, 6 March 2012

Analyses the sexist and racist reaction to the insulting remarks made by a television personality about a Victoria Cross winner. The author says:

I’d argue, from my research into online commentary over the past two years, that the reaction to Stynes’ comments are part of the increasing militarisation of Australian society. This militarisation, which is of course profoundly white Australian and masculine, has come to justify, indeed legitimise, the views of those who see “their” Australia under threat from “do-good lefties”, “feminist conspirators” and the arrival of others by sea.

The author tied the reaction to the attitude to Anzac and to members of the military.

It’s worth remembering that in the same week as Yumi made her comments, the Australian public was exposed to the racist, misogynist and homophobic banter of a military Facebook group. This stark evidence of the culture of combatants came a day after the Chief of Army Lt General David Morrison addressed the Sydney Institute regarding improving cultural diversity in the ADF. Lt General Morrison’s disgust at the commentary was well-regarded on this occasion.

Marilyn Lake’s arguments about the cult of the Anzac have a lot of resonance in this remarkable incident. The key premise of the Anzac legend is that nations and men are made in war. It is an idea that had currency a hundred years ago. But is it not now time to to cast it aside? Perhaps then we can have a reasonable debate about the place of the military in Australia without subjecting people to racist, misogynist and violent hatred.

Other articles by the author on related themes are linked from the foot of this article.

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