THE GREAT BUNYIP is a merciful fellow, inflicting no sufferings that are not in some way mitigated by His mercy. Take last-stage incontinence as an example. The body is withered, the heart beats weakly and then, as the end draws nigh, bladder and bowels let loose their floods. Ah, but the indignity of expiring in pools of one’s own filth matters not because, by that final stage, the mind has also gone. No longer is there a compulsion to blush and apologise or blame an overdose of the morning’s prunes because the last remnants of shame and self-awareness have been wiped clean.
Those who still doubt the existence of a Supreme Being should glance at this morning’s Melbourne’s Age, where they will find a classic example of the Divine compassion that manifests itself in the gift of timely oblivion. “Twisted ideas about sex and power still rule” reads the headline above a column brimming with the thoughts of the University of New South Wales’ Dr Lindy Edwards, who has been inspired, as you might say, by some extraordinary misconceptions about men and what men get up to when women are not about to hector and police them. It probably does not need to be said that Dr Edwards was summoned to her keyboard by our Prime Minister’s attempts last week to re-ignite her unilateral gender war.
“…buried deep in our culture is a belief that sex is an act of male domination and female violation and submission,” Dr Edwards writes early on in her essay, following up with quite remarkable assertions. Here are some:
“There is a long tradition of firing up fighting men by invoking their shared ability to sexually degrade women. They tap into an ideal of male sexual power to create a cocktail of ego, aggression and sexual energy that they channel into battle.”
This is good to know, as it highlights the need to edit Shakespeare more thoroughly. For years, Henry V’s speech before Harfleur has included the line “dishonour not your mothers”. Clearly, “not” is a typo and needs to be expunged.
“We see exactly the same phenomenon at work among our footballers. They also pump themselves up as powerful men by emphasising their ability to sexually degrade women. It bonds them as a group, fuelling a sense of superiority and power to be able to treat women this way.”
This last insight must come as news to the sensitive and caring Bob Murphy, the Western Bulldog and Age columnist who is always mooning about his dog, the meaning of life, his toenails and, every so often, his club’s lack of success on the field. Clearly, if coach Brendan McCartney seeks to lift performance, he must forget about stressing skills and strategy and organise a gangshow of abuse and mockery at the next training session. As Julia Gillard is Footscray’s Number One ticketholder and, according to Dr Edwards, the catalyst for the current eruption of misogynist loathing, he will need to lead his players no further than the boardroom in order to find the most appropriate victim and, presumably, lay the foundation for a premiership season. But that is most likely not what Dr Edwards has in mind, if indeed there is room between her ears for anything more than the rag bag of the clichés one finds entangled in the leg hair at any halfway decent Women’s Studies department.
Once again, let us praise the Great Bunyip for his mercy. As Dr Edwards splurts, farts and dribbles all the way down the page to her conclusion, Age editors are so far gone they can no longer comprehend just how silly she is. The final proof comes with her stated intention to defeat gender oppression by means of curious hand gestures.
“Waving a pinkie finger is a traditional way of signalling men trying to pump themselves up to hide weakness,” she writes, alluding to what must be the feminist version of a Masonic handshake, as the Professor has never seen such peculiar behaviour or, indeed, even heard of it. “It is something I plan on doing every time I see a man behaving this way from now on, and I invite you and the Prime Minister to join me.”
In all kindness let us urge the women of Australia to spurn that advice, especially those who write for The Age and/or still read it. When the patient is terminal and crusted with its own excrement, as is Melbourne's shrunken broadsheet, it is very difficult with digits waving like the fronds of a sea anemone to slip on the latex gloves in preparation for administering a blanket bath.
A FOOTNOTE: Along with incontinence, dementia and is another sign of imminent death, and The Age displays this symptom as well. In the fog of its final hours, the newspaper forgot to mention, as Dr Edwards’ UNSW biography states, that she “has been a senior policy adviser to an Australian political party leader.”
No prizes for guessing which party.