I should say straight out that I am a free speech absolutist. If we think governments have a role in licensing what we say to each other, there really is a slippery slope we have embarked upon. Given the world as it is, there is almost no danger of any kind for someone on the left to say whatever it is they want since none of the speech codes and rules of PC apply to them. Only to us on the right. But as dangerous as it often can be to say certain things, the government should not be in a position to restrict the kinds of things we say to each other.
The post found below was put up yesterday and then taken down by me. I could see where the conversation was going and I was not interested in fostering a discussion over whether Australian women on an international scale are or are not slatterns. What I was really interested in was this example of a comment made about Australians that annoyed me not a little but whether it was protected free speech. It is not just minorities that can find themselves on the wrong end of comments that do insult whether or not that was the intention. Kathy Shaidle, writing on her blog in Toronto, wrote about her own relatively constrained sexual experience that “my ‘number’ (as the kids call it these days) is so low that in certain Australian provinces I would still be considered a virgin.” And in Toronto, where the Australian ex pat community is both small and non-violent, no one would really have been offended and therefore taken her to court never mind taken out a contract on her life. Try that remark with any one of a hundred-plus other national, racial or ethnic groups and we’ll see how you go.
But if it were any one of these hundred-plus national, racial or ethnic groups she would have been shunted before some tribunal who would adjudicate her right to have said what she said. And if they had decided that some group had been vilified, humiliated or even merely made uncomfortable, some penalty would have been assessed. So she chooses Australians as her target and really there was only me to get upset, hurt, disgusted, perturbed, shamed, since how many people in Australia read a Canadian blog?
But what’s the answer? How should Australians react to this slur on Australian women? Well, you know what. This is what we do. We get on with life. We don’t make a federal case out of it. We don’t go to some court for redress for our hurt feelings. We just get on with life, which is how it ought to be. Anyway, what follows is the post I put up this morning, now perhaps put in its proper context. Bear in mind that this was originally posted on the first of April and let me also draw your attention to an article by Alan Dershowitz dealing with these same issues who reaches the same conclusion.
I am reluctant to bring this up, but if ever I have seen need for a Racial Discrimination Act this is it. Kathy Shaidle, a Canadian blogger, is entitled to advertise her book in any way she likes, but still there is a certain profiling that leaves me somewhat nonplussed and decidedly uncomfortable. This is from her advertising promotion for her new book, Confessions of a Failed Slut:
As the only female columnist at controversial, conservative Taki’s Magazine, Kathy Shaidle soon found herself covering an unlikely beat: sexuality.
“Unlikely” because as the married, 50-year-old Shaidle explains, “my ‘number’ (as the kids call it these days) is so low that in certain Australian provinces I would still be considered a virgin.”
I take it that one’s number is the number of sexual partners one has had. And, of course, to refer to our political divisions as “provinces” is quite provincial but what would you expect from a Canadian? But if I understand the comparison she is making, the implication is that Australians are so sexually out there that an Australian maid with as few liaisons as Kathy has had would not even think of herself as ever having had sex at all.
It’s not even that I am insulted by the implication, although I am, but my main curiosity is where did such an analogy come from? Do Australian girls in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter, have a reputation somewhere along these lines. I am thankfully well past the age and inclination of ever having to enter into the sexual wilderness of the present day to find out for myself, but there is nothing I know of that makes me think of our local maidens as anything other than innocent, modest and pure, or no less so than anyone else.
There was a joke when I was young about a particular ethic group which went, what’s a virgin in such-and-such country, and the answer was the fastest girl in Grade 2. But we used to tell ethnic jokes in those days and it was just a joke without much more than a bit of fun (except for people of that ethnic group who didn’t find it funny at all). But Australians? I must do a bit of research.
In the meantime, I think there needs to be a reference to our Human Rights Commission so that if Kathy ever sets foot on these shores down under that she will end up facing the same kind of tribunal faced by her Canadian mates Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn.
Posted on the first of April 2014.