In response to my column on Anzac denial in The Australian today, I received an email from Mr H R Thomas in Queensland drawing my attention to the work of Dr Lindy Edwards.
I have since become the 42nd person to view Dr Edward’s November 2013 youtube hit, Creating a Progressive Economics. I do not recommend it.
It was Dr Edward’s views on soldiering, however, rather than her perplexing approach to economics, to which Mr Thomas drew my attention. In June 2013, Dr Edwards wrote in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald (where else?):
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.
Mr Thomas was intrigued. He wrote to Dr Edwards:
I served with the RAAF in Vietnam while my father served with the RAAF in the Pacific in WWII. Neither of us encountered the phenomenon you referenced. Since leaving the RAAF I have further developed my interest in military history but, I cannot find any reference to your claim. Consequently, I would be grateful if you would provide me with examples where commanders have fired up their men using the technique you described.
H R Thomas
Dr Edwards replied:
I teach at ADFA and I see it all the time.
Mr Thomas found her answer unsatisfactory, and replied in the following terms:
Dear Doctor Edwards,
I can tell you do not lecture in manners.
Here is what you wrote in The Age: ”They tap into an ideal of male sexual power to create a cocktail of ego, aggression and sexual energy that they channel into battle”.
I repeat my request: “I would be grateful if you would provide me with examples where commanders have fired up their men using the technique you described”.
“I teach at ADFA and I see it all the time” was not an answer. It was an evasion and in no way responded to my request.
Would you kindly provide me with examples which substantiate your claim.
H R Thomas
At the time of going to press, no reply had been received from Dr Edwards.