By Sifu Crockett
So, somebody disagrees with you — With your point of view; your opinion; your preference. What should you do?
Well, you could insult them. You could belittle them. You could gang up on them. You could, if you wanted to achieve all three of the above, have them on The Project (Network Ten, Australian television).
The case in point being former Australian tennis champion Margaret Court who has recently positioned herself, unwisely, as an opponent of gay marriage. Her basis? Devoutly religious views. Her flexibility? Zero. Her hatred for gay people? Also zero. Do remember that final point please.
Now, before you think I’m here to oppose gay marriage, take a breath. I’m not.
I’m also not here to defend Court’s views. As I’ve stated elsewhere, and on numerous occasions, I cannot and will not support any opinion on any thing that’s born solely or exclusively of religious belief. There, I’ve said it.
But That’s Not the Point
The point of order to address follows, in part, Court’s recent appearace on the deservedly maligned show in question. (The Project. May 26 2017).
This poor excuse for a show is intentionally populated by arrogant dropkicks who have absolutely no interest in, or capacity for, anything other than harassing guests just for the fun of it — While drowning out the opinions of their ‘guests’, to the rousing applause and laughter elicited from their infantile audience.
With an inane propensity to hear only the sound of their own voices, this was exactly what The Project’s scruple-free panelists did to Margaret Court. But that comes as no surpise, as we’re talking about people with such dim awareness of their own self-dignity that they fail to see how considerably they embarass and humiliate themselves, destroying, in the process, any chance of redeaming their reputations.
But Why Ought You Care?
Because you’re intelligent enough and morally equipped enough to be ‘offended’ by the barrage of insults being dumped on Court — In the absense of a sensible discussion so easily able to be drawn from the abundantly available arsenal of valid arguments. That absense being intentional, I might add.
If you haven’t seen the clip, I’ve put it here for you. By all means, have a look. I’ll wait.
See What I mean?
As much as I’d love to have a discussion on gay marriage, on religion, and have it with Margaret Court… what the ninnies on The Project have done (along with the rampant gang mentality running amok in some public sectors) is push that argument aside by behaving like deadshits. Proper deadshits.
If it was me who happened to be on The Project during that interview, for the sole purpose of challenging Margaret Court’s views (which I would love to have done), I’d have, instead, very quickly found myself ripping every single member of that ‘panel’ to shreds for their abhorrent behavior.
I care not how arrogant or righteous this has me appear. I have not the sensibility to insult reasonable, civil people, no matter how strongly I disagree with them. I simply find it morally reprehensible to choose personal insults over the argument at-hand. Especially when abundant amunition exists to lead that discussion.
Anyone remotely capable of mounting an argument finds that approach (the type that populates The Project) as bereft. I find it intellectually offensive. Morally dysfunctional. Cheap, weak, inappropriate. At best, bullying. Really, it’s just plain lazy — And that I won’t stand for.
For a Moment, Let’s Say You’re Opposed to Court’s Views
Meaning, you’re an advocate for gay marriage.
Do you really think the moronic behaviour shown on The Project has done the cause any favors? Is that the sort of light you want shone on this cause? Are those rude and arrogant ninnies the ones you want aligning with what you believe in — Speaking for your cause, on your behalf?
For every decent, self-respecting one of you reading this, don’t worry, I know your answers.
Instead, what we need to do, especially when we’re passionate about an issue, regardless of what it is, is behave ourselves. Show some dignity. Play the ball not the man (or woman). And treat our ‘opposition’ with respect, especially when they themselves are acting civilly. That is of course if you want to be taken seriously.
Personally, I’m an Advocate of Advocacy
I don’t expect to be agreed with (all the time). I expect to be challenged, if for no other reason than that’s what I spend my time doing: Challenging. Challenging ideas, ideologies, opinions and so on.
But if you want to challenge an idea, you owe it to yourself and what you stand for to go about it intelligently. Passion is not enough. And belief is no excuse for bad behavior. More often than not, a human being is on the other end of your argument. And, within reason, that person deserves to be treated humanely and with respect. (Yes, there are exceptions.)
As far as your challenge goes, you owe it to yourself (particularly if the issue matters to you) to make the necessary effort to work out how to do two things:
One) Deconstruct the issue and argument that you oppose; and
Two) Structure your own opposition in a way that supplants what you’re arguing against with what you’re arguing for.
Do that, and you won’t need to gang up on someone, call them names, shout them down, interrupt them, or ridicule them when they’re behaving themselves.
And on that, let’s get something perfectly clear, and use this piece’s issue as the example: Every dropkick on The Project used — abused — their access to freedom of speech to attack Margaret Court exercising her’s. No small hypocricy, hey?
Yet, despite the onslaught unleashed by The Project’s gang, try telling me that Court didn’t behave herself. Awesome credit to her. She didn’t stoop. She didn’t weaken. She didn’t bite. And she didn’t change her tone, raise her voice or level a single insult. Disagree with her views, sure, but attack her personally? Noooo!
Again, I remind you — because a few of you will most definitely be wanting to conveniently forget — I do not agree with Margaret Court’s position against gay marriage.
I’m also intentionally omitting discussion on all other factors surrounding the issue. Such as the call to change the name of the Margaret Court Arena (the call coming both from the public and former champions, including Martina Navratilova); and the calls from women tennis players to boycott playing at that arena. We can certainly discuss those points elsewhere. But not now.
So, in the end, disagreeing with Court — or anyone — does not give us the right to behave with such hostility; such disrespect. I mean, really, what are we? A pack o’ chunts?
Kath & Kim references aside, the argument for gay marriage has just been forced backwards. Not because of anything Court feels, thinks or has said. No. You can thank the moronic behavior of those who think it’s only okay to hold the freedom to express your personal views as long as they’re agreed with. Otherwise, clearly, as The Project demonstrates… it’s war!
If you have gay friends, like I do, ask them what they think. Share this piece with them and get their feedback.
I reckon you’ll find the vast majority of them will agree that although it is undeniably true that Margaret Court is forever cemented into the containment of her archaic, religious-born notions… she is not only not ‘anti-gay’, but she is also not the sort person who would stoop so low as to take cheap shots at those disagreeing with her. No homophobic sentiments. No insults or slurs. No derision.
For all that sort of dross, look no further than to those undesirable sorts readily padding out the panel on The Project.
I don’t know about you, but don’t you think it’s embarassing to watch grown adults unable to contain their vitriol; their inability to mount an argument; their utter failure to express their views, let alone do so without resorting to personal insults?
It makes me cringe to see that this is the very best they can do. And it’s no small irony that they all get paid for that… that utter no-show of talent.
We live in a world where gay men in the Middle East, in Muslim majority countries, are being tortured then thrown to their deaths off buildings by those citing the Islamic scriptures as just cause. Yet here, when a former tennis champion cites Christian scriptures as the basis for her view, we want to change the name of a sports arena. Riiight.
So, comrades, do tell me what you think: Should we call The Project to account for their unnecessarily vile, petty, infantile treatment of Margaret Court? And should we also seek to have her views challenged with a bit more care for the argument and respect for the person?