I love social networking. I loathe homophobia.
Then sometimes I’m ashamed to be Australian. We remain one of the only modern countries still dragging the chain on marriage equality. Even our federal Labor Government kowtows to the vile stooges within the extreme right of the Christian lobby.
Then we have our citadels of Aussie blokedom — sportsmen. Overpaid yobs touted as role models, who behave like drug-addled meatheads and evidently feel when the missus plays up, it’s okay to give her a bit of a smack every now and then.
When news first emerged of the ADF ‘Skype’ sex scandal, and a young woman pursuing her dream of serving her country — this country — broke her silence over the misogynistic behaviour rife in our military, a small part of me died.
As recently reported by SSO, numerous military personnel signed up to (one of the many) homophobic Facebook pages designed to bully and malign gay and lesbian recruits — or, as so eloquently put by the bigots, the ‘poo pirates’ for their ‘filthy lifestyle decision’ and ‘pillow biting’ ways. Grand Theft Auto 4 games and YouTube clips were posted promoting the odious anti-gay movement.
So, let me get this straight, if you’ll pardon the pun. Already victims of homophobic bullying at school, our government teaches kids that “marriage is between a man and a woman”. Cue ‘role model’ sportsmen to remind us that you, too, can be paid the big bucks to behave like an asshole.
Sadly, the common denominator in all of this is social media. I recently saw someone refer to it as “a modern-day cancer”. Which is probably a little extreme. But certainly, there’s a duty of care online media have to ensure an end is put to this redneck fuckwittery.
Social networking also serves to reflect the society in which we live. To hold a mirror up to our behaviour. And this atrocious conduct has been endemic since day dot.
Is social media to blame?
Remember not to shoot the messenger. Unless the messenger has an agenda. And doesn’t like poo pirates. Which reminds me, I have a hot date with a very special pillow.