The ABC goes to remarkable lengths to avoid giving airtime to opponents of gender-identity ideology. Trouble is, one can pop up anywhere. Look what happened on RN Breakfast on 10 November. Patricia Karvelas was talking to a bloke in Gaza about the situation there. The bloke is Palestinian, but has Canadian citizenship, and could’ve left in this crisis, but hasn’t.
Halfway through the 11-minute interview, she asked him about why he and his family had returned to live in Gaza two years ago. Things went pretty skewwhiff for her for a while from that point on.
‘Unfortunately the education system in Canada got –err – overwhelmed with leftist agenda, LGBTQ propaganda,’ the bloke answered. ‘We couldn’t raise our children by the social norms and the religious values that we believe in. Together with wanting to be in our
ancestors’ land. In the Holy Land. Together with wanting to be with extended family. We thought that we want to try to come back and live here. And our children to grow up here. And to see our grandchildren as well here. This was the main drive. We wanted a place where
we can raise our children in the values and the norms that we have. A place that we all call home. A place that we can live and thrive together with other people that share our same values.’
Now Karvelas wasn’t going to let that pass. She has a reputation to keep up as kid-transer champion par excellence.
‘Right,’ she responded. ‘So basically you wanted to raise your children in an Islamic setting.’
‘Correct,’ the bloke confirmed.
The gotcha moment was apparently perfectly set up for her:
‘And,’ she said, ‘you felt like you couldn’t do that in a place like Canada, which is secular.’
It didn’t work, though: the bloke came right back at her: ‘It’s not – it’s not that it’s secular. It’s that they’re forcing their agenda, certain agenda, on the families. On the children. That they have to think in a certain way. A secular country doesn’t do that. In a secular country, the ideology, and what is taught, from maths, or science, or history too, is separated. However Canada, together with other western countries, are not secular any more.’
I think it would be fair to say Karvelas hadn’t anticipated this rejoinder. ‘That’s really
interesting,’ she commented as she re-grouped herself before trying again, on a slightly
different tack: ‘So we know that Hamas runs a lot of the education in Gaza. Are you more
comfortable with Hamas running your children’s education?’
But this didn’t flummox him either.
‘That is not true,’ he corrected her. ‘The Palestinian Authority, who is in the West Bank, is
the one that is running the education system in Gaza Strip as well. We get all our books and
curriculum from them.’
(Looks like he’s right on that. At least, it’s what Mama Wiki tells us.)
With the Gotcha Moments score standing at Gaza Dad 2 Karvelas 0, the RN Breakfast host
wisely decided to move on to other topics with him.
The incident leads to some reflections. The ABC’s refusal to take opposition to gender-identity ideology seriously – by either ignoring it, or dismissing it as a mobilisation of far-right uneducated boofheads – means ABC journos in general, not just Karvelas, will be increasingly left floundering out of their depth, as she was on 10 November. Had Karvelas been paying proper professional attention, for example, she would not have assumed that her interlocutor shared her view of Canada as a secular country. She would have been familiar with the work of commentators such as Irish academic Colette Colfer, who have detected the religious aspects of gender-identity ideology, including rituals, metaphysical beliefs, liturgical calendar, sacrality and profanity, totems, and taboos. Karvelas would have realised that her interlocutor, a Canadian Muslim, would be particularly likely to consider gender-identity ideology in school curricula an infringement upon the secular nature of state education, given the prominence of that point of view – and the prominent Muslim
involvement – in the recent 1 Million March 4 Children in that country.
A clarification here: Women’s Cooee does not share Gaza Dad’s viewpoint beyond his
opposition to gender-identity ideology. In particular, we don’t regard LGBTQ as a
homogeneous bloc – like LGB Alliance Australia, we see LGB and TQ as distinct
communities facing different and potentially conflicting challenges. We agree with
Women’s Declaration International that there is no clash between LGB rights and women’s
rights. We support lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in their struggle for recognition of the
validity of their sex-based sexual orientations (and we deplore the recent online abuse
Karvelas herself has been subjected to as a lesbian). Also, we wouldn’t agree with Gaza Dad
that gender-identity ideology is a ‘leftist’ agenda: true left-wing positions support women’s
rights. He’s correct, though, in the sense that most left-wing parties are currently captured by
this totally regressive doctrine. Unfortunately.
Finally: My kitchen radio is tuned to ABC Classic, not RN, so I didn’t hear the Gaza Dad
interview when it was broadcast on 10 November. I was alerted to its existence through a
piece Gerard Henderson wrote for Media Watch Dog, ‘Patricia Karvelas lets a non-Christian
critic of the LGBTQI+ cause go unchallenged’. Rubbish, Gerard! She didn’t let Gaza Dad go
unchallenged at all. It’s just that she couldn’t get her challenges to stick. If you feel the urge
to indulge in obscure insinuations and fanciful hypotheticals about an ABC journo (‘How
then to explain … Just imagine …’), get your facts straight first. Shame, Gerard, shame!