Once, genuinely stupid protest was the domain of the Right. Ultra-conservatives outshot their soft-centrist foes by 10 to one with demands to shut down mosques and universities lest they manufacture thought and worship. But this year, Left and Right met between the trenches to perform a synchronised Culture War Dance that might be distressing were it not quite so poorly performed.
Nowhere better was this pas de deux of Right with Wrong Liberalism seen than in our first nominee ...
10. The Protest Against the Telecast of Lingerie Football
Led by Collective Shout, an organisation founded by Melinda Tankard Reist and whose stated aim is to end "sexploitation" (its covert goal is to make up silly words), this campaign began life as a petition and ended it in some of the worst op-ed
of the year. "Don’t pretend this is a victory for women’s sport
", said Fairfax to its over-worked strawman.
No one was "pretending" that a game played by comely young women in brief outfits was a victory. But victory -- and its close cousin "empowerment" -- is the goal of the game of this kind of thinking, which fixates on meaningless battles. If we erase all evidence of sexism -- and no reasonable person could argue that the league was anything but sexist -- then we have "won". Won the battle, that is, against seeing evidence of sexism as it is practised by the working class; not the war.
All we have "won" is the right already enshrined to show revulsion for bad taste; to despise the page-three girl while paying homage to her "makeup-free
" sister; to cover female genitals from view except when they belong to undergraduates of Australia’s most storied university
; to stop women in hotpants from playing gridiron for money on TV while applauding the hotpants of the amateur Roller Derby league.
We have won the right to continue the work of the Christian Temperance Ladies, who are, it must be noted, responsible in this nation for women’s suffrage
but also our next contender.
9. The Petition for Pimp Prevention
Another shout-out to Collective Shout for believing in Scott Morrison.