Features Australia

SOS for SGMs

26 May 2018

9:00 AM

26 May 2018

9:00 AM

If you were trapped at an upper window of a burning building and a fireman appeared at the top of a ladder to save you, or were marooned on a roof in a flood or being dug out of the wreckage of an earthquake, would you (a) scramble to the safe arms of your rescuer or (b) question him before doing so, to make sure his attitudes and opinions were consistent with your own, to avoid the risk of feeling even more threatened by ‘prejudice’ than you were by the disaster he was trying to save you from?

If the answer is (b) you’ll understand the terrible dilemma that faces ‘non-straight’ folk during a ‘humanitarian response’ to a disaster. It seems that their particular sensibilities are ignored during, before and after emergencies; gays etc. are just rescued (with luck) like anyone else. As British ‘experts’ put it in Disaster Risk Reduction Good Practice (2015), relief agencies ‘do not, at present, consider the needs and capacities of LGBT people in their disaster planning, or identify them as a specific audience for preparedness advice.’

Well we can’t have that, can we? Or as a local organisation called Edge Effect says on its website, ‘We read this and thought, that’s not good enough.’ One wonders whether they also read it and thought, ‘There’s money in this.’ For just when it seemed that with gay marriage and gender-free passports and all the dreary rest of it the LGBTIQZXY brigade had sucked up enough publicity and public funds, along comes Edge Effect peddling this new take on victimhood, that there’s risk in rescue. You’ve got to hand it to them for inventiveness. They’ve even invented a substitute for those ever-more-stretched sets of initials: SGM, for ‘sexual and gender minorities’.

And just what are these specific SGM ‘needs’ so thoughtlessly disregarded by relief agencies? The website is vague but a few clues are given in Down by the River, a 50-page publication paid for by you through Australian Aid, which gives Edge Effect’s on-the-spot verdict on the relief effort in Fiji after tropical cyclone Winston in 2016. Naturally the ‘project team’ found prejudice against SGMs, but it came from the complainants’ own families and communities. One ‘young gay man’ was ‘forced to climb a coconut tree that his father then threatened to cut down unless he (the son presumably) recanted being gay’. Some reported being ‘blamed’ for the cyclone as ‘God’s punishment’, which is unsurprising given – witness Israel Folau – that many Pacific islanders consider homosexuality sinful. Village attitudes to SGMs are revealed as much what they were in Australian suburbs before the gay movement insinuated itself as the éminence grise of national social policy. (One wonders in passing to what extent ‘awareness’ of ‘diversity’ in traditionally Christian Pacific societies is not spontaneous but has been implanted by Australian and other government-funded ‘gender’ crusaders under the guise of ‘aid’.)

I could find no documentation of prejudice among the brave souls who risk their lives in disaster relief, or of dissatisfaction among the rescued. Even so, the former should not expect to be feted as heroes, since in Edge Effect’s opinion they are subject to ‘the limitations and critiques of the international development and humanitarian sectors, and it’s (sic) past and present neo-colonial and neo-liberal undercurrents.’ I suppose that means, if it means anything, that they have a conventional belief in helping those in need without distinction. That’s not enough for Edge Effect, which, while working ‘within this system’, also intends ‘to challenge oppression’. Disaster rescuers would seem to be pretty low on any world list of oppressors – try Iran or Hamas – but in identity politics oppression is where you look for it.

Semi-literate verbiage, emblematic of what nowadays passes for serious research, fills the website. ‘We work toward a world in which sexual and gender minorities… help transform thinking on what people and society can be.’ An ambitious goal indeed, the kind of pious intention that floats heavenward in clouds of hot air from the United Nations or the World Bank. Not that Edge Effect is in their global league, being for some reason headquartered in the wilds of Buxton, Victoria (pop. 233). As you might expect, this is ‘on the land of the Taungurung People of the Kulin Nation’: ‘Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land,’ gurgles the website. Will it? Or is this just the usual empty platitude to give whites a cost-free sense of how caring they are? We’d soon find out if the Taungurongs asked for their land back.

The notion that the ‘gender-diverse’ are a distinct class needing separate consideration is part of a stratagem to subvert our understanding that human sexuality is either male or female by ascribing equal legitimacy to the artificial ‘gender identities’ thought up by the useful idiots toiling away to implement the grand Marxist design of dismantling Western civilisation. Swinging a wrecker’s ball at our society’s hitherto shared assumptions is crucial to this. One such assumption is that men and women at the basic level of shelter, food and water are equal in their needs. Oh no. Why, SGMs might feel ‘excluded’ by the ‘heteronormative’ majority in the lifeboat or the temporary camp. Vegans need their meal preferences respected as much in emergency rations as on a restaurant menu. Genderqueers might recoil from being bandaged by a ‘binary’ doctor.

A lot of this tripe originates from hard-core feminists. For some reason – envy, frustration, unattractiveness to men? – feminists loathe the society that nurtured them and will seize any ‘victim group’ they can as a tool to chip away at its moral and practical foundations, which of course are defined as ‘patriarchy’. Perhaps that is one reason women are over-represented in the ‘diversity’ industry – yes, even the self-appointed ‘Diversity Council Australia’, which describes its management as ‘representative of many diversity dimensions including age, cultural diversity, disability, gender, Indigenous and LGBTIQ+’, has twelve females and two men in its ‘outstanding team’. Talk about an irony bypass.

Even so, the Diversity Council is a model of gender balance compared with Edge Effect, where the four ‘Our People’ on its website include no men at all, unless you count the co-founder, who has ‘transitioned’ into womanhood. She has been a ‘Youth Engagement Adviser’ with Oxfam Australia, which possibly explains that dubious body’s presence among Edge Effect’s ‘Our Partners’. Let’s hope she’s asked her erstwhile employer exactly what it means by ‘partners’, given the sense in which Oxfam’s bringers of relief to Haiti understood that term.

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