Flat White

In the navy, you can do gender studies; in the navy, learn ’bout feminist theories…

28 May 2020

5:45 PM

28 May 2020

5:45 PM

The Australian Defence Force is calling for military personnel to go on a $12,000 Gender Peace and Security course … The Royal Australian Navy sent a signal last week calling for applications to the course which “aims to enhance understanding of the gendered politics of conflict, national security and peacebuilding.” It said it would “provide training on the facilitation of women’s participation as agents of peacebuilding and prevention of conflict, violent extremism and insecurity.” The … course will draw upon “feminist theorising” to help students develop policies that are “gender sensitive, gender inclusive and gender responsive”.

The Daily Telegraph, May 27, 2020.

“Ah, Mr Hornblower, back from shore leave?

“Yes Sir, I mean, no. Sir, it wasn’t leave. A course, Sir, at Monash University.”

“Monash? Didn’t know they taught naval strategy at Monash. Weapons update, was it ?”

“Feminist theorising, Sir, to enable Navy personnel to become more gender sensitive, gender inclusive and gender responsive.”

“Good God man! What are you talking about? I thought it was a joint services weaponry update.”


“No sir, um, a course aimed to enhance understanding of the gendered politics of conflict, national security and peacebuilding.”

“Peacebuilding? Good heavens, Hornblower, this is the Navy. Our job is to engage the enemy, keep Australia safe from foreign threat.”

“We were told we needed to integrate a gender perspective into core activities, Sir.”

“Gender perspectives — what does that mean, man, just speak English.”

“Don’t actually know, er, Sir. Must have dropped off for a few minutes when they were going on about that. Saw my cousin Emily in Melbourne. We wanted to go out to a nice little place in South Yarra for dinner but because of the lockdo…”

“Yes, yes Mr Hornblower, but about this, what was it, feminising theory?”

“Feminist theorising, Sir. Can’t actually say what it means, not in so many words.”

“I will lodge the strongest possible protests with the Admiralty — objections to this kind of taxpayer-funded rort. Have the cabin boy set up the typewriter in the officers’ mess, Hornblower.”

“He’s been replaced, Sir. No more cabin boys on any ship of the line. They’re all cabin girls now, Sir. Or genderfluid.”

“Genderfluid? Great Neptune’s trident, Hornblower! Do you think it’s time to haul down the colours and surrender quietly?”

Illustration: Casablanca Records.

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