If you haven’t heard of neo-masculinism before, I wouldn’t bother to look it up. I was pretty sure someone was winding me up when I first heard about it. (My computer spell check doesn’t even believe it is a word and thinks I have made a spelling mistake). It seems to be an anonymous group of men who have some ongoing issues from being rejected by too many girls in high school. As a result, they have been drawn to a misogynistic cult founded by a man whose main self-proclaimed area of authority/expertise is picking up women.
If I was a politician, especially one who grandstands about family values all the time, I would not be quoting the founder of the neo-masculinist cult to support anything I said. But obviously (and thankfully) myself and the flamboyant posterboy for the far right, Corey Bernardi, rarely think in the same way. Last week Bernardi chose to share a post by Daryush Valizadeh attacking 'Social Justice Warriors.'
In the face of pretty widespread derision, Bernardi eventually seemed to realise he could be seen to be endorsing someone that the immigration minister had said would not be granted a Australian Visa due to his public statements of misogyny and sexual violence. Still, ever the optimist, he tried to put a minimalist spin on it saying that sharing one post does not equate to agreeing with all of the author’s views. This is indeed true and I have to agree he is only guilty of stupidity in this case- I don’t really think he endorses Valizadeh’s other views or that this action makes him any more of a far right throwback than he already was- you don’t hear many leaders deliberately quoting other widely despised figures. If it was a particularly well-written piece of literature, his defence might have been stronger too.
But it is not. It is a long and rambling collection of statements and accusations against those with progressive views offering little evidence for its statements. I doubt Bernardi even read it, but he won’t admit that. He will just hope that enough voters in his electorate think proud bigotry is a more important trait in a senator than having any kind of attention to detail.
Sadly that will probably work for him too.