WHY DOESN’T JULIA THINK LIKE ME?
Julia Gillard is a right bloody pest.
According to a number of current polls, roughly 60 percent of Australians, including me, think that same-sex marriage should be legalised.
Protestors in support of same-sex marriage in Sydney in May. Photo via ABC News.
So why does the Prime Minister think differently? After all, she’s an atheist, she’s unmarried and she’s a member of the Left. Logic would dictate that she’d support same-sex marriage as well.
Of course, when I say “logic” what I really mean is “my stereotype of people like her”.
Perhaps the problem doesn’t lie in Gillard’s behaviour but our own: we have pegged her as a certain type of person and she has confounded us by behaving differently.
It’s a phenomenon called ‘para-social interaction’ which UniSA researcher Janet Pretsell has been studying for years.
Janet writes, “‘Relationships’ formed between observers and the celebrities they watch are referred to as ‘para-social interaction’, which is an extension of normal social cognition that specifically involves the use of imagination.”
Basically, we extrapolate. We see certain people regularly on television and in the newspapers and we build up assumptions of them based on that. From there, it’s a simple hop, skip and jump to being able to predict how they will think and act.
But then, to misquote an old song, Gillard went and spoilt it all by doing something crazy like acting three-dimensional.
If only she was a cardboard cut-out politician like Tony “No To Everything” Abbott, we’d be able to confidently predict all that she would say and do. Because we’ve got Tony all sorted out as well, right?
To be clear, I’m not arguing against marriage equality, nor am I defending Gillard’s position on it. But I am defending her ability to think cogently and independently.
Here’s a few of the arguments debunked:
Calling heterosexual marriage a tradition is solely a religious argument. It is therefore illogical and disingenuous for an atheist to support it.
For a start, ‘church’ and ‘tradition’ are not interchangeable words and our relationship with religion is far more complex than simply believing or non-believing. Custom, belonging, habit, history and many other factors are involved. There are people who get married both in and out of churches who would argue that heterosexual marriage is traditional. Some of them would identify as religious, some would not.
Perhaps this is what the PM is referring to when she says she respects marriage as a tradition.
You may profoundly disagree with her but that doesn’t mean her reasoning lacks coherence or authenticity. Irrationality is not the same thing as having a different opinion to you. Neither does her atheism disqualify her respecting religion, tradition or any mix of the two.
Gillard secretly supports same sex marriage, she’s just saying the opposite to appease conservative voters.
If that was true, she would have ditched the carbon tax a long time ago. She would have also given up on the mining tax, which took a long time to gain public support. And she would have revoked the decision to allow migrants to fill skills shortages in mines, given that the powerful union leader Paul Howes never misses an opportunity to berate her for it.
|Page 1 of 2||next >>|