There are few benefits to being Australia’s least popular man; however former leader of the Australian Labor Party, Mark Latham, has found a silver lining to this particularly dark cloud. Long-time enemy of the right, since leaving politics Latham has published a number of attacks on both sides of politics and aired dirty laundry of his former party. Having no friends left he is now free to speak the most unpopular of truths.
From his unassailable position of a social and political outcast Latham is free to criticize the most holy of sacred cows, that paragon of womanhood, Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, and feminist ideology.
Who but the most unlovable of Australians would feel comfortable to raise the absurdity of using the death of a male child to campaign to prevent violence against adult women? Who else could mention the distasteful commercialization of tragedy, a mother cashing in on the death of her son with a lucrative contract with an entertainment company? And only the most unpopular of men could weather the repercussions from defending men as a class. Saying that most men are not a danger to women is too taboo for anyone in good standing in the community to risk.
As well as being free to truthfully speak about these issues, being one of the most hated political figures of our time has enabled Mark Latham, a man, to do the unthinkable and voice suggestions on how family violence can be better addressed. Surprisingly current methods, which target non-violent men, and ask them to affirm that they’ve stopped beating their wives, may not actually make anyone safer. Mark proposes that rather than starting from a place of general androphobia and then massaging statistics to slander all men, we could instead use data to actually identify, then rehabilitate or remove those few individuals who are responsible for the majority of family violence.
Naturally fearing that effective solutions to family violence may be discovered, feminist organizations, acting in defence of their largest revenue source were quick to attack. However, as they have seen, dragging the name “Mark Latham” through the mud just isn’t effective. He was already wallowing in it.
We suspect that they’ll next try unleashing the white knights. But as everyone knows, Mark is partial to a bit of biffo and would probably relish the discourse being taken down to that level.
So while no one can love him, it’s hard to deny that Mark Latham, a man no one would associate with willingly, still has his uses.