Why I’m UnAustralian

Being unAustralian is an epithet often levelled at people who don’t tow the line or aren’t politically correct.

English: Orthographic map of Australia centere...

English: Orthographic map of Australia centered at 26.75° S, 133.25° E. Official territory. Claimed territories. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In that case I better explain myself.

  • I believe in that Australia is a welcoming country where people of all races, colours and creeds put aside their differences to live as harmoniously as they can. Despite the stories we hear, harmony happens more often than not.
  • I believe that Australia’s strengths lie in the diversity of its people. Only in Australia can a diverse company supply interpreters at short notice!
  • I believe that Australia should help people from other countries as well as our own including the Aboriginals. As an immigrant country it is obvious to support those who emigrate here however they got here as well as those who were here first.
  • I believe too that the fortunate should help the less fortunate. Australia has enough riches and resources (even now when we have a AAA+ Credit Rating) to assist the disabled, children with learning difficulties, etc, etc. We’ve done it in the past!
  • I believe too that we should manage our resources from a long-term view (and sustainably so). After all as colonists and original owners of the land we had to!

Apologies in advance to those who believe that being Australian means being:

  • monocultural.
  • racist.
  • discriminating by religion, race or sexual orientation.
  • favouring the rich over the poor.
  • depleting our resources in the short term unsustainably.
  • being uncharitable to the unfortunate, original land owners and immigrants.

Such things make a small country smaller!

Just Stick to the Stereotype And Everything Will Be Fine (Sorry Heidi Victoria)

Recently here was a twitstorm over Heidi Victoria (the Victorian Minister for Women’s Affairs (Yes that is her real name!)) who made some comments  assuming that only women were nurturers.

As a man I took some offence and added my two cent’s worth to the discussion with the following:

Capture

Now it looks like I‘m a feminist. Or a nurturer. Or that I’m not sexist or racist, etc.

Nope! Not even close! That doesn’t even begin to describe my problem.

I just don’t fit the stereotype. Any stereotype! And stereotypes don’t work for me. At all. Never have. Here’s why!

I studied a subject that dealt with diversity in training. One of the topics was the characteristics of different nationalities and cultures.

My research led me to the Globe Project and the work of Hofstede  which categorised certain cultures as having certain characteristics. An example is that in general Australians are mostly individualistic.

I didn’t like that too much. It seemed to categorise people into little matchboxes…

 

Stereotype of a Stereotype

Stereotype of a Stereotype (Photo credit: El Negro Magnifico)

And then something happened that challenged what I had learned.

At that time I was working with a woman from China who was studying to be a counsellor. 

She knew I had some public speaking experience and asked for help with a presentation. And by the way, she didn’t need much help! And her presentation rocked!

But while helping her, I told her what I  was studying.

Then she let slip what she loved most about Australia. She could speak up and ask questions and express opinions!

Which completely went against the expected cultural stereotype!. But she then told me she was brought up to be compliant (much like the stereotype).

But I looked at myself. I was brought up to be compliant (in the Australian individualistic culture!).

I now had a paradox.

I turned to a book called Cultural Intelligence and I got it! Check out the culture and then listen to the individual. Or as the book stated as a philosophy: Be mindful around people of other cultures!

Or in other words stereotypes don’t really work. At best they’re a guide. 

So now I can relax!

And finally, it means that men can be nurturers too! Sorry Heidi!