Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Confessions of a SWAGMan

I have a confession to make.  I'm a SWAGMan. 

No, that doesn't mean that I'm like the guy in the song "Waltzing Matilda".  

SWAGMan (plural:  SWAGMen) stands for "Straight, White, Anglo, Gentile, Male".  I've just coined this term.  I coined it today, in fact.  I hope you like it.  Please use it.  (If you credit me for it, even better!)

Now, I don't want to see being a SWAGMan as a source of either pride or of shame.  I didn't choose to be born a SWAGMan.  It just happened that way.

Now, there are some good SWAGMen and some bad ones.  As it is with any other group in the community, we SWAGMen spend a lot of time apologising for our own bad apples, rather than celebrating the achievements of more positive members of the SWAGMan community.  I personally don't feel I have the right to claim credit for the achievements of such noted SWAGMen as Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln, and Stephen Hawking, but neither do I want to be automatically associated with the crimes, sins, misdemeanours, and general inanities ever committed by any person who happens to be a SWAGMan.   (Yes, I know that Donald Trump, Mark Latham, Peter Dutton, and Franklin Graham are all SWAGMen, but so are Stephen Colbert, Bill Gates, and Justin Trudeau.)

I know that the social, political, and economic system of every English-speaking nation in the world is set up to maximise the comfort and ease of those of us who happen to be SWAGMen.  While I don't think I've personally ever tried to deliberately game this system, I know I've benefitted from this arrangement, as every other SWAGMan reading this article also has.  While I've been known to protest this unfairness, my protests haven't been as loud, as direct, or as obnoxious as they could have been.

But, speaking now to my fellow-SWAGMen, I think we need to take a good, hard look at ourselves, guys.  Our sense of universal SWAGMan entitlement is wearing a bit thin with our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and family members who don't happen to be SWAGMen. 

Now look, chaps, we can no longer assume that, when the shortlist for a job includes a mediocre SWAGMan and a few top quality applicants who aren't SWAGMen, the job will always go to the mediocre SWAGMan.  (And before you protest that this isn't fair, believe me, dudes, it is fair.  And it only seems unfair to you if you're a SWAGMan who only listens to the opinions of other SWAGMen.)

And one more thing, those of us who are SWAGMen really need to stop whining about this as if SWAGMen are being treated unfairly when people who aren't SWAGMen are treated a bit more fairly than they were before.  We look seriously ridiculous whenever we whine about SWAGMen being an endangered species.

The game is up, blokes.  The fat lady is singing.  And the song isn't "Waltzing Matilda".

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