Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen shows gay abandon to anti-homophobia bullying programs, says it’s more important to divert the funding to needy Jewish schools.
Australia’s leading expert on bullying, Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, son of the late governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen, has just published the findings of his latest research. He’s found that an effective way to counter the problem of anti-semitic bullying is to divert funding away from anti-homophobia bullying programs.
Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen says he’s sorry for the little gay boys and girls who are bashed on a daily basis at school, enduring routine taunts of “poof” and “dyke”. However he knows that it’s more important that little Jewish boys and girls are protected and has cleared his conscience for suggesting that programs like the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria be disbanded, with the funding diverted to the needy Jewish community, with poor funding options and barely adequate safety at their schools.
Cowen’s pièce de résistance from his research is the finding that the problem of homosexual bullying will eventually go away because, he says, if the gay boys and girls are bullied sufficently, they’ll eventually kill themselves due to self-loathing and depression. He sees this as a win-win situation.
[This article was first published in 2012 however in correcting a broken link it has has somehow acquired a publication date of 2014]
The AFL Players Association spoke out against homophobia in sport. Then the Western Bulldog’s Jason Akermanis made a contentious statement that gay sportsmen should not come out because it wouldn’t be safe for them. Thus ensued a lot of discussion in the mainstream and GLBT media regarding gay men and sport (start here).
It’s been said that the first person to come out will be in the media spotlight and there will be a lot of money to be made out of the story. Indeed.
At the same time as all of this speculation and discussion, we have in our midst two gay / gay friendly rugby teams – the Sydney Convicts and Melbourne Chargers. The relevance of this is that it shows gay men can play sport and they can play “a man’s game”.
I contend by corollary that if some gay men can play rugby, one form of football, then some gay men can also play any other form of football, such as soccer or AFL football. The rules, skills and equipment differ, but overall they’re still games of strategy, discipline, teamwork, brute force and man on man.
Based on the commonality of rugby and AFL football, I can envisage a situation where there would be some talented gay men in the community who could be recruited into a program to develop their skills sufficiently to bring them to a junior or senior competition level. Admittedly I am fairly naive on the politics and dealings of the footy world but in its simplicity it makes sense to me.
Rather than out the closeted gay men in AFL, the easier path would be to recruit gay men into existing AFL clubs. This would have the bonus of helping make the environment comfortable enough for closeted players to consider coming out. Bring the best men in to play the game, and make the game a friendlier and safer place for all. Everyone’s a winner.
Congratulations to everyone who supported this history-making policy change, and most especially the dedicated team lead by Roy Freeman from Dayenu.
It is long overdue for the entire Jewish community to understand that same-sex attraction and gender-identity variation is normal and valid, just like being left-handed. There is no room for intolerance of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or who simply do not conform to heterosexual or conventional male/female stereotypes. The Jewish community must move with the times and learn that these are normal, acceptable human behaviours. The cost of not doing this will continue to be counted in human lives.
* 2010 copy of policy statement on Dayenu archives here.