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The Ad Banned In Australia

That public service announcement is too hot to be broadcast on Australian TV: [1]

FreeTV Australia, the industry group which represents the commercial free-to-air networks, earlier this week informed Dads4Kids that its annual Father’s Day ad, this year featuring a father singing his daughter a lullaby, would not be broadcast as it “likely contained political matter”.

According to The Weekend Australian, which first reported the story, FreeTV’s lawyers told the group that the ad had been “brought to our attention by the networks as potentially containing political matter”, with legal advice recommending the ad be changed to include a political “authorisation tag”.

But it’s a sweet little clip encouraging dads, pointing out that they play an important role in their children’s lives. That’s it. These ads have been run for free on broadcast TV channels in Australia, in the run-up to Father’s Day. But now, with gay marriage a touchy political issue, this has happened. The spokesman for the non-profit sponsoring the ads had this to say for the story:

“These television commercials are simply a gentle encouragement to Australian dads, and an affirmation that they are an important figure in the lives of their children,” spokesman Ben Pratt said.

“The adverts have been enthusiastically accepted and many TV stations play them all year long as a community service. They are always released in the lead up to Father’s Day. Unfortunately what is a simple Father’s Day message has now become a ‘political’ statement.

“It is extraordinary that this is where we have come to as a country; we can no longer celebrate Father­’s Day without being forced to look at it through the lens of the same-sex marriage debate. It’s a tragedy that a political motive is now implied in any mention of fatherhood. Not everything is about same-sex marriage.”

Not everything is about same-sex marriage. Oh, you poor naive man. Don’t you know that everything is always about LGBTs, and how every tradition and every custom must be discarded or reconfigured to suit them and their allies?

Progressives. They won’t stop until they’ve torn it all down. I’m so sick of this bullying.

UPDATE: A reader e-mails:

I think you underestimate, both in the posts and in the comments, the degree to which fatherhood, and the celebration of fatherhood really is political and really is anti-gay.

First, we know God is the Father from whom every family on earth is named. To celebrate strong, compassionate fatherhood is to celebrate, indirectly, the God progressives are determined to deny.

Second, it is a cornerstone of classical political thought that political structures are built upon the structure of the family. Celebrating fatherhood celebrates the idea of an authoritative judgment (not just power, a la Foucault). It celebrates political institutions rooted in nature, not human fantasy. This is, naturally, offensive to those who object to nature, or object to being authoritatively judged.

And last, and most importantly, gays and lesbians cannot be fathers. Not in the normal course of nature, at least. No amount of supreme court legislation can fix that. It is a good they cannot have, will never have. And it is a good they desperately desire. To celebrate fatherhood is to celebrate heterosexual procreation. Of course it’s anti-gay. Anything natural is.

It’s absurd, of course, that fatherhood should be sacrificed and the altar of gay rights, but it’s precisely because fatherhood is so political that it has to be that way.

Thank you for your patience. I don’t think it’s a quibble. Fatherhood is, perhaps, the greatest political weapon we have. It isn’t (politically) safe, as the writer said, but it’s good.

73 Comments (Open | Close)

73 Comments To "The Ad Banned In Australia"

#1 Comment By MichaelGC On September 2, 2017 @ 9:37 pm

This discussion reminds me of an ad I saw within about the last half dozen years. By virtue of the wonders of Google and You Tube and of being able to remember a portion of the dialogue, that warm, cute ad can be found [2].

A father is shown practicing cheers with his little daughter. “The smallest moments can have the biggest impacts on a child’s life” the voice-over says, “take time to be a dad today.”

Forget about Oz and the law about political ads and the upcoming plebiscite on SSM. Given the climate, I wonder if that ad could be aired today in the US without causing controversy in that it violates the LGBT dogma that men and women are completely interchangeable, and that kids don’t need dads and they certainly don’t need moms, just any two people. In fact, I look for Father’s Day/Mother’s Day to come under attack as hate holidays needing to be abolished. There are already murmurings in that regard.

#2 Comment By Clyde Schechter On September 2, 2017 @ 10:19 pm

“Progressives. They won’t stop until they’ve torn it all down.”

That’s not helpful, Rod. It’s about as helpful as when the SJW fringe say “Conservative Christians; they’re just a bunch of homophobic bigots.”

If there is anything I have gleaned from my reading of TAC since I started several months back, it is that the Right is as heterogeneous as the Left and that, as one species of leftist, I share many values and policy preferences with some of the Right. And, Rod, you have seen that in my comments and those of other avowed leftists on TAC in general and on your blog in particular. (See, for an easy examplel, Brian above.)

I have also come to appreciate that even where I cannot agree, there is a sincere and worthy basis for the disagreement, one that does not impugn the motives of my adversaries.

One of the best features of your blog is that you are typically fair and open-minded in your dialog with your adversaries. This one statement was a big disappointment.

#3 Comment By Devinicus On September 2, 2017 @ 10:28 pm

Same-sex marriage is completing the eradication of the father which artificial reproductive technology began. Already in Australia, a child conceived by sperm-donor has no legal father. The father is not simply unknown or unrecorded as in a case of “single motherhood”. The father *does not exist* in the eyes of the law. He is a non-person.

In some parts of Australia now, biological fathers do not appear on birth certificates if a lesbian couple is involved with a sperm donor. Again, there are children being born today who have no fathers. Not no social fathers. No legal fathers.

In the eyes of the law, fathers are already superfluous. With same-sex marriage, the law will finally fully divorce itself from biology. In the eyes of the state, two women may now conceive and bear a child. Now that is a true miracle!

#4 Comment By MikeCA On September 2, 2017 @ 11:29 pm

Just catching up with a few of your posts and I quite enjoyed the one about how in “real ” life you’re a laid back dude who enjoys joie de vivre; I believe you and those posts are why I return here. But then there’s this piece… various posters have given you the politics on the ground and how the group sponsoring the ad is anti gay. It’s as if Focus on the Family or NOM were running the ad in the US during a referendum on marriage equality. The ad has to be seen in context with what’s happening at the moment in Oz.
Aussie politics are every bit as cynical as their American counterpart and this postal plebiscite is evidence. Well over a 100m$, non binding and doubtful if the pols even respect the results if the Yes side wins. NZ like Canada sorted this with no muss & fuss while Australia is determined to outdo the US in sheer bloody mindedness.

#5 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 3, 2017 @ 12:40 am

Rod,

Turnbull isn’t exactly a social liberal, he’s moderately conservative on immigration issues (which to me are a whole lot more important, in terms of society and culture, than gay marriage is).

#6 Comment By Bonnie On September 3, 2017 @ 3:44 am

Some comments here talk about an Australian “election” coming up. Wrong! What’s coming up is a voluntary vote on whether the marriage law (Commonwealth, not State) should be changed. The legality of the postal vote is being challenged in the High Court after a recalcitrant Senate blocked legislation for a compulsory plebesite. Guess who took the matter to the High Court! Our ABC, publicly funded to the tune of over A$1 billion, is in the vanguard of progressivism and free to air television is not far behind them. The priests of the new religion are as fanatical as the priests of the Spanish Inquisition. Of course, they are frightened of saying the “wrong” thing.

#7 Comment By Mia On September 3, 2017 @ 7:50 am

“Hatred of the good, normal and healthy is the mark of a decadent, declining, and dying culture, which is true now of most nations in the West, save for a couple, like Poland and Hungary and maybe Russia.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that it’s the former Soviet bloc countries that are the most resistant to the new Western Communist Revolution 2.0? They already had their time of insanity, their restrictions on freedom, and know how that worked out. They’ve been inoculated against it to some degree, while our people still live in fantasy land about what can happen when such forces are unleashed.

As for the commenter who said conservatives need to do their own Long March through institutions, I’m right there with you. However, I don’t think most conservatives have the personalty to actually do what that will take. We have too many people raised to be people pleasers, to rationalize bad behavior of a certain sort, to not rock the boat, to conform, to love authoritarianism or at least feel so in love with authorities that they can’t function in a situation where they are in dire need of criticizing them. It’s going to take a few more really big shocks before that reality sets in and they start doing the personal internal work needed to base any long term, under the radar activism on that the situation requires.

#8 Comment By Gosh Golly Gee Wow On September 3, 2017 @ 8:47 am

“That ad did NOT just promote fatherhood, it specifically was designed to promote fatherhood within a heterosexual marriage.”

Horrors! Good Lord, how can a civilized country like Australia have permitted this to happen?

… seriously, are you really so far gone that you don’t realize how stupid this sounds?

#9 Comment By KevinS On September 3, 2017 @ 3:12 pm

Dale McNamee writes, “I’m not surprised that an ad that portrays a normal family is villified by those committed to Satan and his perversion of the Imago Dei…”

Oh my, where to begin? I am not sure anyone has
“vilified” the ad. I actually think it is quite nice. Though I am gay, I was raised in such a family and in no way vilify it. But to pretend that the ad is completely apolitical in the current Australian context is nonsense. And do you think merely pointing this out indicates that one is “committed to Satan”? Get a grip on yourself, man…..

#10 Comment By BCZ On September 3, 2017 @ 3:55 pm

RD – you’ve got some factual errors. You’re forgiven… the media coverage on this has been terrible… but…

The real issue was new rulings against political promotion in ads. The content wasn’t the issue. It was the ‘link’ to the orgs website at the end which IS POLITICAL, and explicitly so.

They were invited to resubmit with the correct form and declined to do so.

[3]

#11 Comment By Potato On September 3, 2017 @ 5:27 pm

So much for all of the commenters using “how does SSM affects you” as an argument.
Last year father’s day celebrations were canceled in a pre-school close to where I live because the child of a lesbian couple attended there.

I still say SSM has not affected me. If for that or any other reason the schools decide to butt OUT of what should be a family celebration, they do so with my blessing. I’m tired of being force-fed Mothers Day, Fathers Day, etc.

Is procreation truly what makes a person a father? Or is fatherhood the love and commitment to raising a child over their lifetime in good times and bad? My wife and I are in the process of adoption. And I fully intend to be the father of any children we adopt. I will be their “real” father in every true sense of the word, despite not being their biological father. Generally speaking I agree with your other points, but not this one.

As I have observed before, religious conservatives have backed themselves into an obnoxious, anti-adoption stance. This is probably inadvertent, and they duck away from it when they can, but if you decide that every child deserves to be raised by his/her biological father and mother you find yourself insulting and excluding adoption simply by the application of logic. Adoption was a wonderful thing, remember, when it was being urged as an alternative to abortion, but no more I guess!

In fact, back in the allegedly hallowed past, very many children were raised by other people than their biological parents, for a whole variety of reasons starting with death and going through economics, extended families, the Puritan custom of sending young adolescents to be raised by strangers, and so on and so forth. But as these conservatives try to explain why it is an evil thing that gay or lesbian couples adopt children and give them stable homes, they find themselves caught in all sorts of absurdities.

Congratulations JaredK on your upcoming (adoptive) fatherhood! We have an adopted granddaughter who is the light of our family, and particularly the light of my son’s eyes, though he is not her biological father.

Anyone who disapproves, for reasons religious or otherwise, is cordially invited to keep that sentiment to themselves.

#12 Comment By Mark On September 3, 2017 @ 7:14 pm

I think those arguing that this is political in the current context of the plebiscite are correct in the smaller issue but seem to be unaware of the broader implications.

It definitely looks like the ad was designed, at some level, to speak indirectly to the current debate. And so, yes, we can say it is political. There’s the accuracy of judgement in the smaller issue.

But here’s the bigger issue. If SSM becomes law, then an advert that simply speaks positively about fathers in heterosexual relationships (the overwhelming majority) will be permanently political. If it’s political now in the context of a debate over SSM, it’ll be permanently political in a context where SSM is legal.

So, do we want a country where an advert speaking positively of heterosexual fatherhood is permanently political?

#13 Comment By oakinhouston On September 4, 2017 @ 1:23 am

“So, do we want a country where an advert speaking positively of heterosexual fatherhood is permanently political?”

What is the difference between plain fatherhood and heterosexual fatherhood?

#14 Comment By Northern observer On September 4, 2017 @ 5:58 am

Saldin. (I am sure you meant Saladin but Saldin is much funnier.). Tell it to the Pakistani, Chinese and African Christians or does your worship of “the god” demand that you be as dishonest as you are racist.
To the topic at hand the problem with the Islamic father is the he takes after the prophet (cbohn) he is tyrannical over his wife and family as the divider was over his followers and the God is over the creation which was good before his arrival. With the deceiver There is no law. There is no reason. There is just the will of the God doing as it wishes at every moment and all nature must bend to him or be destroyed.
The world can not be saved by your friends fists and blows no matter how ritually pure in your eyes. repent of your sins against God and Man and be redeemed of your sins in His name our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ

#15 Comment By MEOW On September 4, 2017 @ 7:00 am

If we believe in a bell shaped curve we may expect different parental relationships. A dad is required regardless. It is hard growing up without a dad. Australia does lack the Bill of Rights. Its many advances in political freedom are severely constrained by this deficit. Speech can be subjectively called “hate” and freedoms lost. The U.S. is exceptional with the First Amendment.

#16 Comment By Franklin Evans On September 4, 2017 @ 9:20 am

I’ve not read this thread, and I’m about to make a statement of a very personal nature. If anyone finds in it some for which to take offense, you are very welcome to respond in the clear. I’m very likely to not respond back.

We — and I use that pronoun very deliberately — have three children. All three were born at Pennsylvania Hospital, the third direct generation on my wife’s side to be born there. For every labor, we attended birthing classes together, my wife to be better prepared for what will and could happen during labor, myself to be prepared to do what I could do for her and the medical professionals caring for her, to the extent that I could; thing as simple as holding my wife’s hand, as directly impactful as helping her handle pain and stay focused on those aspects of labor she could “control”. All of that, by the way, was standard for the prevailing approach to labor during those times.

I was there for every moment of labor (except for toilet and brief food breaks), and witnessed the birth of our children. The end of this post is a story and testament to the care my wife received at that hospital.

I was committed to caring for our children after they were born. As they transitioned from breast feeding, I was the one to get up during the night to feed them, change their diapers and get them over whatever reasons they were awake and crying. In each case, there came a moment during the early phase of their becoming verbal, where they called me “mommy”.

I am their father. I cared for them in those ways a father can that overlapped with the ways society and culture expect to be done by the mother. When my child called me “mommy”, I didn’t correct them, I smiled and held them closer.

Being a father or mother is not about gender.

During her labor with our first child, my wife’s body was not in synch with the process, or so it was put. The “official” labor lasted 40 hours, and at the end her uterine muscles were spent and nearly flaccid. The obstetrician proceeded to attach a “cap” on the baby’s head, a replacement for forceps, held in place with suction. He attached the pressure hose, then a T handle to the top.

I was standing at my wife’s side next to her head. The OB was at the foot of the delivery table. With maybe 2 hours sleep in the previous 36, I was running on adrenaline, but watched him closely.

He attached the handle, then looked at me with a mischievous grin on his face. He grasped the small handle with both hands, put one foot up on the edge of the table, screwed up his face in mock expression of great physical effort, and slowly pulled our baby out.

If my knees hadn’t already been locked to keep me standing, I’d have collapsed on the floor in laughter. Even now, I can replay that vivid memory in my mind, and laugh out loud.

If there are still people out there who cannot accept the clear and sincere love for and commitment to children because the person expressing them doesn’t fit their “traditional” or “Biblical” view of gender roles, I rather sure I don’t want to be acquainted with them.

#17 Comment By Mark On September 4, 2017 @ 10:56 am

I watched the ad, then read the article. I was totally off base on what I assumed the “political issue” was on first watch. I saw the ultrasound images and assumed it was abortion rights. I also noted extreme whiteness (1 asian man, carefully cast as part of the military.) I completely missed that all the couples shots were of a man and a woman!

I was adopted. Around the time I was in junior high, my father admitted that he was gay and quit trying to make it (marriage) work. It was also an interracial marriage. I won’t delve further into all of that other than to note it all worked out in the end and folks shouldn’t make assumptions about the good or bad, motivations etc.

It did leave me with, I think, more insight into these issues than many people. Over time I came to the following conclusions, which give both progressives and conservatives things to be mad about:

1) In my experience, two parent households are better than a single parent one, for kids. But, a single parent household is better than one full of strife.

2) Children of either gender need good role models of both genders involved in their lives. Single parents and gay couples should bear this in mind.

3) Ethics is the primary factor in whether someone is a good role model. Ethics is independent of gender and sexual orientation.

#18 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On September 4, 2017 @ 5:19 pm

Potato

I still say SSM has not affected me. If for that or any other reason the schools decide to butt OUT of what should be a family celebration, they do so with my blessing. I’m tired of being force-fed Mothers Day, Fathers Day, etc.

I could agree with you if this was a general rule applying to all celebrations, but this wasn’t the case. And, on the other hand, are you sure you want a school sanitized of all traditional celebrations?

I don’t understand your reasoning about adoption. It’s obvious that adoptive fatherhood and motherhood are a very good thing, but they are less good than biological parenthood, in an absolute sense (that is, all other things being equal).
An adoptive child will always suffer because of adoption. However, adoption is better than abandonment and suffering is a part of human condition.
I’m telling you this as someone who had everything lined up in order to adopt a child when my wife finally got pregnant.

#19 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On September 4, 2017 @ 5:33 pm

Franklin Evans

Being a father or mother is not about gender

I honestly (not rhetorically) do not understand what you mean here. If you are trying to tell us that a man can be a good mother, this makes no sense at all to me. Fatherhood or motherhood are more than love for and commitment to children.
There are gender roles, and there is biology. Gender roles are a consequence of biology within a specific social environment, not “social constructs”. If one accepts this reality, the very concept of ‘traditional’ gender roles becomes almost meaningless)

#20 Comment By Mark On September 4, 2017 @ 7:18 pm

“What is the difference between plain fatherhood and heterosexual fatherhood?”

Earlier commentators in the thread had noted critically that all the portrayals of fatherhood in the advert were in heterosexual contexts, not same sex ones. My comments about heterosexual fatherhood were in dialogue with those earlier comments.

(not the Mark who has reflected on his own life story at 10:56am)

#21 Comment By Brendan from Oz On September 4, 2017 @ 8:29 pm

“Being a father or mother is not about gender.”

Were you the one on the table? How could you possibly witness what you did and think that being a father or mother is NOT about gender/sex?

You can’t do what she did. And isn’t it funny that a child’s natural reaction was to say “Mommy?”

I wish long life, good health and happiness to all of your family.

#22 Comment By Franklin Evans On September 5, 2017 @ 11:06 am

Giuseppe and Brendan:

Please read a bit “between the lines”. I wrote nothing about the extended points you both raise, and I hasten to add that they are important points and I completely agree with both of you about their importance. In my post, I made a clear reference, if only once, to the obvious things a man cannot do that a woman can, that being breast feeding. You are most welcome to assume that I extend that same view and awareness to all of the other biological distinctions of a childbearing woman.

As we discuss and debate parenting and gender, there are some abstract points to be made. They are, unfortunately, most easily expressed as analogies, so please bear with me as I try to avoid argument by analogy and attempt to make my points as direct to the issues as I can.

We live in a world where gender is no longer the first criterion. It is no longer a safe assumption that a truck driver is a man, a nurse is a woman, or that early childhood professionals are proxies for mothers. As personal examples and not attempts to draw analogies, we had a close connection to a man who, with his wife, ran the daycare center for our eldest child. He offered, without being asked, information about her behavior and development which we found both helpful and comforting (she was crying bordering on a tantrum every morning when I dropped her off). He was no proxy for a “mother”, but he took on the same responsibilities “traditionally” marked for the female parent, and from all the evidence fulfilled them very well.

Please join me in drawing a line between what a man structurally cannot do, and what a person of either gender can do. I can do everything for a child a woman can do except what is clearly “over” that line. I can be a role model for nurturing, for understanding and building relationships. I can show, using my mother and sisters as examples, that being a female means one can ignore what men tell one about gender “limitations” beyond that line, just by demonstrating that there is no obstacle to my fulfilling any role or responsibility men have claimed are the sole realm of women, and those and other examples prove the converse, that ability is the only criterion for fulfilling any role or responsibility men have claimed are the sole realm of men.

Make no mistake on my phrasing here: I am consciously refuting the precepts of patriarchy.

The exceptions prove the rule. There are few women in the military in combat roles because there are few women physically capable of them. Please further join me in stipulating that the radical elements who want to relax those requirements are being at best ridiculous. The military is the high-profile example I’ve chosen, there are many other such examples.

As for behavior role models, the question has been asked and poorly answered: is the behavior or trait specific to the gender, or is it ubiquitous to humans regardless of gender? Does the gender of the role model determine the success in conveying the behavior and its value?

I’m suggesting that you ask yourself those questions, and offer an honest answer. My answer is clear, I hope. Abstract values like strength, honor, respect and the like have no gender. There are other values on that list.

#23 Comment By Franklin Evans On September 5, 2017 @ 11:08 am

Brendan,

I’m 61 years old. My children are adults, and my eldest child has three children of her own. I wish you a more optimistic expectation of where some of us are progressing in our view of parenthood.