Diversity according to whiteness is not about who should occupy the spaces of public discourse, so much as it is about who should have the power to decide who occupies the spaces of public discourse.
The Southern Man advert is aiming to speak to a specific audience of beer drinkers, assumed by Speight's to be men. Other beer companies have played with similar received notions of masculinity. Tui, another New Zealand beer company, have run adverts where rural ‘blokes’ who run out of gas for the BBQ decide to power it from the farts of a nearby cow. This is seen as a representation of the much lauded ‘Kiwi ingenuity’. Another example of the stoic, terse masculinity of what advertising companies imagine farmers to be is the advert Toyota ran in 1989 that sees a series of farm accidents with the farmer responding ‘bugger’ after each of these.
Growing up in middle class Australia, concepts of tolerance, respect, and the abstract celebration of diversity were part and parcel of my family’s commitment to multiculturalism as a social principle. People were different – and that was A Good Thing. After all, if we were all the same it would be well, pretty boring. In … Continue reading Experiencing Multiculturalism: When is Diversity, Diverse?