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Is it time for corporations to drop ‘woke’ inclusion policies?

 

ABC studio entrance
Image: iStock

The ABC has faced criticism for surveys that asked about employees’ gender identity, ethnicity and sexuality.

*Facepalm*.

First, why do the need to know? I mean asking about someone’s sexuality or gender identity? I have real issues with that. LGBTQ+ should be safe to come out if and when they feel comfortable. They shouldn’t be put on the spot like that.

This is just the latest of corporate ‘virtual signalling’. At worst, it may achieve the exact opposite of what they intended.

Corporations should learn from the Rugby Australia fiasco

(This is the LAST time I am ever writing about this).

The recently settled legal feud between Rugby Australia and former Wallabies player, Israel Folau shows how ‘inclusion’ policies can backfire.

You’ve probably heard the story a zillion times (I know I have), but for those who haven’t, here’s the quick  rundown.

Folau posted a paraphrase (NOT A QUOTE), of  a modern (and sometimes contested) translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 on Instagram. It’s commonly used by the Religious Right in the U.S. It’s used to condemn LGBTQ+ people.

Rugby Australia CEO, Raelene Castle then sacked the Wallabies player for an (alleged) breach of contract.

I wish she hadn’t. For months and months, journalists, particularly from Newscorp have obsessively defended Folau and attacked Castle. They painted Folau as a victim of discrimination because of his Christianity. LGBTQ+ people and their so – called allies have been made to look like the ones discriminating.

To add to the shit show, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (who’s gay and was vocal for same – sex marriage), has been accused of getting in Castle’s ear, creating pressure on her to sack Folau (Qantas is a key RA sponsor).

The Australian Christian Lobby has played the victim card for Folau. After Folau lost his GoFundMe page, the ACL Managing Director, Martyn Isles set his own donations page for Folau’s case. It gained A$2.2 million.

You read that right. A$2.2 million was raised for multi – millionaire ex Rugby Union. All because of what RA did.

 

Just this week, the Folaus (Israel and his wife Maria) and RA made a settlement outside court and apologies have been made. Israel Folau has received a payout, although the exact amount is not known to the public.

 

This has definitely blown up in Castle’s face. What’s more, it hasn’t done anything to further LGBTQ+ rights. In fact, it’s made conservatives dig their heels in, demanding ‘religious freedom’.

Virtue signalling does not encourage empathy

People are getting sick of political correctness. Many straight people don’t see why LGBTQ+ people need extra protection, more ‘rights’, etc. And why should they? Think about it. Straight people don’t have worry about coming out or have their identities questioned or demonised.

Generally, straight people of faith don’t have to struggle to find a community that is going to accept them for who they are.

Straight people are the majority who don’t have to think about these things (and more). I think that’s why many get frustrated for having LGBTQ+ issues ‘shoved down their throats’ all the time.

Better way to foster inclusion

Keep it simple. Foster a workplace culture of respect. Have policies that says that abuse is not going to be accepted, period.

i think it’s time corporations stop singling minorities out. Everyone is tired of it. Everyone should stick with their job description: Rugby Australia, focus on Rugby, Qantas, focus on getting people from A to B, etc. Leave LGBTQ+ protests to Mardi Gras.

 

What are your thoughts on the Israel Folau/ Rugby Australia saga? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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By Sara Harnetty

I'm a student. Interested in current events, music and various issues.

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