Posted on: 10/09/2015

Comment: Bindi Irwin is no "role model"

The mother of idiots, is always pregnant. So an Italian proverb goes. Its funny but perhaps not particularly true that the real world gives life to stupid people every minute. Its the cultural world thats really at fault, with its habit of midwifing stupid ideas. Like that which has routinely appeared for the last year which suggests that Bindi Irwin is a "great role model". This is not to disparage the young Instagram star and fan of radical population control. Irwin seems lovely and only has the best intentions when she, still a lethally young person, suggested that her gender both start dressing more modestly and stop having so many damn babies. That Irwin makes naive moral statements is not her fault but that of a culture, and of a family, that permits them to be broadcast. But it is to disparage those who make the claim that Irwin is a "great role model". For whom, precisely? All those other female children brought up in a celebrity zoo? Irwin seems a very nice youngster, but she is otherwise only remarkable for inherited fame and selfies. And so, the moral lessons to her age-mates can only be "make sure you are born rich" and "get a lot of people to look at you". Surely it is a silly idea to cause your child regret that they were born to modest wealth and hope that they be valued for their selfies. If one is a parent seeking a "role model" for their female issue, one, surely need look no further than Bindis age-mate, Malala Yousafzai. Of course, the most responsible parenting manuals may not suggest resistance in the face of an Islamist militia but, otherwise, everything Malala has been raised to do is very sensible. Start nagging your daughter "Why dont you oppose neo-global colonisation like little Malala does?" Even if you were pregnant with an idiot, by these means, you might be able to reverse the impediment. Bindi as "role model", and one whose ideas for good governance are not a scholarly patch on Malalas, will just make matters worse.