The Boys Who Cried “Patriotism”

By Sophie Gobbo

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Source: Twitter – @australian

We’re all aware of Australian “larrikinism” – but where do we draw the line?

If a group of “harmless” young men receive a nickname that is derived from the term used to describe an infamous group of Australian drug smugglers, and the nickname is then used by media publications on an international scale, you can almost guarantee that the coverage of the story will not represent the men, or their actions, in a very serious manner at all.

That is what can be said for the “Budgie Nine” or rather, the nine Australian men who received ample media coverage following their celebrations at the Grand Prix in Malaysia earlier in October of this year.

Shortly after the Australian F1 driver, Daniel Ricciardo, won the competition, the group of men stripped down to their tiny swimsuits emblazoned with the Malaysian flag and did a “shoey;” the act of drinking beer from a shoe (ABC, 2016). The men, who were reported to authorities and shortly taken into custody, spent four nights locked up before being discharged and cautioned by the Sepang Magistrates Court. Despite their arrest for “intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace,” (News.com, 2016) the men were released with a minor charge of public nuisance and no conviction was recorded against their names.

The nickname “Budgie Nine” was coined by tabloid newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, in reference to the “budgie smugglers” or “banana hammocks” worn by the men during the incident. It is also a satirical take on the infamous “Bali Nine” who are recognized as the nine people involved in a huge drug smuggling case from Indonesia to Australia in 2005.

As it would appear, the term was quickly adopted by multiple media outlets including The Australian, The Huffington Post, The ABC, The Sydney Morning Herald, and even Malaysia’s own New Straits Times. A general consensus of the reporting indicates that although the men came into serious legal matters, the hilarity of the situation is very evident.

The general representation of the nine men in question, as was concluded after the analysis of several articles both reporting and subjective in style, is that they are foolish and ignorant of other cultures, therefore, undeserving of the audience’s sympathy. While a minority of articles jumped to defend the men, claiming they obviously weren’t out to offend anyone (Traveller, 2016), several others affirm that their actions were so blatantly inappropriate and one SMH article in particular, goes on to explain that their privileged upbringing and wealthy dispositions are no excuse to behave so obnoxiously in another country.

After a brief overview of how the “budgie nine” were reported on in some “objective” news reports, a comparative analysis of two opinion pieces by Jacqueline Maley in the SMH and Brian McNair in The Conversation will be conducted, revealing the authors’ shared understanding of the notion that “boys will be boys” in both articles. Although, while McNair affirms this concept and is quick to sympathise with the “budgie nine,” Maley rejects the notion completely and calls for a new discourse in society reflecting “proper manhood.”

By starting with a news report from The Australian, we can begin to recognise where an implied judgement is littered around the more or less ‘objective’ report.

The story describes the nine men as “looking chastened as they left the court, with the magistrate’s warning ringing in their ears.” Immediately, this choice of wording connotes an interpretation of the men as feeling sorry for themselves and getting into trouble for their silly actions. The report also makes mention of one of the men, Tom Whitworth, passing out from dehydration,

“Whitworth, read a one-page public apology on behalf of the group to the court…Soon after reading it he collapsed in the dock with dehydration while still handcuffed to one of his co-accused.”

This intentional mention of Whitworth still being handcuffed to his co-accused while collapsing, almost makes the court hearing sound very “over dramatic” and even comic in a sense. The men are represented as seemingly helpless and this is further evident in the article when it mentions the boy’s fathers, who were present at the court hearing.

“Jack Walker’s father, John, said after the decision the group was happy to be leaving.

He said their four days in the lockup had been a big penalty to pay, and he had been surprised the matter had got that far…The fathers of three others were also in court — Nick Kelly’s father Tony, Tom Laslett’s father Craig and Brandon Stobbs’ father Patrick.”

It almost reads like the men are just “naughty school boys,” as Paul Barry worded it, that need saving from their fathers. Here then, it is clear that the general representation of the men favours a reading from the audience that suggests they are deserving of punishment for their silly act. Furthering this claim, a News.com article chose to quote the father of Jack Walker saying,

“They’re good boys” – John Walker

The father is then seen as the “parental figure” or even just the superior male attempting to help his kid out.

Interestingly enough, the author for The Australian article, Cindy Wockner, also published an almost identical story on News.com.au. Seeing as both of the publications are owned by News Corp, it’s not a shock to see the same story. However, while majority of the report is the same, she uses different wording in a number of places that slightly changes the men’s representation.

For instance, Wockner uses an alternative headline in the News.com.au article –

Budgie Nine to face Malaysian court over ‘intentional insult’ after stripping at Grand Prix”

 over the Australian’s

“’Budgie Nine’ escape conviction in Malaysian court over Grand Prix stunt.”

 Just the switch between “stunt” and “intentional insult” changes the tone completely because, the term “intentional insult,” is actually being quoted from what the men were almost charged for, which is Wockner’s way of keeping her judgement out of the story.

However, this is different in the Australian article where the use of the word “stunt”, which was also used in the Malaysian’s New Straits Times piece, connotes definitions of “attention seeking” and “failed prank.” Also Wockner, while still mentioning the presence of multiple fathers of the convicted men at the court hearing, mentions that they were actually there to “support” their sons. An interesting word choice that shifts the representation of the men from needing “daddy’s help” to just simply having their fathers moral support in a time of distress.

The Australian, predominantly right-wing in terms of their political alignment, also tweeted a cartoon sketch of the “budgie nine” (as pictured in the introduction) in prison. The sketch explicitly conveys the representation of the men as immature. This can be read through the suggestion of the men sniggering at the word “penal” as though they are not old enough to deal with the alternative and serious use of the term.

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Source: The Canberra Times

Now moving into the views articles, starting with Jacqueline Maley’s piece The Budgie Nine prove that Australian manhood is in desperate need of an update,” immediately it is expressed that Maley is in no way a fan of the “budgie nine,” through her initial sentiment,

“…might it be time to ask a question or two about the peculiarly Australian brand of homoerotic loutishness they inflicted on the people of Malaysia?”

Maley clearly assumes a likeminded audience through her interesting use of the phrase “homoerotic loutishness” as a way to describe the incident. It magnifies the ridiculousness of the situation itself by being worded in such a complex way, suggesting she expects her readers to agree with her opinion.

The argument itself, of which the claim is made clearly in the headline, “The Budgie Nine prove that Australian manhood is in desperate need of an update,” is a hybrid form of evaluative and recommendatory argument. While Maley both makes value laden judgements of the men and their “dick-sticker diplomatic incident,” she also suggests it is time we update the “model of Australian manhood.”

Maley’s first justification used to support her claim is a dismissal of the counterargument made by other articles who suggest the men were just being insensitive to the Malaysian culture,

Many have levelled a charge of cultural insensitivity against the so-called Nine. But you cannot be insensitive to a culture you don’t acknowledge, or even notice.”

As Maley makes her audience aware that she knows what the widely held viewpoint on this this issue is, before suggesting an alternative opinion, she expects her readers to recognize that her views are well informed and credible. She also is explicitly stating the worldview under which she partakes in, which in other words is, “in order to be insensitive toward a culture, you must first acknowledge its presence.”

This matter-of-fact statement enhances the widely held representation of the “budgie nine” as foolishly immature and recklessly inappropriate as was initially discussed in this analysis.

Maley then goes on to use an appeal to popular opinion in her categorizing of the men as “White Male Privilege,”

“They are hilariously apt examples of what the internet likes to call White Male Privilege, which can be defined as the delusion that drinking beer from shoes and chanting loudly is as hilarious to others as it is to you.”

Clearly the sarcasm which is meant to be picked up on in this statement, is an indication of Maley’s detest for the men of whom she believes will also be disliked by her intended audience. She then adds to this statement with an appeal to ethics/facts that introduces the observation that Malaysia is a conservative country,

“But things became unstuck when it turned out the Malaysians, who don’t exactly hide their conservative Muslim values under a bushel, so to speak, seemed less tolerant of WMP than we are at home.”

Jokingly suggesting that it was odd that the White Male Privilege somehow didn’t adhere to the conservative values of Malaysians, Maley is getting to the crux of her issue with the “budgie nine,” to justify their poor reflection of “Australian manhood.”

It would appear however, that her most radical justification is that of an appeal to comparison, reinventing the “budgie nine” as a group of females she dubs “the Camel Toe Crew,”

“It is difficult to imagine a group of obnoxious female travellers making a virtue of their private parts while abusing alcohol – let’s call them the Camel Toe Crew – and being treated with the same forgiving fondness…”

Maley uses this as the clear point of reference for her readers to recognize that the “budgie nine” don’t deserve our sympathy, because that would surely be the case if it were women in this positon. Moreover, if that’s the example she needed to outline in order to highlight the true injustice of this debacle, then her readers should be convinced by her suggestion that Australia’s manhood truly is in need of an update.

Despite Maley’s clearly made case in her article, she does include a few potential informal fallacies such as the use of false analogy in the statement,

“But you know what they say – if you persecute someone, you only make them a martyr.

Just look at Julian Assange or Aung San Suu Kyi. Their incarcerations only enhanced their celebrity, and increased their devotion to their causes…and so it was with the nine.”

By suggesting the “budgie nine” are in similar situations to the likes of Julian Assange seems a bit ridiculous and does not completely add substantial relevance to her claim. Maley is more interested in poking the humour out of this situation so she and her like minded audience can share in the joke that is the “budgie nine.” Therefore, her commitment to representing the nine men as sad and pathetic seems to hold priority over her justifications at this point in the text.

An alternate approach taken by The Conversation’s Brian McNair in his article, “No offence, mate but…” presents another evaluative and recommendatory argument that primarily claims the punishment of the “budgie nine” and the consequential backlash has been an overreaction. McNair explicitly states this claim, while also recognising he may be voicing an unpopular opinion,

“Call me irresponsible but isn’t this, frankly, a teeny-wee-bit of an overreaction to some celebratory larking about by lads at an international sporting event?”

By suggesting he might be “irresponsible” in this comment, McNair shows that he is writing for a divided readership and is thereby recognising those who may initially disagree with him on the matter.

McNair favours the use of an appeal to popular opinion to justify the “budgie nine’s” actions by saying,

“One could argue that they were mocking their own masculinity and sending up their own “Aussieness” as much as mocking the Malaysian nation, merely by wearing such ludicrous garments.”

McNair, by suggesting the humiliation of wearing budgie smugglers as being more severe than the offensiveness of the act, represents the “budgie nine” in a different way to the majority of the media, offering the audience the interpretation of the men being harmless and good spirited.

He furthers this in the remark,

“…stripping down to your swimmers in tropical heat at a post-race party in celebration of one’s favourite F1 racing driver seems more like what Australians call “larrikinism” – boyishly bad behaviour, and in this case far less transgressive than the alcohol and drug-fuelled antics many professional sportsmen routinely get up to.”

Again, using an appeal to popular opinion here, he adopts the assumption that we shouldn’t condemn the men for displaying a truly Australian way of life; “larrikinism,” when there are much worse things they could have done. McNair then, evidently displays a worldview that things shouldn’t be taken so seriously these days. He explicitly demonstrates this in the section that reads,

“We live in increasingly intolerant times, alas, in which the long-established liberal democratic right to cause offence is under unprecedented attack..”

McNair also enlists the justificatory support of an appeal to ethics, saying that despite whatever your opinion may be of the “budgie nine,” their actions did not warrant such major consequences,

“Whatever you think of it, it is hardly the stuff from which prison sentences and international incidents should be made.”

He then sheds light on what he interprets as a more significant matter in the country, which challenges his readers to accept his opinion,

“While Malaysians get angry about budgie smugglers, their prime minister Najib Razak allegedly loots his country’s state investment fund of billions of dollars. That is the kind of offence that, if true, should really matter to Malaysians.”

This appeal to not only ethics, but negative consequences, attempts to put more perspective on the relationship between the “budgie nine’s” condemning and other important Malaysian problems. McNair begs his readers or rather, his like minded, liberal readers, to take on a role of responsibility in the recommendation,

“True liberals – by which I mean those who believe in diversity and multicultural mingling, as well as not merely tolerance but acceptance of the Other – must stand up and defend the right to offend, and the duty to be prepared to be offended in turn…”

He therefore uses the “budgie nine” as a scapegoat for his recommendation argument, in turn suggesting his readers be more accepting of their actions rather than steadily pass judgement as Maley suggests in her article.

To conclude, the “budgie nine” have had more than their fair share of news coverage following their extravagant celebrations at sporting events. A reading of several news reports found however, there was evidence of underlying judgement toward the men, representing them as foolish and immature young guys who were disrespectful in another country. A closer reading of two specific opinion pieces on the incident, Jacqueline Maley’s The Budgie Nine prove that Australian manhood is in desperate need of an update,” and Brian McNair’s “No offence, mate but…”,  demonstrate differing representations of the men although, both the authors display a shared understanding of the “boys will be boys” ideology. While McNair attempts to defend the men through his worldview of the “right to offend,” Maley rejects any such suggestions, encouraging her readers to accept the predominantly negative representation of the “budgie nine.”

 

 

 

References:

AFP, 7 October 2016, “Chastened ‘Budgie Nine’ back in Sydney after F1 stunt,” The New Straits Times, accessed 28 October 2016 < http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/10/178685/chastened-budgie-nine-back-sydney-after-f1-stunt>

Benny-Morrison, A, Murphy, D, 6 October 2016, “Budgie Nine: How Pride and Privilege can only get you so far,” The Sydney Morning Herald, accessed 19 October 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/world/budgie-nine-how-pride-and-privilege-only-get-you-so-far-20161006-grwbiz.html>

Butler, J, 5 October 2016, “Daniel Ricciardo Says the “Budgie Nine” Should Have Been More Careful,” The Huffington Post, accessed 30 October 2016 < http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/10/04/daniel-ricciardo-says-the-budgie-nine-should-have-been-more-ca/>

Fadhli, I, 3 October 2016, “Stupid Behaviour: SIC chief fumes over Aussies’ underwear stunt,” The New Straits Times, accessed 28 October 2016 < http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/10/177761/stupid-behaviour-sic-chief-fumes-over-aussies-underwear-stunt>

Groundwater, B, 7 October 2016, “Budgie 9: Why do Australians behave badly overseas?” The Traveller, accessed 28 October 2016 < http://www.traveller.com.au/budgie-9-why-do-australians-behave-so-badly-overseas-grwzl9>

Hawley, S, 7 October 2016, “’Budgie Nine’ flying back to Australia after Malaysian Grand Prix stripping scandal,” ABC, accessed 28 October 2016 < http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-07/’budgie-nine’-fly-back-home-after-stripping-scandal/7911406>

Koziol, M, Murphy, L, 4 October 2016, “Christopher Pyne staffer Jack Walker among Australian men arrested in Malaysia after stripping,” The Canberra Times, accessed 28 October 2016 < http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/christopher-pyne-staffer-jack-walker-among-australian-men-arrested-in-malaysia-after-stripping-20161003-gru4sb.html>

Maley, J, 7 October 2016, “The Budgie Nine prove that Australian manhood is in desperate need of an update,” The Sydney Morning Herald, accessed 10 October 2016  <http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-budgie-nines-homoerotic-loutishness-proves-australian-manhood-needs-an-update-20161006-grwdby.html>

McNair, B, 7 October 2016, “No Offence Mate…,” The Conversation, accessed 28 October 2016 < http://theconversation.com/no-offence-mate-but-66669>

Media Watch, 10 October 2016, “Return of the budgie smugglers,” accessed 10 October 2016 <http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4554078.htm>

Murdoch, L, 6 October 2016, “Malaysia government mouthpiece calls for ‘Budgie Nine’ to be deported,” The Sydney Morning Herald, accessed 31 October 2016 http://www.smh.com.au/world/malaysia-government-mouthpiece-calls-for-budgie-nine-to-be-deported-20161005-grw08z.html

Wockner, C, 5 October 2016, “Budgie Nine likely to appear in court,” The Australian, accessed 23 October 2016 < http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/budgie-nine-likely-to-appear-in-malaysian-court/news-story/5cf9399a5c93cde4be322830af8abeac>

Wockner, C, 6 October 2016, “Budgie Nine to face Malaysian court over ‘intentional insult’ after stripping at Grand Prix,” News.com.au, accessed 28 October 2016 < http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/budgie-nine-to-face-malaysian-court-over-intentional-insult-after-stripping-at-grand-prix/news-story/01a1bb1a9f20a3817328327399c18e55>

Wockner, C, 6 October 2016, “‘Budgie Nine escape conviction in Malaysian Court over Grand Prix stunt,” The Australian, accessed 20 October 2016 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/budgie-nine-arrive-to-face-malaysian-court-over-grand-prix-stunt/news-story/233ad846f30c506e54cdb92f1a3c2755

Media Analysis 2 Proposal – Sophie Gobbo, z5079355

By Sophie Gobbo, z5079355

A recent matter in the news that I have chosen to use for my second analysis is that of the ‘Budgie 9’ controversy. I plan on interpreting how some articles differ in the way they portray the Australian guys involved and whether any judgement is explicitly made or just implied through certain textual elements.

Some of the articles I have recently looked at are mainly ‘views’ reporting and contain a lot of harsh judgement toward the men.

It would be interesting to see how they were represented in the news in Malaysia, however I predict the conclusion I will draw will be that majority of the articles will represent the men in a negative light, or as doing the wrong thing.

I have noticed some articles use the men’s own quotes against them to make them appear more foolish and highlight the lack of apology they made.

Here are some of the articles I’ve looked at so far:

http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/budgie-nine-to-face-malaysian-court-over-intentional-insult-after-stripping-at-grand-prix/news-story/01a1bb1a9f20a3817328327399c18e55

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/index.html?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a&mode=premium&dest=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/budgie-nine-pyne-aide-reflects-turnbull-government-brat-culture/news-story/943d7835141da930ed3157d26fd53da2&memtype=anonymous

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/1637_maley.pdf

 

Burkinis? To ban or not to ban?

By Sophie Gobbo

During mid August of this year, an image that went viral, featuring a Muslim woman in conservative clothing at the beach being stood over by a police man forcing her to remove her shirt, sparked a heated public debate over women’s rights and acts of terror. The picture itself has triggered several voices to speak out on the recent ban on Burkinis in specific French towns, including Cannes. Two articles in specific, “Banning ‘Burkinis’ from the beach is Stupid and Sexist” by Hilary Hanson in The Huffington Post and Clare Stephens’ ‘A Muslim woman was ordered by Police to take off her clothes on a beach’ featured on the Mama Mia blog site, are worth examining and comparing in order to gain an understanding of the type of readership authors are assuming when constructing a views article on such contentious topics. In comparing these two articles, it can be observed that they are essentially taking the same position on the issue yet, they are persuading their readers in different ways via their types of supporting arguments and justifications.

Quite obviously, both articles are evaluative in terms of the nature of main argumentative claim. Hanson and Stephens are both opposed to the Burkini ban and while Hanson is very explicit in her evaluation, stating her key claim in the headline of her piece as “Banning ‘Burkinis’…is stupid and sexist”, Stephens is less upfront in her central claim which I would argue to be something along the lines of “Restricting Muslim women’s rights to wear Burkinis to prevent acts of terrorism is ridiculous”. What this demonstrates about Hanson’s assumed audience is that she believes they will most likely be in complete agreement with her opinion and therefore, her highly negative assertions like “stupid” and “absurd” is warranted in this context. Contrastingly, Stephens’ audience, while predominantly assumed as being likeminded, may need some more convincing which she brings to light in the mention “some people don’t share in my frustrations.” Stephens goes to lengths to persuade this readership by use of excessive rhetorical questions, posing numerous points of reflection for her readers so they can explicitly follow her attitudes and feelings toward the topic which she believes will be a reasonable construction of her beliefs and the audience will also share in these by the end of the article.

Firstly, in Hilary Hanson’s Huffington Post article, as has already been noted, she wastes no time in setting her reader up for the opinion she will be sharing, although she is readily prepared to justify her claim with numerous appeals to ethics, authority and analogy. Hence Hanson’s article seems to be balancing her opinion with argument which helps a reader become convinced of the credibility of her argument.

Her first appeal to analogy features in the opening paragraph, after first explaining the context of the Burkini ban and how Muslim women are primarily affected. Hanson immediately quips “The garments look fairly similar to wetsuits,” an assertion that suggests the ban is stupid because of the similarities shared between the attires and both should be treated equally in the same context.  She is expecting her readers then, to also infer that if wetsuits are appropriate for the beach, so are the Burkinis as this is a logical and reasonable connection.

The tone quickly shifts as the article continues and, with the assistance of a personal opinion of a Muslim woman, Hanson brings forth another supporting argument expecting her audience to comply;

“Aysha Ziaddun, a British Muslim woman, told the BBC on Saturday… “The Burkini allows me the freedom to swim and go on the beach, and I don’t feel I am compromising my beliefs for that … How is a woman on a beach swimming in a wetsuit with her head covered a symbol of Islamic extremism?”

It’s a good question, and one that officials in the two French Riviera towns haven’t really explained.”

Interestingly enough, Hanson including this appeal to authority suggests she looks to those being directly affected by the ban as having the most credibility which she reinforces with her added comment “it’s a good question”. This justificatory support can also be read as an appeal to ethics, granted the readership has the underlying beliefs that a law or ban that causes individuals to customise their religion or faith is wrong. Hanson treats this justification as the most significant, highlighting what she would identify as the most obvious flaw in the Burkini ban, expecting her readership to follow suit.

In reference to the second half of her central claim “Banning Burkinis…is sexist” Hanson takes direct aim at the counter argument as voiced by Cannes Mayor, David Lisnard who argues that the Burkini ban is in place to “protect women.”

“Lisnard also made a dubious claim that the rule was instated for the women’s benefit.

‘If a woman goes swimming in a burkini, that could draw a crowd and disrupt public order,’ the Cannes mayor told a French newspaper, as translated by The New York Times. ‘It is precisely to protect these women that I took this decision.’

In other words, Lisnard seems to subscribe to the sexist idea that the best way to ‘protect’ women is to place restrictions on what they can and can’t do — instead of focusing on preventing other people from harassing or hurting them.”

Again, here Hanson uses an appeal to ethics and explicitly states the warrant in a “matter of fact” way in her explanation that, in order to actually protect women, you should be preventing others from causing harm to them. It’s not enough to indicate that Lisnard was plain incorrect, but Hanson is using the contradiction as a clever way to convey her opinion as valid, assuming her reader will also agree that this alternative definition for women’s protection would better suit in this context. This is one of the clearest demonstrations of Hanson’s imagined audience being likeminded and agreeing with her central claim of the Burkini ban being both stupid and sexist.

Hanson’s use of inclusive pronoun in the closing remarks assumes the readership she is writing for.

“…if drawing a crowd and “disrupting public order” is really Lisnard’s main concern, we’re presuming he will also be prohibiting any celebrities from appearing publicly in Cannes.”

By using sarcasm in this appeal to analogy, Hanson expects her audience to know that she does not actually believe the Mayor of Cannes will be prohibiting Celebrity clothing at the Cannes Film Festival, but rather, more so that they will recognise her efforts to reject Lisnard’s proposed counter argument and join with her in mockingly applying his justification of the Burkini ban to a laughable context. This is a rather confident display of argument as it seems a bit of a far stretch to be comparing a practice of faith with the novelty of celebrity’s dresses. Therefore, Hanson assumes a predominantly likeminded readership who will also share in her worldviews and beliefs of fair treatment to those of other faiths and that women’s rights must be protected by primarily targeting those who will cause the harm.

The article written by Clare Stephens in the Mama Mia blogsite provides an inherently similar claim, yet with slightly more emphasis on the unfair deduction that wearing the Burkini equates to symbolising terrorism.

Overall, it is worth noting that this article differs to Hanson’s primarily due to the predominant presence of opinion which outweighs the use of argumentation. The inflammatory negative language use of words and phrases like “how the hell”, “baffling” and “ridiculousness” demonstrate the ways in which Stephens is really projecting her beliefs onto an audience, majority of which will agree yet some who may feel otherwise, for the sake of making a statement. The justificatory support mostly deals with appeals to emotion or analogy and there are certain points where further clarification of her claims could be made but she expects he readers to take her word as enough.

Examples of this appear in her statement “Put simply, Muslims are not terrorists and ‘Muslim’ clothing or customs are not violent.” Obviously she is denying the reoccurring opinion that “all Muslims are terrorists” but in doing so she is also collective making a sweeping statement that may have been better clarified with reference to other sources. Here she most notably expects the reader to agree with her.

The first instance of Stephens’ assuming a like minded readership comes from her critique of authorities who claimed the Muslim woman featured in the viral image failed to wear “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”. Sarcastically she asserts “Right. Because we all think about whether or not our clothing reflects ‘good morals’ before we leave the house.” Here we have another example of inclusive pronoun suggesting the author is placing themselves in close proximity with their audience. She also expects them to read her comment as sarcasm to establish early on that she obviously disagrees with the ban and furthermore that it is “ridiculous.”

Although Stephens indicates that her views will most probably be an extension of that of her readers, she goes forth to speak up about the opposite opinion:

“Of course, not everyone shares in my frustrations. A number of comments in response to the viral tweet of the woman surrounded by police argued that the images were “taken out of context,” and that beaches in places like Saudi Arabia don’t allow women to wear bikinis. What’s the difference?”

Her recognition of the counter arguments as sampled in the comment readings, shows that she is aware of the other opinions surrounding this situation. She attempts to then convince readers who might be within that category of her opinion with an appeal to popular opinion, “… the fact that other countries also police what women wear doesn’t make it right.” The statement reads like the saying “Just because someone does X, doesn’t mean you should do X”. She expects this justification will therefore validate her claim and her readership will also see the logic applied and agree with her argument.

The strongest point of secondary claim and justification in this article comes at the end where Stephens offers an appeal to analogy comparing the banning of the Burkini, which is an “attempt” to reduce acts of terrorism” to terrorism itself. She goes on to explain, again using the pronoun “We”, in the sentence “we’re so scared that terrorism will impact our way of life, but in France, it’s the Muslim population whose way of life is truly threatened.” This argument I believe is a good example of how she is accounting for any readers who may not yet agree with her opinion and need convincing. Combining this justification which along with the closing rhetoric question, “It starts with the Burkini – but where does it end?” poses a key point of reflection for readers and hence provides the opportunity for readers to negotiate their conflicting views to correlate with Stephens’ views.

To conclude then, both articles have demonstrated, while both arguing a similar case, the different justifications that can best argue the key claims. The articles, both evaluative in nature, showed that while Hanson’s preferred a balance of opinion and argumentation, Stephens preferred a prevalent use of opinion. Both articles heavily rely on a like minded audience, yet in Stephens’ case there is an element of trying to convince other readers of her opinion as implied through her use of rhetoric and logic of argument. While the aim of this analysis is not to draw a conclusion from both the articles, it can be inferred that the assumed worldview of each author’s readership is that of being acceptance of other cultures, specifically the Muslim tradition of wearing the Burkini.

Tute Exercise MDIA2002 H12A – Sleep Deprivation Article

Meredith Weaver, Nabihah Reza, Nicole Baumli and Sophie Gobbo

1 – We concluded that this article’s central argumentative point is of a hybrid nature, both incorporating evaluative and factual points.

 

2 – Opinion or argumentative?

 

There is simple opinion expressed in this article, mainly concerning the credibility of the politicians commenting on the issue. Even though his writing is emotive, we would consider the article more argumentative as he does provide a fair amount of supporting argumentation in the form of factual evidence and precedence (e.g. the 1997 UN committee against tortures rulings).

 

3 – Does the author offer an explicitly asserted statement of the text’s principal argumentative point?

 

It was not explicitly stated that sleep deprivation is torture and shouldn’t be legal. Rather, the author goes to great lengths to prove that it is such by incorporating opinions with others that he aligns himself with.

4 – Does the author offer an explicitly asserted statement of the text’s principal argumentative point?

 

At no point does the author provide his own personal definition of what “torture” is and furthermore, where sleep deprivation fits on the scale. Rather, he references the “United Nations Committee Against Torture,” using their 1997 ruling that sleep deprivation was in fact a form of torture. In this instance, he is aligning his definition with that of the UNCAT, expecting his readers to believe that this is a credible source for information and therefore, he is correct in assuming this definition is the most reliable.

 

 

5 –

Claim – Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and should not be legally allowed.

 

J1 – The UN Committee against torture ruled in 1997 that sleep deprivation IS a form of torture. (Appeal to authority)

 

J2 –  Australian Diggers who were subjected to sleep deprivation believe it is a form of torture. (appeal to analogy)

 

J3 – The politicians who believe in sleep deprivation aren’t experts because they have no experience and their opinion is therefore invalid. (appeal to popular opinion/lack of authority)

 

J4 – Justifying torture lowers Australians to the level of their enemies. (appeal to ethics and negative consequence)