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On playing the victim

February 27, 2018

The former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce recently lamented his lot. In a high profile newspaper report.


He joins a long line of powerful people--usually men--complaining how hard done by they are. And using their power to do so.


I wrote something for Meanjin on this, playing the victim.


The spectacle of Barnaby Joyce draped in a tea towel, lamenting his family’s stressors, prompted charges of ‘playing the victim’. And his resignation press conference too, with its air of disgruntled injury.


Sure, if anyone has been playing the victim, it’s Joyce. The former Deputy Prime Minister gave glib housing advice, but happily took up free rental from a rich mate. Now he’s sad about moving home? (We’ve done it six times in my son’s short life.) Joyce was steadfastly against same-sex marriages, while philandering. Now he’s worried about stigma?


So, it’s safe to say that the new backbencher has indeed been playing the victim. But what exactly is so wrong with this?

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