I guess it shouldn’t have been such a shock to hear at a barbecue yesterday that boys from one of Melbourne’s most exclusive boys’ schools had been heard sledging boys from another school at a cricket match with the chant “Your dads work for our dads”.

Wow, look at all the poor kids down there…

And to hear that students from a co-ed school based in an area with a large Jewish population had “Where are your foreskins?” chanted at them, was even more confronting—implying as it does that among those educating our blue-blooded ‘elite’ this kind of anti-semitism is tolerated to the point where it can be yelled aloud.

Of the three sledges raising eye-brows around the out-door setting, the third—a chant back to to the “Your dads” crowd of “Where are your women? Back in the kitchen!”—was possibly the least offensive.

At least it implies the kids yelling it have views dating far enough into last century to accept that it’s OK for women to work…unless you’re in the high-status bracket where not-working can be in part a signifier of wealth and class.

Still, even though it seems to have been intended as a kind of back-handed compliment to the independence and efforts of their own mums, many of whom work, I don’t think it says a great deal about the mindsets of kids we as a community need to emerge from school as something approximating rounded, thoughtful human beings.

The class slagging, for example, puts the lie to the intensive marketing by such top-tier, and highly selective schools, that they’ve come out of the dark ages and are now all about “diversity”, a broader education and giving anyone a chance.

You’d have thought these schools who sell themselves with the promise of pumping out the “leaders” of the future would be a little more focused on producing leaders with a level of maturity, rather than just another lot who think it’s entitlement and connections to the old-school tie network that get you ahead—and your woman belongs at the stove.

Putting down your oppposition based on its school being located in a Jewish area, or its parents not owning as much acreage on Melways Map 59, or it’s mothers’ perceived disempowerment may be all part of the fun in the minds of high-spirited students.

But I would argue that in allowing such displays of arrogance, schools who claim to play such an important role in shaping the minds of the next generation of decision makers are failing in their duty to the kids, and the community.

As for the kids growing up believing they have a right to win at life because their parents are in the “employer” class; well I hope it’s not true, but I certainly feel they’re being set up for a fall.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

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    • Joe Blow says:

      12:49pm | 11/02/13

      What ever happened to “Sticks and stones ..... etc”?

      My god we have become a ‘precious’ society.

    • Greg says:

      01:49pm | 11/02/13

      Come on….. be fair and give credit where it is due. Schoolyard taunts are quite a creative issue to be concerned about.

      After all, it is so difficult to find something to be outraged about these days.

      How is a person supposed to display their sanctimonious and self-righteous moral supremacism anymore?

    • St. Michael says:

      02:52pm | 11/02/13

      @ Greg: Easy, run for Parliament and become the first female PM.

    • ANthony says:

      03:40pm | 11/02/13

      “How is a person supposed to display their sanctimonious and self-righteous moral supremacism anymore? “
      Write for fairfax or the ABC

    • jtz says:

      05:04pm | 11/02/13

      The line is actually from a movie. I can not remember the movies name.

    • St. Michael says:

      12:52pm | 11/02/13

      God forbid that children should be immature, hey?

    • subotic says:

      02:32pm | 11/02/13

      Yea, until some kid gets shot in the face in the bathroom for being the “wrong” colour like in American History X, in Australia name calling is the 21 Century version of getting your shins kicked on the soccer field coz we don’t like you….

    • Chillen says:

      12:54pm | 11/02/13

      One of those I heard, from someone who heard, at a bbq stories.  It’s okay when the lefties promote class warfare, does it hurt the other way round?

    • pete says:

      12:56pm | 11/02/13

      Full stops. They’re your friend.

    • MK says:

      02:16pm | 11/02/13

      She does seem to have some aquaintances who are full stops. But I am not sure the relationship is warm enough to say they are friends. It appears more sure that she had the pleasure of has ever meeting a paragraph.

    • Correction says:

      03:10pm | 11/02/13

      So are capitals Pete.

    • Wakey Wakey says:

      12:58pm | 11/02/13

      Gee - elitism and class-clash is breeding in private schools.  Gosh! Who would’ve thunk it !?....meanwhile… Woops… was that the sound of another public school building crumbling from lack of maintenance..?

    • PJ says:

      01:54pm | 11/02/13

      there are no ‘classes’ in Australia.

      There are just people with money and those without.

      To prove my point, in Australia if you work hard and make money, you’re in the monied class. House in South Yarra, Portia on your arm with her $300 dollar blond bob hairstyle.

      In the UK if you work hard and make money, you’re still working class, shunned, never and part of that aristocratic society.

      There is no Australian society for ever divided by class, instead there is opportunity for endeavour .... but not under a Labor Government alas, which thinks entrepreneurs are the devils children and business enterprise is the enemy of the people. No jobs to prove yourself there then.

      The Labor Parties conspiracy theories are so 19 century really.

      Truth is the emphasis on making money and the decline of the aristocratic families has made society more fluid.

      Did you know Marx lived with Engels and his family. The lazy bugger never worked in his life and never met a proletarian.(Bogan), whom he was attempting to save through socialism. Marx just stayed at home living off the Engels and inventing Socialism, with it’s class conspiracies.

      Oh Engels was loaded by the way.

    • Jaqui says:

      02:32pm | 11/02/13

      @PJ: Class is measured by your values and morals, money is no indication of class and quite often it is the opposite (bogans with cash).

    • james says:

      02:50pm | 11/02/13

      “In the UK if you work hard and make money, you’re still working class, shunned, never and part of that aristocratic society.”

      Sour grapes much?

    • James1 says:

      03:58pm | 11/02/13

      “Oh Engels was loaded by the way.”

      The son of an industrialist, from memory.  Which means that Marx lived off the fruits of the exploitation of industrial workers while he was writing books aimed at freeing them from such exploitation.

    • tez says:

      04:51pm | 11/02/13

      Wrong Jaquie as much as I hate to agree with PJ class in Australia is judged by what you are worth financially.

    • expat says:

      06:58pm | 11/02/13

      Actually PJ there is a class divide, whether some like to see it or not.

      It comes back to the saying that you can take the girl out of the trailer park but you cannot take the trailer park out of the girl. A good example is your cashed up bogan, the average bogan does not automatically become cultured just because it has money, they still behave the same.

    • Meph says:

      01:00pm | 11/02/13

      I’m not sure I see the anti-semitism in there. I don’t know about anyone else, but asking where someone’s foreskin is is hardly the same as persecution of the Jews. As far as sledging goes, its awfully weak too.

      There’s also the assertion that the schools are encouraging the elitism, when it likely originates with the family. How many times have we all heard parents telling their spawn how wonderful, special and perfect they are?

    • Chillin says:

      02:07pm | 11/02/13

      Oh, so we rate our sledges and it has to come up to standard before we can evaluate whether it’s offensive.

    • Mont says:

      02:38pm | 11/02/13

      I agree Meph.

      Wendy your article smacks of someone desperately searching to be outraged. If you think this sledging is so awful I would hate to see how you would have reacted at my high school sporting events. If the opponent wasn’t crying you weren’t doing it right!

    • Sanity says:

      03:49pm | 11/02/13

      The Jewish one relates to the fact that all Jewish boys are circumcised. Men who convert and are already circumcised end up with a drop of blood drawn from the penis. Had it been done to someone else, you’re right, it’s not necessarily offensive. However, for the Jewish, being circumcised is considered to be important.

    • Meph says:

      04:25pm | 11/02/13


      Let me ask you then, are all circumcised men Jewish?

      Bottom line, every single one of us is going to cop some form of this. Maybe it’s not cool, but teaching our children to all have glass chins is not going to make it better.

      Personally I would have responded with something like “in one of those fancy school dinners they serve you lot!” and then walked away.

    • Kgrant says:

      05:29pm | 11/02/13

      Recently, as I walked past a group of 14/15 year old boys they called out ‘where’s your fanny granny?”.  It didn’t occur to me that they were ageist terrors trying to persecute me, just kids who thought they were clever.

    • Mouse says:

      06:12pm | 11/02/13

      Meph, your question to Chillin got me thinking and it deserves to have a righteous answer.  So, I am off to find out. I will keep you informed.  8o)

      ps another good reply “In your Mother’s undies draw!”  lol ;o)

    • AdamC says:

      01:04pm | 11/02/13

      Clearly, those are ugly sentiments. However, I wonder whether you aren’t getting things back-to-front. It seems to me that many teenagers are naturally cliquey, intolerant and generally obnoxious. So just imagine how bad these snobby anti-Semites would be had they not had the benefit of an upmarket, eminently inclusive and politically correct education!

      As someone who has never really believed in ‘class’, I will be interested to see the comments on this article.

    • John Fitzpatrick says:

      02:45pm | 11/02/13

      “However, I wonder whether you aren’t getting things back-to-front.”


    • tez says:

      05:34pm | 11/02/13

      AdamC: If these kids kid went to a public school they would not be ‘‘snobby anti-Semites’’ and would not care were someones foreskin was.

    • john says:

      01:06pm | 11/02/13

      “But I would argue that in allowing such displays of arrogance, schools who claim to play such an important role in shaping the minds of the next generation of decision makers are failing in their duty to the kids, and the community.”

      Obviously seems soul destroying sledging must be the in thing at the moment.

      The ‘price’ that society will pay show itself in the years to come.

      Insolence, insubordination, and poor conduct is just the reflection of those irresponsibly forming their young minds, that inlcudes from sources beyond the control of those responsible e.g. like the garbage from online and social media.

      At least we get to witness what the up comming brat generation is going to be like.

    • mal says:

      02:49pm | 11/02/13

      John we are seeing it today look at the finance industry/politics/big business the whole western world seems to have no standards anymore and absolutely no accounterbility.Corruption on a scale thats never been seen before.

    • john says:

      05:39pm | 11/02/13

      “the whole western world seems to have no standards anymore and absolutely no accounterbility.Corruption on a scale thats never been seen before.”


      Perhaps sense of belonging in your own western country is lost?

      Perhaps social tactile alienation due to world wide web?

      Perhaps now we are better connected and information about suicide, crime, trauma, catastrophies, corruption, war etc etc has desensitised us?

      Perhaps it was always there, and the internet and connectivitey has amplfied everything - coupled with a global population that is growing by about 1 billion people every ~10-13 years?

      Perhaps its all of the above and the world was always in perpetual chaos, & brink of war, amplified climate events, extinctions and/or stellar annihalation from asteroids, solar flares, neaby supernovae etc.

      And every day we are still here as a collective is a lucky day, and when each individual eventually dies at their pre-determined ‘time” determined by the diminishing logrithm of sequences of events that is unique to each individuals life is inconsequential.

      Or perhaps the Vickers Vimy, G-EAOU registration abbreviated meaning might be of some assistance for some as to why everything just is at the moment.

    • Dibbler says:

      01:10pm | 11/02/13

      I don’t see where the problem is here. Boys will be boys and sports is sports. Sledging is par for the course. It’s not like anything untrue was said. Poor kids dad’s do work for rich kids dads.

      This just stinks of class envy and the writer’s preconceived ideas about the wealthy who she holds to a higher standard then the poor.

    • Tubesteak says:

      02:15pm | 11/02/13

      Yep, when it comes to sledging, nothing is off-limits.

    • Tator says:

      04:19pm | 11/02/13

      Best sledge ever   Michael Voss of the Brisbane Lions to his brother Brett who was playing with St Kilda whilst Brett was kicking for goal.  ” My dad f***ed your mum”  Brett cracked up laughing and subsequently missed.

    • St. Michael says:

      04:42pm | 11/02/13

      And remember, boys and girls, it’s not defamation if it’s the truth!

    • Fiddler says:

      01:11pm | 11/02/13

      holy crap, stop the presses!!!!! Kids from an exclusive private school think they’re better than others.

      Thanks for letting us in on this

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      02:35pm | 11/02/13

      Future young Liberals!

    • Levi says:

      05:08pm | 11/02/13

      Future Chardonnay Left more like it.

    • Peptide Man says:

      01:15pm | 11/02/13

      A lot of people need to understand that when you are trying to insult someone, especially in anger, you say the thing that comes to mind that will hurt the most.  It is not important if you believe it (racism/sexism especially come to mind here), if it is true or even if it makes sense.  As long as the recipient is hurt by it, mission accomplished.  That is the nature of an insult.

    • SAm says:

      01:16pm | 11/02/13

      hmm whats this? Class warfare yet again coming from the “ELITE” and not the struggling working class…
      In other words, what we see daily omn the Punch anyway

    • LaDiva says:

      01:18pm | 11/02/13

      “Where are your foreskins?”

      Cue the plethora of Jewish jokes. Where is Hildebrand when you need him?

    • SAm says:

      01:19pm | 11/02/13

      Cut all public funding to the school, I would add. These lot can obviously afford to pay fully for their own education, seeing as their dads boss the other kids dad’s around..
      I cant wait to see some of the comments from the regular arrogant ‘$150K is not rich’ crowd

    • I hate pies says:

      02:02pm | 11/02/13

      Only if you pay for yourself too. Go and work harder or study more if you want more money. Otherwise, stop whinging about the people who are putting your kids through school

    • Regular_Arrogant says:

      02:15pm | 11/02/13

      Cut all public education. Then everyone (including you) can pay.

      Why should I fund your families education?

    • PeterH says:

      02:34pm | 11/02/13


      SAm, you do realise the Government (State & Federal) spends $3 on every public school student for every $1 it spends on Private school students?

      If you got your way and there was an inevitable increase in public school student numbers would you be happy to see your taxes increased so the Government can pay the huge increase in costs?

    • john says:

      06:06pm | 11/02/13

      “(State & Federal) spends $3 on every public school student for every $1 it spends on Private school students?”

      it doesn’t really matter, even if it was $5 for public/$1 for private.

      There will always be bias in favor towards a human being going to a private school that will nearly always be preferred over a human being going to a public school.

      The bias is what breeds hatred, discontent, disconnect, tribal mentality because birth right/wealth is perceived as superior.

      The only solution is that all schools are equal and the notion of public/private be banished.

      Only then you will see some amazing people in the future emerge from this country.

      But as is I’m happy with the current poison in our society- because people a) want it b) deserve it.

      The taste of future horror is there on our TV re: Julia Gillard/Tony Abbott.

    • Colin says:

      01:21pm | 11/02/13

      “As for the kids growing up believing they have a right to win at life because their parents are in the “employer” class; well I hope it’s not true, but I certainly feel they’re being set up for a fall.”

      Well, considering that the veracity of their taunts are actually borne by the statistics, I would suggest that it isn’t the boys from the Good School that are heading for a fall.

      After all, work as a minion, be employed as a lackey, or labour under the control of someone more wealthy, intelligent, and powerful than you can only lead to tears when the economy goes belly up and you haven’t the mental acumen to do anything more than what you are told to do…

    • Bruno says:

      02:08pm | 11/02/13

      Yeh but Colin your daughters and sisters love to come slummin with us.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      02:53pm | 11/02/13

      Actually Colin it’s the wealthy trying to prevent the poor from ‘rising above their station’, I should know… I experienced it.

    • Chris L says:

      01:23pm | 11/02/13


      Are we going to hear cries of inciting class war, tall poppy syndrome or political correctness gone made? All three perhaps?

    • JR says:

      01:30pm | 11/02/13

      Kids of all classes come up with some pretty nasty things to say about each other,so stop trying to make it a class thing Wendy.I would think any decent school private or public would be apalled with this or similar behaviour.In any instance how well your parents have achieved doesn’t necessarily follow to their offspring.

    • Dave_H says:

      01:35pm | 11/02/13

      Welcome to the Real World…..

      it will never change and those who think it will, or they can make it change
      ....are sadly mistaken.

    • PJ says:

      01:40pm | 11/02/13

      I and my fellow Australians have been slated and slagged off by our Government.

      When the Gillard Government promised to establish control of our Borders and didn’t deliver it, we reminded them of their promise.
      They inferred we were racists.

      When the Gillard Government said it was going to share the wealth of the Mining boom, but we found out that they were using cheap imported labour on a 457 visa, we protested.
      They said we were skill less, poorly educated and unwilling to travel for work.

      When we found out that 70% of Private Sector jobs went to cheap imported labour and that Australian jobs were simultaneous advertised overseas, we complained.
      They inferred we were xenophobic.

    • AdamC says:

      02:24pm | 11/02/13

      PJ, maybe you would be more at home in the Katter Australia Party? Just a thought.

      And Julia ‘implied’ we were racist. An inference, which is sort of like a tentative conclusion, is different to an implication.

    • Lance says:

      01:42pm | 11/02/13

      Oh it’s not fair, someone is picking on me.  Quick lets legislate to make teasing and sledging illegal, and punish anyone who picks on anyone else with a jail term!

      Welcome to the real world, where everything isn’t fair, some people have more than others, and people might make fun of you.

    • Baz says:

      01:46pm | 11/02/13

      no big deal

    • Pablo says:

      01:50pm | 11/02/13

      “If someone calls you a dog, look behind and see if you have a tail. If you don’t have a tail then there is no problem”

      ~ Venerable Ajahn Chah.

    • digitally educated by.wilfred dopeybell B.ARTSCH says:

      01:53pm | 11/02/13

      GPS STANDS FOR generally pushing, sh.t
      a.that why we have had oodles of tory boys as orstraylian pms’, that stands for potential maniac, from melburne gramma,as opposed to good old Collingwood Tech.

    • Len says:

      01:55pm | 11/02/13

      Wow if you think that is bad, plant yourself in a public school in western sydney to see the us and them in its finest display…lets see..the arab kids looking down their nose at the africans, the tamils and singahlese, the sunni and shiite, the aussies and lebs, the turks and armenians, the serbs and the cro’s, the assyrians and the muslims, and on and on…all being manufactured in to rounded young adults ready to function in a diverse multicultural society?

    • Chillin says:

      02:17pm | 11/02/13

      We only attack the elite institutions here.  Everyone else gets a free pass.

    • Levi says:

      05:14pm | 11/02/13

      Don’t you know it’s racist to implicate any ethnicity OTHER than Anglo-Saxon is some form of wrongdoing or morally questionable behaviour?? Put your PC filters back on before joining public debate in this nanny state of a country.

    • Ken Oath says:

      02:05pm | 11/02/13

      Wendy for god’s sake stop being so precious and get over yourself. It’s called sledging and it’s our national pastime. The stuff of legends. Like one cricketer replied when asked by an opponent why he was so fat said it was because every time he slept with that man’s wife she baked him a cake. No wonder some of our children seem to lack resilience and the ability to deal with the smallest criticism.

      For god’s sake they are all mates on facebook these days and I bet they all go to each other’s parties. I bet too if I know anything about kids the fact they could set the hearts of some old dears fluttering with shock just added a little more incentive.

      But nice story. And nice touch making it about those upper class bastards. You’ll get heaps of comments about how bad those private schools are and as the only socialising influence in the lives of their maleable little pupils how they have failed dismally.

    • Rev says:

      06:32pm | 11/02/13

      Misses the best part of that exchange, Botham’s reply - “The wife is good, but the kids are retarded”

    • Paul M says:

      02:05pm | 11/02/13

      Australia is and always has been an aristocracy, ruled by a narrow hereditary elite. They behave exactly as blue-bloods of every society always have.

    • SLF says:

      02:09pm | 11/02/13

      Who won the match? And did the sledging work?

      Or did it only upset people who were not there, have nothing to do with the incident, do not know any of the people involved and cry at every unfunny non-pc thing ever said?

      Won’t someone please think of the children!!

    • Bruno says:

      02:10pm | 11/02/13

      It comes from anger knowing their sisters love hanging out with us. Of course they always go back when its time to marry.

    • JTO says:

      02:12pm | 11/02/13

      Seems as though nothing has changed 20 odd years. A mate and I sometimes reminisce (slightly ashamedly) about the old days of sexist/racist/classist abuse that was supported by the school to the extent that we actually practiced these calls in the school gym before big inter school events.

      On the other hand, as soon as I stop getting attitude from the attendees of povo socialist (public) schools when I tell them where I got my education, I’ll be happy to give a rat’s arse about what you think. Deal?

    • SM says:

      02:33pm | 11/02/13

      My God this site is going downhill

    • Fed Up says:

      03:07pm | 11/02/13

      You can’t really blame toffs for thinking they’re better because they have more money.
      It’s compensation for having a small penis.
      I say,let them live in their little worlds of oppulence.
      Who am i to come between a rich man and his inplant.

    • Anthony says:

      03:14pm | 11/02/13

      I went to a private school and a kids dad from a public school screwed my mum.  What’s your point, besides that kids can be iodiots? We are all going to have our feelings hurt, the taunts you quote are old and lack impact.

    • stephen says:

      06:50pm | 11/02/13

      Well she had it comin bro.
      At the last swimming interschools carnival I was mindin me own business over near the paddle pool and i get 7 text messages about me kooky orange swimmers, I look up and theres this gal over behind the tuck shop, winkle her twinkle at me.
      Well, all goes well, she gets fat, I leave town and years later I get a knock on the door and theres a kid with no teeth with a banjo strapped round his shoulders, and he hands me a note that reads ...

      ‘anthony wants to now why you went off so quick, and mum wants her chrissy present’.

      Mate, she’s already had it.

      And cheer up, heh !

      LOL ... Stevo.

    • Too Late says:

      03:16pm | 11/02/13

      A nice insight into our next generation of ruling class yobbos; the fact that working class yobs are equally ignorant doesn’t make it okay, either.  If we think the country is stuffed now, wait another 30 years and see what these tossers (collectively) have done with it.

    • AFR says:

      03:19pm | 11/02/13

      “helmets v socks” or whatever you want to call it was how we divided sporting teams in college. Both sides thought their wangs were superior!

    • Sirenp says:

      04:34pm | 11/02/13

      Money doesn’t buy breeding or brains.
      Shame on those with money enough to send their kids to elite private schools and who don’t teach their kids manners and compassion for their fellow men and women.
      I have worked in elite private schools and have seen at first hand the taunts visited on those who are less affluent.

    • stephen says:

      06:27pm | 11/02/13

      ...less ‘effluent’, mate.

    • Jane Becker says:

      04:46pm | 11/02/13

      I agree with @Ken Oath. Get over it. This is little more than friendly teasing. It is a typical way in which young Australian males bond with each other. It’s a way of acknowledging and celebrating the other side’s differences, but also acknowledging and celebrating the fact that they have a sense of humour, know that it’s a joke and tongue in cheek, and are comfortable enough in their own skins not to be offended!!

    • tez says:

      05:14pm | 11/02/13

      One day these kids could be looking for good employees and their daddys should be reminding them of that.


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