The Diary is concerned to hear that the Australian male is in crisis. Mark Latham, a former prime ministerial candidate Down Under, has written a book bemoaning the decline of the fun-loving "larrikin" and saying that "mates and good blokes" are making way for "nervous wrecks, metrosexuals and nerds". So we turn for reassurance to new research from the University of Queensland about Australian PE teachers, entitled "The teacher's body as a tool of work". But even in PE, vanity has replaced manliness. Brad, a department head, finds the idea of being outdoors tiresome. "I've known other phys eds who just get sick of being outside and having their hair all over the place," he told researchers.
More comforting to the larrikin-lover is the male teachers' attitude to female teachers and pupils. They ogle them, apparently. In one school, the male PE staff ranked the female pupils doing finals - on their hair, legs, etc. And one female PE teacher reports that, after ogling by male colleagues, she was advised to get cosmetic surgery.