McMansion defender claims to be fighting against “green jihadists”

McMansion is a term that can be used pejoratively. And in response to a proposed “mandatory energy star ratings” for Australian houses, McMansion defenders can use their own pejorative terms like “green jihadists”:

It seems rarely a month passes without some new assault on the lifestyle and housing choice preferred by the overwhelming majority of Australians – the detached suburban home.

Denigrated by a careless media as ‘McMansions’ or attacked as some archaic form of reckless housing choice which is ‘no longer appropriate’ (according to some planning or environmental fatwa), the detached home is under a constant assault of falsely laid allegation and intellectual derision…

But you get the strong impression, reading the constant digest of anti-suburban living which parades through mainstream media, that mainstream Australians are a reckless bunch of self-interested misfits whose behaviour and choices need to be controlled by people wiser than them.

And there’s one of the great ironies in all this: those who advocate denying housing choice and enforcing apartments over detached homes, public transport over private, inner city density over suburban expansion, invariably seem to do the opposite of what they preach. Next time you come across one of these green jihadists waging war on the suburban home (and the people who live in them), ask them if they live in a house or a unit, how many children they have, ask how many cars they own, and ask what their power bill is like.

Perhaps those using these terms might consider it fair after the way “McMansion” has been used over the years. Or perhaps some feel that this imposition on their preferred homes is simply crossing such a line that it should be equated with one of the most negative images one can throw around.

While I’ve written before on the meaning of the word McMansion, this might indicate another possible area of research: what sort of discourse McMansion defenders use. I would guess that a common argument, expressed in this piece, is that people are simply buying homes that they want and they shouldn’t be restricted from pursuing their tastes. Additionally, just like this piece, defenders will point at the hypocrisy of the other side.

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