So the Footballers and sex 4 Corners story, is generating a hell of a lot of conversation, everywhere. Lots of newspaper articles, opinion pieces (actually I like this one), twitter (via Lauredhel), and facebook groups supporting Matty Johns have sprung up like weeds over night. (You could for instance join the “Give Matt Johns his job back” Group. I decided against providing a link, the comments there are just to horrible). This facebook status update will suffice to demonstrate the attitudes that I’m referring to:
These people need to read this and take a long hard look at themselves. All these conversations and for many it has been reduced down to: “Oh! The injustice of it all! Poor Matty Johns!”
Ok, so John’s has been stood down (note: not fired) from a channel concerned with not alienating its large middle class female audience, and the NRL which is seeking to be seen to doing something about this problem. But what, exactly, is the problem? It is not just about Matty Johns – nothing more to see here folks, he’s faced the music, let him hang his tail between his legs and disappear from view in the shame and ignominy he deserves.
This is waaaay bigger than one man, no matter how high his profile. As has been noted by bluemilk, the New Zealand case was just the tip of iceberg, 4 Corners were spoilt for choice. There are a hell of a lot of footballers implicated here, all keeping quiet and hoping that Johns’ fall from grace will keep the spotlight off them. The 4 Corners program mentioned other incidences involving not just the Sharks, but also the Knights and the Bulldogs. And I’d bet my two front teeth that there’s plenty more that the media haven’t gotten a wiff of. While David Gallup is taking a strong stance on this about reforming the NRL it is not going to be easy to address an ingrained cultural problem.
It seems some players don’t like hearing that the practice of treating women like shit is no longer going to be tolerated.
“It’s fine for David Gallop to come out and say you can’t have group sex but the last thing blokes will be thinking about on a Friday night at the club is David Gallop,” said the player, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “I don’t know how a chief executive can come out and say we can’t have group sex if it’s consensual. It’s like discrimination because that is a person’s private life. It’s like saying you can’t be homosexual, or you can’t have such-and-such sexual preferences. How can he tell us what we can do in our private lives?
“We already have so many rules: we can’t drink on these days, we can’t go to these places, now we can’t have group sex. About the only thing we can do these days is go to club functions, and just hang around other players. That’s just isolating us more from the rest of the world, and it could lead to even more violent acts.” [Emphasis mine]
Oh Boo-hoo, you poor thing. This is the culture of privilege, selfishness, greed, aggression and hypermasculinity that we are up against. And many pockets of the general public support these guys and their life in the privileged bubble. And they display no empathy towards those that are used, abused and discarded. Rather than victim blaming I suggest people read this.