Timely piece on AFL conduct regarding women.

Wow, I think I’m now a fan of one Michael Shmith. In an article for The Age entitled “ominous assumptions” Mr. Shmith makes some very pertinent points appropriate not only for footballers but indeed all of convict culture.

Now racism, drug abuse and problem gambling are clear social evils, and the AFL is right to include them in its lead-us-not-into-temptation filmic primer, and to warn, by whatever graphic examples possible, of their potential perils. Women, however, being significant members of the human race, are a different matter. In presenting a scenario that assumes a mate’s girlfriend, in summoning you to her bed, does not know the difference between you and her boyfriend and, that once between the sheets, such pretence can be maintained, is making a wider assumption that the woman is indiscriminate and/or basically thick.

Just as fatuous is the notion that because a woman happens to have had too much to drink she is an object for sex.

Another even more ominous assumption is that somehow the men in these situations are innocent, and that the women involved have caused them to stray from the paths of righteousness.

Put things another way: your boyfriend’s mate hops into your bed pretending to be him; you are with a footballer who has had too much to drink; your mate’s friend wants to watch you have sex.

Brilliantly said, Mr. Shmith.

What is particularly good to see is the reversal of the situation, so that a bloke puts himself in her shoes…

The idea that women are indiscriminate and that they lure men into sexual misadventures is a belief that rarely is discussed openly. It does still infiltrate Australian culture as another of the uncriticised leftovers of the Victorian class society.

Back when convict Australia was being settled, class culture back in the UK was in full swing. Attitudes that might now be associated with the most narrow minded of religious bigots were considered “appropriate” for the sons of the Empire. While such attitudes as female submission or subordination might come in for comment at times, we really haven’t, as a nation, considered quite how much these ideas still persist.

Even the concept that women are either whores or madonnas is still common currency. Try stopping to put petrol in your car without being assaulted by images of women as sexual toys plastered all over the place.

It’s fortunate that Mr. Shmith has pointed out the underlying problems in the AFL’s advertising or “education” if you could call it that. High time these cultural leftovers were brought out into the open and dispensed with before another generation of women are reduced to being used as toilets by unquestioned male privilege.

Yes, women are people too.

How about that?


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