Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disrespect

Another football season has passed here in Australia (and that's AFL not soccer), with the Grand Final having been played on Saturday. I don't really have any feelings about football - I neither like nor dislike it. I am fairly rare in this viewpoint - most people either love it passionately or avoid it like the Plague. Perhaps this is because of how I was brought up - my mother was always happy to watch a game but my father was a member of the Anti-Football League. Add to this the fact that I am not really a sporty person within myself anyway and you come up with an attitude of basic ambivalence.
What I'm thinking about today, though, is the behaviour of players off the field. Yet another rape allegation has cropped up here involving players from the team that won the Grand Final (http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/magpie-denials-as-smears-emerge-20101005-1663y.html) What's interesting is how the media and the public in general have responded to it. An ex-footballer has tweeted that women who go home with men at 3 o'clock in the morning should not be surprised when sex is demanded of them (even, as in this case, if it's group sex) while a local tv identity has described women who go out with footballers as "strays".
At the heart of all this is an enormous disrespect for women and for their sexuality. Women are still being identified as available playthings for men if they dare to mix within certain social circles or if they conduct themselves in a certain way. In short, as this argument always seems to return to, they are 'asking for it' if they ignore society's apparent rules. There are still significant restraints upon women's freedom as this case (and the many like it) clearly illustrates.
What do you think? Is there a similar situation within other countries?

6 comments:

Burcado Ajad said...

Dear Feronia,

last months I regarded again and again past lifes, especially my part in the togetherness with friends, with beloved-ones and children.

I learned to change the inner state - being a macho, being the follower of the old man. To stop that process seems to be an unlimited task. The man's world is a cruel one, to create a new kind of a loving man changes everything. Fourteen years of intense spiritual work, meditating, deconditioning, dancing and laughing...

In the beginning of this summer I said to my son, that I really want to live in friendship with him ... If he can feel being respected, he can live with friends and girlfriends in deepest respect. He is nine years old and he can feel, that the dharma of love is working. He knows whether he wants to live in love or in hate.

Looking back, I can see all the mistakes, I made in relationships. I've decided to speak (or to write) with the women, I've spent many days of live. It's a time to say „Forgive me, please.“

A woman is not a thing to be misused or to be conquered.

Love and light
Burcado Ajad

PS
By the way, the same theme: Yesterday I posted „Rooms of dreams, rooms of living“ on SATJAM. If you like to read the post, here is the link:

http://satjam.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/traumraume-lebensraume

Sefarina said...

While I really do believe, one should not be surprised to be asked for sex, when going home with a stranger in the middle of the night, a woman has always the right to decide against it (even if she's naked and on top at this point!).

Actually we have the case "Kachelmann" here (maybe you want to google) who also is a well known Personality and treated women like toys he posessed. He's beeing charged with rape at the moment and oh so sure about to get away with it. Maybe he will...

Feronia said...

Hello Burcado,

Thanks for your insightful comments :) It's true that a lot of men have a lot to 'unlearn' in our society. The ways in which my father and his contemporaries were raised seems to have somehow come back again in younger men - seeing women are objects, not real people.

I think too the development of what has been termed here as the "raunch culture" has a lot to do with it too - that is, many young women are convinced by popular culture that their only worth lies in their ability to be sexy.

Finally, I think Monica Sjoo in her book "The Great Cosmic Mother" has a lot to say when she suggests that patriarchal society has encouraged the notion that there is a 'battle of the sexes' - and that men therefore need to dominate.

Thanks again for your comments,
Feronia

Hello Sefarina,

Yes I agree, and I think it's the right to say no that is being missed here - there seems to be the idea that at some point women negate that right, once they have gone to a man's apartment etc.

I just looked up Kachelmann on Google. I wonder if he'll get away with it?

Best,
Feronia

Bodecea said...

Oh, a woman has not to be surprised being raped if she goes with a stranger?

So hear, all strangers - you don't have to be surprised if I cut off some unnecessary parts of you if you try to rape me... and I would say -"he looked like he needed it!".

I must confess - when I spot a man while walking alone in the wood, I am automatically a bit alarmed. I know "only" some of a hundred men would rape a woman, and maybe I wouldn't be the first choice (hey, I am six feet tall and look like a slightly overweight warrior queen!) - but there is always a risk.

Bitter!
Bodecea

Diana Kennedy said...

I also think that a woman should *expect* to be asked for Sex when going home with a a stranger at night. And she's lucky if the guy actually does ask...
Like Sefarina, I don't mean this as an excuse for the man! Not for raping her - not even for being a jerk who thinks that she's "easy to get".

Being aware of this fondamental attitide that most men share, is a matter of being realistic, not more.
Being aware of something doesn't mean that it's okay. It's not.
It is - and will remain - a main reason why women's freedom is still restrained.

As for this Football player: It's the typical macho-asshole who thinks he can get away with every thing just because he's famous.

Feronia said...

@ Bodecea -

Yes, I am always more "aware" if I am walking alone and I see a man. It's sad to automatically think that way. But very possibly wise.

@ Diana -

Yes, I think we have to say that that expectation might be there but there also has to be the expectation that a woman can say no if she wants to and that will be respected. I think the other issue with this particular case is that the woman was assaulted by other men in the house at the time, that she didn't know or consent to.