Tip of the ice bucket

eddie mcguirePENNY MULVEY

“It’s all good for footy,” Eddie McGuire concluded as he and his fellow radio commentators ended a brief and chilling conversation, later described as ‘banter’, in which they joked about drowning a well-known female sports journalist.

As a furore has erupted over the conversation, the Collingwood president and football commentator said that he never thought of Caroline Wilson (the journalist in question) as female.

“Equality is treating everybody the same,” McGuire is quoted as saying, “at what stage does Caro become the woman reporter [as] opposed to the reporter?”

Easily answered, Mr McGuire, when you think it is okay to laugh about drowning someone as a fund-raising exercise.

Ms Wilson thinks you crossed the line. Former Australian of the Year and family violence campaigner Rosie Batty, felt the need to remind you that some might see you as a role model.

This kind of totally inappropriate commentary is part of the unconscious bias and intemperate use of language that the current federal government sponsored advertising campaign is highlighting.

“Violence against women starts with disrespect,” the voiceover says.

Seriously Mr McGuire, was the ‘playful banter’ between you and your colleagues respectful?

“The excuses we make allow it to grow,” the voiceover continues.

Mr McGuire, take a good look at your words. Read them as women might. Do they not sound like excuses?

“Violence against women. Let’s stop it at the start.”

How can it be stopped at the start when radio commentators think it is okay to joke about holding a woman under icy water, bombing her and paying more money if she doesn’t come up?

Presidents of football clubs, radio commentators, football ‘legends’, must be accountable for the words that come out of their mouths. These words are dangerous as they unconsciously reinforce a belief that females are disposable.

If you want to donate to Motor Neurone Disease Australia go to:  www.mndaust.asn.au

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence go to: www.respect.gov.au

Image by fansunite via Twitter


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