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Reds Under The Bed, Femmos Under The Fridge

Miranda Devine makes a puzzling – borderline crazy – analysis of the recent Matthew Johns/Cronulla Sharks scandal in her article “Natural Men Scolded Into Timidity” which appeared in WA Today, 21-May-2009.

Johns was alleged to be the ringleader (Johns denies being the ringleader but admits being involved) in a gross humiliation perpetrated by him and his football club colleagues on a New Zealand woman in 2002.

Devine ascribes the outrage which followed revelation of this horrific event and the calls for retribution against Johns and his team-mates as being the product of Feminism and the Feminist movement.

She says:

The initial criticism of Johns was warranted […] But since then, Johns has been crucified, with demands he name his teammates, sponsors threatening to pull out of rugby league, a school principal banning NRL players from visiting classes and mothers stopping their sons playing the game.

You always know when zealotry creeps into a story there is another agenda at work – and that is that the Johns case is a beachhead in the war against masculinity, waged by […]the women’s studies movement.

Feminists v. NRL

In Devine’s conception, the women’s movement is responsible for the outrage directed against Johns et. al. and has an agenda to destroy Rubgy League since League is a place where men and boys can behave in unambiguously masculine fashion, this being anathema to Feminists who wish to

produce an androgynous utopia.

in which authentic masculinity and feminity are to be suppressed and replaced by non-gender identities and hence Feminists have the objective of

Killing off rugby league

The Awesome Power Of Feminist Androgynists

Devine’s attribution of such agenda-setting power to the minority viewpoint of Feminists seeking androgynous utopia (surely even a fringe within Feminism) is Howardesque in its gigantic view of the political power of selected elite minorities.

Howard famously identified Aboriginals, Feminists and Left-Wing Intellectuals as representing an near-irresistible tide of political power which had captured Australian society and thinking in order to promote their selfish, sectional interests against the ‘mainstream’.

In Devine’s view then, corporate sponsors, school principals and mothers are the foot soldiers of the Feminist Androgyny Movement, screaming the slogans of their ideological masters who remote-control their brains from command centres in Darlinghurst and Ultimo.

It’s plain weird.

Return To Sanity

In my view the general repulsion of a broad spectrum of society including the corporate sector, middle-class mums, male commercial media identities and famous famous Rugby League persons themselves reflects a sane rejection of vicious and sick behaviours exhibted by the Cronulla Sharks in 2002, Canterbury Bulldogs in 2004 and what Roy Masters (see comments by Bob Ellis here) admits has been common-place in League for years or decades.

Those vicious and sick behaviours include intimidating younger women into ‘consent’ when outnumbering them by twelve to one, self-abusing en masse while watching team mates perform such ‘consensual’ acts, rubbing themselves (more than one player simultaneously) over the face of the woman while other acts are in progress and queueing-up to join in and sneaking into the room to do so without the knowledge of the woman.

The Zealot’s Own Zealotry

It seems to me that Devine is missing the point in an almost unbelievable manner on this topic. In fact, it seems to me that Devine is a victim of the syndrome that she herself identifies:

You always know when zealotry creeps into a story there is another agenda at work

Devine’s agenda is the evil of Feminism possibly in conjunction with the moral laxity of certain young ladies which are topics to which Devine continually returns. Her zealotry has caused her to rather crazily ascribe outrage over this issue to the agency of the Feminist Movement and miss the central and obvious reason for the public outcry, which is consent and violence toward women.

Don’t Waste A Good Crisis

In my view, media commentators such as Miranda Devine and Steve Price of 2UE, who are fans of Rugby League, are missing a golden opportunity to save the game they love. League now has the opportunity to eradicate the culture of disrespect toward women which is producing the sick behaviours causing public disgust.

By confronting the problem squarely, by admitting responsibility and complicity, the clubs, players and NRL can establish a complete no-tolerance policy toward (group) intimidation of women into ‘consent’. They can clean themselves up, then get on with playing the game they love.

Hiding the problem and blaming Feminist Androgynists, the women involved or any other agency will only allow this game-threatening behaviour to linger and fester. Devine and Price should get smart and admit the problem.

Otherwise, left to its sick culture, NRL can expect to be held in contempt forever.

Its their choice.

Other Blogs

The Michael Duffy Files deconstructs Devine’s article into an entertaining series of self-contradictions.

Errr.. that’s about it.

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