I’m reliably informed that the AFL grand-final was held very recently. Apparently somebody called Hawthorn won. I’m delighted for them.
Clearly my interest in the footy is as close to 0 as possible.
After the game, a famous person, Rob Mills tweeted a photo of a two plastic Lego type toys, a Sydney player bent at the waist, while a Hawthorn player stands behind him, it’s meant to represent them engaged in a sexual activity.
I saw it and sort of laughed at it, juvenile humour and really not very funny.
Other people saw something else in it. Calling Mills homophobic.
I don’t think he’s homophobic. I think he got a bit carried away and didn’t think it through.
There’s such a wide-ranging debate going on about what he did and how we respond. As with any conversation about behaviour, the community, that’s all of us, need to work out what our standards are and have a frank and open conversation about it.
I’m inclined to think that there is an undertone to the image that needs further exploring to understand its meaning.
The use of the toys really represents the victorious team humiliating the vanquished. This is represented in a sexual manner. That is a representation of power over the weak. Domination through sex. It is implied that this is not a consensual act.
And there is the problem. While this was probably the furthest thing from Mills mind, he has essentially made a rape reference.
The homophobic slur comes into play because that ‘power’ is demonstrated through a forced homosexual act.
I sort of resent that. The implication that sex is a way to ‘celebrate’ the win by forcing the loser into a ‘detestable’ sexual act as a further way to obtain dominance and gratification.
Mills has done the right thing, he deleted the tweet and he has apologised. A decent apology with meaning and understanding. He knows he made a mistake.
I certainly don’t feel vilified. I’m not upset. But rape is not a laughing matter. No matter what the joke is.
Sex is fun, I know, I’ve tried it a few times. Everyone has a different standard when it comes to behaviour, jokes and ethics. But what do we as a community think the standard should be? Where is that line between humour and offence? That’s the topic of conversation, not whether we can hound somebody who made a mistake. The error has been pointed out and make good has been done.
Let’s keep the conversation going, this representation of domination through sex is important as we deal with family violence, rape and the victimisation of women.
We owe it to all of us to stand up for a good decent human standard that means all people are respected and treated with respect. We owe it to those that are in abusive situations and victims of violence to say that it’s unacceptable.
We need to be decent human beings.