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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

So, a 2002 allegation of sexual assault against Matthew Johns and other Cronulla players (Rugby League for the non Antipodeans) has been in the papers again, due to a Four Corners Report aired last night in which the woman was interviewed.

I found this article in today’s SMH, titled “Our game apologises unreservedly’, which contained this paragraph:

Although there was no suggestion the woman had been sexually assaulted, Johns and Firman were named by Four Corners as being the first players to have sex with her. Asked why she had waited until now speak out, the woman said: “I wanted at least their wives or girlfriends to know what they had done at the very least. Part of me wanted them to know because I was so angry and I wanted their lives destroyed like mine was and part of me wanted them to know so that they could go and meet the better people that wouldn’t treat them like that.”

Two things. She’d gone to the police in 2002, so she’d waited “til now” to ‘speak out’ (cos apparently her police report doesn’t count) only in the sense that she’s now spoken to interviewers for the Four Corners programme that waited til about now to start their report.

Second:“there was no suggestion the woman had been sexually assaulted”

I’m trying very hard here to understand what they mean. That the programme didn’t suggest it? That no one is suggesting it? Because quite fucking clearly she is suggesting it, nay indeed asserting it quite vigorously. And the fact that the police investigation got dropped means nothing when you look at the stats. And also, this seems to misunderstand what is and is not a sexual assault. Even *if* she had agreed to sex with Johns and another man or two, there were allegedly twelve men in the room, laughing, groping and fondling her. If those men were not invited in, for the love of all that’s good and holy how is that NOT sexual assault?

So…on the off chance that someone else made themselves sit through that Four Corners report, and can see some way to clarify what these guys mean by no suggestion the woman had been sexually assaulted please help me out here.

Cos right now this seems like a spectacularly misogynist and wankish FAIL in reporting. And I’d LIKE to know that I’ve been fair before I go branding these guys massive fucking rape apologising FUCKWITS more vested in clearing the name of footy than accuracy in journalism.

Edited to add: While I am told that the Four Corners report used the phrase ‘no suggestion’ (ie they weren’t suggesting) several times, I still think the reporters in the SMH/League HQ article should have said something along the lines of ‘While the report did not suggest…’ rather than there is no suggestion. Her allegations are indeed a ‘suggestion’.

And then this: in an article in SMH over the use of League personalities to promote a greyhound racing event tagged ‘doggie style‘:

On Four Corners last night, a New Zealand woman identified only as Clare said her life had been ruined and she had considered suicide after having sex with Johns and another Cronulla player while up to 10 of their teammates and club staff watched on during a tour in 2002. Johns and another Cronulla player while up to 10 of their teammates and club staff watched on during a tour in 2002.

Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but MY understanding is that she said her life had been ruined by being raped. If you’re going to fucking cite HER then do it properly please.

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