In Australia, one of the players for the Canberra Raider's rugby league team, has been embroiled in controversy over a photograph of him apparently receiving oral sex from a mate's dog as a prank. I actually can't believe that is even a sentence. Anyway, to put it bluntly, it was licking his balls. The bare bones of the story is that the photo was widely distributed via Facebook and Twitter, and an edited version has been all over the news. It's been an absolute debacle.
The whole thing seems really weird more than anything and I'm not quite sure to make of it all to be honest - the photo is more gross than messed up, like an odd thing to have yourself photographed doing. However, there is one thing that I am finding terribly distressing and infuriating.
Football in Australia, in fact let's be honest... Sport in Australia is not known for it's particularly ethical attitudes to women and sex. I'm not going to bang on about my opinions on the litany of sexual assault charges that have been laid and then dismissed over the years other than to say that I don't think many (any?) sportspeople have been sacked over sexual assault allegations photographed or not. Yet this one photo, which is more weird than anything, incites nation-wide moral outrage and baying for blood, leading to the resignation by the player (albeit it is predicted he will 'bounce back').
Seriously, what kind of message is this sending?
When did the sexual well being and safety of a Labrador become more valid and worthy of protection than women? When did the Australian social conscience become more appalled by a dog licking someone, than a guy sexually assaulting a woman? Wasn't the dog, like the countless women before it, 'asking for it'? Didn't the dog 'want it'? Or was it perhaps too hard to tell when it changed it's mind? I think we need to take a long, hard look at ourselves, Australia.
Maybe I'm over-reacting, but this whole thing makes me uncomfortable. And slightly ill.