Misogyny and ridiculousness is alive and well, just look at Peter Roebuck’s opinion piece on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today: Clarke’s choice: love or leadership:
Michael Clarke needs to choose between a fraught personal life and his career in cricket.
So Clarke has to choose between his job and his life? Yes, I understand cricket is important to a lot of people, and there’s a lot of advertising money tied up in it, but that’s just ridiculous.
So much of Roebuck’s piece is offensive and cliched (young people spending all their time online and playing with iGadgets), so I’ll just highlight a few bits:
Ordinarily, a player rushes home upon hearing some dreadful news of a family loss, impending or completed. Or else he has been informed of a devastating sickness. Now and then a player is allowed to attend a birth in the modern way.
Now and then a player is allowed to be there when their child is born? How very generous of Cricket Australia. And then this piece of offensive garbage:
Clarke’s problem is easy to state and hard to resolve. He seems to be locked into a love affair with a beautiful but possibly unstable young woman. Whatever the reality of her life, supposing reality makes an appearance now and then, Lara Bingle stumbles from public relations disaster to public relations calamity. Restaurateurs complain about her manners and the poor company she keeps. Fashionistas talk of her headstrong ways and strange customs. Moreover, she seems intent on boosting the sales of all those magazines bought by the female of the species. In short, she craves attention and courts controversy. Yet Clarke, the class act of the pairing, seems besotted. Beauty and danger have always been a potent combination. Look in the mirror and find another fool to that folly.
Ah, Roebuck doesn’t think Lara Bingle is good enough, is worthy enough, and by calling Clarke the “class act” he’s saying that Bingle has no class. He also manages to disparage women as just being interested in gossip mags. Nice one. Bingle and Clarke are engaged, yet Roebuck calls it a “schoolboy crush”.
He then goes on to write that the wives of sportsmen “understood their role” and “did not make any extra demands” because they were mature women who made sure their cricket superstar husbands didn’t have to think about trivial things like family and the importance of keeping their relationship strong.
It doesn’t matter what we think of Lara Bingle. It doesn’t matter what we think of the pathetic act of showing people a nude photo of her and giving it to the media who then published it. What matters is what Lara Bingle thinks of it, and by extension, what Michael Clarke thinks of it. What sort of arsehole wouldn’t be concerned when their partner is distressed?
Sorry Peter Roebuck, this piece is just not cricket. (Boom tish)
Update: Man Friend just showed me an opinion piece by Richard Hinds: Just do what comes naturally as Pup tails the WAG: laugh. The first half is bad, but then he ends up somewhere completely different:
Laugh about how sporting bodies who preach ”respect and responsibility” towards women also encourage players to parade wives and girlfriend on the red carpet wearing not much more than Bingle in the infamous photograph. Thus a woman’s role as status symbols, attachment and the rightful reward for athletic achievement has been endorsed and ”WAG”, once a derisive term for a spendaholic ditz, has become an official office.