AT A TIME like this, when sexists rise like vermin to the surface, we need writers like the late Sam de Brito, a man who died tragically young.
I still remember how De Brito gave it to Collingwood president Eddie McGuire with both barrels in 2013 after the latter had made his infamous King Kong remarks about the Sydney Swans legend Adam Goodes.
McGuire’s ugliness surfaces periodically, and he was at his brilliant best on the birthday of the British monarch, with atrocious comments about Caroline Wilson, the chief AFL writer for Fairfax Media.
McGuire was joined by others from the blokey football crowd, with Danny Frawley, a former coach of senior AFL club Richmond, no less, and the president of the North Melbourne AFL club, James Brayshaw, chiming in. Also adding his two cents was Wayne Carey, probably the greatest AFL player ever but a seriously flawed human being.
The comments are indicative of the insecurity felt among males who feel challenged when a woman excels in a field which they have traditionally controlled.
McGuire and his buddies must be feeling half-castrated now that the AFL has done the long overdue thing and instituted a women’s league which will start from 2017.
But how many people who matter will stand up and call McGuire for what he is — a closet racist, a closet sexist, a man who has serious doubts abouts his masculinity, a man who cannot bear to live in a democracy where other people — like Wilson, for example — have opinions that differ with his?
Wilson is the best AFL writer in the country, bar none. She calls it as she sees it, is not beholden to man or beast, and McGuire, who likes the fawning kind of journalist, cannot stand her kind.
If Wilson had been a man, it is unlikely that McGuire would be so cavalier. No, he would be his loathful self, for the simple reason that he would fear a boot in the groin.
There is a sickness in Australian society and McGuire is one of the symbols of this disease. It is a disease called sexism, the good old-fashioned variety, where men join hands to keep women down for fear that they will lose control.
De Brito had it down pat after McGuire’s racist outburst: “I’ll take a guess at why your casual-Eddie-McGuire-type-racism persists in this country – because you don’t get killed for it and you certainly don’t get punished if you’re rich and white,” he wrote.
“You give a press conference. You get suspended pending an internal enquiry. You move on in a week or two and things go on as they always have.”
Someone should give McGuire a dose of his own medicine but I doubt that anyone will. Australia is far too male-dominated to knock down one of its tall poppies.