Steve Biddulph on why Eddie McGuire should resign

Eddie McGuire

Meanwhile, over here in the colonies, there’s a much-welcome statement from Australian-based psychologist Steve Biddulph on why Eddie McGuire should resign:

In case you are in any doubt, I think he should resign too.

The pattern is important to understand if we are to end violence against women.

Caroline Wilson is a serious journalist, she made valid and important – but always reasoned – criticisms of Eddie McGuire’s performance as a manager of Collingwood. That’s her job.

A grown up would have two options – to address her arguments and make a case why she was wrong. Or to concede that she was right.

But instead of engaging as an equal and an adult, Mr McGuire seethed, and in a setting where he felt safe, among mates, and in the hearing of several million people, they joked about – essentially – killing her.

When shamed men can’t deal with the anxiety they feel, they choose to resolve it by imagined, or real, violence, and rally support from other men to make that okay.

This also happened with Alan Jones and our first woman PM Julia Gillard, and the infamous “chaff bag” threats. And as we see in the daily news – from Yorkshire to Orlando, there’s always some nutter willing to carry it out.

Token apology that is forced by circumstance isn’t the same as real change. You have to say – this is a character flaw.

Even if the victim wasn’t a woman, it’s still wrong.

Adults deal with conflict or disagreement with words, respectfully, and safely. Only mature adults should be in positions with this much power …

A few commenters, mostly men, are saying “it was just a joke”. Because they are presumably fathers, I want to explain this, as it makes a difference to your parenting. If you go back to my piece at the top, I am saying I don’t believe this was “just” a joke.

There was a context. He was genuinely threatened and angry at her criticism in her articles. It was on his mind.

It came out quite inappropriately at a charity dunking. It was a slip up, sure, but it showed his underlying anger, and his inability to deal with it in an adult way.

And it showed him appealing for emotional support to his mates. It was anger and threat leaking out through humour.

And as the Age pointed out today, she wasn’t there, so it can’t be banter. Banter is when people are sharing in put downs for fun, by mutual agreement. Humour is used to mask violence every single day. Rapists and abusers often say “get over it”.

It was window into the man’s heart. And that is a huge thing.

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