I know what you’re thinking...
‘Oh, wow. Someone else is giving their two cents on the Chris Gayle scenario. What a shock.’
Honestly, I’m half-way surprised you even clicked on this piece at all.
However, this piece isn’t about the overblown, highly exaggerated media shitstorm that has bludgeoned Chris Gayle with the power of a thousand fists.
It’s about the reaction of the general public, particularly on social media. This is something that I find to be far more troubling and disconcerting when it comes to looking at how sexism operates in Australia in 2016.
When Chris Gayle made his awkward pass towards Mel McLaughlin, most people’s opinions were divided into two frames of mind:
A: It was a joke. Get over it. The media needs to stop hyping these things up.
B: It wasn’t a joke; it’s a sign of the sexism that women have to fight in the workplace, and more needs to be done about it.
As time went on and Gayle received his financial punishments, the issue just wouldn’t die and arguments on social media kept perpetuating themselves into deeper territory. These arguments began to revolve more and more around a wider debate of sexism than anything regarding Gayle’s actual behaviour.
It now seems that anyone who still gives a toss about this issue is either:
A) A white male out to prove that sexism against men is just as common as with women, so everyone needs to #StandWithGayle or else the party’s over.
B) A strictly PC bunch that seems hell-bent on branding anyone who supports Gayle in any capacity as most definitely, 100 per cent, a sexist, and who are not in any way generalising people themselves...
It’s a battle between the Bigots and the Overly Politically Correct Police.
Who wins? Who loses? Does it matter?
Let’s look at the dickhead Bigots.
The main argument you will see in a comment box of a Gayle argument coming from this side is a mention of, or a link to, Maria Sharapova flirting with a journalist or Sunrise reporter Nuala Hafner hitting on a surfer on live television in 2014. Or some comment about how Channel 10 is being hypocritical as it shows advertisements featuring Julia Morris 'ogling' some guy and runs programs like The Bachelor.
In their minds, resurfacing these incidents is definitive 'proof' that unwarranted sexual advances occur to males as well, and therefore the issue of sexism in the workplace has been totally overblown.
Oh, please. I don’t think I could have made up a more cowardly cop-out of a response.
'Hey, nobody cared when Maria Sharapova flirted with some guy, and now they care when Gayle does it? That’s totally not fair! Sexism happens on both sides, and therefore I can keep acting the way I’m acting.'
How did somebody think that this was a smart response?
No, some old footage does not justify or defend Gayle's actions. Neither does it support any theory that males have it just as bad as women.
If you honestly think that men receive unwarranted sexual advances in the workplace just as much as women, you are nothing short of delusional.
In fact, in a twisted sense of irony, the fact that this bunch of dickheads post these videos of Sharapova and Hafner and label them inappropriate only supports the overly PC culture they appear to be fighting against.
It’s going around in circles, and it doesn’t make any practical sense in defending Chris Gayle’s actions.
Now, on the other side, the Overly Politically Correct Police.
My favourite part about these guys is how, sometimes, in an effort to be constantly in line with political correctness, they completely misjudge the popular sentiment.
Case in point:
For people who are so fervent about destroying offensive generalisations, they seem to make a lot of offensive generalisations.
I hate to break it to you, but just because someone supports Chris Gayle doesn’t automatically make them a sexist asshole. And if you think it does, you’re seriously oversimplifying the issue.
Chris Gayle was immature and showed a serious lack of social awareness, but is he really the villain of sexism in 2016? Hardly.
The categorising of Chris Gayle advocates gives me flashbacks to the Adam Goodes saga of last year. At one point, if you didn’t agree with Adam Goodes at any level, you were automatically deemed a racist. And now, again, with Gayle, a sexist. Issues of racism and sexism in 2016 are rarely, if ever, so black and white.
I may mock the illogicality of the bigotry on the other side, but this continuous persistence to oversimplify complex issues and then brand anyone who disagrees with you in any capacity with the same damning label is just as short-sighted.
I can’t help but feel that in situations that evoke issues as tender and raw as sexism, emotions cause the discussion to catalyse so quickly that all of a sudden it seems that in the realm of social media you have to stick to one of the two sides.
Where did the side for the moderate disappear to?
Sure, Gayle was wrong for how he treated Mel McLaughlin, but he hardly deserves to lambasted and symbolised as the evil face of sexism.
It’s time to move on.
Alex Capper, once affectionally called by Ross & John of 3AW as the '7 foot fucker', loves the Essendon Football Club, stalking reddit and dabbing. He thinks he can speak French, but he can't.