Athletes, Sexual Assault, and "Trials by Media": Narrative by Deb Waterhouse-Watson

By Deb Waterhouse-Watson

Since footballer sexual attack turned best information in 2004, six years after the 1st case was once said, a lot has been written within the information media approximately person circumstances, footballers and girls who've intercourse with them. Deb Waterhouse-Watson finds how media representations of modern sexual attack circumstances concerning Australian footballers volume to "trials by way of media", trials that bring about acquittal. The tales advised approximately footballers and ladies within the information media evoke stereotypes similar to the "gold digger", "woman scorned" and the "predatory woman", which solid doubt at the alleged sufferers’ claims and recommend that they're mendacity. Waterhouse-Watson calls this a "narrative immunity" for footballers opposed to allegations of sexual assault.

This publication info how renowned conceptions of masculinity and femininity tell the best way footballers’ our bodies, workforce bonding, girls, intercourse and alcohol are portrayed within the media, and connects tales on the subject of the instances with activities reporting in most cases. Uncovering comparable styles of narrative, grammar and discourse throughout those certain but similar fields, Waterhouse-Watson exhibits how those discourses are naturalised, with studies at the circumstances intertwining with broader discourses of soccer reporting to supply immunity. regardless of the superiority of news that discredit the alleged sufferers, Waterhouse-Watson additionally examines makes an attempt to counter those pervasive rape myths, articulating profitable recommendations and elucidating the restrictions equipped into journalistic practices, and language itself.

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Extra resources for Athletes, Sexual Assault, and "Trials by Media": Narrative Immunity

Sample text

Further, asking her about the contest appears inconsistent with an ‘attack’, which has clear connotations of violence. The language used to describe the sexual contact is consistent with consensual sex: McKenna quotes the woman describing the first man as ‘having sex’ with her and waking up with ‘the next person on me’ and later with ‘a third person on me’. This presents the three men ‘having sex’ with the woman as a predicted sequence of events; that the woman’s own words are used implies that she was aware of what was going to happen, and therefore consenting to it.

The club official groped and kissed the woman. ‘He was really ugly’ . . ‘If I was anywhere near normal, I would have been like “OK, go away”. Being ‘hit on’ suggests that his overtures were uninvited and unwanted; that he ‘groped and kissed’ her marks both acts as unwanted sexual touching (and therefore sexual assault). The assertion that he was ugly and that she would normally have told him to go away therefore supports the claim that his touching was unwanted, and undermines the counter claim that she later had consensual sex with him.

Ehrlich also found that adjudicators frequently uphold the accused’s non-agency, remarking that, in one case, ‘the adjudicators’ decisions [were] continuous with [the accused’s] representation of himself as a non-agent, even in their grammatical representations’ (60). The judge in this case implicitly evoked the male sexual drive discourse (discussed in Chapter 4), which states that men’s sexual urges cannot be controlled, thus attributing his behaviour to an external force and removing his agency for it (57).

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