There are many things I'd like to say about the current group sex scandal sweeping the National Rugby League. The biggest WTF? is of course the idea that standing around with a bunch of your teammates while you take turns with a young lady or enjoy your own "ballwork" is some sort of heterosexual bonding exercise, and not a thinly-veiled excuse for a lot of latent homoerotic navel-gazing.
But I've decided instead to help NRL footballers as they grapple with the tricky issue of navigating women in a social setting. I've done this by constructing an easy-to-read flowchart.
I'm happy for David Gallop & Co to use that as much as they'd like.
I would, however, like to make some brief remarks about a certain idea/phrase/excuse that's been cropping up a lot in regards to the Christchurch girl at the centre of a group sex incident involving Cronulla players. It runs along these lines:
"Why is she bringing this up after seven years?" - "Everyone's moved on, why bring up the past?" - "She may have done more harm than good dredging up old memories."
Can you imagine suffering a serious trauma and having someone say that to you? Since when was there a statute of limitations on emotions, or personal experience?
Would people say to Denise and Bruce Morcombe - "Guys, come on? Daniel's been inexplicably missing for nearly six years! Move on!"
Would people say to the victims of the Bali bombings - "People! Over seven years already! Build the bridge!"
Would people say to children who suffered abuse at the hands of priests or Christian Brothers - "Guys, long time ago. Don't ruin a top bloke's career over this."
I find myself incredulous that some people cannot make this simple connection in their brains. That just because one party involved in a sordid/ regretful/ hurtful/ controversial event has "moved on", doesn't mean everyone else can, or has to. Experiences stay with people. Time may eventually heal the wound; sometimes all it can do is fade the scar.
The concept of "moving on" is sound; and it's only appropriate that people try - through counselling, medication and other methods - to overcome experiences of trauma through acceptance, in order to live a productive, or at least bearable, life. But there is no stopwatch. There is no final bell or siren you must give, before locking the door forever on that corner of your brain.
Of course, the double standard in this case is clear - it's an incident involving sex, women and the grimy, blurry line of consent. I'm passing no judgement on that event in particular; merely to condemn those who would in turn condemn a young woman for daring to remember what happened to her.