As expected, ABC’s Four Corners piece on the gang bang culture of NRL lit the mainstream blogs up with comments from a ranting public. Predictably, they’ve ranged from boofhead defences of Matthew Johns and his mates to indignant condemnations of all males as rapists and calls for mass-castration. (Why do I keep reading this shit? Out of some perverse anthropological investigative urge, or an enduring trash aesthetic, or…nah, it’s something baser, but let’s not waste time on damaging self-reflection here.)
The unfortunate New Zealand “bun’s” description of what went on that night set me pondering. She painted a picture of debauchery that could have inspired Fellini to surpass the decadent reaches of Satyricon: NRL buddies queued up for their turn at her, while others sat around the room naked, watching on and masturbating. A retired ex-coach explained this sordid scene away as a form of “team bonding”.
Amongst all the online banter I have not seen a single post expressing my reaction, though I can’t imagine I am alone in formulating the following question. Slap me down with a sweat-soaked jockstrap if I’m astray here, but for all the blokey posturing, isn’t the notion of a group of buff young male athletes sitting around bicep to bicep, disrobed and wanking over their peers stirring each others porridge, a trifle…erm…gay?