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

By Deb Waterhouse-Watson

Since footballer sexual attack grew to become most sensible information in 2004, six years after the 1st case used to be suggested, a lot has been written within the information media approximately person situations, footballers and girls who've intercourse with them. Deb Waterhouse-Watson unearths how media representations of contemporary sexual attack instances concerning Australian footballers volume to "trials by means of media", trials that bring about acquittal. The tales instructed approximately footballers and ladies within the information media evoke stereotypes reminiscent of 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 booklet info how well known conceptions of masculinity and femininity tell the best way footballers’ our bodies, crew bonding, girls, intercourse and alcohol are portrayed within the media, and connects tales with regards to the instances with activities reporting in most cases. Uncovering comparable styles of narrative, grammar and discourse throughout those detailed but comparable fields, Waterhouse-Watson exhibits how those discourses are naturalised, with experiences at the instances intertwining with broader discourses of soccer reporting to supply immunity. regardless of the superiority of reports that discredit the alleged sufferers, Waterhouse-Watson additionally examines makes an attempt to counter those pervasive rape myths, articulating winning recommendations and elucidating the constraints equipped into journalistic practices, and language itself.

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

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His purpose here is clear: he constructs his narrative authority on the basis of his insider status, as fi rst-hand accounts are more readily believed than other stories. Of greatest importance, he can lay claim to the status of ‘impartial eyewitness’ as he is not the main character in his anecdotes, but nevertheless has fi rst-hand knowledge of events in which he did not participate. 3 Even when he recounts the stories of others, their authenticity is implied by the seamless way in which they are interwoven with Masters’ personal, ‘eyewitness’ anecdotes.

Drawing attention to the fact the woman did not press charges, without any explanation for her choice,16 also suggests the complaint is false, as it implies that it will not stand up in court and that the complainant is aware of this. This contrasts strongly with Murphy’s opening: Bruised, drugged and smeared with semen, a Californian mother of two was forced to endure one fi nal humiliation as she staggered from a Hawaiian hotel after allegedly being gang raped by at least three— probably more—members of the Hawthorn Football Club.

The difference is that stereotyped constructions, as Joanna Bourke (2007, 7) argues, ‘try to harm women’, and inhibit all complainants from being believed; whereas it is possible for alternative, victim-supportive constructions to give women’s testimony the chance to be tested. This allows victims the possibility of becoming plaintiffs able to testify to a wrong (Lyotard 1988, 9). RAPE NARRATIVES: NEGOTIATING GENDERED STEREOTYPES15 I would like to conclude this chapter with an illustration of the way narrative choices can determine truth effects, analysing two news reports relating to the same incident.

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