6 December, 2016 12:50
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
In an explosive news week that has seen many high-profile Australian identities berated for sleazy interactions with the opposite sex, the famous, and noticeably black, BBL cricketing sensation Chris Gayle is definitely the most controversial.
Even more controversial than the two federal ministers who have admitted to misogynistic behaviour this week, Chris Gayle’s misogyny is controversial enough for it’s very own hashtag: #Interblacktions
Some commentators have suggested Chris Gayle is solely responsible for Australia’s patriarchal culture of misogyny and domestic violence, despite the fact that he is a visiting West Indian cricketer, not a federal minister.
Following his explosive 41 run performance Melbourne Renegades on Monday night, Chris Gayle upset dozens of very vocal Australians with utterly disgusting comments that were broadcasted live in a match interview with Channel 10 reporter, Mel McLaughlin.
In the stomach-churning footage which is available for viewing on the Sportsbet.com.au facebook page, Chris Gayle can be heard telling McLaughlin that she has “beautiful eyes” and that he would like to “have a drink” with her.
After witnessing the white woman’s stunned reaction to being complimented by a charismatic black man with a foreign accent, Chris Gayle went one misogynistic step further by assuring her that she did not have to blush because he didn’t mean to embarrass her.
The interview has provoked the completely justified and unquestionably necessary character assassination of Gayle, who many believe should have left his confident ability to talk to woman back in the 3rd-world country from which he came.
In a stirring example of online noise-making, the bravery shown by both McLaughlin, and several other female journalists who have opened up about Gayle’s flirtiness, has encouraged thousands of other Australian women to share similar stories of having to talk to, and even worse, be hit on, by charismatic black men.
The stories are being shared via social media, under the hashtag #Interblacktions – where young woman share their own personal examples of unexpected interactions with black men in Australia.
“It was horrible. This man came up to me and asked for directions to the nearest train station. Need I say more? #Interblacktions” writes one Facebook user, Wendy.
Another writes “#Interblacktions What happened to Mel McLaughlin is an example of what happens to me every day living in Logan. The black men down here treat you like you are one of their own. It’s frightening”
Sarah from Melbourne writes “I paid 250 dollars to attend a Kanye West concert and I was invited to meet him and Jay-Z afterwards… I had never felt more frightened in my life when I was sitting backstage with those men,”
However, the #Interblacktions campaign has been criticised by West Indies media, who says that Australia’s response to Chris Gayle’s flirting is an example of our systemic racism, which even they have heard about – all the way from the Caribbean.
The Jamaican Observer writes:
When Shane Warne openly cheats on his wife with a couple of page 3 girls, or says he wants to devour a woman online, no one bats an eyelid… When a handsome, quietly-spoken Calypso prince asks a girl out for a drink… Everyone is up in arms like it’s the 1940’s
Come home, Chris. The lynch mob have chosen you, you must flee.
While many civil rights activists around the world agree that this appears to be another example of the typical racist Australian media persecuting a successful black sportsperson, a spokesperson for Cricket Australia has responded to the Jamiaca Observer’s comments, stating:
‘That’s totally different… Black-sexist is completely different to Warnie-sexist. Warnie is a larrikin, so when he does it, it’s funny’.