The confrontation between cricketers David Warner and Quinton de Kock highlights a deeply entrenched misogyny in our society
Some 30 years have passed since I told a Coburg Football Club player that calling a woman a “slut” because she had sex with him was hypocritical. It was around the time of my sister Vicki’s murder and the 1989 court case in which she’d been deliberately cast as “deceitful and sneaky” for having found another man after leaving the violent boyfriend who would go on to take her life. As the brother of a woman pilloried by patriarchal justice I had an acute aversion to the shaming of women on the basis of their sexual history.
In the aftermath of the trial of her killer, I discovered that Vicki’s brutal and censorious treatment in court was the norm in courtrooms across the country. The transcripts did not lie. In case after case of “wife murder”, women found to have had sex after leaving a man were damned as provocateurs, their killers regularly found guilty only of manslaughter and sentenced to obscenely low jail terms. It’s this dark history of violence and institutionalised shaming that forms the backdrop to South African cricketer Quinton de Kock’s alleged comments about the wife of the Australian vice-captain, David Warner.
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