Bondi’s game of groans

Article by Lauren Rosewarne /
ABC The Drum /
May 06, 2014 /

Click here to view original /

Feminism, so the rhetoric goes, has done all kinds of wretched things to men.

So very uppity and demanding are us ball-breaking bra burners that yesteryear’s beloved pastimes of raping and plundering are suddenly considered reprehensible, if not, God forbid, gaolable.

So greedy and demanding are the militant ladyfolk among us that endlessly we nag on and on about seeking help around the house, about contributions to child rearing.

Buzzkills, the lot of us.

The endless opportunities to ogle nubile breasts aside, part of the appeal of the pop culture juggernaut Game of Thrones is vicarious access to a world long before feminists ruined everything.

A world where women knew their braless place in the world.

A world where men understood that tending to their urges – be they the ones cajoling a little light incest or the swiftest of beheadings – was paramount.

During a recent radio interview, the male host lamented to me men’s (apparent) cripplingly confusion about whether to hold the door open for women or not. God forbid we each just used the principles of politeness and whoever-gets-there-first. So much easier is it to blame the joy-suckin’ feminazis.

Game of Thrones offers respite. No political correctness, no yawn-worthy laws about sexual harassment and few deterrents to acting on the basest of our impulses. The ficto-history depicts a world where men assert manliness not merely through an ability to piddle standing up or the growth of forests of facial hair, but through deed. The body in all its rippling muscularity is how conflict is resolved, authority is asserted and masculinity is proven.

No endless jibber-jabber, no therapy, no deep-breaths-and-counting-to-10, rather, it’s all about harnessing the testosterone, channelling it, letting it erupt in a splendid orgasm of gore. About being male in all the most brutal of ways.

Which leads me, of course, to the James Packer/David Gyngell punch-up.

Sure, this sordid little scrape could be construed as testimony to two hotheads managing conflict in that low-brow, thuggish, street brawl kind of way we expect of boys who’ve slammed one too many jägerbombs and whose mums still do their laundry.

I’d prefer, however, to think of the tooth-dislodging stoush as less ridiculous, less anachronistic and less hilariously immature, and instead, to read it as the grandest of political statements.

My imaginings involve the two man-boys binge-watching Thrones. Maybe they drank a bit – a lot – ate some Twisties, the details aren’t really important. And a dozen or so episodes in, they come to an inebriated epiphany about just how egregiously feminised our world has become; how wretchedly removed we are from those halcyon days of breakfast/bashing/bonking/bed.

“Civilisation” has become inextricably linked to diplomacy, to handshakes, business card exchange and quinoa. Gone is the supreme value of brawn, biffo and bloodshed.

Packer and Gyngell rectified this. Corrected the excessive tidiness and temperance of modern culture, and took it outside. Old-school style.

Punches were thrown, blood was spilled, and for a few minutes the duo got a chance to shake off the shackles of civility and embrace their inner Neanderthal.

It’ll only prove a blip and soon enough their respective grievances will get sorted via email, lawyers, withheld Christmas cards and icy stares. But for that briefest moment in time, they got to harness their inner brute. And oh how we laughed.

© Lauren Rosewarne