a man hits another man

breaks his jaw


if it’d happened outside a bar

where each male body had equal power

he’d be condemned


but this happened on a football field

where the attacker stood superior

as a player for the favoured team


his actions

they’re rapidly labelled

as out of character


‘but he’s a good bloke’

they say


‘he’s sorry’

they say


‘it’s a tragedy’

they say


these statements are the chorus

of a symphony that aims to have us forget

replace guilt with regret


this narrative is poison

take the sport away

replace it with a woman

and the perpetrator-as-victim-story

is much the same


our culture accepts the despicable

as long as it’s enacted

by the person with the most power


we need new narratives

where power has no relevance to the judgement

of another’s actions


we need new symphonies

with choruses that offer no sympathy to men

who don’t control their violence


they are not victims of their masculinity

they grow from the poisonous root

that feeds the most powerful tree


Jasmin Seabrook-Benson | @jsb_writes



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