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



By Pelican Magazine

Pelican Magazine acknowledges the Whadjuk Noongar people as the Traditional Custodians of the land—Whadjuk Boodja—on which we live, write, and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. // Pelican is the second-oldest student publication in Australia and the only independent paper at UWA. If you like having opinions, writing, drawing, and/or free tickets to local events, then Pelican is the place for you! We print SIX themed issues a year, and run a stream of online content. // Email your 2024 Editors (Abbey Wheeler and Jack Cross) here: [email protected] // Where to find us: Upstairs in Guild Village. Address: M300, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009 WA // Pelican Magazine of the UWA Student Guild & The University of Western Australia.

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