Chickengate as reviewed on At The Movies.

When asked today if I was barracking for North Melbourne or Essendon I thought I’d better look into Chickengate first. For those that don’t know what that is, here is a link to the video and a typical analysis of it. In short two members of the NM team produced a video typically interpreted as abusive, violent and demeaning to women. Ie nothing particularly surprising for any football code that I know of.

At any rate, I also picked up on this link, which is a brilliant sendup of the whole affair, managing to satirise At the Movies with David and Margaret at the same time, a worthy exercise in itself. It begins thus:

Here is what David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz said on their TV show, At the Movies:

At the Movies Transcript:

David: Directors Adam Simpson and Daniel Pratt have perfectly captured the insecurities of the modern rooster in their critically acclaimed Adventures of Little Boris, a gritty drama that takes peer pressure to a whole new level.

The protagonist, Boris, a mid-20s rooster living in North Melbourne, is consumed by nasty masochistic thoughts which he feels are normal. Growing up within a certain male culture has taught him that chickens are dispensable objects only good for two things: sex and stir-fry.

In denial over his own perceived masculinity, Boris attempts to win the approval of his brethren by repeatedly raping the one chicken he truly loves. Unfortunately, Boris is a high-profile rooster incapable of articulating his feelings in words; he gives little thought to the harm he is inflicting on his chicken and too much thought to how his mates back at the rooster coop will react.

Bravo David Edwards – your post makes the entire episode worth while. The full transcript of Margaret and David can be found here.

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4 thoughts on “Chickengate as reviewed on At The Movies.

  1. So then it’s okay for women to be raped because men are just victims of patriarchal culture? I should feel sorry for men who are physically and sexually abusive because they’re confused by social constructions of masculinity that they can’t live up to? And that they really love the women they abuse, as people?

    I can accept that it’s a humorous attempt at providing an alternative perspective on this video, but when each of these players involved in the making of the video go out into real society and rape real women, abuse their girlfriends, etc, do you think we’ll begin to take the issue of how men in hyper-masculinized subcultures view/treat women seriously?

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  2. Do you not think, in this case, that a document such as this video, making it quite clear what this group of men think of women (if that is how one interprets it) has a useful purpose? Frankly it seems to me handy that women have a clear idea of what is likely to happen if they associate with such people.

    By the way, I did ask somebody the other side of the world to read my post and the various links for his opinion. I was interested in what somebody would think who hadn’t heard of AFL football, let alone Chickengate. This was our exchange:

    Him: ‘I thought the movie was funny in places, but just too amateurish. I got a bit bored.’

    Me: ‘I thought the movie on its own was funny to a point, but you throw in rap (which I do hate with a passion) that’s inciting violence against women, (as far as I could understand it) and it changes the whole nature of what you are looking at, don’t you think?’

    Him: ‘But isn’t the whole movie, especially the rape, ironic? That’s the way I saw it, anyhow. It’s just satirizing that primitive macho mindset, but not doing it in a very subtle or effective way. Inciting? I mean, it’s a rubber chicken, hardly a character that you’ll want to identify with.’

    Me: ‘This movie has been made by footballers. They wouldn’t recognise irony if it came up and bit them on the leg. They’d think it was a vitamin supplement if they heard the word. The movie is pretty much a representation of what they (not all of them, lots of them) think about women – the question is, could they possibly have been bright enough to know that’s what they were doing?’

    Him: ‘Oh. It wasn’t ironic. I read the blog post, but I guess I thought hey, why can’t footballers be ironic too? Well, you know more about them than I do, so I suppose you’re right. In that case, I guess it’s disgusting. But in my heart it still feels ironic.’

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  3. just to add some controversy…

    1. If the video had been made by some cool lefty hipster comedian / comedienne / filmaker it would have been interpreted differently. Don’t try and pretend it would have been otherwise. Ref Point 4

    2. It was a chicken. Get over it.

    3. Some people want to see hate crimes everywhere – Sam Lane who led the media scam on this is known for selling newspapers by drumming up this kind of story. Ironically, she makes part of her income appearing on a satire show “Before the Game” – so apparently, she can be “ironic” but the footy players cannot?

    4. This whole issue brings out the prejudice some people have about footy players – “This movie has been made by footballers. They wouldn’t recognise irony if it came up and bit them on the leg.” – this kind of comment was very prevalent in the hysteria surrounding this issue. Characterising a whole group of people by a stereotype. Some footy players are dumb, and some are Wayne Carey, yes, but some are lawyers, business people, stock brokers, and an ex-player actually runs the AFL, the most successful leisure business in australia.

    5. These are mostly still young men who are prone to be foolish, like all young men.

    By the way, statistically, AFL footy players as a group have lower crime stats than the population of the same age… Less likely to abuse their spouses, less likely to drink and drive, less likely to rob a 7/11, less likely to jaywalk, less likely to commit fraud – Yes, there are still bad eggs, but when you consider there are almost 700 of them, it is not too bad.

    Woo Hoo – had my say!!!!

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  4. LMB, please let me know where anyone stated it is OK for for women to be raped?

    Not one of the players in question has ever been (to my knowledge) anything but regular, law abiding, citizens.

    If they break the law, then they will be arrested and punished.

    I do agree with one thing – that is some contact sports can lead to the hyper-masculinized sub culture you suggest. Hey, I played footy for a long time and got a bit sick of the guys who would have a couple of drinks at a function then want to punch someone (usually a mate!)

    I think the AFL are aware of this and are doing things to make sure the players behave well towards women all the time. The same way they played a very important role in reducing racism in society by making examples of players like Peter Everitt and Damian Monkhurst who racially vilified other players.

    We should hope for the best from people.

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