I was watching a documentary recently, a documentary about surfing in Papa New Guinea. Considering that PNG is a nation of islands, local people are pretty handy at surfing but there was this weird moment when the female surfers came in to the equation.
As you can imagine, surfing in PNG is not bank rolled by ... well it's not really bank rolled by anything. They just take board donations and go out and surf, so when a new set of boards come in from Australia it's like Christmas with everyone supposed to get a board. The ladies get a board, only for the board to be taken off them by the men and put away for male use. There was then a moment where a lady took a brutal beating, the reason was unclear but it was a beating to remind you of what a grown man can do to a female.
This culminated in the head of Surfing in PNG, an Australian/PNG lad who has good intentions all round to go about changing this. He gave the speech about how women are equal beings to men and that they deserve to be treated as such, as well as having a presence around the meeting table of local surf clubs. This was met with disdain, not because the men are disgusting human beings but because it's their culture. The man rules, and to pin this moral compass only on the folk of PNG would be wrong - in the majority of cultures, males rule.
As sickening as all this was, you could find forgiveness for the males of PNG because that's all they know. Many of them haven't seen white people, have no idea about what other countries look like let alone the morals and values of an ever changing world. All they know is how they have lived for yonks. Yet we have the same situation in our 'Western' world.
We pride ourselves on being this and that, far removed from the savage nature of our ancestors. But we're not. We're as backward as we've ever been.
In recent times, we've sat through the Ray Rice saga and the rather disgusting way that was handled. There has also been the rather sickening case of former MMA fighter Jonathan 'War Machine' Koppenhaver who beat his partner to a pulp. Both are obviously terrible cases, but War Machine will rightfully spend a long time in jail ... Ray Rice, well the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens did nothing less than try to sweep it under the rug. Good one.
To be honest, there are plenty of cases I could draw upon. Despite our perception that we live in this great world where everyone's moral compass is pointing in the right direction and tough guys walk around saying how they're gonna kill any guy who beats a female - well that's the problem.
We're only removed from the savagery of ancestors in the sense that we voice our disgust and concern. If you did so back then, you'd find yourself on the end of a beating. Taking the moral high ground is possibly the easiest thing to do, but it never really results in anything.
I don't know how to solve this problem, I've only been on this planet for 23 years and the problem has been around a lot longer than me. It's clear that it is a problem though, but it's a problem that is still swept under the rug, it's a problem that if it gets in the way of making money then the problem doesn't exist. You see when it comes to dealing with such high profile sportsmen like Ray Rice, you're dealing with multi million if not billion dollar industries with expendable parts - the players.
Problems can't be solved until we are led down that path. You and I can help, we can't rip in to anyone guy who thinks it's cool to beat up a female, but that's just our bubble. The people at the top, the people who make decisions and control the strings don't really care.
Are they that far removed from the folk in PNG or any other nation that hasn't been tarnished by the rule of the white man? That's all they know and while they face difficulty in trying to change their habits, they are doing so.
We, well we supposedly know better.
PS - if there's any females who want to write about sports or anything else, get in touch.