Lessons from Campese's 'girl' talk

Melanie Dinjaski Updated November 29, 2012, 6:00 am

When David Campese’s inflammatory early morning tweet went viral yesterday, I, like many, was shocked and absolutely stunned at what I saw.

Put it down to my small female mind, or that pesky knack we females have to get emotional and overthink things, but I could not fathom how Campese, who is no spring chicken in the media, could be so willing not only to think such a thing, but to publicly share it on the internet.

In this day and age, when journalism (or “jorniolism” as Campese would put it) is no longer a male-only industry, how dare he put down the work of a professional simply because of their gender.

Throughout the day Campese awkwardly attempted to explain the point he was trying to make, but only dug himself into more trouble.

In no uncertain terms he said female journalists were incapable of adequately grilling their talent like male journalists could.

No Campo, no.

Just because a female journalist didn’t write the article you’d like to see about Wallabies coach Robbie Deans “destroying Australian rugby” – look at me having an idea – does not mean you have the right to patronize, insult, or doubt her ability to do her job.

We cannot deny female journalists are different to male journalists.

But they are not inferior.

Female journalists are not inherently “easier” on their interviewees.

To think so is sexist, demeaning and plain wrong.

And furthermore, diversity in the newsroom is not detrimental, it is beneficial and we should cherish the alternative, not denounce it.

The former Wallaby apologized for his “bad call” after receiving criticism online from Sport Minister and confirmed female, Kate Lundy. Yes, we walk amongst you.

Yet the saga quickly went the way of an Alan Jones apology presser. In a blog published last night on The Roar entitled “My tweet and what I meant”, just as Campese worked up to a sincere and remorseful apology he undid it all with a flippant sentence essentially blaming the entire backlash on who else, but Julia Gillard, Australian female and overlord.

“The thing about Twitter is that it’s so immediate. You can say something on it and people can respond straight away. And that’s great. But I made a mistake with the way I said it. But Gillard’s trying to use the sexist thing about everything right now in Australia,” he wrote.

“So I apologise for the offense it may have caused some people. My words weren’t the greatest.”

Your words weren’t "great" full stop, mate.

Campese was burned to a crisp by his monumentally bad day of Twitter slip-ups. It’s an unfortunate reality of social media when you’re ‘somebody’ that someone is ALWAYS watching. It may not be fair, but it doesn’t excuse ignorance.

Regrettably, Campese’s reputation has now been irreparably tarnished. Those 140 characters he could have done without and the half-arsed apology that followed will forever sit beside his impressive playing stats.

And for some, they might even overshadow them.

But what do I know? I’m just a girl.

Follow Melanie on Twitter, @MelanieDinjaski

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  1. alwaysright02:39pm Thursday 10th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Rugby is a game played exclusively by men. As such, those that have played the game have a far greater appreciation for the nuances than those that dont. ie women or girls. Women journalists commenting on predominantly men contested sports have ZERO credibility. Campese was entirely right in saying what he did. No amount of postering by you will change that fact.If you take offence then play 101 tests for Australia, use the goose step to score. Until then stop acting like a goose.