While watching Sky Sports News the other day at the gym I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. An American Boxer, Floyd Mayweather, convicted of domestic violence and harassment charges, has been told by a judge his 90 day sentence can be delayed by a month so that he take part in a fight.
The irony of this is astonishing: the judge has decreed that someone convicted of beating someone else up can stay out of jail to… beat someone else up.
Can you imagine saying to a judge:
“I know I’m meant to be spending the next 2 months in jail but I promised my boss I’d finish a report by the end of next week, so can we put prison off until I’ve got it done?”
It just wouldn’t happen.
Last week’s media was dominated by stories about race due to the conviction of two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers and some unhelpful remarks from Diane Abbott on Twitter. Both of these sparked debate about racism and racial inequality in society, which is just as it should be. But putting the way the Mayweather story was reported into this context demonstrates how far we have to go with gender equality.
The reports about Mayweather simply stated the facts – there was no comment, no outrage, no question of whether what happened was acceptable. It’s even been hard to find stories about this in the feminist blogosphere, but this is exactly the kind of issue us feminists should be drawing the world’s attention too.
When the charges were first brought one blogger said the moral of the story is that domestic violence charges just aren’t taken seriously. I think the moral is that if you’re going to beat someone up make sure you have something more important to do than go to prison… they might just let you out.