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Opinion: Conor McGregor's Misogynistic Instagram Post Was Unacceptable and Disgusting

Opinion: Conor McGregor's Misogynistic Instagram Post Was Unacceptable and Disgusting
By Michael McCarthy Updated

There's a long standing debate in Irish media and society about Conor McGregor. Should his behaviour reflect his status as a role model to young people, and especially to young Irish men?

On one hand, he's a sportsman. He has made his money and his fame off what he does in the Octagon and everything else is asking too much. The way he behaves, for a large part, is part of the shtick that made him such a big star, and he can do and say what he wants as long as he's winning fights.

On the other hand, his fame and sporting achievements, as well as his charisma and personality, have made him a superstar, somebody idolised by millions, and yes, a role model, whether he likes it or not. So isn't it incumbent on somebody with so much influence to behave in a way that is responsible and positive? As a human being, if you've the power to influence somebody, shouldn't we at least expect you do so for good rather than ill?

Last night, Conor McGregor posted something on social media that spat in the face of women everywhere. We're sure there'll be more attention given to the "feud" with 50 Cent he continued in the rest of his post, but it's his opening line that really grates.

Happy international Women's day everyone!
Get your tits out for the lads ladies. We love you

That Instagram post has over one million likes. It will end up being a lot more.

We'll get a lot of comments suggesting that it's all just a bit of a laugh, and no harm was done (in fact, it will be a lot worse than that), but these comments are disgusting.

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It may have been in jest, and just a throwaway joke, but one of the biggest role models to young men in the world just dismissed women as being nothing more than a thing, an object that exists for men's pleasure.

Conor McGregor is far from the first to behave like this. We've seen it for generations, and it's been done in the open by all levels of society, including the media. But this is just not acceptable anymore, thankfully.

"Get your tits out for the lads" is an expression as disgusting and as degrading as it gets. For that to be his immediate reaction to a message about International Women's Day completely undermines the day (and women) to his acolytes. For young men who look at McGregor as some kind of god, a day to celebrate the achievements and impact of women in society has been reduced to excuse for misogynistic language.

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It's not the behaviour of a role model. It's not behaviour we want our sons to ape or the message we want our daughters to receive.

This is a man whose words have huge power. It matters when he opens his mouth. For him to have got to this place is an unbelievable achievement, and is something we should be celebrating. But it comes with a responsibility. McGregor is either unaware of how much influence his words carry, or he doesn't care.

Either way, crass misogyny is no longer acceptable and needs to be called out, whether you're Conor McGregor or not.

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