Sister, stop doing it for yourself: an open letter to Kim Duthie

Dear Kim,

For the sake of honesty, I’ll admit that I haven’t always been your biggest fan. You’ve been sneaky and deceptive, you’ve lied repeatedly, and you tried to pass your actions off as some weird, half-arsed version of feminism. You’ve screwed up repeatedly, almost determinedly.

That said, it’s not a large leap for me to imagine how your life got to this point. After all, while I’m a good ten years older than you, the pressures faced by your generation are nothing new to me. See, I have a younger sister, about your age, perhaps a few months older. As I’ve watched the scandals unfold around you, I’ve felt continually relieved that she hasn’t gotten into the scrapes you have.

Like you, my sister is attractive, athletic and popular. Unlike you, she’s mostly stayed out of trouble. Still, just from looking at her peers, I can see that her life was only ever a couple of choices away from being very different – she’s got many friends who, thanks to lying and poor judgement, have found themselves in trouble sexually, physically and emotionally.

I’ve always quietly hoped that my influence has helped keep her on the right path. My sister comes to me with her confessions and questions, and I’ve been happy to offer her advice, counselling, or just a sympathetic ear.

I’d been feeling a bit superior whenever I read about your latest drama (arrested because of breaking Ricky Nixon’s intervention order against you? Really, Kim?). I thought to myself, “Thank goodness my sister isn’t like that.” Then, I read the account of your interview on Channel 7, and realised something. You never had an older sister to look out for you – but you are an older sister yourself, to a ten-year-old girl.

To a little girl, a big sister is kind of like a fusion between Mum and some kind of eternal god, only cooler and funkier, with better clothes. I can promise you, Kim, that your sister worships the ground on which you walk.

So, here’s my suggestion. Even if you don’t want to step out of the limelight for your own sake, do you think you could do it for hers?

Right now, I have no idea what you’re hoping to gain from the constant media exposure and, let’s face it, rather stupid decisions. I don’t even understand how you got mixed up in this whole mess – you were a talented sportswoman in your own right, on track for your own successes. Why you decided to hitch your wagon to being a WAG is a mystery to me.

I don’t know why you lied about things (such as the source of the naked photos, or your pregnancy) when they were so clearly going to blow up in your face when the truth came out. I don’t know why you keep trying to pick fights at the footy. I don’t know why you can’t leave Ricky Nixon alone – I really don’t.

Kim, you’re trading in all your education and athletic talent for… what? A shot at a Maxim cover? “Fame”? I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re just so hurt and embarrassed that you’re letting fly with everything you’ve got. After all, who could possibly get hurt now?

Your sister, Kim. Your sister is the one who can still get hurt.

I’m not talking about the fact that she was shown on TV with you – that’s your parents’ fuck-up. Between you and me, they’ve let you down. I’m fairly certain you’ve been a horror teenager, but why they were letting you jet around the country to sneak into footy parties, at sixteen, leaves me baffled. Plus, they should never have abandoned you when the shit started hitting the fan, just as they should never have let your sister in front of a TV camera.

No, your sister’s media exposure is not your fault. But the example that you’re setting for her is. What do you want your sister to hope for in her future, Kim? Notoriety? Scandal? Do you want her to grow up thinking that the best case scenario is a chance to give the entire world the finger?

I know that’s not the future you want for her, Kim. You’re her big sister. You want her world to be perfect.

So please, Kim, just stop. Put down your mobile phone. Leave Ricky Nixon alone – what can you possibly want from him now? (And if you’re still trying to apologise, forget it. You’ve cost him too much – he doesn’t want to hear you say, “SRY.”) Stop accepting interviews. Keep your knickers on.

Figure out what you actually want from your life, in a long-term sense. This is never easy, and I know that with your high profile, it’ll be even harder. But it must be done.

Most importantly, spend some time with your sister. Look after her. Help her stay on track. Even with so many people trying to tear you down, you’re still the centre of her world. It’s your responsibility to be worthy of that honour.

Even as I write this letter, numerous news stories about Nixon’s court order against you are disappearing. I only know about your arrest because of a tweet from a radio station. It’s possible that you’ve really dug yourself into a hole this time, the kind that can’t be fixed by press interviews and apologies, and no doubt many of your detractors will cheer if that is the case. I won’t be among them, though, because I know your sister will be shattered if anything happens to you. She needs you.

Good luck, Kim. As one big sister to another, I wish you all the best.


Aleksia Barron

For one of the best pieces of reporting on the Kim Duthie scandal and the AFL’s attitudes towards sex, please see Anna Krien’s excellent article over at The Monthly. 


About missaleksia

Street press journalist and culture vulture based in Melbourne, Australia. I enjoy Australian hip hop, obsessively following television shows, healthy debate, baking and wine. My views are my own. Keep up to date with me on Twitter: @missaleksia
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8 Responses to Sister, stop doing it for yourself: an open letter to Kim Duthie

  1. Charli says:

    Well said. I sincerely hope Kim reads it and reflects on it.

  2. melinda says:

    Excellent post.

  3. adele pace says:

    This is the biggest piece of sanctimonious simplistic and superficial piece of drivel I have ever had he displeasure of readings. Simplistic prescriptions such as ‘have a big sister like me and your life would be all well’. Leave Ricky Nixon alone. Leave fame and fortune behind. The poor judgement that left KD in the predicament also came from many powerful grown men and institutions which will do anything to salvage their image and money making machine that is called football (a ‘product’). To call KD your ‘sister’ in feminism or in any other sense of the world has no real impact given that you have very little understanding of the stakes involved and the resources of those who are playing this circus out. ‘Keep your knickers on’…lol..tell that to 30 and 40 year olds in positions of trust and power. If you had any concept of feminism in any shape or form you wouldn’t be as naive and make such reckless remarks. This isn’t a question of feminism. It is a question of power. It is very simple. You are out of your depth and your comments bring embarrassment upon yourself.

  4. Johnny says:

    Well said and well written,don’t worry about ppl like Adele pace who admonish you for taking the so called high moral ground,by taking the same high moral ground herself.
    She obviously doesn’t have a sister and is so out of touch with normal thinking that she is blinded by what sounds like a hatred for men,,yes she is pushing her own bias on to you,her follow up comments on your blog only show her to be a sad person with a bitter twist in life.
    You keep writting excellent blogs ,although I don’t agree entirely with your blog I would never presume to be of higher understanding to the situation.

    A great bit of blogging,a very touchy subject to some and I fear this will only fall on deaf ears,as ppl like ms duffie and ms pace are just blind to the real world.
    Keep he blogs going girl,they are great reading and your passion for little sisters,and your even handed approach are to be commended.
    Love things from the heart ,don’t let others with a cold heart or no heart ever block out your good intrusions.

    Xxxxxx johnny

  5. assyg says:

    Beautifully said. I couldn’t have put it better myself. I hope Kim reads this and takes note.

  6. missaleksia says:

    Okay, just for the record, I don’t actually “like” my own post… that would be weird. I clicked on the “like” link accidentally and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get rid of it! If anyone has any ideas, let me know. Also, thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to comment on my writing – it’s amazing to know people are reading and thinking about what I’ve posted. Cheers!

  7. adele pace says:

    I had a big sister who died of melanoma. She was a champion sportswoman and more importantly a person of humility and character.

    She wouldn’t have defended the unadulterated hatred directed at Kim Duthie.

  8. Adele Pace says:

    could you please remove my comments

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