The AFL and its women problem

Bravo to the Melbourne mum who called attention to an incident at a junior (yes JUNIOR) footy club event in Hawthorn, where ex-Geelong star and now Triple M announcer Billy Brownless reportedly remarked “here come the strippers” when she and her 18-year-old daughter walked by.

It comes a day after a woman was punched in the crowd at the Hawthorn v Fremantle final in Perth.

Does the AFL suddenly have a ‘women problem’? No, the AFL has always had a women problem and it seems that no matter how hard the league tries to change the game’s culture, the misogyny is deeply entrenched.

The only good news is that women are now refusing to be silent about it. I imagine years ago, a remark like Brownless’ “stripper” jibe would have resulted in a moment of deep embarrassment for the women involved, and then…nothing.

But women are now calling it out for what it is. It’s not a little, harmless joke (Brownless has already said it was a ‘throwaway line’ and that ‘he didn’t mean anything by it’). It’s a deeply offensive remark, showing the real, underlying attitudes to women that lie in the depths of the AFL (and all footy) culture.

So I implore all women who are involved with footy (whether it’s the AFL or their local club) to call out such behaviours and attitudes, wherever they see it. Maybe we need an Everyday Sexism Twitter handle just for AFL matches where women can post the sexist remarks they hear?

Let’s hope the more we call it out, the more it will be seen as the offensive behaviour it is.

Let’s also hope that girls and women’s AFL continues to grow like mad – the game has never needed it more than now.

The AFL and its women problem

A feminist a day

Suffragette_posterInspired by the truly inspiring upcoming film Suffragette and the recent documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, I looked a few online lists of ‘famous feminists’ and was disheartened.

It was dominated by modern women, who no doubt identify as feminists (and all power to them) – Beyonce, Coco Chanel, Diane Von Furstenberg. These women are powerful, inspiring, no doubt, but what about the feminists who played a role in the advancement of women in society?

Who were the women who won us the vote, got us The Pill, protected our right to an abortion, to healthcare, to participate in education, government and public life?

For the month of October, I want to celebrate A Feminist a Day – highlight one amazing woman who we have to thank for some of the freedoms we enjoy today.

I want to live in a world where girls grow up knowing names like Emmeline Pankhurst, Mary Wollstonecraft and Vida Goldstein, and more importantly, what they did.

Look for the first fabulous feminist in early October.

Let’s hope A Feminist a Day will keep the patriarchy away.

A feminist a day

Welcome to Suffragette City

Rosie the RiveterI’m Carla Danaher – a feminist, music-lover, critique-er of culture, observer of the media.

My background in journalism, government (family violence prevention), communications and digital content has exposed me to a range of viewpoints and now it’s time to dish out a few of my own.

I’ll be writing about feminism and its role in modern culture, primarily. But I’ll also touch on other things, so tune in and spread the word.

PS: If you came here hoping for a David Bowie blog, my apologies.

Welcome to Suffragette City