Another Clementine Whine

The name Clementine Ford is synonymous with hatred, bigotry and hypocrisy. I hold this woman in utter contempt. Her latest article on women’s netball (a very popular game played here in Australia) is a delicious demonstration of the bigotry this woman unashamedly promotes.

During the past thirty years, many areas of our society which were once seen as the sole domain of men have been infiltrated and opened up to women. This has been demanded by feminists and any reluctance to allow females to participate in these areas has been branded misogynistic and a sign of the wish to see women excluded and subjugated. Of course, like women, some men like to be in the company of their own gender at times, but this natural inclination is considered hate filled and oppressive in men. Yet the notion of the girls getting together and excluding men is seen as fair , proper and entirely understandable.

The once male only Scout movement is now open to girls and has been for some time. Funnily enough, the Girl Guides, which was always considered to be the female equivalent of the Scout movement, is still exclusively for females. No-one appears to be upset by this incredible double standard.

We have had swimming pools and gyms promoting certain hours in which only female members are permitted to attend.

In Australia, our most popular sport is AFL or Aussie Rules. There have been constant cries for this competition to become more female friendly and a demand for more women on the boards of individual clubs and at the highest level of administration. Everyone nods solemnly in fierce agreement whenever this push is articulated by an outraged female journalist and a policy is now in place which will see more women involved in all areas of our great game.

A female footy league has grown exponentially and this has been encouraged and supported by the AFL. The AFL believes we will soon have national women’s Football League and they are  doing all that is within their power to make this become a reality. We will have an all female game played as a curtain raiser before the main game this weekend at the magnificent MCG, a football stadium here in Melbourne.

This infiltration is seen as a good thing by everyone.

This brings me to Clementine Ford’s article in today’s Melbourne Age.

It is titled: Why some sports should remain a women’s game

I think that the title says it all. But let’s delve more deeply into the inner thoughts of this woman.

Here are her opening lines:

If you’re a woman who plays traditionally ‘female’ sport at a competitive level, you’ll probably be familiar with the bittersweet frustration of watching as that sport becomes increasingly popular among male players.

So men “infiltrating” a once all female sport creates a bitter/sweet emotional reaction in Clementine’s breast. I don’t think the creation of a women’s football league has elicited any such bitter/sweet feelings in any part of Clementine’s body. That is clearly a just and long overdue move which should be applauded by all fair-minded and right thinking people. As far as I know this is exactly how men have reacted to the women’s league. They have embraced the development of a women’s league.

Clementine points out that:

Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer thinks elite netball would be shooting itself in the foot if it started to promote the men’s game. She says:

“There simply are not the same opportunities for women in sport and across our society as there are for men. I think it’s wonderful that we are the only sport that is run by women for women. But also being a women’s game is what makes us a unique product, and I think that if we open the elite game up to men then we will lose our product differentiation.”

So the netball CEO thinks it is wonderful to have a sport run exclusively by women for women and that opening the elite game up to men means they will lose their “product differentiation.” This thinking is expressed unapologetically at the very time demands for more women at board level and across all aspects of the AFL is strongly advocated by journalists and the people holding power in the AFL.

Ford continues:

Palmer has a point. Although it seems callous and, dare I say it, sexist to discriminate against men in a female dominated field, the fact is that women’s sport is not accorded the same respect and funding opportunities as the majority of highly publicised men’s sport (or, as it appears to be known as in Australia, just ‘sport’). Women are routinely expected to listen to condescending explanations about how ‘boring’ it is to watch them attempt anything physical, not to mention the more insidious arguments that position female athletes as weaker than and therefore somehow less than their male counterparts.

Clementine in no way attempts to explain why women’s sport is not accorded the same respect and funding opportunities as men’s sport. Could it be that the answer is one that she finds too disturbing to confront?

Clementine concedes she is being sexist, but excuses her blatant gender bigotry and justifies her prejudice by pointing out the fact that many people (unfairly) see women’s sport as being “boring” to watch and female athletes as weaker, somehow less than their male counterparts. This is breathtaking in its idiocy for in the very next lines she confesses to holding those very same beliefs! She is afraid people will find the male version of these sports superior and more explosive. Why would this happen other than for the uncomfortable fact that men’s sports are superior and more explosive?

She writes:

 Yet like netball, roller derby is also dealing with an increase in popularity among male players. More and more men’s leagues are popping up, which is a fantastic tribute to the sport in theory but which practically can cause some concern for the women’s leagues that struggle to source funding and attention. If men’s derby suddenly becomes recognised as either a novelty or a superior, more explosive version of the original, what effect will that have on the people who have put their blood, sweat and tears into establishing the sport in the first place?

It numbs the brain doesn’t it?

Clementine is in no way concerned about the fact that men have poured their blood, sweat and tears into establishing the much loved game of Australian Rules football or that this is in any way an argument to stop the female infiltration of our great game. She believes the inclusion of women can only lead to better outcomes. Yet she has no such beliefs when it comes to men entering a once female dominated environment.

She knows that women cannot compete with men. Her fear is that funding and media coverage will be diverted from the female game and focus on the men. This fear is justified, because men and women prefer to watch men perform in any sport, with the exception perhaps, of gymnastics.

So her argument boils down to “keep men out of our games because they play them too well and make us look bad!”

I wrote about this female double standard in an article titled, When Ladies Rule. I wrote then that I have never heard a complaint about the incredibly lopsided playing field when it comes to the world of modelling. I am sure Clementine believes that the far greater coverage and funding of female models is right and proper.

Here we have a perfect opportunity for Clem and all her girlfriends to prove to all of the cynics out there that women can not only compete with men but actually show their superiority by drawing bigger crowds, more tv coverage and more funding than their male counterparts.

Perhaps she could explain why the AFL has no fear that women’s involvement in football will divert funds and media attention from the men’s game. These issues are not decided by sexism or prejudice, but money. If women flock to female footy in greater numbers than they attend male footy, would any male journalist who suggested women be excluded from playing the game be supported by Clementine?

When pigs fly.

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