Bookmarked Hope Stands Tall (The Women's Game)
In 2017, AFLW rode in on a glorious wave of cultural change that felt unremitting and incapable of being reversed. Finally, women had the opportunity and national stage to play that felt like an acknowledgement of, and beginning of a correction to, over a century of exclusion and marginalisation. But now more than ever it needs champions like Hope to be brave enough to assert themselves in the face of the increasing backlash to the opportunities that wave provided.
Kate O’Halloran breaks down the incident which involved Mo Hope walking off the stage during a panel discussing women’s football. The problem, as O’Halloran explains, relates to control and power of bodies:

It should go without saying that men who participate in Australian rules football (or rugby league, or any other sport for that matter) also put their own bodies at such risk. Those choices, however, are not questioned in the same way women’s are, because men are seen as having autonomy over their bodies and their decisions, while women’s bodies – in the minds of dinosaurs like Malthouse at least – are still subject to men’s control.

For me, I have concern about the expectations placed on AFLW. Like many forms of change and innovation, people often want their cake and to eat it too. It would seem that there is an expectation of parity on the field when I doubt their is parity off the field.

I was watching Talking Footy recently and Brian Taylor spoke about the process that Collingwood are looking at to fix Darcy Moore’s hamstring issues. They are hoping to do biometric testing during the preseason to identify where the stress is coming from. Would an AFLW player who needs to take leave from their full time job receive the same resources dedicated to them?

Liked Andrew Gaff deserves his ban, but the AFL has a bigger problem with off-field violence | Kate O'Halloran by Kate O’Halloran (the Guardian)
Why, then, does a violent act between two men on a football field draw such ire, while ex-footballers who are convicted of violence against women rarely face such outcry, or worse, are welcomed back into the AFL fold with open arms?
Bookmarked Is it time for the women’s game to break free from AFL’s shackles? | Kate O'Halloran by Kate O’Halloran (the Guardian)
Women must say no when the AFL refuses to play fair, as tennis players did in the 1970s
Kate O’Halloran reports on the proposed changes to AFLW. In addition to a second article accounting Susan Alberti’ response, O’Halloran compares with the response of women’s tennis in the 70’s and that we may need to go backwards in order to break new ground.
Bookmarked Bob Murphy: the creative soul writing a new chapter post AFL | Kate O'Halloran by Kate O’Halloran (the Guardian)
In Bob Murphy’s newly-released memoir, Leather Soul, he describes his impromptu speech to teammates at the Railway Hotel in Yarraville after that famous win. “This premiership, for some long-suffering Bulldogs people, means they can actually die happy,” he told them from a bar stool, pint in hand. Murphy remembers a quick rebuke from former captain Matthew Boyd, who told him the observation was “a bit fucking morbid”. Over coffee, Murphy and I agree that for many, it was true.
I have been watching a few of the Bob interviews lately. He really provides a different of the world on and off the field. I remember seeing this side in a documentary a few years back featuring the various AFL captains discussing life on and off the field.
Liked AFLW is at risk of being run by men for men. Where are the female coaches? | Kate O'Halloran by Kate O’Halloran (the Guardian)
With the introduction of two new teams in 2018, the AFLW will also gain two more male coaches: Paul Hood at Geelong and Scott Gowans at North Melbourne. One can only hope that the AFL, and each club with an existing male AFLW coach, is also cognisant of providing equitable and sustainable opportunities for women to progress their careers in AFL leadership. Otherwise, the AFLW is at risk of being a women’s competition run by men, for men.