Males still more equal

THE AFL’s 62-page report “Girls and women in Australian football umpiring: understanding registration, participation and retention” may be a “bombshell” to some, but to many females, if not most, who’ve worked and still work in male dominated professions, their toxic culture of sexual harassment and abuse would be no secret, or even a shock.

While Eleni Glouftsis had hoped “things would have improved” over 16 years since she faced “obstacles and challenges” as the first female field umpire, the “damning revelations” are clearly disturbing and disrespectful.

The tragic truth about these revelations is that with equal opportunity now celebrated as a social norm in this 21st century, if not a fait accompli,, male umpires are obviously still more equal than their female counterparts. Gender generalisations, permeated by abuse and harassment, fail to manifest genuine equal opportunity.

With female football umpires being driven out of the game, resulting in an extreme shortage, the AFL brains trust needs to think more realistically and introduce educational programs for males to facilitate meaningful change in attitudes, behaviours and biases, however unconscious.