Respect for women – the conversation we shouldn’t be having

Hi – today is Tuesday 19 June, 2018. Yesterday evening in Melbourne a vigil was held following the rape and murder of a young woman, Eurydice Dixon, in Princes Park, Carlton. (Haje Halabi has written this thoughtful piece reflecting on last night: The brutal death of Eurydice Dixon last week, as she was coming home from work, has drawn widespread coverage. It is important.

It is important for many reasons.

Two years ago, on 22 June 2016, following an example advocating violence against women in AFL circles, I posted the series of links and quotes below. I called it: “Respect for women – the conversation we shouldn’t be having.”

Violence by men against women continues in Australia. Every day. As tweeted by Melissa Davey yesterday: ‘Victoria Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton has just told a press conference in Melbourne that “police are responding every 7 minutes to a family violence call and almost all of that is violence against women”.


Today in the Guardian Kate O’Halloran has called for men in sport to lead by example.

Today at The Footy Almanac, I re-post this series of links, quotes and messages – first published in June 2016.

Respect seems to be at the crux of this. Probably mixed with fear and anger, threats to power and hate. Rape and murder are on the violence-against-women continuum. Objectification, critiques based on appearance and blind male privilege are also all on the violence-against-women continuum.

Now is probably a good time to revisit these messages and thoughts from 2016:

And consider sharing the videos. Sharing with your boys. With your girls. With your mates, your colleagues. The clips are excellent.



From June 2016




Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 10.05.21 pm













Gayle, Briggs and the ongoing battle of women to be





It’s never a joke…







Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 10.11.04 pm

Stop the excuses










About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He is married and has two daughters and the four of them all live together with their dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. E.regnans says

    Probably worth remembering this one out of the MMM stable last year:
    Luke Darcy, red carpets & the aspirations of young girls.

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    I first became aware of this this morning. For a country which is doing its best to stop violence against women this rabid male rabble represented the worst aspects of maleness, it was the worst example of pack mentality that I have heard in years. I thought that we were beyond this. It is just terrible.

  3. bob.speechley says


  4. This harps back to the sad old days of The Footy Show when in 2008 Sam Newman dressed a scantily clad mannequin with a face of Caroline Wilson and proceeded with some disparaging comments in relation to her wardrobe.
    The muted responses are similar to those being offered today, Newman said “What would I be apologising for?This was not a gender thing, it was not meant to degrade anyone or anything.”
    It seems sectors of society continue to miss the point!

    An interesting response from sectors of the media today in relation to McGuire et al comments being acceptable if it were a male colleague, at the very least if this was about another male journo and I doubt this would be aired in the boys club, it is clearly bullying behaviour.

    “It was just a bad joke”, not if the person it is pointed at takes offence.

    The key in this discussion is RESPECT, find out what it means to me! sing it Aretha.

    Respect, not just respect for women, or children or Indigenous Australians but everyone full bloody stop.

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Timely and beautifully put together, ER. Citizen writers play a vital role in calling out the real feelings of the old boys network. Terrific work by Erin Riley, Josh Pinn and The Outer Sanctum Podcast.

    You’d think the announcement of Women’s League & White Ribbon Day might get them to reflect, but nah, seems they might even be threatened and that’s what makes this anachronistic fuckwittery even more embarrassing for these arse clowns. Why bother apologising when you don’t really mean it? AFL and Collingwood have to take a stand here or it will happen again and again.

    Great piece by fellow Almanacker Stephanie Holt critiquing the masculine language still favoured by Eddie and the Bruisers.

  6. Cat from the Country says

    Maryborough Rotary has a Family Violence Awareness project which is racing all over the state.
    Jimmy Bartel is growing beard to get the conversation going in Geelong.
    Victoria had a Royal Commission into Family Violence and the State Govetnment said it would enshrine every recommendation.

    And still we have people in the media, saying terrible things about one woman in particular.
    I am disappointed in ALL the ex fotballers as they played along with Eddie Macguire. Sadly I would expect no less from Wayne Carey.
    When will one of them call his coleagues on this sort of disgusting behaviour.

    Do Eddie, Danny, Wayne, James and others have wives and daughters?
    Would they like to hear their wife or daughter being discussed in these terms?

    Please get them off radio and TV; they are an embarassment to rhe AFL and the stations.

  7. These fools aren’t apologising because they said something inappropriate and offensive. They are apologising because they have been told to.
    Eddies apology was pathetic. The “I’m sorry if I offended you” line is not an apology and never will be.

    Accuse umpires of having preconceptions about a player and you’re investigated within 12hrs and likely to cop a fine anywhere up to 20K, and rightly so. But if 2 club presidents and a coach spew up hateful shit all you’ll get is a phone call from the boss ( a week later) telling you to say sorry and be nice.
    This shit must stop and the idiots removed.

  8. E.regnans says

    Caroline Wilson:
    “It took me back to the old days of The Footy Show when the former host and Collingwood president would line me up in an occasionally vile and foul-mouthed way and enlist his colleagues in a series of sexist gang tackles.”

  9. Citrus Bob says

    Congratulations David on getting the ball rolling
    For far too long we have been putting up with these moronic male maudlins (MMM) who only claim to so called fame is being an ex footballer or football “expert”.

    The people have spoken across all media outlets this morning on this disgusting behaviour to one of the finest football journalists there has ever been and will be. Caroline has ridden the bumps for a long time now, know doubt due to the petty jealousy of the MMM’s. She should be lauded for her work and her ethics over this time.

    If the employers of these MMMs had any balls they would be fired immediately but no they will give some small retort full of apologies and they will continue on their merry way.

    Like some of the other nackers I say get rid of them now we the footy and general public have had enough.

    Well done again David.

    Citrus Bob

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    To think that McGuire is President of a club that has been given licences for a Women’s AFL team and a team in the National Netball League.

    Window dressing of the highest order.

  11. kath presdee says

    I think when anyone starts arguing that a violent act should be committed against anyone for doing their job it’s a problem. Full stop.

    I was disgusted that the comments were made and I’m getting pretty peeved at the apologies. Frawley’s apology last night was pretty weak but it was much better than what I’ve seen Eddie offer.

    But we’re beyond an apology fixing it. There needs to be a stronger culture that says firstly, it isn’t banter to basically offer to pay money to drown someone. Secondly, we need a culture that says it isn’t PC to not make jokes about drowning women you don’t like or calling them black widows because they’ve said something you don’t agree with. Finally, we need people who are supposedly leaders of the footy community to own their behaviour and start modeling what is basic human decency and not just try and weasel out of it by a “if you were offended I’m sorry”.

    Yep, I’m offended. But I’m more offended that you think it’s ok to say such things.

  12. As a health worker i’m proud to say our organisation participates annually in the White Ribbon events, as staff turn out in large numbers for the rally.

    Today i’m wearing my “Real Men Say No To Violence Against Women in Our Community” T-shirt. We hear all about the terrorist threat to Australia, yet more Australians, predominantly women and children die at the hands of Australian males, yet still we have tools like McGuire and Frawley openly talking about violence against women as being a topic to jest about.

    McGuire’s comments about Adam Goodes were brushed aside as just harmless banter. When does someone tell him no more, or is he too big to censure ?


  13. Once again the response from Gillon and the AFL is weak.
    For the AFL to witness and acknowledge ongoing unacceptable behaviour from some individuals and then do nothing about it is to condone it.
    For Gillon to say “The women that I’m listening to and the women I’ve been speaking to feel that the apology was legitimate and acceptable” is a complete cop out. He needs to ask Caroline’s family members what they thought of the original comments. Imagine hearing your own mother/wife/sister spoken about in such a manner.
    Gillon said he thought the apologies from the Collingwood president, Brayshaw and Frawley sufficiently addressed the issue.
    Got it wrong yet again Gillon.

  14. Joe Moore says

    Congrats here, ER. This bullshit needs to be called out for what it is.

    McGuire and his chronies are a disgrace.

  15. Dave,
    So sad that some of our ‘leaders’ in football still think it’s OK to promulgate this nasty sort of rubbish as ‘funny’ or ‘in a good cause’. Only then to offer mealy-mouthed ‘apologies’ later (did Johnny Depp give them some pointers? After all it’s hard to fake sincerity).

    Hugely disappointed in Eddie, James B, Spud & co. Has Spud already forgotten what it feels like to be spat upon, as he was a few years ago? AFL cop-out so predictable.

    Thank god for Caro, Rosie Batty, Jimmy Bartel and others shining a light on this verbal and physical abuse of women. More power to them.

    Cheers, Burkie

  16. Dave Nadel says

    Peter Moore (the bloke who won a Brownlow at Collingwood and whose son is now one of our best young players) described Eddie McGuire as a benevolent dictator. I’m not too sure about the benevolent bit but he is right about the dictator part. Which is why Eddie is not going to be sacked or even censured by the Magpie board for bringing the Club into disrepute. He should have been censured over the “King Kong” comments and sacked over the Wilson comments. He has brought the club into disrepute.

  17. I felt sick to the stomach when I heard McGuire’s repugnant comments about Caroline Wilson. He has learned nothing if he thinks that nasty comments calling for violence are just a joke. They are not. They reveal the ignorant sexism of the man, and are hurtful to all women and disgusting to any man who has respect for women. Even if such remarks had been directed towards men, they would still reveal the primitive ignorance of the perpetrator.

  18. Rick Kane says

    Disgusting, vile, malicious! This is what I read into the “jokey banter”. And if it aint called as such it won’t be treated as such.

    I was saddened and appalled that the AFL could bare summon enough courage just to describe it as inappropriate.

    Did the protagonists know what they were doing and made a conscious decision to speak in such a disgusting, vile and malicious way or were they unaware? Either way is more than bad enough. If they were unaware of the weight their words and thoughts and ideas carry then they’re not fit to be spokespeople in any regard or in any public role.

    Collingwood supporters can actually do something about this. They can call the Collingwood FC (61 3 8412 0000) and demand the club remove McGuire. Or they can hand back their membership until McGuire is removed.


  19. Beats me how W. Carey gets a job in the media. Seem to recall he has at least one conviction for assault of a woman, maybe more. Not to mention his other activities. Just a terrible man and it does not matter how good a player you were. In my view, your off field behaviour matters more. Quote from Ron Barassi “natural talent comes from the eye of your father’s c**k.” Out, damned spot.

  20. DBalassone says

    Aside from the obvious, what also struck me about Eddie’s comments was how vitriolic and hateful they were towards Caroline…and how he tries to get all the others in the commentary box to agree with him in order to justify his malice….and then he turns around today and says it’s jokey banter…and then throws Tony Shaw under a bus just for good measure. Rick Kane you are 100% correct, he has to go, especially when you add this to the Goodes comments from 2013. Pie supporters speak up!

  21. E.regnans says

    Kate Seear, of The Outer Sanctum, where this latest behaviour was first discussed, has written at The Conversation.

  22. If he had stopped after the first comment re a one person slide it might have been banter. But the extended “hold her under” and dragging in all the usual suspects to add their moron’s worth makes it hate speech.
    I’m inclined to think that the Eddie/AFL “boys club” power elite hates scrutiny more than it hates women. They despise Caro first and foremost because she shines a light where they would prefer it remain murky.
    Eddie’s ego is Trump lite/like and he intimidates those who don’t fall into line.
    Gillon is scared of his connections and the media power he wields.

  23. Melanie Wilson says

    Good on you Dave for generating this discussion. I am disgusted by this and an apology doesn’t touch the sides of what the response should be to this rubbish.

  24. one of the most painful things i have seen recently was Caro having to tell Mike Sheahan on Open Mike how badly he had let her, a friend and colleague, down by trying to appease the Newmans of this world. He looked genuinely humbled and shamed, even though that didn’t seem to be her intent (he asked, she answered).

    Should be compulsory, gut-wrenching viewing.

  25. Peter Flynn says

    Holden can play a key role.

    Hopefully they will withdraw sponsorship.

    McGuire shouldn’t have survived the Goodes disgrace.

    Same trajectory of behavior from McGuire here.

    He knows how to extricate though. He will claim to be a champion of women’s rights etc.

  26. E.regnans says

    Russell Jackson at The Guardian yesterday.
    “But the problem here is that there’s far too much precedent for us to believe that McGuire will face any lasting punishment. In that sense, his blasé response to the controversy shows how well he knows the game. This is the real embarrassment for football – not that it’s incapable of involving women, because it now does so in performative and often crowd-pleasing ways, but that its cult of personality and craven worship of bullies makes rank hypocrisy like this its default philosophical setting.”

  27. Spot on Peter re McGuire extricating himself. I heard him on the radio this morning talking about how his comments don’t reflect his view of women. Fair enough, if so, then why make the comments ?!?

    Eddie is too big to take on; no not good enough. It’s because he wields such power that he needs to be seriously censured for this misogynistic outburst.

    Come on Gillon, are you ‘man enough’ to take on Eddie ?


  28. This sorry scenario made me think of the witch burning attitudes prevalent during the Lindy Chamberlain case. Misogyny continues to run wide and deep in our world – I cannot think of one culture, religion, politic that does not diminish, threaten, objectify or place women in an underling status.

    Caroline Wilson, to her great credit, has continued to call things as she sees them, despite the blokey, bullying yowls encountered throughout her long career.

  29. These men have had years and years of leadership experience, and more than enough time to grow with changing attitudes and to listen with their minds to the voice of all within the community, not just the mates they surround themselves with.

    Yes, many of them do great work for many needy organisations and social groups. But what’s the point in supporting anti violence campaigns concerning women, if women can’t comfortably and reasonably express themselves without fear of reprisal or public ridicule.

    On a positive note, so good to hear and see so many people understand the ghastly nuances to that episode of speech.

    Here’s hoping there will be a lasting benefit as a result.

  30. This whole episode is a sorry saga indeed.
    And Gillon McLachlan’s response yesterday was nothing short of pitiful.

  31. I am in Peter B’s camp here. My impression (and that is all we can ever hope to have as we will never hear the true motivation) is that Voldeguire’s primary raison is an attack on Caro the journo, rather than Caro the “No Tail” (if I can harken back to League of Gentlemen speak).

    Having said that…comment – dumb; timing – dumb; tag along from others – dumb

    Interesting discussion with 20-something females yesterday, one of whom is also a lawyer, after I questioned motivation. She suggested we ought dispense with intent in assessing fault and judge actions solely upon effect on recipient. Out with mens rea; in with upsetometer?

  32. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    The world is stacked against women and girls …
    It’s a good thing, Mountain Ash, that as a a father of 2 girls you are grappling hard with these things. As a mother of an eleven year old boy, I am too.

    The one thing that is in the back of my mind as I read this … is my own gratitude for my football communities and my dismay that their standards are not more far reaching.

    As a woman and lover of AFL football, I want to see the game, feel the game, talk about the game, write about the game AS A WOMAN. Overtly. Whatever that means. I want to allow my feminine self and experiences to intervene, to conjoin with the part of me that understands the machismo and tribalism and participatory rites of male players, coaches, administrators who make the game, as well as the common ground of our shared humanity. I do not want my commentary to fit the mould of male predecessors (as so many of my feminine predecessors have had to, just to jam their foot in the door.)

    I am fortunate to go to the footy with a band of four or five blokes who appreciate and encourage my presence and my views, who listen willingly to my take. They are fine men. I am grateful for my barista who is stunned and joyous that I have as much interest and knowledge as he does and can banter with him for as long as lunchtime lasts. He is a fine man. And when I write footy for the Almanac, I feel genuine appreciation for my thoughts, my tone, my inclinations which take me roaming, often, into things outside the football world, watching and writing as multi-tasking, analysis and feeling. I am in admiration of this Almanac community where men and women talk to each other with the kinds of respect we long for in the greater football media and environment. We must work hard, subtly, cleverly, unrelentingly to show the dominant voices for what they are – poor relations.

  33. Daniel Flesch says

    Well said everyone !
    All that bunch of “banterers” were not only being sexist mysoginist and bad-mannered. Eddie , Duck , Spud , J.B. were in this instance – and others – just plain old stooopid.

  34. kath presdee says

    Graser – intent is already not part of consideration in determining some forms of harassment. Offences are committed if a “reasonable person” believes that what has been said could cause offence or is unwanted and unwelcome. Some people get upset without reason over very minor things. That’s not the standard anyway; but the standard shouldn’t be the one where “I didn’t mean it” automatically excuses the behaviour.

    People can and do offend without realizing it; which is why education and awareness is important. Words have a power on their own; regardless of what the person who uses those words intends. What you might think is harmless, or complimentary, or just a joke can be seen as insulting, belittling and hurtful. Just because the person said something with good intentions (or no intentions) doesn’t mean that what was said is automatically OK for everyone.

    I realize this means that some in the community will say “It’s PC gone mad! You can’t say anything because you might offend someone.” Well, no. It does mean that people should listen more and be aware of what they say.

  35. Dave Brown says

    It’s tempting to consider as a most backhanded of compliments – that Wilson’s journalism is the motivating factor in Eddie’s comments. To a certain extent that is the case in that it is likely the trigger. No doubt Wilson’s quality, incisive and knowledgeable work is a constant irritation to the people that are often her subjects. The fact that she has such great sources no doubt adds more grit to the oyster. The concept that a journalist should be liked by her subjects is as confusing to me as anything else.

    However, it’s just not possible to separate the two in this case. Wilson is the most prominent woman in a male dominated industry and criticism of her tends towards the gendered, whether it be calling her a ‘black widow’ (as the MMM boofheads did) or commenting on her appearance as every boofhead in the history of boofheadery has done. And, yes, my own occasionally beloved captain falls into that category.

    There is so much great diversity in our game. It’s about time the media changed to reflect this. And it’s fantastic that new voices in new media were the ones that brought this to light.

  36. E.regnans says

    Another great resource to add to those in the post above.
    This one on bystander behaviour – from VicHealth. (Thanks Helen).

  37. Jamie Simmons says

    Eddie 2014: Tom Jones singing Delilah at the 2014 Grand Final is inappropriate because it advocates domestic violence.
    Eddie 2016: Let’s drown a female journalist.
    Does anybody have Tom’s Email address?

  38. Pamela Sherpa says

    I hope that the MND foundation benefits from all this and that next year allows Caro to push Eddie down the slide or tip buckets of cold water over him as he pays up!

  39. Thank you E.R. – you have provided a public service here with an outstanding discussion.

    To pick up one small but significant point: I think it was Greg Baum who pointed out that “banter” means a comment followed by a response – no room for Caro here. The MMM stuff was The Mob.

  40. Paul Young says

    Agree with all the commentary here. So refreshing to get an educated and mature range views on the subject, condemning the behaviour.
    One of the lines being thrown up by the anti-Caro brigade (Jeff Kennett, Rita Panahi, Miranda Devine,
    Dickhead Newman etc) is that “Had they been talking about a man – nothing would have happened”.

    Well…to quote Newman;: “Oh really?”

    Using the same commentary., including the black widow slur, instead of Caroline Wilson, use the name….Cyril Rioli or Mitch Clarke.

    Does anyone seriously think McGuire would still be Collingwood president had he spoken in the same malicious way about Rioli or Clarke?

    And would Jeff Kennett still be chairman of Beyond Blue if he said “Cyril (or Mitch) has to harden up?”

    No Effen Way.

  41. Firstly, thanks for the great post, although the Alan Jones snippet was hardly sexist against women as it included Bob Brown. Eddie should know by now what he says goes out to many different people, who will interpret what he says according to their own experience. Eddie and Caro’s dislike of each other goes a long way back, partly because she appears to take great glee in targeting Collingwood and, more particularly, Eddie more so than any other journalist. Some of the criticism is reasonable but sometimes it borders on obsessive dislike and sometimes she is plain wrong. Eddie’s dislike of Caro is not because she is a woman, it is because of what she writes about him and his club (even if correct). It has been suggested that Eddie is aggrieved because he feels Caro befriends people and then turns around and writes articles about them that they take offence to (hence his black widow analogy).
    Eddie was in the wrong because there is no excuse for jokes that suggest violence against women. Eddie should have been self-aware from his previous gaffes to have pulled back before continuing his ‘ joke’ about Caro and the ice pool.

  42. Haje Halabi says

    The power structures of the media allow this to happen. Some boofheads in the media (and that is putting it mildly) are so protected by a mates club and we allow this to happen. This is a large question that looks at society in general, whilst I am with the metoomovement we should not be allowing the systematic structures to exist in all of society that allow women or men and everything in between to be dis respected. I am with Germaine Greer on this one, we should have called them out earlier…..I listened to triple m this morning and they had women on almost crying and the men were so apologetic but clearly some of these men have a history of defamatory behavior towards women. Have they changed? Can they? Are their efforts sincere? Can we push the agenda more? I hope so. I work in education, we need to start very young with this, but a problem we always have is the breakdown of supports at home.

  43. E.regnans says

    Courtney Barnett is a local.
    Her 2018 album “Tell me how you really feel” contains this telling song: “Nameless, faceless.”

    Lyrics here – check out the chorus.

    Don’t you have anything better to do
    I wish that someone could hug you
    Must be lonely
    Being angry, feeling over-looked
    You sit alone at home in the darkness
    With all the pent-up rage that you harness
    I’m real sorry
    ‘Bout whatever happened to you

    I wanna walk through the park in the dark
    Men are scared that women will laugh at them
    I wanna walk through the park in the dark
    Women are scared that men will kill them

    I hold my keys
    Between my fingers

    He said “I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup
    And spit out better words than you”
    But you didn’t
    Man, you’re kidding yourself if you think
    The world revolves around you
    You know you got lots to give
    And so many options
    I’m real sorry
    ‘Bout whatever happened to you

    I wanna walk through the park in the dark
    Men are scared that women will laugh at them
    I wanna walk through the park in the dark
    Women are scared that men will kill them

    I hold my keys
    Between my fingers

    I wanna walk through the park in the dark
    Men are scared that women will laugh at them
    I wanna walk through the park in the dark
    Women are scared that men will kill them

    I hold my keys
    Between my fingers

    Go on, tell me
    You’re just kidding
    He said, she said
    Nameless, faceless

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