What’s your damage, Heather? Get a grip, a life, or just get up and go outside for goodness sakes.
By
Lucy Zelic

Source:
Zela
31 Mar 2016 - 9:12 PM  UPDATED 31 Mar 2016 - 9:13 PM

Sigh. Another day, another woman in sports media making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

You know how it goes, woman in sport deals with criticism from sections of the public and we all start to jump up and down about it crying foul.  

Has this process become boring for anyone else yet or is it just me?

This week Channel 9 announced that Channel 7 senior journalist Rebecca Maddern would host the widely popular ALF program, The Footy Show and a section of the public’s reaction to it said more about society than it did about the well-revered presenter.

“Thanks for wrecking my favourite show.’ said Luke Chell on Facebook.

Matt Elliot went on to write ‘I wonder if she knows who won last years GF. I’ll never watch it again. Just another push for women’s lib.’

Even women slammed the decision saying that ‘women are too emotional’ and that they’d ‘prefer’ the sport was left to the men’.

Onya ladies. I can only hope that’s coming from a place where either you or your daughters have never been on the receiving end of such criticism.

Never mind the fact that Maddern is only an award-winning senior journalist and a raging AFL fan - what ever happened to the age-old ‘congrats on the job Rebecca!’?

When you strip back the hysteria that has been generated over one woman simply getting a job, all you get er, is a news story about one woman getting a job.

My question in all of this is, why does it have to be so much more complicated than that?

A quick look at Maddern’s resume shows that isn’t just a ‘bandwagon blondie’ who woke up one day and said, ‘Oh my God, like totally, I think I am going to host the AFL footy show!’

She was chosen for this role

Boasting a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and working across a host of media platforms, Maddern’s reputation after over 17 years in the industry speaks for itself.

It’s easy to say that her appointment is political correctness gone mad but then couldn’t we say that the only reason men are given jobs in sport is because they’re well, men?  

Where is the ‘merit’ in that?

By and large, the AFL Footy show is made up of former AFL players and they are more than qualified to hold the positions they do on the panel because their experience and decorated careers dictate that.

What are the requirements of a host though?

To drive the conversation, to keep the show moving and inject the right amount of spark to bring it all to life.

Maddern’s hasn’t been employed to give you in-depth analysis and if you still think that she doesn’t deserve to be there because she’s never kicked a ball, just ask Bruce McAvaney, Les Murray, Eddie Maguire or Ray Warren what previous sporting experience they had to justify their roles.  

So for those of you banging on about how this decision has basically ruined your life - because let’s face it, that’s how much of a stink you’ve kicked - just ask yourself why it’s ok for the men and not the women.  

When you look back over history, defined roles amongst genders dictated much of what we did and how we were presented to society.

The 1950s saw women feature in ads for cleaning products, standing over an oven wearing an apron with perfectly coiffed hair, holding a snot-free toddler on their hip.

Then men started to cook, clean, try their hand at makeup artistry and become stay at home dads.

The rise of celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and makeup artist Napoleon saw a new wave of men enter into what was a predominantly ‘female’ environment.

Not once though did women start to jump up and down and complain that their male counterparts were ‘pissing’ on their territory or that they didn’t belong.

In reality, your reaction to the entire Maddern situation says a lot more about you, than it does about her or Channel 9’s decision to appoint her.