Daisy Pearce Misleading Headline

Daisy Pearce

Daisy Pearce barred from second AFL club’s dressing room blares the misleading headline from the Daily Mail. AFL stands for Australian Football League. The headline seems to indicate two teams barred a woman from their dressing room leaving the impression this happened because of her gender.

This misleading headline, like most of its ilk, isn’t actually a lie. It’s just misleading. The reality is that Daisy Pearce was, in fact, barred from the dressing rooms of both Brisbane Lions and Richmond Tigers locker rooms. But why?

Because she’s a Woman?

Nope. It’s because she’s an assistant coach for an opposing team. Representatives from both clubs make it clear the reason is her dual job as a commentator for Channel Seven in Australia and her job as an assistant coach.

They fear she might gain access to information in the locker room that she can use in preparation with the Geelong Cats. It’s not an unreasonable request and several other assistant coaches filled dual roles with media outlets in the past with similar results.

Who is Daisy Pearce?

Daisy Pearce is a former Australian Football League Women’s champion player who played for the Melbourne Demons with distinction. She was named to the All-Australia team three times during her career in addition to being best and fairest on her own club three times as well.

She retired in 2022 and took up a job as a commentator for Channel Seven. This year she accepted a job as an assistant coach while continuing her duties for the television outlet.

What’s it all Mean?

Channel Seven commentated on the situation with a representative saying they expected some teams might take that rout with Daisy Pearce and her job didn’t require a presence in the locker room. In other words, it’s not really a story at all.


The headline draws in clicks. It did so for me. I thought, ah, a Daisy Pearce must have done something wrong to get banned. A woman in the locker room? There must be something salacious. Nope, just a plain old misleading headline. Nothing to see here. Do you think the story would be in the Daily Mail if a man in the some position received a ban?

Iranian Women Chess players and Subtle Misogyny

Iranian Women Chess players

A subtle version of misogyny is on display in news stories about Iranian Women chess players. I’ve written about the subtleties of racism previously and today I take on a similar topic. Just because something is misogynistic doesn’t mean it’s obvious or even an intentional act.

Let’s examine stories making the rounds about Iranian women chess players. Basically, Iranian women are required to wear a hijab. Recent protests in that country brought attention to the practice and a pair of Iranian women, Sara Khadem and Atousa Pourkashiyan are playing the World Rapid and Blitz championship not wearing hijabs.

What’s the subtle misogyny in that? Let me explain.

What is Misogyny

I think the first thing to understand is the idea of misogyny. The dictionary defines it as dislike of, contempt, or ingrained prejudice against women. When we see a definition like this we think of open misogyny. Someone going around telling people that women are not deserving of human rights, they are weak, stupid, worthless.

The reality is that misogyny comes in many flavors and is not always obvious. That’s where such things are insidious. We look at behavior that, at first glance, appears perfectly normal, and accept it as such. Even when it’s actually not quite so harmless.

The Case of the Iranian Women Chess Players

If you look at the picture I’ve included at the top of this article, you’ll see of the players in question. Khadem on the left and Pourkashiyan on the right. Can you guess what image the articles in question are displaying? Both women? Khadem? Pourkashiyan? I don’t even really need to ask. You know the answer already. That’s my point.

In fact, when I first read about this story, the only name I saw was Khadem. They didn’t even bother to include the fact that Pourkashiyan also chose not to wear a hijab. It was only today I realized there were two women involved in the protest, if that word can be used.

Attractive Women are more Valuable

What’s the subtle message from the fact that Khadem’s picture is plastered all over the articles and Pourkashiyan’s is not? Prettier is better. A woman’s worth is in her beauty.

It’s a little more complicated than that. The picture of an attractive woman brings more clicks to the story. The agencies publishing such articles want clicks, therefore they choose to put up the picture of Khadem.

That being said, if we boil it down to its essence, the misogyny is there. It’s subtle, it’s not easy to see. Not virulent. Not overly damaging. A shrug of the shoulders type of misogyny, still, it’s there.

If you were the brother of Pourkashiyan, what would you say?


Little things add up in the mind of those prone to thinking this way. The path to misogyny, and most prejudices and hatreds, is not always obvious.

It’s not always easy to be a better person and sometimes we don’t even realize what we’re doing is wrong. In this case, it’s wrong not to include pictures of both women. It is misogyny, ever so subtle.

Tom Liberman

Jen Welter a Woman on the Football Field

Jen Welter FootballWhile all this Olympic stuff is going on there’s an interesting story out of the Indoor Football League 8 on 8 division.

A young woman named Jen Welter apparently became the first woman to play in a professional football game at a position other than kicker or holder. She came in at running back and ran three plays which I think can be best described in the following way.

1. Ouch!
2. Please get out before that happens again
3. Is she alive?

Video here.

I’ve played a lot of sports in my life including hockey, rugby, and water polo which are pretty “manly” games. I’m 5’7.5″ tall and currently weigh about 165 lbs although was lighter in college when playing rugby. There are a lot of women bigger and stronger than me.

The difference, of course, is that I was playing high school and college ball, not professional sports where the athletes tend to be quite big and strong.

Personally I don’t have a problem with Welter playing although after watching the video of her three plays I am concerned that at 5′ 2″ and 130 lbs she might get seriously hurt. That’s her decision though. She wants to play, apparently is good enough to play, and the league and team are willing to let her play. Maybe it’s largely a publicity stunt to get people to the games but its clear that no one is coercing Welter.

We live in an era when women are essentially treated as equals to men and this is a sword that cuts both ways. Women are employed as the CEOs at major companies. They are in the workplace at historic numbers. Fewer women want to get married and fewer want to have children.

I think this emancipation of women is an extremely good thing for society and the countries where women are largely free are clearly better for it. It relieves the population stress and will eventually end growth altogether and allow the planet to stabilize at a sustainable level.

Anyway, I have no big points to make here. No rants. No admonishment. If Welter wants to play, let her play. Plenty of female athletes get hurt playing against other women. So if she gets hurt, then she gets hurt.

What do you think?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Next Release: The Broken Throne

Women at Augusta National

AugustaNationalToday I’m returning to my true love, the sporting world. I love sports. My mom is a St. Louis Cardinal fanatic and has season tickets. I’m a huge St. Louis Rams fan (yes, I know they suck, no need to comment on it, repeatedly) and have season tickets. I love the St. Louis Blues! My buddy Jeff has season tickets to Mizzou and I’m loving the idea of traveling to some beautiful stadiums in the SEC over the next few years. But, today’s topic is golf, specifically Augusta National Golf Club’s decision to allow women into their ranks.

Judging by talk radio and conversations with friends at work this is apparently a controversial issue. I really don’t understand why it’s such a big deal one way or the other. People seem to be up in arms that Augusta was pressured into allowing women or that Augusta National was so backwards as to not allow women for all those years. I just don’t see it as a big deal either way.

Augusta National is a private club and they can allow whoever they want to be a member. Women are citizens of the country with full constitutional rights and it is well within their power to ask to be members of the club. Organizations that want to protest or pull their money from Augusta National are fully within their rights to do so. We have a long history in this country of boycotts and protests which are largely protected by the Constitution. I absolutely support Augusta National’s right to not admit anyone they don’t want to admit. I likewise support any organization’s right to boycott or protest this policy.

For many years August National did not allow women and for many years people protested. For whatever reason Augusta National decided to invite a couple of women into their ranks. Good for them. Not that many years ago a similar controversy rose over the admission of minorities. Augusta National eventually invited a minority member. Tiger Woods understandably didn’t like their previous policy and it would have been well within his rights to refuse to play at the club because of those policies. Likewise, the club might well have said, fine, don’t play.

This is in many ways exactly what the United States is all about as a country. We have personal freedoms and this is a good thing. I find it mildly upsetting that both sides are so up in arms that it’s become a controversy but, by my own argument, that’s ok also!

As a fairly good writer once wrote, Much Ado about Nothing.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
New Release: The Hammer of Fire