If the acronym in the title is a touch long and utterly stupid spare a thought for the AFL brains trust.
Steven Hocking is the AFL “General Manager of Football Operations” which is pretty much as senior as it gets short of being CEO.
Hocking of course owes his elevated position in football hierarchy due to the resignation of his predecessor (and AFL husband of the year recipient) Simon Lethlean who fell on his sword (so to speak) for the crime of bonking a junior employee – a sackable offence literally and figuratively given the progressive moral virtue of the AFL.
I mention this only to provide some background context in which to understand the vexed logic regarding Steven Hocking’s musing that the AFL competition be rebranded “AFLM” – the M standing for Male – ushering in a new era of acronym equality, respecting the human rights of the “Womens” competition which has been patronisingly subordinated by white male privilege and branded with a “W” (reminiscent of the Nazi’s) i.e. AFLW.
Now before we pillory Steven Hocking for his appalling politically incorrect transgressions spare a thought for a “nuggety” 199 game back pocket player that has probably had his fair share of head trauma and probably qualifies as a victim and minority himself despite being white and male.
For had Steven had full recourse of his faculties he would have realised that to define people only according to two genders, “male” and “women”, was to discriminate against the other 22 or so other genders (and counting) currently open for people to identify and nominate on their Tasmanian birth certificate.
Steven is probably also confused by ethical consistency. Because while Simon Lethlean was morally unacceptable to AFL headquarters he is apparently not morally challenged enough to run one of its clubs, namely the St Kilda Football Club where he is now General Manager of Football. What progressive standard is he meant to be enforcing?
You can understand how poor Steven is confused. Where does one draw the line? Steven has made the biblical (dare one say biological) mistake of assuming only two genders in a post-modern, neo-Marxist, queer world the AFL hierarchy inhabit.
Hence, it is not entirely his own fault. After all, the AFL did prohibit the right of Hannah Mouncey (aka as Callum Mouncey), the six foot two, hundred plus kilo transgender footballer with a penis from participating in the 2017 “womens” AFL draft despite meeting IOC testosterone levels for womens sport.
The real problem for Hocking was that the extension of this logic lead to not only alienating the market significant 1% of 1% of 1% that identity as anything other than male or female and care, but the cost and brand burden of a competition now defined by over 20 letters of the alphabet that is impossible to announce much less remember.
Oh the dilemma! Moral virtue or pragmatic commercial decisions? Where does one draw the line?
For a progressively minded AFL this was a hornets nest made worse by the fact it was steeped in WASP decision making. What to do?
Do we uphold our round by round virtue and name the forty-fifth round of a twenty two round season the “Gender Fluidity Round? Maybe even expelling a star player for holding the wrong gender / biblical opinion? It worked so well for Rugby Australia.
Or risk diluting our virtue / moral superiority by combining it with our climate armageddon round, televised emissions intensive around the nation? Oh the conundrum. How do we pay our way when our television rights are reduced by a third due to blackout?
Do we rename AFL to include every gender in the acronym regardless of whether we allow you to nominate for the draft or not?
What will this mean in terms of revenue (a dirty word) when we lose 25% of signage rights across every stadium due to our growing and incomprehensible name?
Jeff Kennet, President of the Hawthorn Football Club, is tipping buckets on Steven Hocking today for his courageous but mistaken stand. Yes, Steven Hocking wiped at least 22 genders off a new acronym for the AFL and sought to perpetuate a redundant biological concept of gender, but at least his heart (just not his brain) was in the right place.
I say cut Steven Hocking some slack. He is a product of multiple head traumas and AFL confusion (meandering into hypocrisy) as to what its actual business is. I look forward to Hocking as “General Manager of Football Operations” instructing security staff at AFL stadiums to evict hooligans who use the wrong gender term during matches.
Steven Hocking, I salute you. You are the very model of a modern General Manager.