Flat White

Please, won’t someone think of the gender-fluid sportspeople?

27 November 2019

5:00 AM

27 November 2019

5:00 AM

Just when you thought the world couldn’t get any more ridiculous, hang onto your hats folks, saddle up across the Nullarbor and welcome to the Wild West.

All Western Australian sporting groups are now on notice. If you do not have an equal 50-50 split of men and women on your organisation’s board, you will be stripped of your funding.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

Some bright spark of a minister — let me add that she is a woman, not that it should make any difference, but in 2019 it does — has proudly announced that WA sporting associations will lose their state government funding if they do not commit to gender equality.

Gender equality in 2019 is one thing, cutting your nose off to spite your face is another.

This is ridiculous.

And it is all in the name of that wonderful phrase of ‘ensuring diversity’ on boards.

But, sadly, this isn’t actually about diversity at all.

Apparently, the WA Minister for Women’s Interests Simone McGurk says that a 50 per cent quota is needed to break the cycle of men hiring other men.

Talk about being misandrist – let alone a little ironic, as I would have thought it is actually just as much in women’s interests as in men’s interests to always have the best people possible involved on the board of any sport.

Also, never mind that these current people on boards may have been passionate about their particular sport their whole lives.

Simone McGurk is the Minister for Women’s Interests. She said on talkback radio last week that these community sporting organisations have three years to achieve a 50-50 gender split. If they fail, they will lose their public funding by dropping down a tier at a time until they can.

That tier could see an organisation drop from $250,000 to $100,000.

All this in the name of ‘gender equality.’ Spare me, and every other normal thinking person.

The WA Labor state government wants more women involved in sport to align with national targets set last year to bring female representation on state sporting association boards up to 50 per cent, but this going a bridge too far.

Good old Netball WA has five women and one man on its board meaning two women will get the chop in favour of two blokes.

Conversely, the WA Football Commission has seven men and one woman, meaning three men get the chop and they will have to find three more women.

The only exception is a nine-person board where a five/four split will be deemed acceptable.

The ardent activist will be hailing this as the best thing ever. But it isn’t.

Instead, the race will now be on in every WA sport to ensure that their sport actually survives, they have three years to achieve the 50-50 man-woman board target.

Spare a thought too for any sporting association board member in Western Australia who decides to ‘transgender’ or decides at a board meeting to identify as another gender at a particular time. Then what happens?

Instead of sport being able to be played on the field, the pitch, the court or the oval, this 50-50 board quota decision will result in the best people being left on the sidelines simply to fit a bizarre misconception of diversity.

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