Easy Target – The Online Treatment of Hannah Mouncey

Forgive me if you’ve heard this one before.

It’s a quiet Monday afternoon in the office, so you’ve decided to hop on social media and find out the latest about the week’s footy just gone by and the week ahead alike. Injuries. Tribunals. Contracts.  Off-field dramas. The usual fanfare and sideshow of the game we love. The sort of copy that we can’t help but click on, no matter how speculative and dubious in its reliability it may be.

Curiously, the latest offering of the day is about women’s football. Even more surprisingly, it’s not even in relation to the AFLW, but instead it’s feeder league, the VFLW, whose coverage rarely extends past community radio and the occasional video posted on a player’s Instagram page.

Yet, week in, week out this year, social media outlets ranging from official broadcast partners such as Triple M, to dedicated amateur operations with followers numbering in the six figure range, will go to great lengths to inform you of the progress in the VFLW Leading Goalkicker race, for no other reason that up until the last game of the season, was being lead by Hannah Mouncey.

It’s all hits right? Dog-whistling in its nature or otherwise, Billy Privateschool-Shitstick sees the very sight of her name and giggles behind his iPad screen. In spite of the acne and high pitched voice that come with the territory of completing Year 10 at one of Melbourne’s most revered private schools, Billy considers himself an expert on masculinity and decides to tag a handful of his private school cohorts, all represented by the generic display picture of “wearing my older brother’s suit at the races or deb alongside young girl already dead inside realizing this is the sort of cumstain she’ll need to tolerate for another few years to get polo tickets”. “Omg ded, Jaiydn. Surely they can’t be serious” one might offer up as opinion.

Gazza Forcedjointfacebookaccount from the Upper Parole Football Club will join in next, engaging in a playful bit of banter with his teammate, Liam the Failed Nightclub Promoter, inferring that Mouncey should get a go at full forward instead of him, maybe even crossing the line that she bench presses more than he does, before tagging the rest of the squad in the comments, imploring them to get around his timeless joke. Liam, quietly seething at his fragile masculinity being ripped on, tips off the local constabulary to the hydroponic setup in Gazza’s shed, before sending a beaut of an unsolicited Facey message to his sister.

Through complex Facebook analytics and only 8 other remaining friends to share material on his wall, Darren Onenationvoter feels the need to have his say. Despite numerous public comments (most of which inexplicably made on the wall of the official Facebook page of Channel 7 show, The Chaser) declaring they’d have to pay him at least…hundreds of dollars to watch a game of women’s footy, Darren is incensed that the proud less than ten year history of women’s football has been brought into disrepute by this man clearly prepared to undergo the quick and easy  process of gender reassignment for the huge riches on offer in women’s community football. 19 goals from 14 games? By herself? Bullshit, that’s Plugger in a wig confidently declares Darren. It’s an outrage and a disgrace for sure. To whom and to what are unknown, as Darren attempts to wax lyrically about the potential for him to cut Jen Hawkins or Denise Drysdale’s lunch, and run for Queen of Moomba, but the memories of that night in Thailand and the near-miss with a lady boy are all too much for Darren.

“Won’t be long before this nutjob seriously injured a girl half his size!” is the final dire warning. Despite Mouncey’s 190cm frame being significantly less than that of the 203cm Opals centre, Liz Cambage, or most of the Opals team for that matter, the predicted onslaught of Mouncey’s rampage across barely populated local football grounds has not lived up to expectations. Surprisingly, numbers converting to the round-ball game in fear of unnecessary injury, as is usually the threatened case in the men’s game has not eventuated either.

“But she’s got a dick still!” cries another bloke, clearly still preoccupied with their Google search history relating on how to increase their own size. How this is intimate knowledge is stated like it were the day of the week by Darren, remains a mystery. The terms of the good behaviour bond clearly stated that taking photos in the women’s changerooms was to cease immediately. Mouncey, herself, rightfully refused to answer the invasive question during an episode of Open Mike (what other place of employment would subject a potential employee to that type of scrutiny?), so that can only leave the great scientific conclusion that “having a cock = good at footy” which has held true for the first 120 or so years of play without any exception that we know of…..despite some of the greats like Carey, Whitten and Franklin doing their best to lose it by putting it in anything they could find with reckless abandon.

One can only be curious at the logical progression of Dazz’s thought process here. Assuming that said tackle is still in place, what difference does the removal of it hold toward her ability to play the game on an even standing as her teammates and opposition? Is this another one of those stupid blokey ideas that because Daniel Chick cut off his ring finger to be able to play through the pain that one time, he was that much more committed to the team? The same Daniel Chick who now chases helicopters on the Perth docks?

It’s a sad state of affairs when the AFL require blood-testing and weight limits to play the game, and serves no consistent logic to promoting the women’s game, nor continue to be progressive about body image or the game’s constant tag line that anyone of all shapes and sizes can play our great game.

It also provides a welcome mat to those the game attempted to shoo out for booing Adam Goodes. It may yet prove that some of these people right that they weren’t booing Goodes on the grounds of race, it once again proves that Australian Rules Football in this country serves as a blanket for unintelligent sheep to get around each other in order to ostracize anyone else so long as it isn’t themselves. Whilst the AFL act strongly on lifetime bans for any acts of unnecessary abuse committed at the game, no club or the league itself take any formal position on easily identifiable club members who use social media as their platform of choice to produce the sort of bile that would attract a lifetime ban if it was expressed at three quarter time in Bay M21 of the Southern Stand on Friday night.

It’s a bizarre choice for the AFL to draw the line here and say this is as far as they’re prepared to come on its socially progressive agenda that has both drawn criticism for overstepping its boundaries, but also achieving so much more expected of it.

If the concept of Hannah Mouncey playing an AFLW game that you will probably not choose to watch, nor care to find out the result of afterwards, with a dominating 1.5 goal a game average offends you, its probably a greater reflection of your own views and insecurities than anything that could ever come from her playing our game.


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