Women have been playing amateur football for a while, but only this year has the AFL had a women's league. So these past few months have been the first time that I have seen women's football regularly and up close. I went to a bunch of games, the kind where you get to stand against the fence and can see the sweat on the players faces and the ripple of their muscles when they run. So basically, how tough and cool they are. I loved it. It's football, but with more topknots than you get in the normal home and away season. And more tears. Not from the players. From me and the other supporters.
At every game I went to people were talking about how great it is, how much it means to them. Mostly these comments came from women but Appleheart also made the good point that it's given him a chance to appreciate football without having to feel compromised by the misogyny. Win win.
The thing that made me shed the most tears was watching these people use their bodies fearlessly, risk injury, risk the potential disappointment of losing all for the pleasure of playing and the potential thrill of winning. I just love that. I never learnt to love sport when I was little because I was always worried I would get hurt, I would be too shit at it and other kids would hate me, and maybe I would lose. It was a pervasive mindset for a long time and so I love seeing people who have the very opposite mindset. And they are so tough! Muscles for miles.
See what I mean?!
Anyway, I love AFLW and I think we should all go to a game next season. Go Dees.