This Woman Handled Mansplaining In The Best Way Possible
"I must've missed that while getting my degree in sport history."
This is Erin Riley, an Australian freelance sports journalist. She's pretty vocal on Twitter, often pointing out when things in the sporting world are screwed up, and yesterday Australia's AFL football league gave her another opportunity.
On Wednesday, the Herald Sun reported the salaries of the female athletes in the AFL's inaugural national Women's League, which is set to play its first game in February 2017. The information was...not good.
Female AFL stars are looking at no private health insurance and a maximum salary of $25,000 a year. Some will be making as little as $5,000. Riley was one of the first to start talking about this on Twitter, and she made a graphic to show the difference between men's and women's pay in the sport.
It didn't take long for the arguments to begin. Riley was barraged with hundreds of people telling her she was wrong and that she lacked a basic understanding of the business.
"I've had literally hundreds of responses defending the inequality across Twitter and my Facebook account, and only one of them was a woman," Riley told BuzzFeed News.
"There's a few [arguments] that have been pretty consistent: that you can't expect to pay women a bigger wage before the competition is profitable and why would the league spend more money on the women's game ... They are particularly obsessed with the idea that the men's game developed over a century, so why should women's game get the leg up? Completely ignoring that the women's competition won't be operated in an early-20th-century market, but in 2017."
So Riley began responding to the negative comments, slyly mentioning the fact that she has a degree in sports history and wrote a thesis on the development of Aussie Rules (AFL).
People were loving the way Riley dealt with the harassment.
Luckily, the wave of criticism hasn't been too nasty, Riley said.
"There are a lot of assumptions that I don't know things, which is funny given I've been studying and writing about this stuff since 2002, but it really hasn't been too personal."
She continued: "Nobody is denying that this is just one small part of the pay inequality issue. But sport is an important part of our culture, and the fights here are visible. They matter. It's not just about pay – it's about treating female athletes with the respect they deserve."