When does ‘banter’ become ‘sexism’?
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In partnership with Project 500 in the UK, we pose a topic every Wednesday for to join in and send us your thoughts and experiences via twitter or our online coaches forum. Since it began back in October 2014, thousands of coaches have taken part and shared their thoughts about everything from gender stereotyping, coach education and even sports bras! To see old topics and discussions, please CLICK HERE
This weeks topic has been sparked by a recent blog by Rachel Brient called “When does ‘Banter’ become ‘Sexism’? in which she shares her own experience of having to deal with both banter and sexism on coaching courses.
As we all know, ‘banter’ is part of sport, it allows us to express our excitement about an up and coming battle between two teams, it raises the intensity of a game and in some cases, brings more meaning to sport…but when does ‘banter’ start to become offensive?
Sometimes it is obvious when ‘banter’ is simply unacceptable, such as the case of Dr Eva Carneiro – back in March 2015, she ran out on the pitch to do her duties for Chelsea FC when the opposition fans where heard to be shouting and singing sexist chants (CLICK HERE to see full story)…but Rachel highlights that it isn’t always clear if it is banter or sexism…so how do you know how to deal with it?
- Do you have any thoughts or experience in this?
- Have you experienced ‘banter’ but taken offence to it?
- Have you experienced sexism as a coach, but it was seen as ‘banter’ to others?
- Do you think women need to toughen up and just accept that banter is part of sport?
Answers from twitter & FCN forum
Justine Siegal: How about when fans r yelling about my breasts when I’m coaching 1B w/the Brockton Rox independent minor league team
Carla Nicholls: That very second your women’s intuition says “what the ??”
Lois Fidler: generation of male f/ball professionals integrating in2 new era/culture of female f/ball pro’s & ill prepared 4 acceptable v not. tedious references 2 ‘her indoors’ & ‘the Mrs’ are the norm.Awkward but rockingtheboat reinforces why they think u don’t belong
Coach Kiwi: Have copped a fair bit over the years, being female in a make domain, or being kiwi in an Aussie sport. Mostly all done in fun.
Annabelle Eaton: Its a VERY fine line! Problem with banter- “many a true word is spoken in jest”
Ashley Berge: when gender becomes an issue or target. Simple. Gender should never b cause 4 concern. Performance is the objective
Manon Bradley: never heard any banter or sexism in powerlifting #properrespect
Jazz Hervin: When it negatively effects what you are doing & who you are doing it with.
Lou Englefield:the time a male football coach sent a young boy to ask “how do you change a lightbulb?” To a group of women putting up a tournament gazebo. Sure he thought it was banter. I thought it was sexist & unprofessional
Bianca Thomas: I think when it insults your personal core values but we also have a responsibility to teach other young women to build theirs up
Natalie Curtis : personally for me it is when it comes from people who do not know me! #NeedTrust
leah wilkinson: I personally think it comes down to who, when, what and where. When that is taken into consideration #bantersthebest!!
Lauren Meehan: when it’s straight up vulgar & better suited to a 1970s comedy set than a sideline or a coaching meeting.So common,it’s disgusting
sarah m’grady: Banter is 1 of those dodgy words in itself -plenty of bullying disguised as ‘banter’regardless of sex -horrible word!
Shireen Ahmed: Sexism often seeps into chants or cheers. It’s awful and can be distracting. And even subtle banter can be unhelpful. The bf of a teammate explained offside rule bc “women don’t always get it”. Team has played a total amount of 300+ yrs btwn us.Sexist banter (ie. “play like real men!”) coupled with mansplaining is always the worst. Always.
Rosie Eggleston: As soon as ‘banter’ isn’t 2way. ‘it’s just banter’ is used by people who wont take responsibility 4 their own sexism
Julia West: I like a laugh but not unjustified criticism-It becomes uncomfortable for me when it turns into character assassination.
Thanks for getting involved everyone!