Legends Football League

23 Sep 2014 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for the Status of Women a question about the Legends Football League.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The sexualisation of young women can have detrimental effects, as members of this chamber will know, including lack of self-confidence, negative body image, embarrassment, eating disorders, etc. Earlier this year it was announced that the Legends Football League Australia (formerly known as the Lingerie Football League) would be established in South Australia. During estimates the Minister for the Status of Women was asked some questions on this matter, including:

…you would have heard that the Lingerie League is coming to Adelaide; in fact, they are currently recruiting young women from Adelaide. Have you or your department made any representations to this organisation, which proposes televising this…?

The minister responded that she was aware of the league and she said that it was 'quite disgraceful, and it lacks judgement and good taste'. In spite of this the minister admitted that neither she nor any of her officers had undertaken any action to prevent this league establishing itself in South Australia. She said:

I think the best message is for people not to give them any further publicity and vote with their feet and simply not attend and support these sorts of events.

She was then reminded that the event was being held at the Hindmarsh Stadium, which is managed by the government's Entertainment Centre board, and she said that she would 'give it further thought'. My questions to the minister are:

1.Since 22 July, when she was asked this question, has she given the sexualisation of women in sport any more thought?

2.Has any action come out of this thought?

3.Has the minister raised this issue with her colleagues, in particular the Minister for Recreation and Sport?

4.Has she sought a briefing from the Entertainment Centre board?

5.Could she please explain how her advice to simply ignore this issue is setting a good example to South Australian young women?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:28 :50 ): I thank the honourable member for her question. Indeed, the Legends Football League is of concern. I do not think that it shows good form at all, or good judgement in basing that competition here in this state—or anywhere else for that matter.

Most members, I am sure, would be aware that the Legends Football League is a women's gridiron football competition. It is based on an American concept and we have incorporated it here. It was founded as the Lingerie Football League and then rebranded, I think early on last year. There has been a lot of criticism around publicly regarding the uniform of these players, which quite obviously, I believe, sexualises and objectivises women.

These activities are not illegal, and they are impossible to ban. One has to question what level of regulation or legislative intervention into people's bad taste needs to occur. You cannot legislate for bad taste and bad judgement, in some respects. However, I have written to the chair of the Adelaide Entertainment Corporation, Mr Robert Ford, and I have also sent copies of that letter to the Minister for Tourism so that he is aware of my correspondence.

I drew to the attention of Mr Ford the government's strong commitment to addressing violence against women and the government's recognition of the importance of preventing violence before it occurs, and I noted how important it is that we work to seek to promote respectful relationships and to challenge the stereotyping of women. I have asked Mr Ford to consider those very important aspects and asked him to consider that when allowing teams to book activities in the stadium.