Thursday, 1 January 1970

1912: Shall there be women footballers?

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Thursday 22nd February 1912

"Oh, horrible!" was Miss Rose Scott's first comment on the proposition made to the secretary of the Rugby League that women's football club might be formed (says the Sydney "Sun"). Miss Scott is president of the Ladies' Swimming Association of New South Wales, and believes that women should take some atheletic exercise. But not football. "It's too rough," she exclaiined.:"Too brutal! Girls have enough to do. They can play lawn tennis and croquet, and when they are very little they can play cricket. I played cricket when I was little. But, Football - ugh! It is horrible!" Only one in her life did Miss Scott see a football match, and she still cannot speak about it without a shudder. "If women were to play football with men looking on," she declare, "it would be worse than horrible. It would be disgusting! I don't even believe in men and women swimming together. I would not be president if it was permitted," Yet Miss Scott thinks that women need some healthy development. "Why not walking?" she said. "Walking is very good for girls. But football! Oh, no; no, NO! They musn't be made nmgo and horrible. It's nearly as bad as prizefighting. Do you know,I wouldn't be surprised if it is football that makes men rough and dreadful enough to go to prize fights. Such knocking down of one another." Then Miss Scott expounded the inwand principle of her views. "Men want to be made more gentle," she announced, "and in that way more like women. But women want to be more like men, being more free and honest and truthful. Most women are not truthful. They have been slaves, and slaves cannot be truthful. Proper freedom would make womnen less catty. Because, you know, women are catty." The president of the Swimming Association repeated this statement as though it were in danger of contradiction. "Women 'are' catty" she asserted once more, "and this can be cured; but not by football," she concluded. "Women playing football is a dreadful idea. That is trying to be toocmannish. It is so rough! So horrible!"

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