I'm absolutely sick of -ette: Game's the same, so why the dainty name?

Tahlia Sinclair
Updated June 19 2024 - 10:58am, first published 9:16am
Numbers, sleeves, stripes, or even full kits - pink cannot be escaped in women's football uniforms, regardless of the code.
Numbers, sleeves, stripes, or even full kits - pink cannot be escaped in women's football uniforms, regardless of the code.

There's an epidemic sweeping community football leagues and it's time we talk about it.

The rise of women's sports has, naturally, seen a rise in the number of clubs inaugurating women's teams.

And so too has it given rise to the -ettes, the Lady-s, and the -esses.

These needless additions to the name of women's football teams serve no purpose other than to alienate the girls and women on them.

Generations of girls and women were blocked from the field and while they are finally being given leagues of their own, the naming conventions of their teams continues to other them within their clubs.

The obsession with -ettes in particular fires me up.

Not only does it lead to simply illogical names - I'm looking at the Tigerettes, Rooettes, Hopperettes, and Demonettes I've seen going around - but it suggests a level of daintiness which frankly has no place on any football field.

Team songs, club merchandise, and even uniforms are plastered with the club name and mascot.

And it never has an -ettes.

When women play football, we immediately become a hassle.

We want uniforms that fit, we want a time slot on an already busy day, we need access to fields to train on, we want energy from club people who might not want to share it.

We already stick out. We are already working overtime to ensure our clubs, supporters, and leagues see us as valuable.

Stop making us stand out even further by assigning us meaningless additions to our team names.

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All these names do is further separate us from the already existing teams within the clubs.

It tells me even though I am here, I am not welcomed to wholly be one within this club. The public must know my team is different.

As a player, the last thing I need is to be reminded that mere seasons ago I did not have a home here.

As a woman, I do not need a gender identifier to be part of my team name.

I challenge clubs to consider why they want to change the names.

Because if your concern is about differentiating men's and women's teams, why is it only the women who have been subjected to a name change?

Why are you so concerned that someone might not immediately think about men when they think of your club?

It can be hard to be a woman in a football club and constantly sporting the name of the men's teams does not create mutual respect or club community.

Drop the -ettes.

Keep team names consistent.

And while we're dropping the unneeded prefixes and suffixes of women's teams, the pink dye can be dropped too.

I play with a team who recently changed the red on the women's uniform to pink.

Suddenly I have a wardrobe full of merchandise that no longer aligns with the team I play for and I have my mother asking me why the scrunchie I got her doesn't match my club's colours.

Just as clubs isolate women's teams by giving them unnecessary feminised names, they isolate them but forcing the addition of pink to their uniforms.

Because God forbid a woman plays sport without a pink stripe across her chest.

Tahlia Sinclair

Tahlia Sinclair

Sports journalist

Tahlia Sinclair is a sports journalist running around Wagga Wagga for The Daily Advertiser.