Raelene Castle and the 'Cruella de Vil-ification' of women in sport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much of the literature focusing on women in leadership positions in ‘male sports’ suggests that while there are increasing numbers of women in such roles, their individual experiences can differ greatly. While some of these experiences are positive and empowering, other women experience oppression and discrimination. This study explores social media responses to a prominent woman in a leadership role in sport in Australia. Raelene Castle, CEO of Rugby Australia, was at the centre of the recent inquiry into homophobic comments and eventual ‘sacking’ of Israel Folau by Rugby Australia. Based on the results of social media data from a number of media sites, a high level of critique and gendered vilification directed at Castle was encountered during this process. This study explores such critique using a lens of third wave feminism and scholarly work relating to gender abuse in online space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-23
Number of pages19
JournalSporting Traditions
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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