Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cos women's sport just doesn't matter, does it? #SPOTY

Well, you won't find me voting in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year this year, that's for sure.

The institutional misogyny at the BBC is alive and well.

Clearly, in sport as in current affairs, women just aren't worth bothering about.

How else can you interpret an all male Sports Personality of the Year shortlist?

In a year when our Gymnastics team were led by Beth Tweddle to a historic best and Rebecca Adlington picks up gold at the World Swimming Championships again, how can this possibly be justified? And look what Tae-Kwon Do champion Sarah Stevenson has been through this year. And then there's Chrissie Wellington. Yes, that's right, we have a female Iroman Champion. I saw her on BBC Breakfast the other week - she's such an inspiring character and what she does is not for the faint hearted. Certainly puts trotting around a field kicking a ball for 90 minutes into perspective.

The media generally focuses on men's sport - and you'd be forgiven for thinking that football, golf, rugby, darts, cricket, snooker and F1 - with tennis being added in for two weeks a year - were the only sports ever played. No wonder girls grow up thinking  that the way to the body beautiful (which every magazine tells them they need to have or their life is over) is to starve themselves rather than to exercise.

What's really annoying is that the shortlist was chosen by a selection of the very same people who maintain the male orientated focus on sports - sports journalists and newspapers. Those lists have been published by the BBC. 

Giving the same blinkered journalists the choice over the shortlist is, frankly, just perpetuating the problem.

We have plenty women, at the top of their game - but their achievements aren't recognised. I'm not sure what the answer is. Maybe it's time for there to be a much more aggressive media strategy for female sports champions. There are several who deserve a place on that shortlist this year. Someone needs to organise an alternative list and leave BBC's Sports Man of the Year to its own devices.


Stuart Smith said...

What's needed is more female sports reporters on newspapers. When they get into the Sports Editor chair hopefully they'll promote female athletes better. I suspect though that's some way of.

Stephen Glenn said...

Great minds and all that!

Was thinking last night who were the top female athletes. Tomorrow I'm going to properly number crunch the nominations of each of the 'esteemed' sports reporting press.


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