While Australia is a forward-thinking country, one thing that it cannot seem to grasp is the importance of females in sport. In fact, it can hardly grasp that females are interested in sport much less that they might be good at it.
Sure, there are a few popular female athletes and a few leagues are trying to get more women into administrative and managerial roles, but by and large, women are ignored. Maybe it’s the women’s college graduate in me (shout out to Smith College and my fellow Smithies!) but lately it’s been especially prominent that women and sport are not a combination Australia cares about.
I do not help, of course. In the time I’ve been writing for BDB I have only included a handful of women in my articles. But even if I wanted to write about babes who play sports, I don’t think I could do it with any real knowledge. I can only think of one popular female sports writer – Emma Quayle, you rock – and other than the swimmers who went to London and a couple surfers, I have no idea about any other professional Australian female athlete.
But is this all my fault? Am I just oblivious? I think not.
Because when I think long and hard about the last time I saw women’s sport covered on free-to-air TV during prime time (as in not at 8:30 am), I come up with this answer: last summer (as in last Nov/Dec 2011- Australian seasons are different, remember). I have great memory and it is absurd that the last memorable piece regarding women’s sport was on TV was over a year ago. It was about cricket and there was a blonde girl in it.
Even worse, I was searching for pictures for this article and I came across news that the Southern Stars, Australia’s women’s cricket team, are the world cup winners – for the sixth time. They won in February and I missed it. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I AM OBSESSED WITH SPORTS. It’s incomprehensible that this was not outrageously big news. This is something the country should be amazingly proud of, and yet I have not heard a single person mention it in a month.
Now, admittedly, Australian women aren’t as involved in sport as, say, American or Canadian women are. I don’t I could pay my girl friends to come to a sporting event that their boyfriend isn’t in (and even those are a stretch). But is that really an excuse to cut them out of the media? TV, newspapers, online? If babes really do dig balls, and believe me, we do, then why is our demographic almost completely ignored?
(Photo Credit: Southern Stars Twitter)