Is our sports coverage sexist?

The best golf article written in Australia this week must be Patrick’s Smith’s article in The Australian on Thursday – “What a tangled Webb we weave“. He mentions how some of the best sports stories aren’t reported by Australian sports journalists, particularly when the sports person is female and goes so far as to say the media coverage of women’s sports is sexist.Karrie Webb’s win last week was superb and a great story to see her winning again on the LPGA Tour but the coverage of it in Australia was ordinary. Aussie Golfer believes it also applies world-wide as there seems to have been more coverage of Anna Rawson’s role as the new GoDaddy girl than Webb’s win.

Smith writes:

Your chances of finding your correct place on the news list diminishes if you are a woman. The media doesn’t rate women as athletes as much as it rates them as a picture story. Even then it’s best that you are attractive.

He goes on:

This disregard for women and their sport was so pronounced this week that the media should be garrotted. It clearly made a decision that the sex of a sports person should dictate the place on the news lists and broadcasts and not the feat itself.

Karrie Webb was sport’s great story this week. The former No1 woman golfer in the world won her first event on the US tour for more than two years. As she putted out on the 18th, she was in tears. You might expect that of a loser not a winner, but such has been Webb’s fight to find her best form that she was overwhelmed. You didn’t have to ask her how it felt to see Webb’s return to the winning list was a story, both moving and magnificent.

And finally:

Fools discount Webb’s achievements because she does not act like a centrefold, does not roll around the fairways like Bill Murray at pro-ams, does not hit the ball as far as a lot of men on the major tours. But not every man drives it as far as Woods or John Daly yet they are still cherished by the media nonetheless.

The media’s coverage of women’s sport is sexist. Karrie Webb’s remarkable but untold comeback proves it.

Please go and read the full article at The Australian.

2 thoughts on “Is our sports coverage sexist?

  • April 3, 2009 at 01:09

    Ah yes. The sexism of sport(s). I like to think I’m not sexist but I can’t say I’m as intersted in women sports as men. Why is this, I ask myself. I guess because achievement level for women is not quite as high as for men. The men’s group is better. There, I said it. They hit the ball further and get the ball in the hole in less strokes.

    I would be fine with any woman getting all kinds of coverage for her feats. But am I bothered if women don’t get as much coverage? I can’t say that I am.

    It feels bigotted to say something like that but it’s how I feel. There are numerous different categories of humans playing golf (seniors, juniors etc). I could be interested in any of them. But I’m not. I’m interested in the ones who can achieve the best scores. Full stop. It happens to be the group we define as “Men”. Please don’t hate me.

    Jesse Lloyd
    Canuck Golfer

  • August 1, 2011 at 13:16

    That’s okay – we’re happy to be put in our place, even women like Tseng that have won 5 major titles before their 24th birthday. We just aren’t as good as men.

    Also that isn’t how you spell bigoted.

    But it probably feels bigoted because… it is.


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