“Hi Ms. Thorpe.
I have a suggestion for your next Thought Leader piece.
I don’t know if you had the chance to watch any of the coverage of Olympic women’s soccer last night on SuperSport — excellent action all around and darn fine viewing.
There was, however, one relentlessly annoying thing: the commentators (in every match) continually referred to those spectacularly talented, skilled, and trained athletes as “girls”. Frankly, it was maddening.
I’m about 100 kilos, and yet I can pretty much guarantee that most of those women could beat me in any athletic contest up to and including a straight up fistfight.
I understand the concept of referring to “our boys” in the context of Bafana, or the Boks, or the Proteas. But I think we all know that they’re very much men, and I don’t think you’ll hear many commentators (particularly when referring to a member of Bafana) calling a player “a talented boy.”
These are women, not girls, and I think it’s abundantly clear that it’s sexism at play when these commentators use that reference.
If you didn’t get a chance to see it for yourself, it may well be replayed, and you can probably catch some over the weekend. The schedule is here: <http://www.london2012.com/football/event/women/index.html>
Keep up your good work — I often vehemently disagree with you, but I often find you thought-provoking as well.
and then later
“I’ve just reached out to some family in the States,; I’m curious to hear what the commentary was like on that side in comparison. American broadcasters have gotten a *lot* better, at least including women as commentators on women’s sport. Every voice on SuperSport was male, I believe.”