patriarchy at the Australian Open

I am appalled at both channel 7 and the Australian Open tournament organisers, and what the hell, the bulk of Australian society. I am so sick and tired of the second-rate treatment sportswomen get in this country. I was not entirely surprised when channel 7 abandoned Sam Stosur and Serena Williams to go to the news, but I was very disappointed. I bet a million dollars they wouldn’t have done that if it was Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer playing. Stosur is Australia’s top ranked player. Lleyton used to be, but now it’s Stosur. You wouldn’t know it though, given the media hype that followed Lleyton until he lost to Federer.

Anyway if I was disappointed then I was absolutely astonished when that same evening after the men’s 4th round match which ended around 10pm, instead of showing the next match – the 4th round match between Azarenka and Zvonereva, who are both in the top 10 – they showed a REPLAY of an earlier match between Tsonga and someone else. Absolutely unbelievable. And what shits me even more is that there has been not a whisper of outrage over this. How is this ok??? How is it ok to show a replay of a men’s match instead of a live women’s one?? Who is in charge and what are they thinking? And where is the outrage? I wrote a letter the editor at the SMH. I often send letters in but they probably hate feminists, and I have never been published. I’ll post it here too.

In response to and support of letter to the editor by Cassandra Miller (27.01.10):

The message that channel 7 sends to young sportswomen by failing to air the match between Stosur and Williams and placing more emphasis on men’s matches in general is that women’s sport is not as important as men’s. Not only did we miss the Stosur-Williams match, later that evening, channel 7 decided to show a replay of an earlier men’s match instead of the live women’s 4th round match between 2 top ten players. Unfortunately, Australian society still applauds the achievements of men over those of women. As Eva Cox (SMH, 26,01,10 ‘Society to blame’ for inequality in awards) noted with regards to the shortage of women receiving Order of Australia awards “we still think the things women do are natural and ordinary and that what men do is extraordinary”. Sadly this is the case for sport as well. It is not just channel 7. The tournament organisers have scheduled the men’s matches for the night-time prime television slot. Obviously they think the public are more interested in watching men play than women. I, for one, am not. I like both, and would like to see both women’s and men’s tennis given equal value by the media and the tournament organisers.


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