Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"The power game"

I just finished reading an interview with the first woman to score a century in Twenty20, Deandra Dottin,


during which the interviewer stated that "the power game is something that is not often associated with women's cricket."

I suspect that most people, if they did bother to read this interview, would accept this statement without a second thought. But it made me stop and think. In the research I have conducted to date, on both women's sport and women in cricket specifically, the issue of female physical strength - in this case phrased covertly as "the power game" - is one that crops up again and again. Mainly the idea that women are less physically able than men, however it is phrased, is bandied about as a justification for the marginalisation of female sport.

How often have journalists written reports of women's games that express this kind of sentiment, stating that "it just wasn't as fast-paced as the men's game" or "it wasn't as exciting"?

How long must female athletes continue to have to compete against men? Dottin scored the quickest century to date in both women's and men's cricket. Doesn't this prove something?

Aren't these kind of sentiments just another kind of phallocentrism in a society that claims to strive for gender equality? Why should it be any more acceptable that any other form of sexism?

Marjorie Pollard, writing on women's cricket in 1930, wrote:
"we do not wish to follow, we wish to go our own our own cricket in our own way."

Today's sportswomen would do well to follow this sentiment.

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