15. Blondes with pigtails.

by Belle

220px-Bartoli_2009_US_Open_01 220px-Sabine_Lisicki_2012_(1)

images from wikipedia.

I came across this article by Tanya Gold today. She seems as unimpressed as many of us by the way that this year’s Wimbledon Ladies Singles Champion was spoken about on BBC Radio 5:

“The triumph of Andy Murray. The taunting of Marion Bartoli. John Inverdale’s moronic musing on the ‘looks’ of the women’s champion was, oddly, not matched by any word on the Scotsman’s nose.

One is a tale of mere triumph; the other of triumph cut with scorn. Yesterday Andy Murray finally won Wimbledon and climbed into the players’ box to celebrate; Saturday on Centre Court was less edifying. As the French tennis player Marion Bartoli climbed through the crowds to hug her father after winning the women’s singles title, Radio 5 Live presenter John Inverdale thought it an adequate moment to comment on her appearance – what else? “Do you think,” he mused moronically, “Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a [Maria] Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?””

I am delighted to read that Bartoli’s response was “I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact.”

Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised by this BBC broadcaster’s blatant sexism, but I am.

I am a mere mortal, not a Wimbledon champion; what chance do we have – our role models may be be hard working, talented and extraordinary women (and men) but apparently they have to be ‘good-looking’ too. What bullshit.

And in politics too; Gold reminds us “that 2012 was a bitter triumph for sportswomen – they were patronised, objectified and insulted. Boris Johnson yearned for more sport in schools, mostly because it would produce “semi-naked women … glistening like wet otters”.”

Whether or not Murray receives similar levels of abuse is irrelevant here; this ignorant crap is wholly unacceptable whether directed towards a man or a woman. Totally and utterly unacceptable.

The point should be that we saw some incredible tennis this weekend; CONGRATULATIONS to Bartoli, Lisicki, Murray and Djokovic.