Saturday, January 24, 2009

Penis envy alive and well: who knew?

In today's Age there is an account by sports writer Greg Baum of the terrific tennis match last night between teenage rocket Caroline Wozniacki, the eleventh seed in the Australian Open at only 18, and Jelena Dokic, of the tragic and dramatic history thus far. The article will be read on and offline by tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of people.

I watched the whole match and it was full-on, played with great pace and power but also featuring a lot of the delicate touch and mixed-up play that players such as Hingis and Henin won all their Grand Slam trophies with.

Greg Baum's take?
The match was a beauty, a slugfest, played at take-no-prisoners tempo, worthy of the men's draw.
Now if slugging and imprisoning are your favourite things then yes of course the men's draw will be your cup of tea, along with rugby, ice hockey, heavyweight boxing, the AFL in melee mode, and gladiators v. lions and bears. If not, if you prefer different aspects of the game of tennis -- precision, skill, quick thinking -- then perhaps you won't think to make evaluative gender comparisons but will rather take each kind of spectacle, and each kind of player, of whatever gender, on her or his own particular merits.

The match was indeed worthy of international competition at the highest level. It was worthy, at its very best moments, of past greats like Navratilova and Court. But is 'worthy of the men's draw' really the highest compliment you can think of? Give me a break, Greg Baum. Shift your great fat lazy paradigm.


Ann oDyne said...

The Therapist would say
'he was only doing his best', and we all know the most sincere compliment a man can pay a woman is that she is just like one of the blokes.
(I get that all the time.)

Regarding your mention of 'football melee' may I commend the post by Blogger On A Cast Iron Balcony.

Hockey 1 ...
hockey 2 ...
hockey 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bernice said...

Though Baum was no worse than the buffoon Channel Seven had interview Dokic after the match. For which she of the recently twisted ankle had to stand for another five minutes while he searched for a Sunrise moment.
But Baum also raises the question of where are the high profile women sports journalists? Mmmmmmm.