“the frightened face of one who has lost her equilibrium and is falling.“
The heaviest burdens crushes us, anchoring us to the ground as we drown beneath the water. Does this even scratch the surface of what I imagine being a women in this society is like? As a man I will never know.
However, as men we can educate ourselves.
The reality is, in sport, the boardroom is a seriously male dominated space and decisions made will always remain to their agenda or benefit. For how long though? The idea that women in sport are unequal to men is gradually turning into mere words, theories and discussion. It has become lighter than a feather.
Sexism and preconceived gender specific roles in society has handicapped women for a prolonged period. Kids from a young age identify with their care givers and replicate what they see, in turn it affects their conceptualization of gender roles, what they perceive they should be interested in, and what they should train to be. And thus it furthermore persists this sexist rational.
At present the evidence is too blatant to ignore. Over the past year Banyana Banyana qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup which was a great success. Protea Women were agonizingly knocked out of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup by Australia and the Spar Protea’s accomplished a 4th place finish at the most recent Netball World Cup.
But how many people will you find to tell you that these successes were an achievement for sport as much as their male counterparts’ ones?
“… it was not vanity that drew her to the mirror; it was amazement at seeing her own.“
Necessity has no magic formula and while women sport is a rapidly growing industry, there is still room for improvement in terms of how it is broadcasted and valued in our societies. GSPORT, a platform created by sports media personality Kass Naidoo, aims at enhancing the profile of women games and generating more sponsorship opportunities. This is a noteworthy initiative that should develop in the future.
As we continue in the mist of nothing with this pandemic, let us return to a dream. Let us return to a dream society that is not only healthy and safe, but one where gender based violence, sexism and patriarchy disappears once and for all, dead in advance. Sport has been a tool for legitimising patriarchal fantasies of men’s superiority for all its history, it can maybe now show the way for gender equality.