Monday, June 30, 2008

No country for Cindy Klassen, either

How soon we forget, eh?

As someone who's typically tits-deep in white liberal guilt, it's a struggle to understand the thought process that led a Winnipeg newspaper to completely leave our women athletes out of a list of 10 reasons for Canadian sports fans to wave the flag. Hey, it's not as if Winnipeg being the hometown of both Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes, gold medallists, role models, and Right to Play ambassadors, should have jogged anybody's memory. (Hey, maybe if they were tennis players who fell within the Maxim guidelines of beauty ...)

Women athletes only accounted for 16 of Canada's 24 medals in Turin back in February 2006. On our nation's birthday, we should take this as a sign of our nation's commitment to equality in an age where there are still many places in the world where females are years from being able to take athletic participation for granted. It's also made Canada an ass-kicker in the Winter Olympics, where a nation "with one-tenth of the population of the United States" (to use the article's exact wording) won just one less medal than the Americans did in Turin -- and more than Russia (142 million people) or France (65 million).

Bear in mind, it's a tendency of all sports-loving males to make this error of commission and omission every so often. Who knows, we might have trouble divesting ourselves of the whole "you got beat by a girl!" phenomenon back in childhood, although it was easier to get rid of when your house-league hockey teams that occasionally played Kingston girls teams which had future Olympian Jayna Hefford, who skated circles around most guys her age.

Point being, it can't be that hard to remember the athletic accomplishments originating from that 53% of the population which supposedly doesn't read the sports section (there's a lot of folks in the other 47% who can relate). An article that had space to aggrandize Ron MacLean and cringe-worthily comment on Bricia Weir being a "dark-skinned brunette" -- as if she and golfer Mike Weir ended up getting together because of pigmentation -- surely could have paid some attention.

(Digression: MacLean being in there is the reason for saying "tits-deep" instead of the less salty "hip deep" or "neck deep" in a post about the subjugation of women athletes. It's a pun that Ron MacLean could never say on TV in a million years, get it?)

Let's leave the FJM-style Fiskings to some other man or woman with more spleen to vent and less to lose professionally. It's just funny, that's all. Sixteen medals from our women, eight from our men and barely two years later and it's not as important to the hometown paper of a couple Olympic heroines as the hair and skin tone of Mike Weir's wife. This actually happened.

Our women athletes won twice as many medals as the men and aren't even as thought of as being half as good. Brutal.


Duane Rollins said...

I dare anyone to name a more deserving athlete than Clara Hughes to light the flame in Vancouver.

I double dare you.

(I suspect I may make a post or two on the subject as the Games get closer)

krister said...

sager - preach it brother, preach it!

Jordie Dwyer said...

Sager...I'm surprised you only shoved the sword into those Winnipeg sports brats halfway...not like they ever did you and Keith any favours in Portage...What I'm really surprised about is they didn't include their infamous female Winner-peg women curlers...the rest they just don't seem to care about.

sager said...

Hey, I work for the chain, I have to pull some punches.