Wednesday, 26 January 2011


So Andy Gray has been sacked by Sky, Richard Keys remains just about in-tact though mounting pressure has left Sky in a difficult position following the revelations of the past week. Where does this leave Sian Massey?
‘Apparently, a female lino today, bit of a looker’
A female linesman? [...] No, I wouldn’t. I definitely wouldn’t... I can see her from here.’
‘What do women know about the offside rule?’
The conversation between Andy Burton and Gray ahead of Saturday’s match between Wolves and Liverpool.
‘The game’s gone mad. See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love.’
Keys, on the newspaper column written by the West-Ham vice chair.
These comments and quips have not been blown out of proportion, they have been presented for what they are, and that is sexist. The term itself is flung about and used blandly to cover a number of sins, but the issue that’s most upsetting is the result of the media circus that has erupted around a qualified professional official who has done nothing but get on and do her job. Sian Massey has not uttered a word during the whole palaver, and unfortunately decided to step down from her match on Tuesday officiating for Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City. A completely unfair consequence which meant a highly-competent and experienced individual was not able to do carry out her employment duty as an assistant referee.
Even through the statements were captured when the men thought their mics were off, it’s a shame now that journalists are rummaging through old reels of footage, scavenging for quotes from any male presenter that has ever been in the limelight. There’s no need for the media to rub it in our faces that these kinds of remarks are made – we know already! But the fact that such an old-fashioned and shallow point of view is still prevalent within the sports world just shows how slow people adapt to change. On-air or off-air, it’s still an ideology that hinders a fair portrayal of women in today’s ‘modern’ society.
The fact that women have had to struggle for years to make it just about acceptable to have a female presence within a male dominated sport is bad enough, but why is it the norm to still be judged and talked about with all remarks based purely on gender?

Monday, 17 January 2011

January. A New Year.

It seems that the definition of the word is lost during the month of January. New Year’s resolutions are far from revolutionary.
January allows brands and businesses to convince us that we have overindulged so much that we really should feel awful. If we’re not feeling awful about those mince pies, we should probably re-think the meaning of indulgence. Tut. Condescending voiceovers remind us of brands’ ethereal presence, and January is the perfect time for their products and services to re-emerge, just in-time to save humankind from fat, flab and feeling awful. New Year; new resolutions; new solutions... recycled from last year. If you weren’t thinking about losing weight, you should. Everyone else is! You must try this diet which allows you to snack, and this food which makes you never want to snack. Oh, and this diet which makes you look like Cheryl Baker! Hooray!
Sitting on the sofa becomes a sin as bouncy youthful enthusiastic enthusiasts show off their toned bods for a fitness DVD that was filmed 6 months ago. Oh, and not only is TV-watching frowned upon, but that sofa you’re lounging on certainly isn’t suitable for 2011. If you weren’t shopping on Boxing Day and taking advantage of the pre-VAT increase, you must be bonkers. I don’t own a sofa, but I’m still saturated with adverts from furniture stores whose pre-requisite for success is to use acronyms and acronyms alone. Who knows what they could stand for...
On this theme, January is also a time for shops to clear out stock. Those winter coats that were new-in two weeks ago are pushed aside to make way for swimwear and flip-flops. We know that the fashion stores operate on their own seasonal axis, though this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy up the ‘SLASHED’ price goods which are still very much appropriate in this cold weather. However, sale items loiter in the corner well into February looking crumpled, dusty, and so last year as we stock up on florals and linen. Spring/Summer ‘11, innit!
Resolutions shouldn’t be restricted to be made in January alone. There’s far too much else going on anyway... playing with Christmas presents, for example. And before you ask, no I don’t have any resolutions as such. I’ll change what I want in my own time, when I have time!

Roll on February.