Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reaction to the Women's rugby - or lack of it - on TV for CRC 7s


I am reposting this on behalf of good blogger friend and past podcast guest Wendy Young (Your Scrumhalf Connection).

Letter to the Editor: Reaction to the Women's rugby - or lack of it - on TV for CRC 7s
This arrived in my in box in response to the lack of TV coverage on NBC during the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship earlier this month. If you feel the same, or differently, drop a line at RugbyBuzz@gmail.com and get the dialog going. The question NBC asks, though, is there an audience for women’s rugby? The note below would indicate yes.
Thank you for being one of the very few people to even pay attention to the fact that women competed in the CRC, and thank you too for not belittling their participation. I love Sevens. I certainly loved watching the men’s games, and the coverage of those games was commendable. But it’s regrettable, offensive, inexcusable, unjustifiable, patronizing, ridiculous, passively misogynistic, and (fill in your own various negatives here) that not only was the women’s competition barely mentioned, but there was zero coverage of it. We didn’t get to see it broadcast on TV and, to add insult, can’t even watch it on universalsports.com. Other than a couple highlight moments that can be found if one digs hard enough, it appears that, as far as Universal/NBC is concerned, there was no women’s competition. The biggest attention paid on-air was to rub salt in the wound by mentioning the inequitable GoDaddy scholarships — $20k to the men, $5k to the women. I’d like to believe we were slowly but at least surely evolving past the “oh, they’re just playing the girls’ version; girls can’t really play sports; no one cares or wants to watch them; men play the real game” mindset, but the complete lack of coverage combined with that discrepancy in scholarship rewards pretty much belies any hope of doing so. My mother’s and grandmother’s generations probably would have been less excited about Title IX if they’d known how little things would progress in the four decades since.
I understand that you were not personally responsible for Universal’s/NBC’s error, and in fact you’re to be applauded for not blindly following their lead in ignoring the women altogether. But yours was the address I managed to find when trying to figure out to whom I could send this complaint, so I’m afraid you “won” by default. Feel free to pass the message along to more appropriate recipients if you think there’s the slightest hope it would ever actually make a difference.
And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I guess I’ll go don pearls, pumps, and hoopskirt and find something appropriately estrogen-acceptable and nonathletic to do. (I suppose if I wanted to preserve any chance of this viewpoint being paid attention, I should pretend I’m male, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.)
Thank you for your time and for your respectful articles.
Raven McKnight
Are you upset about the lack of women’s coverage? Let your voice be heard! Post in the comments section of this post and at the original article here. Also post on Twitter with hashtag #2011CRC and please mention @USASevensCRC as well.

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