Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tennis Channel reaches new depths of sexism

Tennis Channel has a series called "Best of Five." This series includes the five biggest upsets, five worst calls, five best one-slam wonders, etc. This morning, for the first (and only) time, I saw "Five Best Breakups." Rated at number 3 was "black widow" Martina Hingis, whose ATP romantic partners' careers tended to dive after they became involved with her. Of course, with the exception of Radek Stepanek, she was not involved with players who had especially high rankings, anyway.

I don't have any problem with the whole "black widow" thing. It's mildly amusing (though I can think of tennis breakups more deserving of being in the top five--the other breakups all involved parnters, coaches, etc.). But Tennis Channel, just like Tennis magazine, made the segment all about how Hingis "went through men" on the tour. Not only did she "go through" a "lot" of men--she was a "good date" because she "took care" of them.

In short, the segment is a disgusting piece of sexism. So Hingis dated men on the tour. So she had sex with them--oh, no!--that makes her a slut, doesn't it? Because that's close to what Tennis Channel (and Tennis) said. But she gets a bit of a pass because she "took care" of them.

Sexism aside for a moment, it's only logical that tennis players are likely to date one another; it's not like they have time to hang out in their hometowns and meet romantic partners socially. There are several men on the ATP Tour who date women on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and there are a few who dated several WTA players, but the sports media does not crudely imply that they are trashy and indecent, or announce that they "go through a lot of women."

The fact that--with regard to the sexual double standard (and all gender double standards)--nothing has changed since the 1950s is maddening. Tennis Channel should be ashamed, but hey--we're talking about the organization that kept Justin Gimelstob on its payroll.


Anonymous said...

Just wondering where can I watch this series?, it seems very interesting, but I can't find it on the tennis channel website. Anyone?

Diane said...

It's actually pretty cheesy, but it does bring back some memories.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much! Love your blog and your insight is very much appreciated :)

Diane said...

You're welcome. And I'm glad to have you as a reader.

Karen said...

The time that TC keeps bringing these trashy things, they could use the money to perhaps show tennis. Idiots.

Apollinaria said...

Totally agree with you, Karen.