Sunday, June 15, 2008

LTA does no favor to girls

The DFS Classic included a promotion by the LTA's dreadful "Think Pink" campaign, which is designed to attract girls to the game of tennis by "looking to bring out the glamorous side of the game and really tap into what appeals to girls growing up these days."

This is--first and foremost--sexism at its ugliest. The presumption that girls will not be interested in playing tennis because they are not attracted to competition and hard work is a nasty presumption. The LTA believes that tennis must be made "girly" in order to entice females to participate. Such a promotion causes damage on several levels: It tells girls--once again--that they are not tough enough to really compete; it tells them that them that women's sports are somehow "different" from men's', and it tells them--don't worry, you'll still be "feminine," even if you play this sweaty sport.

Of course, the kind of "feminine" the LTA is implying is the kind that guarantees you will not win your matches, and has nothing to do with actual feminine identity. But the assurance of fake "femininity" also provides the ever-so-important message: Don't worry--no lesbians here. Because God forbid these girls should wind up really "thinking pink."

"We have to sell women’s tennis in a very different way to men’s tennis," says LTA national coach Claire Curren. No, you do not: You have to sell a message that girls can be just as competitive and just as successful as boys, and that a mature woman is capable of winning and enjoying it.


Manfred said...

Interesting pov Diane. I linked it from my own blog.


Diane said...

Thanks, Manfred. It's disheartening to see the UK put on a big sexism fest to try to get girls to play tennis.