Blogging for our times– Love Is It?
The controversy sparked by Serena in the US Open could well keep us stuck on the outbursts that rightfully warrant being checked. But, if we also look at it as one more example of un-sportsman-like conduct, and over- ride the issue of sex, the inspection could take us to a deeper issue. If we then revisit how penalties between the genders have traditionally been levelled, then to call the practice out for being inequitable is in order. The report by Greenberg on YouTube clearly addresses the issue of gender bias. See link. Having experienced inequity in the workplace some 20 years ago myself, I can relate to the frustration Serena felt in not being responded to in the same way as to a male. Progressive change in my profession has made our practice more transparent. In tennis however, if we take another look at how the controversy was sparked and stay mindful of the consequences for men in similar situations, the practice of officiating warrants a closer look. That men are willing to speak out may prove to be the very power blast to force the issue to the forefront. That men were willing to play a part in coaching me along the road to becoming a School Principal made me hopeful at the time, and that men are adding their voice for levelling out the playing field in tennis keeps me hopeful today. The situation also took me back to a children’s story I wrote in reaction to an account of a little altar server who was barred from serving at a high-profile mass because she was a girl. (MacLean’s magazine 1986). Even as far back as then, there were boys willing to rally to what was perceived as Rachel’s cause. Rachel didn’t make it to the altar for that Mass but given the outcry that included members of the cloth, the message found its way to Rome. I stand hopeful that the ‘the elusive restriction’ that barred Rachel has been removed. It wasn’t Rachel’s cause, really, nor was it the issue of the other women who, like me were perched on a Principal’s short list, and the issue continues to loom larger than Serena today.