Here’s a look at the backlash when Wimbledon champ Andy Murray hired a young, top-ranked (and lesbian) female tennis player to be his coach.
I link this not as a blanket criticism on sexism in sports or even sports journalism, but because I’ve been thinking deeply about how and why we perceive men and women differently for doing the same things. “Pushy” versus assertive. This Pantene commercial touches on it, but there’s so much more to it, because as an outspoken woman, I still find myself sometimes rolling my eyes at other women for being too outspoken – then find myself confused about whether I’m taking issue with the content of their words, or their tone, or the merely the gendered way we’ve been socialized to look at outspoken or assertiveness in women.
I also enjoyed this Ann Friedman piece on Sally Ride and the burden of being the first female astronaut in space. My favorite bit was the way male engineers approached tampons in space! It prompted some confusion amongst me and my female friends – how does the astrophysics of zero gravity tampons work, exactly? But the anecdote is hilarious, and seems endemic of what happens in any organization learning to promote and accommodate women.
Tampons were packed with their strings connecting them, like a strip of sausages, so they wouldn’t float away. Engineers asked Ride, “Is 100 the right number?” She would be in space for a week. “That would not be the right number,” she told them.