Dear Australia……I’m concerned, in fact i’m very concerned I feel we may have a huge problem! I think Australia may have lost it’s sense of humour!
Since I was little, the one cool thing about being an Aussie was that we could have a giggle at pretty much anything…..are those days behind us? Please say not….
The nation seems to have gone ape at Chris Gayle for his so called “sexist” comments towards Channel 10’s sport presenter Mel McLaughlin. The West Indian cricketer has been fined $10,000 and stripped of all media rights during the Big Bash series, but I am left wondering if we have overreacted slightly!
I say this from a point of a Female in the media industry, who spent the first 6 years of my career working in elite sports journalism in the field of international sailing! Now before you ask, yes in Europe, this is a big field of sport and has equal to pay packets and coverage as of many professional sports. I have been side line as a working female in 2 America’s Cups and multiple international sailing circuits in a sport which is and continues to be male dominated.
Have I been awkwardly approached during an interview? Yes. Have inappropriate comments been made? Yes! I once had someone comment on how good my breasts looked in a top and it didn’t make international news, I simply laughed it off…..why? Because I’m an Australian woman in media!
Yes to some these comments may be perceived as offensive, sexist and condescending, however to others they are a laugh, entertainment and a tongue in cheek joke. Did I ever get offended? No.
Those who know me, know that I am a very opinionated, head strong woman who takes nothing from no one so if I was to get offended believe you me they’d know about it, but you know what instead I had a reputation for being fun, light-hearted and great to work with.
I, like Mel, can take a subtle joke, am flattered by a smooth move but I also can look at it and say it’s for entertainment. We are employing athletes to perform for us and these day’s that’s on and off the screen. These guys are personalities and they too are playing their roles and as a woman who’s been at the top end of sports reporting, trust me you have seen worse!
I am more worried about the overreaction to this comical moment than the comment itself! When I took a job working along side the America’s Cup I was one of a handful of women. I was proud to have my job and mostly I was proud that when it was given to me I could give it back in good humour on the same level. That made me equal. That made me the same as them and in a Male dominated industry I was proud that I was never taken advantage of, why? Because everyone respected me as they do Mel!
Personally I think it’s all been crazily blown out of proportion. TV is entertainment, sport is entertainment and an innocent flirt never hurt anyone. The concern is more that we Australian’s, who have for ever been known for our light hearted, happy go lucky attitude, the chicks that could take it and give it to the guys, have finally lost their sense of humour!