Sport Sport Focus Tania Hird takes a hit for the sisterhood
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Tania Hird takes a hit for the sisterhood

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I can’t tell you how relieved I was to read about Tania Hird wearing a winning combination of a trench coat and knee-high boots to the Federal Court hearing into Essendon’s supplements program.

For a minute there I thought she was going to turn up to court in a sequined Brownlow frock, exposed back and eight-inch stilettos. Good on her for checking the weather forecast first.

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Swapping the black trench for camel on day two was a masterstroke. Simple, yet elegant and practical. I’d expect nothing less from Ms Hird because, not only is she a savvy dresser, she’s a “blonde lawyer”.

(Just like James is a “blonde, windswept former coach” and Paul Little is a “bald chairman”.)

At least now we have a better understanding of the case. From the tailored cut of her Burberry coat we can tell James is innocent.

Sadly, these kind of irrelevant details aren’t peculiar to this story. Sportswomen are all too frequently described this way.

Take two-time Commonwealth Games trap shooting gold medalist Laetisha Scanlan. She isn’t blonde but she’s single and looking for love.

Getty
Trap shooter Laetisha Scanlan. Photo: Getty

Headline writers your time starts now.

“Now Laetisha sets sights on love”.

“Golden girl Scanlan looking for a shotgun wedding”.

Scanlan “now needs to find a man”.

These were all highlighted on the ABC’s Media Watch program recently.

Commonwealth Games Association President Sam Coffa led the chorus of criticism.

“I am appalled about this type of reporting in regard to our Australian team and would like to see the athletic achievements and high standards of our female athletes properly reported,” he said.

The President of the Australian Womensport and Recreation Association Deidre Anderson called it unprofessional and disrespectful journalism.

“This type of reporting undermines women’s sport to the point where their athletic achievements are diminished and even lost.

“They have trained endlessly and sacrificed so much and deserve better”, she said.

Meanwhile a TV network was feverishly compiling its list of the hottest Australian female athletes at the Commonwealth Games.

Congratulations to the genius who came up with that idea.

Over in the newspaper world a footy survey was asking who is our hottest WAG? It’s a question that comes up this time every year and it’s an important one too. Stats show the team with the hottest WAG gets more contested footy and is more accurate in front of goal.

For those of you who’ve been lying awake at night wondering, Megan Gale took out the prestigious award. I’m sure Damien Hardwick is delighted.

In a TV studio not far away the comedy gods were rolling around the floor as Sam Newman accidently flashed his penis while a scantily clad nurse was bending down to pick up a pen.

Pure gold.

There seems to be a relentless need still, in this supposed enlightened day and age, to fixate on what women wear, how they look and their relationship status.

It all boils down to a very simple question. Do you want your daughters portrayed like this?

To the young women who proudly define themselves by the hashtag – I Don’t Need Feminism – think about this.

Do you want to vote, be judged on merit, control your own body; be paid the same as men and own property? Do you want to be safe in your home and on the streets? Do you want to be equal with men?

Do you think you deserve the same respect as men?

I’ve written about this before and I will write about it again.

This stuff matters.

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