Newsy reads for today

The Times: BBC bows to age rage and brings back mature women. Three women over fifty, Fiona Armstrong, 53, Julia Somerville, 62 and Zeinab Badawi, 50, have been hired as presenters on the BBC News Channel. This is a pleasant change in a world in which older women mysteriously disappear from news programs, when women are allowed to report/present “hard news” at all. Related: here’s a good article from a few years back on women in the news by BBC news presenter and feminist Fiona Bruce. She’s commonly asked ‘What do you wear under the desk?’ and ‘What is your favourite recipe?’ Also check out the Global Media Monitoring Project, which follows trends in gender in the media around the world.

AP: Serena Williams is 2009 AP Female Athlete of Year. Would you like to know the runner up? It was a horse.

Times of India: Bangalore police want ban on women bartenders. This follows the abduction (and rescue, don’t worry!) of twelve bartenders on their way home on Saturday. As interviewee K.S. Vimala says, ‘Sexual harassment of women is happening in other work places. That does not mean, we’ll stop them from working altogether. What is needed is proper safety and security for women at their work places’. The Bar and Restaurant Owners’ Association is stepping up security.

LA Times: In Iran, a blind musician leads the way for a women’s orchestra. Healing Nepal: All-female guide company empowering women one trek at a time. ‘After hearing from several disgruntled female tourists, complaining of male guides disrespecting them, the sisters — armed with basic mountaineering skills — opened the country’s first female-owned trekking company, run by and for women.’ The three Chhetri sisters have also opened a children’s home for girls age 7 to 16 who have been rescued from child labor. And 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking has a non-profit arm called Empowering Women of Nepal, which has a number of programs that sound amazing.

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9 comments for “Newsy reads for today

  1. Josh
    December 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Re: The horse as runner-up to Serena.

    As has been pointed out on websites elsewhere, if this is a slight against anyone, it’s a slight against *all people*, seeing as Secretariat actually won the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year award for 1978.

  2. December 24, 2009 at 3:36 am

    She’s commonly asked ‘What do you wear under the desk?’ and ‘What is your favourite recipe?’

    A response I’d love to give but will probably never get the chance: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear your perfectly reasonable question under the sound of all that drivel. Could you repeat that?

  3. ShelbyWoo
    December 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

    As has been pointed out on websites elsewhere, if this is a slight against anyone, it’s a slight against *all people*, seeing as Secretariat actually won the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year award for 1978.

    You might have a point if female athletes and male athletes were treated equally, which, you know, they aren’t. Therefore, having a horse show up on a list of male athletes from 30 years ago does not negate the inherent sexism of not one but TWO horses showing up on the list of female athletes this year.

  4. --bill
    December 24, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    @Josh–Do you have a cite for that? Wikipedia does not list Secretariat as ever having won Athlete of the Year, and 1978 would seem like a particularly odd year for him to have won, seeing as how he won the Triple Crown in 1973.

  5. Lady Vanessa
    December 25, 2009 at 1:33 am

    yeah, your typical male sports journalist probably can’t be bothered to learn the names of too many women athletes. If i had a vote, it would have gone to Deanna Nolan, a totally awesome basketball player who plays for the Tulsa, Oklahoma WNBA team (formerly the Detroit Shock) and also a pro team in Russia.

  6. Lynn
    December 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    While I agree that a horse should not be in the list of top athletes, for context it should be mentioned that Serena Williams received 68 votes and the horse received 18 votes. Last year the first and second place winners were separated by only one vote, and two other athletes were within seven votes of first place.

    I think this year’s vote was a case of Williams overawing the majority of editors who voted, allowing the horse-racing enthusiasts to…erm… place.

  7. December 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I love Deanna Nolan too … great pick! My vote for athlete of the year, though, would’ve gone to one of these gals:

    –Serena Williams (she really is that good, the AP is right about that)
    –Diana Taurasi, MVP of the WNBA champions, the Phoenix Mercury
    –Tamika Catchings, badass defensive player for WNBA runner-up champions, the Indiana Fever
    –Lisa Leslie, who retired this year after a TRULY INCREDIBLE basketball career by any standard. She was the first woman to dunk and the first player to score 5,000 points in pro ball, and boasts four Olympic gold medals, two WNBA championships, three league MVPs, and records as the league’s leading scorer (6,263 pts) and rebounder (3,307). Michael Cooper, former Laker and now LA Sparks coach, broke down in tears after Leslie’s last game when asked what it was like to coach her.

    Also: I’m a feminist sports fan who is not offended by the horses getting votes as a top athlete. While it is ABSOLUTELY an issue that women athletes/sports do not get their due recognition, recognizing horses as athletes (of all genders) has a long history. It’s unusual for fillies to be top racing horses… and the two on this year’s list are stand-outs. Rachel Alexandria was the first fily in 85 years to win the Preakness. Meanwhile, Secretariat was #35 on ESPN’s list of greatest athletes of the 20th century.

    Rather than groan about this list, let’s put our energy into championing and supporting the women’s sports teams/athletes/leagues that we love instead. Let’s make our own list, our own website, our own news source that gives much-needed coverage to some really amazing players and sports.

  8. December 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I have to agree with pretty much everything Anna says here. We should in no way begrudge two amazing equine athletes just because AP can’t be bothered to give a fair shake to female athletes.

    And Secretariat is consistently placed among top human athletes, and the list Anna references also had two other horses as well. Horses being compared to the efforts of humans in sport is in fact a very old phenomena. “Back in the day” when horse racing was a more popular sport the top racehorses were constantly mentioned in the same breath with the top boxers and baseball players.

  9. TeriSaw
    December 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Except, horses are not choosing to compete. They are made to compete, sometimes to the point of self injury. And before someone pulls out the “they love to run” argument I’ll point out that voluntary running is not the same as, shall we say, coerced running.

    I’d prefer to see an end to horse racing altogether. Sports should be voluntary. These lovely animals do deserve recognition, on their own terms.

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