By Lady Lolita, 1st July 2016

The Double Curse of Women in Sport

Pay and Periods are Stopping Women from Winning

Pay and Periods are Stopping Women from Winning

It’s not fair!
Women have always had a rough ride. Maybe it’s all Eve’s fault, what with her strange apple and phallic animal obsession, but I doubt it. I doubt the unfairness in our gender is actually our own fault. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type of woman that plays the Female Card… no way… and I’m not one of those pathetic girls using the fact that they have a womb to bitch and moan about how life isn’t going their way. Nope. Well, that is, I wasn’t until I looked into the double curse of women in sport.

Then I realised something quite obvious and quite sad: Being a woman IS a bitch – especially if you are a professional sports woman!

We all know that inequality in sport has been a contentious issue for some time. Yes, girls at school do get to play football now. Yes, sports women have finally been given the recognition and opportunities that they deserve to represent their country in their chosen sport (even if the only headline news, with women playing ‘rough stuff’ like rugby, is that a female player broke her nose and carried on. Oh, what a brave poppet). But unfortunately it stops there. Because when it comes to equal pay we are light years behind.

money in hand

In 2014, when the men and women’s teams of Arsenal both won the FA Cup, the women were paid £5,000 as a team and the men received £1.8m. That’s right, the boys got MILLIONS and the girls got enough to treat themselves to a new pair of heels and a lippy. Does that sound fair to you? Early this morning the England Lionesses played in the Semi Finals of the World Cup. That is further than their male counterparts have managed in 25 years. How did I find out about it? Television, radio, magazines, newspapers? No. By overhearing two guys saying that they didn’t care about the score because it wasn’t ‘real’ football. So sorry, girls, go back into the kitchen and we’ll pay an exorbitant amount on Sky to watch the pampered millionaire men lose at the beautiful game instead. The girls didn’t win either, but that’s not the point…

women soccer

And there’s more, because the curse doesn’t stop there. As tennis player Petra Kvitova bravely pointed out in The Telegraph this week the dreaded P word is the thing of nightmares for female tennis stars when they step on to the courts of Wimbledon. No, not (just) Pay. Periods!

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Since those distant days of PE lessons at school when I had a (faked) continuous period that lasted from age 11 to 18, I haven’t give any thought about mixing mother nature with physical exercise. But for women who are centre stage in the world of sport, the dreaded hormones and gross crimson stains are at the forefront of their mind – because tennis players have to wear WHITE for fuck’s sake. ON TV. I can’t, I can’t even go there…

Yes, they can take the pill to manage their menstrual cycle and I guess they can wear extra pads and extra big Tampax to put their mind at rest. But it’s all the rest of the stuff that goes with it. Have you ever tried running about for hours with a wedgie of padding in your knickers, when in full flow, with no toilet break, in the summer heat, sweating, bloated, dizzy, emotional and you can’t even take painkillers as most are classified as ‘enhancement drugs’? Exactly. And the men still get paid more…


Yet again, our lady bits are letting us down.

Although apparently it’s not a big deal for some female sport stars, such as the England Hockey team. Firstly their uniform is red, big relief, but they also have their menstrual cycles tracked by their coach to enhance their training and ability. Hormones and female sporting ability should be taken seriously. Through no fault of their own, their bodies are putting them at a disadvantage at different stages of the month. They have to  be mindful of drinking and eating enough to keep their energy levels up (while the rest of us write off the week, grab a donut and catch up on Netflix) and they have to go through the embarrassment of random drug urine testing when on their periods. It’s just an added humiliation you don’t need when psyching yourself up to win for your country.

tennis-player in red

So come on, sporting authorities. Show the world that women in sport deserve to be rewarded for their abilities. And if you can’t manage that (you misogynistic antiquated bastards) at least let the female tennis players wear a different coloured skirt!

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