Martin Samuel: ‘Crusade for women’s sport is just hypocrisy’

Now I’m not much of a sports fan, though I do enjoy American football, tennis – big fan of Maria Sharapova – and ladies’ beach volleyball. Accordingly, I’m woefully ignorant about sports, and would be a liability in this area for any pub quiz team. But you’d expect the Sports Minister to be knowledgeable about sports, wouldn’t you? I was unaware Helen Grant MP is the Sports Minister until J pointed me to the following insightful piece about her ‘crusade’ for women’s sport (it’s about three-quarters of the way down):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2513987/Andre-Villas-Boas-best-thing–elses-fault–MARTIN-SAMUEL.html

It seems having not the slightest interest in or knowledge about a subject is no barrier to a person becoming a minister… so long as the person’s a woman, anyway.

It took me a moment to recall the occasion on which I’d hoped to meet Ms Grant, but didn’t. It was at a fringe meeting held by Politeia near the 2012 Conservative party conference:

http://c4mb.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/the-politeia-fringe-meeting-at-the-conservative-party-conference/

Ms Grant was due to talk about the government’s drive to increase female representation on boards – I had some juicy questions to put to her in the Q&A session – but she was only at the event for only a short while before being called away. On the evening news I discovered the reason for her departure. She’d been called away to accompany David Cameron into the conference venue, a trivial matter covered by numerous film crews hungry for any footage. As a black female MP, she obviously ticked three boxes. What an inspiring statesman Dave is. We can but hope he won’t be the leader of the Conservatives for long after the 2015 general election.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • I wrote this article a while back about women’s sport when the Welsh RFU decided to reduce funding for the women’s Welsh Rugby team.

    http://onlyonepinman.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/gender-inequality-in-sport/

    I do enjoy sports, very much so and I find the complaints that women aren’t equally represented laughable. They aren’t equally represented because they do not compete equally. Women’s sport, no matter how much it is peddled by this or any other government will simply never be as good as the mens. I’ve seen women’s football and it’s not even the equivalent of semi-professional men’s sport.

    Most sport receives most of it’s funding via TV and Sponsorship rights, Sky simply aren’t going to pay top dollar for women’s sport deals because no-one will watch it.

    The only thing I can suggest to women who care so deeply about women’s sport is that perhaps they should make a point of watching it. Another reason men’s sports are popular, particular team and ball games (football, rugby, cricket etc) is because almost every man in Britain watches at least one of these sports – Women don’t. If the vast and overwhelming majority of women can’t be arsed to go and watch other women playing sport, then I think that tells you all you need to know about the majority of women’s opinion on sport and it should tell Helen Grant all she needs to know about women’s sport and it’s relative lack of publicity.