Great news, everyone! Blatant sexism and flagrant bad taste is alive and well in Australia, today, as critical levels of *facepalm* have been achieved via a video interview from the Australian Open.
Sports commentator Ian Cohen has truly outdone the routine and casual sexism so many female athletes are subject to, after he descended into pure douchebag territory last night on Channel Seven’s broadcast.
Following Canadian tennis champion and current world number 7 Eugenie Bouchard’s thrilling and convincing 6-0, 6-3 win over Kiki Bartens yesterday, Cohen approached Bouchard for an interview.
Casually shimmying straight past any court talk (because lol, female athletes, who cares about tennis when there are WOMEN wearing CLOTHES in different colours!) and went straight for the important stuff that he would surely also ask, say, Roger Federer. Literally:
“Last night you tweeted that you loved Serena’s outfit, obviously the fluro is working for you girls at the moment,” began Cohen. “She [Williams] was kind enough to give us a twirl, can you give us a twirl and tell us about your outfit?” He goes on to ask, sounding like the creepiest uncle of all time.
“…The fuck?” says Bouchard’s shocked expression. “A twirl…?” she asks.
Yes, literally a twirl, (“a pirouette!” adds Cohen – Bouchard’s feeble mind must have misunderstood the verb “twirl”, so let’s translate that into ballet terminology, yes!), because taking female athletes seriously is still, tragically, not a thing.
Bouchard goes on to twirl, twirl toward public humiliation. RIP sporting values.
Meanwhile, to make things of this ilk worse – tragic news overnight has emerged that the up-and-coming Russian tennis star, 23-year-old Violetta Degtiareva, has died from a heart attack.
But obituaries for the star naturally did not focus on Degtiareva’s sporting talent – from news.com.au to the New York Daily News to The Daily Mail, reports are dotted with turns of phrase such as “the blonde beauty”, “stunning good looks” and “[her] beauty gave her celebrity status” being thrown in around a slew of bikini shots. Tasteless, to say the least.
But let’s not stop there, comrades!
Former British tennis player Annabel Croft has reportedly told the BBC of the “taboo” culture surrounding the impact of menstruation on female players, calling out the routine ~sweeping under the carpet~ that accompanies the issue. “I think women do suffer in silence on this subject. It has always been a taboo subject,” Croft said.
All in all, a stellar day for women in sport.
Watch #TwirlGate go down below.
Lead image by Pascal Guyot via Getty.