STRAIGHT TALK: Lock up sexism and throw away the Keys

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So, this week Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray and presenter Richard Keys were hauled up for their sexist remarks in regards to a female official.

Am I surprised? No. Am I angered? Absolutely!

The revelation that sexism exists in the sporting world is nothing new. I think most people would agree that football is a male dominated sport, but that should not give men such as Gray and Keys a reason to completely dismiss women from the game. Sian Massey’s ability to do her job was judged solely on her gender, and that is wrong.

This whole debacle got me thinking about my experience as a female press photographer.

Having studied for my media degree with an equal number of male and female students, it had never occurred to me that to be a photographer was still widely considered a “man’s” job.

Over the last three years, I have been greeted with “Oh, I was expecting a man” a countless number of times.

One person, seeing me with a camera around my neck, even asked “Don’t they send the photographers any more?”. I found his assumption that I couldn’t possibly be a photographer, because I was a woman, really quite shocking in this day and age.

South Holland has some well established and talented female photographers (Veena Cornish and Catherine Carter to name just two)

I have the upmost respect for Sian Massey. Having been on the receiving end of footballer’s loutish banter on several occasions, I know how intimidating it can be.

She must’ve grown a rather thick skin to be able to tolerate the abuse that must get hurled at her everytime she steps out onto the pitch.

Women have earned themselves equal rights and equal opportunities but will we ever get the same respect in the workplace as men?

It’s about time the whistle is blown on this game of two halves and more of the narrow-minded views of men such as Gray and Keys are given the red card for good.