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Wednesday News: Kody Keplinger on being blind; Dirty Dancing as a...

Kody’s willingness to share her experience is encouraging. Hers is not the only experience of a vision impaired kid but if we want broader diversity of characters being treated respectfully it’s helpful to have these touchpoints for authors to use and for all of us to become more empathetic. Disability In KidLit

This next section of the news might raise your blood pressure so I recommend going to Brie’s blog for a few and reading the posts about heroines.

BBC Commentator Apologizes for Comments on Wimbledon Champ’s LooksMen and women are equal right? Treated exactly the same? Measured by ability rather than gender? Oh, if only.  This past weekend’s coverage of Wimbledon just goes to show that women are only as good as their tits and asses.  BBC commentator John Inverdale stated, on air- “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight?'””

“How did you feel about this match? No Venus or Serena Williams and no Maria Sharapova? The hard truth for tennis is this: That was a terrible match for the sport. Terrible. For most of the match, Lisicki was in complete panic.

But not only that. Women’s tennis is desperate for stars. And this is the sport’s greatest stage, greatest opportunity. Yet with so little depth, two underdogs got here. Lisicki had a small chance to catch on in the US. Small, because I have a feeling no one was watching. But she did beat Williams, and could have been the Wimbledon champ. She is super-powerful. She is comfortable and personable in front of a camera.

And in terms of growing interest in the game, she could appeal to the average testosterone-defined fan sitting on his couch in front of the TV: She’s an attractive, powerful blonde woman in a short skirt.

Bartoli – more hard truth – is not going to sell in the US. She doesn’t have magazine looks, and plays in an ugly way.

What Couch didn’t come out and say but wanted to was that Bartoli herself was ugly and therefore wasn’t going to interest anyone in America because only horny men who turn on the television with the sole goal of finding something, anything that will help them rub one out are ever interested in tennis.

Men, you are not humans, you are simply a dickstick. A dickstick with a hand.

Finally, to cap off the tremendous coverage of Wimbledon were the dozens of misleading headlines declaring Andy Murray as the first British Wimbledon winner in 77 years. Astonishing, right? What was astonishing, however, was the fact that there have been four British Wimbledon winners. But because they were a whole person and not just a dickstick, it didn’t matter.  What mattered was that a horny male who usually is only capable of wanking it on the sofa got up and won something. It was a triumph for DICKSTICKS everywhere! In the meantime, you can read about the four female Wimbledon winners here.

I guess women are just so awesome that it’s expected we’ll win things like Wimbledon at a greater rate than once every 77 years.

By the way, the ad next to the Fox News article? For Dicksticks, of course.

Dickstick porn

Do I need to give you Brie’s blog link again?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. library addict
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 05:10:58

    I’ll just say that Couch’s articles aren’t known by tennis fans to have much depth to them. I feel he often courts controversy with his “coverage” so this latest bit is nothing new for him. He has his favorite players and heaven forbid they lose. And if they do it is always because they were ill or some other handy excuse, never because they didn’t play well. But I find coverage of tennis by the US press pretty dismal usually because it is not one of the “cool” sports according to those that run sports channels etc. /rant

    I remember seeing Dirty Dancing in the theatre. And I have the soundtrack on an actual LP. I have it on VHS but not DVD. Must remedy that.

    Thanks for the link on Kody’s essay.

  2. Kaetrin
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 05:36:00

    I think I was about 18 or so when Dirty Dancing came out. I saw it at the movies 4 or 5 times, bought the record, bought the video, entered Dirty Dancing competitions at the local nightclub, Patrick Swayze posters all over my wardrobe (closet) and now of course I have the DVD. Reading that article, I just want to watch it again. *happy sigh*

  3. Carolyne
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 06:24:14

    I don’t follow tennis and don’t live in the UK, and I don’t know when or if I’d have found out that Andy Murray is NOT the first British Wimbledon winner in 77 years if not for this blog. Thank you once again for going beyond reviews and providing such broad and interesting information and commentary. This is why DA is always my first stop in the morning.

  4. jmc
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 07:29:08

    Bartoli’s response was graceful, and the photos of her in her outfit for the players’ ball Sunday night would dispute the “not a looker” comment.

    As a longtime tennis fan, Inverdale’s comment is offensive but not hugely surprising. A few years back the organizers of either Wimbledon or the French Open said outright that the reason they put Svetlana Kuznetsova (winner of the French and US Opens but not a leggy blonde) on a non-TV court while putting pretty blondes without titles or much game on the show court was entirely for TV ratings for random fans who might flip past on television. Courtney Nguyen at SI has a recent post about this kind of thing in which Bartoli, Serena Williams, and Kaia Kanepi are all variously criticized for their looks/body by the press, which is infuriating given how in shape they have to be to win professional tennis matches, let alone tournaments.

    Couch is…not my favorite tennis journalist, ranking about on par with Pete Bodo. I think Jim Litke at AP had a thoughtful response to Inverdale’s comment though.

  5. Ros
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 07:30:47

    While it’s true that we’ve had female British Wimbledon champions who have been overlooked, we’ve also had male ones. In fact the most recent British Wimbledon champion was in 2012, in the men’s doubles. Some of the headlines and stories were better at making this clear than others. And if you were watching the coverage on the BBC, it was very obvious – Virginia Wade is one of their commentators and she was regularly interviewed about her victory.

  6. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 08:04:38

    because only horny men who turn on the television with the sole goal of finding something, anything that will help them rub one out are ever interested in tennis.

    Actually, that might be true. The commentators’ comments are downright flattering compared to a lot of fans’.

  7. Sunita
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 09:45:28

    Just because two links might not be enough, here’s another plug for Brie’s awesome series on heroines. Stephanie Doyle, Molly O’Keefe, Sarah Mayberry, DA reviewer Kaetrin, SuperWendy and many other people have already and will be contributing posts, and they are all amazing. I keep checking my feed to see if there’s a new one. And the comment threads are wonderful too.

    Not only did Virginia Wade win, she won in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year. As for the horrible comments, I should be used to them by now but I’m not. To see Bartoli as anything other than attractive, a truly gorgeous athlete, is just bizarre to me. And depressing.

  8. Maddie
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 09:48:44

    I follow football and will be watching the FIFA matches next yr. I have never heard of any sports writer or announcer write or talk about a male athlete looks or how he will be more $$ making if he was a little bit better looking, its all about his ability in his sport.

    Women can beat a man at a sport and it will always come down to how hot she is or how not she is, just look at the commercials men sell their abilities as in buy this sneaker and you too can run, jump or hit as hard as I do.

    Women in short skirts or low tops (Danica Patrick) selling sex and not the product kind of sad in 2013.

  9. Karenmc
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 09:50:44

    Thank goodness, I read Brie’s blog yesterday evening.

  10. Lada
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 10:26:23

    @Sunita: To see Bartoli as anything other than attractive, a truly gorgeous athlete, is just bizarre to me. And depressing.

    This. The comments/commentators are stupid in and of themselves but I seriously just don’t get it.

    I’m off to read smart women write about smart women…thanks for the link to Brie’s blog, Jane.

  11. Darlynne
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 10:33:44

    Sometimes I think we’re all clueless. I was watching NBC’s coverage of the Lac-Mégantic explosion the other night. Reporter Katy Tur spoke with three women from the town, saying (emphasis mine), “These women were in the heart of the burn zone. In broken English, they described the friends that they lost.”

    Really? And WTF? Lac-Mégantic is 98% French-speaking as a first language. What possible reason/excuse is there for criticizing how someone speaks what to them is a foreign language, in their own country and under these circumstances? Interestingly, the transcript of that report does not include “in broken English,” but no one bothered to scrub the audio version.

    I mention this because the tennis news pissed me off and I was already pissed off about “broken English.” What is wrong with us?

  12. Ridley
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 12:21:47

    “Hers is not the only experience of a vision impaired kid…”

    What’s that about? I didn’t see any caveats like this when you linked to women’s stories of encountering sexism at cons.

  13. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 12:26:45


    What possible reason/excuse is there for criticizing how someone speaks what to them is a foreign language, in their own country and under these circumstances?

    DRAHMAH!!! Said in hushed tones, with the right inflection, it’s like the ominous music in a movie. Pure emotional manipulation.

  14. Maite
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 14:55:57

    So, “Dirty Dancing” is finally getting the merit it deserves. I watched it for the first time in my twenties, and was amazed at how freakin’ good it was, and how it mentioned a lot of complicated subjects without being preachy for any one side.
    On tennis… first of all Murray is the first to British to win Wimbledon in 77 years. Women and men’s tournaments are different, and it sounds a bit too much like “Political Correctness Gone Mad” to insist on treating all the Wimbledon competions as one.
    Second, I’m from Chile. A place where, during Olympic coverage, we get polls of “Who’s the hottest swimmer?” in lieu of actual coverage of the games. Because of that, I have come to the conclusion that there will always be chauvinistic comments, and the only thing to do is to continue reporting them and protesting and switching channels on them.
    But we have to be careful to do it when it is actually sexism, and not the inevitable cuts that happen with reducing a whole news story into one headline.

  15. MaryK
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 15:14:08


    Somebody tweeted about a newly discovered video clip of FDR in a wheelchair. Apparently, the fact that he used a wheelchair wasn’t public knowledge until after his death. I didn’t know that. I guess the idea was that the public wouldn’t have confidence in a disabled president. (And the media cooperated! On the one hand weird and on the other typical.)

  16. hapalochlaena
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 15:32:42

    I’m sure Jane will be covering this soon, but I can’t get this s***-eating grin off my face and I want everyone to know why:
    Apple found guilty of ebook conspiracy, judge to determine damages payment .

  17. Carolyne
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 16:41:25

    @MaryK My high school English/History told us that about FDR, and we had a discussion about the whys and wherefores. And apparently the reason FDR’s special train came into secret underground tunnels at Grand Central in Manhattan was not just for security, but also so no one would see him helped into his car–he’d just come zooming out. Or so goes the Grand Central lore.

  18. MaryK
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 17:01:10

    @Carolyne: I knew about the polio and wheelchair. But I didn’t realize it wasn’t generally known at the time and that the news never showed him in it.

  19. Samantha
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 18:06:56

    @jmc: It was Wimbledon. They also put the Williams sisters on smaller courts while players like Cibulkova and Cirstea played center court. And they outright stated they were putting the “more attractive” players there for ratings.

  20. Susan
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 20:17:55

    @MaryK: FDR could stand with assistance so when he gave State of the Union addresses in Congress he’d be propped up at the podium so he’d appear able-bodied on the newsreels. (Press coverups about his relationship with Lucy Mercy and the circumstances of his death, too.) Likewise, JFK was never shown wearing his back brace. Press was totally complicit in hiding what they considered signs of weakness in the Commanders in Chief.

    I was outraged when I saw all that crap about Bartoli in the tabs. But I was also perplexed. Admittedly, she’s no Anna Kournikova (guffaw), but I thought she was attractive. The comments were not just inappropriate, they were untrue. (Plus, there were the usual “she couldn’t even get raped” comments from the male intellectuals.) I’m sure this was all very hurtful to Bartoli, but she was a real class act.

    And, I’m sorry, but I’m totally over the OTT fawning over Andy Murray. “Let’s give him a knighthood now!” Barf. And you know what? No one ever mentions that he looks like Big Bird.

  21. k8899
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 22:09:41

    Either treat them all as the same tournament, or specify that he’s the first men’s rather than treating male competition as the main event and regaling women’s to a sideline. I will not take the political correctness line as an answer, I’ve heard that too many times when people try and brush away real sexism in sport.

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