Solheim Cup

Europe had a fantastic sporting win against the USA in the Solheim Cup yesterday. I am not a mad keen golf fan though I grew up with a father who was pretty handy with a 4 iron and both my brothers were junior members of the links course at Dawlish Warren. Mum and I would hang around there, having picnics or picking blackberries. And I remember the time I had too much Coca Cola and was sick in the sand dunes.

There hasn’t always been a golf gender divide in my family; my grandmother was Ladies Golf Captain at Tiverton in another era. But I am ashamed to admit that I knew very little, until this weekend just gone, about the Solheim Cup – as opposed to the Ryder Cup male equivalent (that tournament will forever be lodged in my mind – on my wedding day, half the guests disappeared mid-reception to listen to it on a car radio).

No surprises though – we still live in a society that favours male sport.

Melissa Reid and Laura Davies

And not just sport.

This week we’ve heard about David Cameron’s ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign (echoes of New Labour’s Cool Britannia here…?). He wants to get the world excited about the UK ahead of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and last week launched the campaign in New York, bigging us Brits up, glossing over this summer’s lootings. (And despite continually telling us at home we live in a ‘broken society’. Mixed messages, or what Dave?)

And where exactly are the women in this campaign? It’s all Henry VIII, Richard Branson, Wallace and Gromit. Look at the posters, and all you can see is a stiletto to represent half our population and I believe even that was designed by a man…

I’m clearly not the only one annoyed by this – very quickly a twitter campaign was counter-launched.

I do love my country but we don’t do self-congratulatory stuff very well – we are much better at satire and irony and self-deprecation. Maybe we should try harder to broadcast our talent to the world, but only if it is representative of the whole of our society.

And as long as we don’t make out we are better than anyone. We are different.

Ring any bells, Mr Cameron?

So I for one will be taking more interest in the Solheim Cup next time around…


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