KATHY LETTE

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - UP FRONT - Twit­ter @kathylette, kathylette.com

My mes­sage to WAGS: Stop play­ing the field and go get on one.

IMAG­INE WALK­ING into your lo­cal pub and sug­gest­ing switch­ing the TV chan­nel from the AFL match to a game of women’s footy. Would you live to tell the tale?

When it comes to sport, women are not given a sport­ing chance.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port into sport and gen­der in the Aus­tralian me­dia, To­wards

A Level Play­ing Field, women make up 9 per cent of all sports cov­er­age in TV news me­dia and 7 per cent of non-news pro­gram­ming.

Male sport oc­cu­pies 81 per cent of TV news reporting and 86 per cent of non-news pro­gram­ming.

It would seem that women not only face a glass, but also a grass ceil­ing.

Sur­veys of school girls show that many give up sport once they hit their teens. Their only in­ter­est in ath­letic pur­suits is a se­cret am­bi­tion to be­come the girl­friend of a fa­mous sports­man, draped dec­o­ra­tively over his arm – a hu­man hand­bag.

But is it any won­der that girls don’t as­pire to be ath­letes when more press at­ten­tion is given to the wives and girl­friends of foot­ballers, than to fe­male play­ers? What WAG ac­tu­ally stands for is Worst Acro­nym (for) Girls.

With the World Cup about to kick off, we will shortly be inun­dated with im­ages of WAGs, whose only skill seems to be sports-car-alight­ing with min­i­mum knicker flash­ing.

Ac­tu­ally, a WAG is best known for drink­ing so many cock­tails that she ends up face down in the gua­camole, only to re­gain con­scious­ness 24 hours later in the jock­strap of a spent goal­keeper. WAGs are women on the go, but go­ing nowhere. A “new di­rec­tion” for a WAG in­vari­ably ends up hor­i­zon­tal.

All said and done, a WAG is lit­tle more than a fake tan with teeth; a life-sup­port sys­tem to a pair of breasts – and I’m talk­ing breasts that ar­rive five min­utes be­fore she does. They even have their own post code. (Breast im­plants are like TV evan­ge­lists – you know they’re fake, but you just can’t stop watch­ing them.)

A WAG’s out­fit, se­quinned boob tube and Ly­cra hot­pants, is a look that doesn’t quite come off, but def­i­nitely gives the im­pres­sion that it will later. Prob­a­bly for the whole team.

Clearly, the med­i­cal term for a woman paral­ysed from the neck up is WAG.

Quite ob­vi­ously the only thing a WAG works on is her tan. With no em­ploy­ment skills, the WAG is lit­tle more than a sabre­toothed hus­band hunter. Al­though re­ally, a WAG’s wed­ding cer­e­mony should be held in an ac­coun­tant’s of­fice as she’s so deeply in love with her foot­baller’s cash. “Do you take this man to the clean­ers, for 50 per cent of his in­come from this day forth, for richer and richer?” “You bloody well bet I do!”

But as­pir­ing WAGS, take heed. Liv­ing vi­car­i­ously through a man doesn’t make you an It Girl, but a Past-it Girl, be­cause looks are a di­min­ish­ing as­set.

Your foot­baller will in­vari­ably trade you in for a new and im­proved model.

Judg­ing by the amount of sex scan­dals re­ported in the Bri­tish press, a foot­baller treats a woman just like a foot­ball – he makes a pass, plays foot­sie, then drops you just as soon as he’s scored.

Since the birth of WAG-dom in the ’90s, foot­ballers have scored an own-goal.

The sex­ual klep­to­ma­nia, the racist slurs and drunken es­capades have proven that the dif­fer­ence be­tween a foot­baller and a bron­tosaurus is about, oh, three brain cells.

So, my ad­vice girls, is to stop “play­ing the field”, and go get on one. It’s time to close the gen­der gap in sport.

At the last Olympics, Aus­tralia’s sportswome­n equalled the gold medal tally of the males. With the suc­cess of Cate Camp­bell, Ali­cia Coutts, Brittany Elm­slie, Yolane Kukla, Me­lanie Sch­langer, Emily See­bohm, Libby Trick­ett and ath­letic co, it’s clearly time we cre­ated a new acro­nym, HABs – Hus­bands and Boyfriends.

Yes, I think it’s time fe­male sport­ing hero­ines have some hu­man hand­bags of their own, some­thing hunky and chunky, taut and tanned to drape dec­o­ra­tively over their arms at pre­mieres and par­ties.

For any wannabe WAGS out there, don’t sign up to be­come a mem­ber of Un­der­achiev­ers Anony­mous. Other­wise you’ll have to im­me­di­ately leave your brain to med­i­cal sci­ence – as it’ll ob­vi­ously never be used.

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