Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Because it's nice to be taken seriously



It's not much of a picture, but you might be able to make out the women in this picture - the cover of the current NZ Rugby magazine. These women might be players or followers of the game, but I'd guess not. Players and supporters don't tend to wear body paint only. Sigh.

31 comments:

Julie said...

Sadly the NZRugby magazine has a history of doing this for the start of the Super season. I remember them doing it many years ago when I worked in a shop that sold mags. :-(

backin15 said...

Given that the NZRU has cancelled the Black Ferns tours this year, GFC strikes again, women might feel all the more marginal in rugby. Hayden at PAS has the story. Now that's a damn shame 'cause I like rugby a lot and don't want to have to sequester my rugby interests from my family (which currently consists of two, soon to be three women).

Anna said...

My partner (who seems to know about these things) speaks highly of the Black Ferns - he likes their 'running game'.

Azlemed said...

i sometimes wonder if i am one of the few mums who doesn't want her son or daughters to play rugby, a young guy i went to school with was paralysed from the neck down at 16 from an ill judged tackle....

thats apart from the social atmosphere/culture that surrounds rugby clubs in NZ. the elite are everything, women appear to be nothing.....

M-H said...

It's the high heels that give it away - they're not players...

Ben said...

I remember in the mid 90's the old Rugby News magazine had a subscription ad which focussed on an attractive woman, rather than actual rugby.

A week or so later they published a letter from someone querying the relevance of the ad. The editor (with surprising candor) responded that research showed that ads with attractive women get more attention & a better response!

I remember newsreader Bernadine Oliver Kerby was featured in bodypaint on the cover about 10 years ago too.

As a guy, it certainly gets my attention so I guess it works (I'm not a huge rugby fan though so don't purchase the magazine).

hungrymama said...

Azlemed - I will be a happy woman if my boys steer clear of all things rugby. Up until he was at least four my oldest believed that to play our national game you first needed a set of "rugby sticks" - his innocence of matters sporting gave me great joy.

backin15 said...

I've got girls who I'll be encouraging in the direction of Netball, football (soccer) and other team sports over rugby despite being a pretty committed fan.

I do think it's a hell of a shame that Black Ferns aren't playing this year. They're a great team that's built a formidable legacy. I wonder if Trevor Mallard would've queried the decision for many reasons including that one of his daughters was a squad member if not a regular player (and having met her a few times, I'd add she's also pretty cool)

Mary-Lou said...

I'll let my kids play whatever they choose to play. Shame on you for wanting to control what they want to do...just to appease "your" belief system.

My kids will appreciate it that I gave them that choice, whatever my beliefs are about rugby.

Anna said...

Kia ora Mary-Lou

Criticising someone's parenting by saying 'Shame on you' arguably comes close to infringing THM's comments policy, which frowns on remarks that demean other people.

Besides, not wanting your kid to be tetraplegic sounds like a valid concern.

Brett Dale said...

I have never been a fan of rugby union.

Their advertising gimmicks seem to be a few decades behind most other sports.

Pauline said...

About 10 years ago I saw the Black Ferns play in Sydney as a "wrm-up" for the All Blacks (Sheesh!) I have to say it was the better game.

My partner is a rugby player but doesn't get involved in the social aspects because he doesn't like the atmosphere as most of the players are young guys with few attachments/responsibilities. The last club he played for was NOT family or women friendly but the rural club before that was really good and very inclusive with a nice family atmosphere.

As for my kids - up to them. Try what they like

Azlemed said...

Hi Mary lou, i am the third generation of my family not to promote rugby as a suitable sport for boys to play.... I like watching rugby but I will not be letting my children play it.

I had a cousin suffering from depression, after a night at the rugby club he went home and killed himself... all valid reasons for me to not want my children to play.

My two wee girls think that triathlons are the best sport at the moment. they also love watching netball, which is still free to watch on tv, unlike the elitism of rugby.

Lew said...

Hi Anna,

I heard a body-shape analysis of these Super 14 gals from NZ Rugby World, from an earlier cover - they feature 'em every year just as the Super 14 starts. From memory, if they hadn't been photoshopped and were actually really that way, they'd be about 2.2 metres tall, weigh 50kg and have size 4 feet. So it's worse than that - it's barbie all over again.

L

Lew said...

Clarification: the models are from NZ Rugby World - the analysis wasn't.

L

Anna said...

If NZ Rugby started featuring that sort of analysis I might have to subscribe!

Julie said...

I think your money is pretty safe Anna.

backin15 said...

"I'll let my kids play whatever they choose to play. Shame on you for wanting to control what they want to do...just to appease "your" belief system"

Hello Mary Lou... you mean me? Seems a little harsh. Still, I'll file that away with other largely anonymous e-admonishments for reading on a rainy day.

It's not my belief system, really, since I totally believe in rugby... I'll be at the Tahs v Chiefs game tomorrow... but more a health issue. Rugby leads to injuries, injuries restrict later physical activities/mobility etc.

I remember when my playing career first stopped. I was thirteen and went to school in South Auckland. My decision was based on a carefully considered assessment of my capacity compared with my fellow students. I didn't restart playing, socially, until I was older. I'm glad of that as I still play contact sports... including Netball (I've played Netball on and off since 1994 and yet I remain pretty average).

Bye bye Mary Lou...

backin15 said...

Incidentally, I also encourage my kids away from smoking, insist they were bicycle helmets and discourage them from eating bugs... I once, I'm almost ashamed to say, suggested my daughter walk on the footpath...

Should I give them back the knife set and remove the fench around the pool? I feel the fragile confidence of my parenting skills ebbing away...

Anonymous said...

I read an interesting analysis of netball (was it on this site??) about how it is all about restraint and that is because it was developed for women in the 1800s when there were strong ideas about what ladylike sporting behaviour looked like. This emphasis on restraint results in lots of injuries, all of which means it doesn't have a whole lot going for it.

katy

backin15 said...

"I read an interesting analysis of netball (was it on this site??) about how it is all about restraint and that is because it was developed for women in the 1800s when there were strong ideas about what ladylike sporting behaviour looked like. This emphasis on restraint results in lots of injuries, all of which means it doesn't have a whole lot going for it."

I'd not be terribly surprised. I know a number of netballers who've blown their knees because of the stepping rule. But it's not so "ladylike" really. It's certainly not a no-contact game, not at the top levels anyway.

What I like about social mixed netball is that it's a game where men and women can easily play/compete on the same team. The skills required are less variable between the sexes (although height's a big advantage).

Mary-Lou said...

If that's the best argument you have against playing rugby perhaps we should ban our kids from leaving the house altogether?

I would be doing a bad job as a parent if I banned my kids from playing rugby or anything else they chose to just because a few kids got injured. Your bias against rugby is clouding your judgement here.

And I too play netball, in fact I represented my school in both netball and rugby. My parents knew the dangers as did I. I chose to play as my team mates did. Whats with the modern day fear of getting hurt?

Mary-Lou said...

Backin15... good for you to have weighed up the consequences for yourself, I would hope you would use the same for your children before letting them play what they chose to.

Good parenting and advice is better than an outright ban.

Anna said...

"Good parenting and advice is better than an outright ban."

Yes, but it's a cost/benefit thing - whether the gains from the activity outweigh the risks of being hurt.

People often condemn our culture for not letting our kids try stuff - but after the canyoning disaster, I didn't hear anyone say, 'Well kids sometimes get killed - shit happens'. If you support risk-taking, you have to prepared to face the consequences.

backin15 said...

"would be doing a bad job as a parent if I banned my kids from playing rugby or anything else they chose to just because a few kids got injured. Your bias against rugby is clouding your judgement"

I never said ban Mary Lou, I said I'd encourage my kids towards particular sports but I'd not ban a kid from a sport, nor not be supportive should they chose sports or other activities that I wasn't fond of (there's limits of course). I think this matter's resolved now, it is for me anyway.

muerk said...

I was initially very against my sons playing rugby, then my soft, beautiful little babies grew into energy laden physical boys who like nothing better than mud, balls and leaping on other kids.

Suddenly rugby made sense to me :)

Our boys play for Marist here on the Coast and it is very much a family club. Often we get the same families at rugby, church and school - so for us parents it's really social because we know everyone anyway.

Azlemed said...

I will not be letting my children play rugby, its my choice, I would be the one taking them to games, doing the washing, paying the fees, etc.

playing rugby is not part of my familial norm. My husband is german, therefore there is also no support from him for them to play rugby. I support playing sports, I have in the last 3 years started doing triathlons so i can be a positive role model to my children.

Some parts of life are parental choice, this is one for me. my kids my choice,

I personally love watching rugby but have reasons why i wont let my children play, i also have reasons why i wont let them ride their bikes without helmets etc.

parents are still the parents... sometimes society forgets this

Mary-Lou said...

Azlemed, I wonder how that will be tested if your children do ask about rugby and if they want to play? Being a good role model is one thing, but putting an outright ban on something may end up going against you. I have seen the consequences of parents hiding children away from a rough and tumble (normal) childhood and it scares the shit out of me. Kids get injured doing anything and everything. A kid up the road from me got hurt falling off a bike; another got badly injured climbing a tree while another tripped over while walking the dog….. maybe I should follow your example and ban tree climbing, bike riding and dog walking. Or I could cut down our trees, shoot the dog and sell their bikes?

Oh and we’re from German ancestry too… and they all played rugby from when they all arrived from Germany. Rugby mad the lot of them.

Azlemed said...

Mary lou.... I do not stop my children climbing trees etc, I will talk with them about rugby if/when the issue comes up.

I think you can have some blanket bans if you are able to justify the reasons behind it. I do not think my reasons are illogical and i think my husband and I are willing to debate things with our children therefore its not going to be a big issue unless we make it one.

personally I think you are presuming to know what I do an do not let my children do, considering they are only 5,3,1 years old there are things they dont do, but i have not stopped them climbing trees, riding bikes etc.

Anna said...

I feel quite torn about this issue - normally I let my kids have a go at pretty much anything so long as there's not much risk of major injury. My partner played rugby until a head injury forced him to stop, but he wasn't that comfortable with the rugby club culture of the day anyway.

I'd be worried if my kids wanted to play rugby or my daughter wanted to do ballet (going on pointe doesn't seem very good for the body). I'd probably let them do it - but I'd want to know as much as possible about any harm minimisation steps I could take.

Julie said...

I was a little girl in love with rugby once. I desperately wanted to play it, but it wasn't an option for girls. My father thought girls had too many soft parts anyway (and was quite startled when Mum and I laughed because we thought men had a pretty substantially vulnerable part too...)

We had a mini World Cup at my school in 1987, and I was on one of the teams, which were mixed gender and ages. Our principal came up with a sort of soft version of rugby suitable for primary age kids, as these were the days before touch. Scrums were uncontested, and there was no pushing allowed from either side. There weren't really any tackles, just touches. I can't remember the rest, but I got a try for effort when I fell over a foot from the try-line, people huddled over me to get the ball, and I managed to place it outside the huddle, on the try line. One of the most glorious moments of my childhood!

Would I be ok with Wriggly playing rugby? Not sure yet; he can't even walk, let alone run and tackle and maul. My safety concerns with rugby for children could be resolved by a version for them that took into account the particular fragility of their bodies, and perhaps teams based on weight from a younger age, rather than which year you are in at school?

But my cultural worries about rugby can't be as easily resolved. If Wriggly wants to play the oval game then he's going to probably have to put up with some intensive re-education at home to counter my concerns!