(I wrote this post a while ago but failed on actually posting it…better late than never!)
First of all, congrats to everyone who competed at the Pan Ams…with all the hardware that came home, I think that the team will be more motivated to train harder than ever. Can’t wait to see what happens at Mundials!
Second, I have to join the chorus of disgruntlement at the way Budovideos decided to cover the finals at the Pan Ams. Fellow blogger Georgette Oden tracked down an answer regarding their decision to not show a single women’s match the entire day. Not one. Their answer was something along the lines of how they weren’t prepared to do a split screen, so they had to pick which matches to show. And the men’s fights were more popular.
Sorry guys, but I have to raise the bullshit flag. There was more than one occasion in which a men’s fight ended, the shot blinked briefly to a women’s match with well-known fighters (Hillary Williams, for one), and then switched to an extended shot of the commentators staring blankly at something as they talked, or three minutes of a no-name men’s match in which the competitors stood around rearranging their gis and picking their noses (slight artistic liberty here). Not only that, the people in the chat room were screaming for them to show the women’s matches, requests that were met with deafening silence save for one mention of a score for a match that just completed.
What I can’t understand is why. Women train equally hard for their chance on the mats. They have the same feeling of enlightenment when a new technique clicks, and they have the same frustrations when they can’t find their timing. They drill the same techniques, roll the same number of rolls. They get the same nerves before matches, feel the same joy when their arm is raised. They sweat the same, swear the same, bleed the same. Their matches are just as exciting and can often be more technical.
I understand that the men’s field has more recognizable stars, and that women are seriously outnumbered in the ranks of BJJ players in general, but the tide is turning. The women’s field has it’s share of popular, well known, and highly skilled players. The field of competitors increases every year, and more and more women are starting this sport every day. While we may never reach the same numbers as our counterparts, our skill levels and passion for the sport are every bit as strong. I ask Budovideos to recognize this and catch up with the times. Give the women fair coverage during the Mundials and any future events.