Diary Entry

Plus ça change, or are women people?

“Murray ends the 77-year wait for British win.” Ooops.

wadeThe headline misses the fact that Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977. But she won in women’s singles. Feminist writer Chloe Angyal tweeted the now much retweeted egregious omission: “Murray is indeed the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years unless you think women are people.” In other words, the only win that seems to have counted was the winner of the men’s singles. To specify gender presumably would have messed up the over the top celebration and its perceived significance: nothing less than a knighthood for this man.

It was impossible to be in England, during Wimbledon, as I’ve been for the past month and miss the fact that Andy Murray was the first British winner of men’s singles match since 1936, when the winner was Fred Perry. But that’s not how the story was told, since to specify men’s singles would have meant remembering Virginia Wade and women’s tennis more generally. Although television and journalism coverage paid attention to women’s tennis with a decent number of stories, the acknowledgment of the gender difference was belated. Three other women won women’s singles after Wade did. But who else would care whether women were people? Feminists, presumably, but are we people?

I love how Virginia Wade and the Queen are both wearing pink!

Nancy K. Miller. Diary

Welcome. Some musings on my current preoccupations with the worlds of illness and the worlds of books, the vicissitudes of living with cancer and the need now, in my eighties, to imagine what new writing might be. 

View Diary posts related to the My Multifocal Life project.