Last Tuesday, ESPN aired a groundbreaking documentary – in prime time – on why women deserve equal pay for equal work. Really.
The world’s most valuable cable network, and the one most popular amongst American men, spent an hour on Venus Williams’ fight for equality at Wimbledon….
…When Andy Murray won Wimbledon this weekend, USA Today ran a story titled “Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, ends 77-year British drought,” forgetting the four British women who have won the title during that so-called “drought.” CNN and others did the same thing – once again placing the men’s game in a historical and cultural context that seems bigger and more important than the women’s.
Thus Venus Vs. is perhaps most significant for depicting Williams as a bona fide sports legend, and for being aired on the network that specializes in the canonization of male athletes…
On IGN‘s, San Francisco Chronicle‘s and Complex Magazine‘s lists of the greatest sports documentaries of all-time, a total of zero are about female athletes.
Now ESPN is giving us 9 prime time documentaries about women, directed by women, aimed at the general public. It’s a monumental media moment, and more than enough reason to tune in Tuesday nights for the next 8 weeks.