Ignorance can’t be ignored!

Did anyone else notice the faux pas made by Tennis Australia’s President, Stephen Healy, in his speech after the Women’s Tennis Final on Saturday night?

I couldn’t really believe what I was hearing when he gave special thanks to all the ball-boys.

Apparently the ball-girls didn’t deserve his thanks!

What ignorance, especially in this day and age, and in front of a world-wide audience!

About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com


  1. Harsh.

    And, although I am part of the sisterhood, I certainly don’t share your view.

    You can apply the gender lens to my comment all you like, and to Mr Healy’s comment – and it is a vital lens to use in many cases – and you will be critical. And, of course, using that lens you’re dead right.

    But I’m not sure it’s the right lens for this moment.

    I’m sure Mr Healy is thankful for the ball girls.

    As any public speaker will tell you, it’s very easy to make a blue in the heat of the moment.

  2. jan courtin says

    Thanks John.

    As you say, I’m sure Mr Healy is thankful for the ball-girls, but I would have thought that in 2017 any public speaker should be aware of not using the antiquated male terms to refer to male and female.

    Maybe it was a blue on his part, but as for the heat of the moment, why is that relevant?

    And, I don’t apologise for pointing out these types of persistent language habits.

  3. No doubt Mt Healy was grateful to the ball girls, but he clearly used out-dated language,which public officials should have left behind years ago. Good on Jan Courtin to point it out. I too was taken aback when I heard what he said.

  4. PC Identity Politics gone mad. Which invites the sort of backlash that produced Trump.
    And while I’m on it, how can the women’s players get the same money as the men when the quality and quantity of tennis on display over the fortnight was abysmal by comparison? I saw a half dozen outstanding men’s games, but none from the women this time.

  5. Jan

    Please ignore PB, he speaks PR (that is a medical acronym)! I told him that too haa haa.

    I think you are right. Presumably it was just a slip of the tongue for Stephen Healy, but he needs to be made aware of it.

  6. jan courtin says

    Hi Lorri
    I hope your team gives you more pleasure this year than last!

  7. Haa haa !
    So do I for you AND me!
    I have a lovely photo of me with my brother in law and nephew in red and white who came to have a drink with us at the pub across the road from Federation Square last year. They were gracious in defeat..
    Needless to say we were dressed in purple anyway. I think you would expect nothing less from me….! I am a girl after your own heart (just a different colour) and I enjoy your passionate writings. Keep it up !

  8. Julie Cattlin says

    One-man show! One-woman show! In art and theatre and music, this has been around for decades.
    So of course it should say ‘ball-boys and ball-girls’!! Not radical at all – just plain logic.
    Not sure it’s ignorance, though. Just a bad habit!!. We get so used to saying what we’ve always said, without thinking. Bet you that guy will never say it again!!


  9. jan courtin says

    Thanks Lorri and Julie

    Pleased that your brother in law and nephew were gracious in defeat, Lorri. I’m afraid I wasn’t – especially that evening! Go well this year.

    True, Julie, maybe it wasn’t ignorance, but just a bad habit! Just my point, really.

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