Saturday, July 05, 2008


Borders and bridles

Watching CNN yesterday there was a very good news piece from Damascus on the challenges for Syria of patrolling the Iraq border. It was pointed out that as embargoes prevent Syria getting its hands on any night-vision equipment, the border was effectively open during the hours of darkness. It was also pointed out that the Syrian army is not allowed to contact directly US commanders in Iraq in order to coordinate efforts. So it's not much wonder that the border is still porous.

Shortly after this on BBC World there was a trailer for a Rolex-sponsored feature on some American female equestrian. She spoke of "beating the men at their own game", which made me bridle (geddit?). The thing is, as long as I can remember equestrianism has been a field in which men and women could compete equally. Remember Pat Smythe showjumping in the 1950s? Lucinda Prior-Palmer eventing in the 1970s? Women have been three-day-eventing at the Olympics since 1964! It is just not a "their own game". It's a discipline where men and women have long competed against one another purely on merit, yet this woman made it sound as if she was somehow winning recognition for breaking through an equestrian glass ceiling. Come on, aren't we past this yet?


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