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February 28, 2007

Equality goes down the toilet at Red Bull Salzburg

As you know, Martin and I went to watch our local team, Red Bull Salzburg, at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday. My last, and only ever previous trip to a live football match had been to see Leyton Orient on Boxing Day many moons ago. So this was like being at a 'real' football match!

I was surprised at how civilised the whole event was. We had no problem getting into the stadium. There were no queues, we got a drink quickly and found our seats easily. There was a couple sitting in our seats, but they apologised and quickly moved away when we got there.

The stadium looked quite full, maybe not capacity, but there were still about 15 000 people there.

OK, so picture it: 15 000 people, everyone excited, eager for the match to begin, drinking lots of beer, getting ready to sit still for 40 minutes... and not a single queue for the woman's toilets!

I don't think I've ever been to an event where I marched straight into the toilets to discover empty cubicles, while the men anxiously stood in line outside the men's toilets. Definite plus side of being a girl with an interest in sport.


There is though, as usual, a downside to everything.

Yes, more women are getting involved in sport these days, as participants as well as spectators. This is being encouraged by schools, local governments etc. to get women more engaged in sport, and increase the profile of women's sport.

Well, just when you think human's are making progress...I despair.

Just before half time, a young, pretty, blonde girl suddenly appeared on the big screen. Yes, quite often the cameraman picks out supporters from the crowd who then wave furiously at themselves - no big deal. However, this particular blonde had a caption flashing on screen - Red Bullerina! (Yes, bad pun intended!).

During half time, Miss Bullerina was brought down onto the pitch for a photo with the Red Bull mascot, and was awarded a certificate.


I reckon the certificate probably said, "To the prettiest girl at the football, thanks for coming to support the team, but please remember that you are only here as a glorified cheerleader and eye-candy for the real supporters...the men."

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