Women in Sport ft. Tor Caldwell

Show Notes

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else.

Tor studied English at King’s College London and has been involved in the world of sport for her whole life, playing for a team in the Women’s Premier League as well as playing tennis at a county level.

We discuss women’s sport, looking at the reasons why men’s and women’s sports are perceived differently, starting from early in life and going all the way up to the heights of the professional sporting world. Coincidentally, it’s also International Women’s Day on the day of publishing this episode – it seems like it was just meant to be.

Key discussion points in this episode:

  • Growing up as a girl with an innate drive for playing sport
  • The influences of society on the support for sport for boys, but not girls
  • The challenges faced by women in professional sport
  • The role of the Golden Triangle in normalising the female side of all sports
  • Should the male sports teams be responsible for promoting women counterparts?
  • The role of the younger generations in supporting and increasing awareness of the women’s side of sports.

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What is Getting It?: In a Nutshell
A conversation where we explore topics both familiar and unfamiliar to us to find out what makes them interesting, so that we can expand our horizons and further our understanding of the world and people around us.
From science to lifestyle design, languages to religion, plus everything in between – anything can be interesting if exposed to you through the right lens. We hope to spark your curiosity through open-minded and thoughtful discussion, as well as a healthy dose of overthinking.

About us
Subaan is a 4th year medical student, motion designer, and an avid rabbit hole explorer. He has keen interests in lifestyle design, technology, investing, and metabolic health. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Dan is a 5th year medical student, pianist, and random fact connoisseur. He spends most of his time learning about languages, playing sports, music, and geopolitics. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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Note: This transcript was generated using Otter.ai. Therefore the transcript will not be 100% accurate in some parts.

Subaan Qasim  00:10
And in this episode we welcome Tor Caldwell to getting it tore studied English at King’s College London, and has been involved in the world of sport for whole life playing for a team in the women’s Premier League as well as playing tennis at the county level. We discussed women’s sport, looking at the reasons why men’s and women’s sports are perceived differently, starting from early in life and going all the way up to the heights of the professional sporting world.

Daniel Redfearn  00:35
Do you want to elaborate a bit on what we are going to be talking about?

Tor Caldwell  00:38
Yeah, so I guess everything in anything to do with women’s sport, I, someone who’s been surrounded by sport pretty much my whole life, introduced at an early age to football and tennis and then football sort of took precedent over tennis. And then ended up sort of by acc­­­ident, going quite far with football. I was a goalkeeper, played for quite a lot of different teams. But I sort of ended up at QPR, which was sort of my home. And then just because of multiple injuries, which ended up stopping and when I came to uni, I joined tennis, which is how I know Dan, as your tennis pick up, he’s taking me on a one minute thing. And it’s been a it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, sporting journey so far.

Daniel Redfearn  01:36
But I mean, just from knowing you, personally, I know how big sport is in your life, you know, I mean, it’s not just in terms of playing it, because obviously, you played the case of tennis, and you grew up playing football as well. But also it being a passion for you, you know, clearly we both support Liverpool, for example. Or, you know, we both follow tennis very closely. And we’re both very passionate about it. And it’s quite interesting, the dynamic between the three of us because I think we all come from different backgrounds with different backgrounds in terms of our perception of sports. So for example, with you Subaan What was your household, like growing up in terms of sport,

Subaan Qasim  02:10
Yeah no, like, was there sport on the TV or law, or now the only sport that was ever on the TV was the india vs. Pakistan, cricket matches whenever they were on. So yeah, very stereotypical. But in general, I guess there was a lot of support from my parents for sports, particularly cricket when I was younger, and whatnot. So I managed to get to quite a decently high ish level playing that, but I don’t know, I found it a bit slow at times, in terms of certain matches, when I would play, I’ll just get a bit bored. So then I did migrate through various different sports ended up in basketball, and I probably identify most with basketball, but there’s always been a lot of support from my parents for sports, which, I guess in the puck, Sunny, like, South Indian kind of community, you don’t really get that too much. So, yeah, um, I was quite, you know, lucky to have that my dad would take me, you know, driving hours to either matches or training as well, because where we live those far away from the training, so got a lot of support in that sense. And it was the same with basketball. So that was also replicated for my brother who was into sports. And he just kind of follow what I would do as well. My brother did, you know, martial arts for some time as well. And he was supposed to go through all of that as well. But when it came to my sister who’s older than me, so my sister is the oldest, there wasn’t really that, which is quite interesting, because I’ve only actually started thinking about that recently. And, yeah, it’s quite interesting, because I don’t know whether it was because she didn’t really have an interest in sports, or if it was because my parents didn’t really encourage her or just because of, you know, societal norms and stuff. She was kind of, you know, somewhat conforming to those where you don’t really get that kind of really sporty nature, because it’s a classic art was fought is for boys, and those kind of stereotypes kind of linger quite heavily in our community. So that’s the kind of experience I’ve had with sport and, you know, party, you know, my sister’s experience as well.

Daniel Redfearn  04:03
I mean, I think the experiences that you’ve had in your household are echoed in a lot of different households around the world, you know, not just in the UK, but as you mentioned, you have a Pakistani background. I mean, my mum had come from a Portuguese background, and it’s very much the same there, where she wasn’t exposed to sport, really. But in Portugal, sport football in particular is huge in Portugal, the same in New Zealand with family there. I think it’s quite a general theme that you know, the attitudes towards women being involved in sport is just different to how it is for men. So I’m wondering for Utah, what was it like in your household?

Tor Caldwell  04:34
It was nice because there are with I’m one of three girls and with a dad who sort of eats, sleeps and breathes tennis, there was sort of no escape as soon as we could walk. We had tennis racquets, and I think it’s interesting because we don’t have a brother to compare our experiences to. So I don’t know whether it If we if there was a boy in the family that would have changed how my dad sort of reflected his value of sport onto his children. But in a way, I feel like he definitely got us into tennis. But I remember going to my first school and just not wanting to play with the girls. And I do feel like that was a neat, I wanted to go play football.

Daniel Redfearn  05:21
Was that sorry, from when you were in primary school? Yeah.

Tor Caldwell  05:24
So how was that? I think I must have been about six years old. You know, like lunchtime break time.

Daniel Redfearn  05:30
Were you always a goalie? or?

Tor Caldwell  05:31
Yeah, I actually wasn’t I was, this is quite funny. I wanted to be on pitch. But maybe this is my first experience of primary school sexism, but the boys just wouldn’t pass to me. They didn’t they weren’t happy that I was joining. So I ended up being an NGO, or my dad actually bless him bought me from Sports direct a yellow and red card, and I’d be ref. But I didn’t really know the rules. So every tackle, I just be like, that looks quite vicious. That’s a yellow card. And no one would pay attention. But I’d be running around after with the boys with my yellow cards.

Daniel Redfearn  06:03
I mean, it’s really interesting that you say that even at that point, though. There was a discordance in how people felt about a girl joining in in the matches. I mean, yeah, that’s quite surprising in a way maybe. Yeah,

Tor Caldwell  06:14
looking back at it. It isn’t. It’s not because obviously, they were kids. And they, it’s more of a familiarity thing. They all played in the Saturday team together, they knew each other, they knew each other as a team. And then for me to I actually, it wasn’t my first quite school, I joined that school in year two. So they had also had two years prior to me joining. But I was eventually when I was in goal. One day just had a great game, which is quite funny thing. So it’s probably about six or seven. And I ended up joining their team on a Saturday and we have the silver bullets. I don’t even know what a bullet was. Okay, but it quite nice name. It’s got it’s quite cool name is thinking that we just these little kids running around with the silver bullets. And I was in go. So I did I did my first football team. I was a goalkeeper. And then when I left, I joined a girls school

Daniel Redfearn  07:09
for secondary school.

Tor Caldwell  07:11
For Yeah, Junior, so I was like, but nine. Okay. So I joined. And they obviously had no football team. Well, I say obviously, now it’s probably unheard of right with ghosts, football was huge. But at the time, there was no one in the school who was interested. So I ended up joining a, I say a local team. But even then, my local team was probably about 20 minutes. And now you have goals, local teams in every every small village everywhere.

Daniel Redfearn  07:43
Because Sorry to interrupt, I remember my brother growing up playing football until a certain age there would be girls in his football team as well. But there, there becomes a cut off, doesn’t there? I think is done by the FA. There’s an age where you can no longer play with boys and girls in the same team. Is that right?

Tor Caldwell  08:01
Yeah, that’s right. So it’s I think it’s a 14 is when you then have to separate unto a different branch and two girls teams, boys teams. But I, I joined a girls team when I was nine. So I stopped playing with boys when I was about eight, which I do understand the split 14 obviously a lot of physical changes between boys and girls. And that’s probably when boys become more physical. So it’s, I guess it’s just a safety thing for girls. And yeah, I think I joined the girls team though. And was put straight on perch. Because though just, if truth be told they are they just looked at me and thought you can run. And I was so skinny. And they were just like, there’s no way you’re a goalkeeper. Which is ironic, because that’s actually how I ended up quitting because I just wasn’t the right physicality. But obviously, this is like, nearly 10 years later,

Daniel Redfearn  08:57
was the attitude like playing among girls, you know, so in the, in the changing room like the other girls who are playing football, because obviously it’s less common for guys be playing football at school age, at least at that time. That all of the girls kind of had a similar experience as you did you find or was that something that they’d all felt like they weren’t encouraged to join in.

Tor Caldwell  09:15
The common trend between all of them that I felt pretty much not left out about but definitely stood out was that they all had brothers. And they’d all played with their brothers. They hadn’t necessarily paid for a team before. They just literally kicked a ball around in the garden with their brothers who would have paid for a team. So yeah, getting getting to know them better, made my sort of path into a girls team felt a little bit more unique. I hadn’t I had no brothers and I’d gone to a ghost, none of them went to go school.

Daniel Redfearn  09:48
And then in terms of pursuing because there became a point where you started to take it more seriously, right? Was that like a difficult route, if that makes sense? Or is it something that you think would be kind of parallel To a guy who is kind of getting more into sport and taking this football more seriously, do you think that there are any barriers in your way into going achieving that?

Tor Caldwell  10:07
I feel like at the time where the transition between paying sort of like Sunday league to actually like an actual Academy was sort of like, I was still quite young and naive. And it always felt like completely subconscious, I was just sort of just going along with that, that I didn’t acknowledge the barriers until I quit and ended up back and thought, actually, that wouldn’t have happened with a boy. For example, all of our coaches, all the cases I’ve ever had in football have always been male. When I joined the first Academy, there wasn’t sort of like, they weren’t pushing the same sort of work ethic, which at the time, I almost thought was quite nice. Like, if you said, I’m not going to come to training, then they would have just been a bit like, okay, that I’m strictly speaking about the first Academy paid for it, it did change. But I used to think when I quit actually, an academy level, if I was a guy, there was no way that you just be able to just not turn up, of course, you would be pushed, right. Can’t.

Daniel Redfearn  11:15
Right, right. So essentially, the the attitudes towards like your involvement in the club are different. You think maybe it was less rigorous than it would have been on the on the men’s side. Yeah. And what I’m trying to do now is I want to try and picture in my head, clearly, I’m taking myself for like a chronology of your life and just thinking of the I’m putting on the spot of that. And I’m trying to picture in my head, at what point So at what point have you kind of overcome sort of not not barriers, but things in your way, where a lot of girls have been turned away from sport possibly do? You know, I’m saying when I say that, like, they’re, I think it’s fair to say that sport is more common, like enjoyment of sport is more common among men in general. Yeah. And then what are the points where women are not introduced to in the same way, when growing up? You know, why? Why is the attitude so different in so many households between bringing a guy into sport and bring a girl into sport? Because it’s not a deliberate thing? Is it? You know, I can imagine parents don’t sit down and discuss, you know, oh, we have a daughter, like, oh, we’re not we’re not showing her football. It’s just an attitude. You know? Do you know where I’m coming from? When I say that?

Tor Caldwell  12:19
Yeah, I do. I think it is, obviously to do with the hugely your family dynamic with your mum light sport, it’s how much your parents almost value the sport, value sport in general, maybe personally, in their own experience with sport. And I think as generation goes by, it will change because maybe the generation of our parents, sport wasn’t a huge thing for women, then obviously, now it is. And it’s influencing more and more women’s lives that will change as generation goes by. But I think I was really lucky in the sense that I have very supportive parents, especially my dad with football, I think the biggest barrier that I didn’t even like, it wasn’t something that was ever came because I never experienced it. But for other girls, it was transport, it’s a lot of traveling. And for age, you don’t get any expenses paid for. So I was lucky in the sense that my dad would happily drive me to and from London as we go to London every week, multiple times a week. Whereas eventually, when he’s turned 1415, that sort of things paid for, for boys, the expenses.

Daniel Redfearn  13:35
So I’m saying this from two sides, from what you’ve said, so far, there’s the family dynamic, which you said you were very fortunate to have a household where you were all encouraged to engage in sport. Maybe it’s because as you said, you were all sisters. Yeah. So maybe the attitude would have been different if there was a son as well. And then there’s the other side, which is, when you finally engage in the world of sport, as you said, the attitude towards the women’s team might be different than towards the men’s team. Yeah. I also think we’re lucky in that we we are fans of tennis. Yeah, were obviously in in the world of women’s tennis and women’s professional tennis, for example, in the Grand Slams, there’s equal prize money. I think that’s really good. But at the same time, some people argue that that is really contentious, you know, even at this point,

Tor Caldwell  14:19
I would be inclined to agree with them almost this almost is it’s great for women’s sport in general that we have such a high profile sport that’s paying the same but it’s almost a little bit too far in the sense that they don’t actually play the same amount. And I think I fully believe that the professional female athletes today with all the technology and all their they’ve got huge fitness teams nutrition and everything. beggar definitely pay best to five sets. Best to five sets, doesn’t mean five sets. It hardly ever goes to five sets, they’ll probably maybe face one match where it goes to five sets. But the problem is that if they start doing that the timings of all these grants

Daniel Redfearn  15:05
won’t work. Maybe you could even maybe have to have a woman’s grants I’m going I meant, like, the calendars may not be able to be synced. But I actually a minute ago lost my train of thought a bit. So I started talking about when we’re done. But I realize there’s one more thing I wanted to say, if you guys don’t mind is that it is such like a in some ways, it’s a controversial topic. And I think it’s controversial in a way, because both sides, both arguments kind of have justification in a way. So like what you were just saying that the length of time played is different in women’s tennis versus men’s tennis. Or some people argue that the revenue, you know, Men’s Tennis brings in more revenue, so they deserve more of a distribution of it. And then obviously, there’s the other side, you know, which, which will probably go into talking about in a minute. But the last thing I want to talk about in terms of childhood attitudes, is that, do you think, because I was doing some reading before we recorded today, some people online trying to argue that girls have a natural aversion to sport a lot of the time so there’s some people argue that even if you had equal households in terms of like, introducing people to small, the girls are naturally not be as inclined towards sport, and I don’t I only have a brother both of us were really encouraged to play sport growing up, our dad loved sport. So we were playing football, all sorts of sports. What do you think about that, though?

Tor Caldwell  16:19
I just, I can’t get my head around that. And maybe it’s because on the flip side of view, I’m the opposite.


Tor Caldwell  16:26
I’ve been growing up with two sisters have been at a girls school. And also that’s another massive part of the play to my own sport is that the girl school that I went to really push sport and I was always around sporty girls. But I think there are so many things outside of sport that contribute to that toys. boys playing with, like destructive toys. Yeah, I’ve

Daniel Redfearn  16:49
been like really? beyblades sorry. And just remember,

Tor Caldwell  16:52
I used to play with like, whereas like girls toys are always like a bit more. I’m talking about like, my memory of my system, what we pay with bit more like airy fairy, you know what I mean? Like, I don’t say dolls, because it’s very stereotypical, but like, white dress up and, you know, animals and like, stuff like that. Whereas boys pay with a more, a lot more like there’s a narrative, isn’t it? Yeah. Like, not physical toys. But like build builders drop the builder

Daniel Redfearn  17:22

Tor Caldwell  17:22
Practical Action, man. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I would actually, we were talking about this the other night with my mom that I used to play with Lego and Playmobil. And like, not necessarily boy toys, but sort of more on the practical side. And I feel like that sort of it starts then. And then I think girls show aversion to sport at an early age, when they see just boys pay. This is so interesting,

Daniel Redfearn  17:53
because this is stuff that growing up I had no idea about, you know, but when we talk about or it’s something that’s spoken more about in culture now, you know, the whole idea that toys always gendered in a way, aren’t they? And that you’re encouraged that this is a boy’s toy. This is a girl’s toy. Yeah, I completely can see what you mean. And that I was encouraged towards those those cars and all that stuff. And then that influences how you perceive the world and what your what you your, what you derive joy from so and I guess a lot of the traits that you take from being involved in sport can be associated with those boys toys, maybe and that’s why

Tor Caldwell  18:25
Yeah, like Hot Wheels is a perfect example like thrill seeking and just competition doors. Yeah, yeah. competitiveness like, all of those toys when it starts then when you’re I don’t know three or four and then you’re fed into like, you go from playing with maybe action men into actually like, okay, is attached to football, like now exert your

Daniel Redfearn  18:49
Yeah, like real life.

Tor Caldwell  18:50
Yeah, the the adrenaline that like he kept from my Hot Wheels or whatever. Whereas if girls have just been playing with, like, you know, dress up, or tremble, the girly toys that we used to

Daniel Redfearn  19:04
when I grew up in New Zealand for a time. And Rembrandt’s were huge in New Zealand was at the same in the UK. Yeah. Started like there was like, kind of like all the tables Bobby, but brats was big, you know,

Tor Caldwell  19:14
that’s even a brass levy.

Daniel Redfearn  19:17
Really? Yeah. Wow.

Tor Caldwell  19:18
Okay. Didn’t see it for the record.

Daniel Redfearn  19:20
Yeah, that is really interesting, then I completely see what you mean, in that regard. Like, um, and I also wonder if we think about people who we know. So if we think a woman we know who are super into sports, maybe some of the people we know from KCL tennis, how do you know any sort of background about how they were introduced to tennis? Was it the same for them and that they had a like a, like a what you said about you having a dad who was so into sport, or did they have siblings, maybe male siblings or

Tor Caldwell  19:48
just fight about tennis is that we always sort of talked about, oh, you get into it through your mom or your dad, usually dad, and I can definitely think of a couple of girls straight. off the bat, who got into tennis because they had older brothers or like a dad who played? Yeah, or just all through a different sport, if they played maybe lacrosse volleyball. But definitely, yeah, European volleyball. They all Yeah,

Daniel Redfearn  20:22
the thing is, the thing is, they’re like, um, I guess that’s naturally how someone gets involved in sport, like through their parents. Maybe it’s just the parents attitude towards the child. I mean, what I wanted to ask Subaan quickly is because we’ve got actually a, you know, a perfect three samples here have an all male background, all female background, and a mixed background in terms of the household for you growing up? Did you play the same toys as your sister?

Subaan Qasim  20:44

Daniel Redfearn  20:44
Interesting. Were you were you were you having stuff?

Subaan Qasim  20:47
Yeah, I actually was very stereotypical. Again, I’d use that, you know, connects. And I was very mechanical, like building stuff like tall was saying earlier. So I guess I was brought up in a very stereotypical fashion, or I’m just a very stereotypical child boy, in that sense. However, because my sister is older than me, by five years, when I was, you know, still a kid and growing up, she’d get me and do dress up on me. So I’d be like, two years old. I can’t like, you know, give informed consent has just been, like, wrapped with like tiaras and dresses and stuff, putting makeup on me. And so I guess I was kind of put into that scenario as well. But I can’t remember much of that. I don’t know if I should be thankful for that or not. But yeah,

Tor Caldwell  21:28
I bet you’d it beautiful.

Subaan Qasim  21:29
I mean, I’m sure I

Daniel Redfearn  21:30
did. You do you do? It can be pretty intense as well. But yeah, but it is really interesting that that that narrative doesn’t just apply to sport. It’s something that you get in general, because we could also be sat here talking about women in science, women in technology. It’s not, it’s not just limited to sport. But in this context, we can just talk about it from Sports perspective. So we’ve we’ve briefly covered tennis, and I think I did kind of cut us off from going a bit more into it. Remember, you maybe want to argue the other side a little bit. Remember I was saying about how people argue that men should be paid more be paid more in tennis, because they bring in more revenue and stuff. But it’s such a complex topic. Right,

Tor Caldwell  22:11
exactly. It’s so complex, I think it’s not that I think men should be paid more, I think that strictly with tennis at the moment. The amount of revenue, someone like Serena Williams will bring in maybe Naomi Osaka, the next gen. They should be paid equal. But I do feel like it’s almost patronizing to the professional athletes, if you watch Serena play. Sometimes, as you finish, you finished a two set match. And she’s 39. And she looks like she could do another two sets. I think someone’s patronizing that they don’t say you can now this will be progressive. But then also, I think, is it like, is that a form of sexism in the sense that they won’t, for time scaling, that the women’s marches have to be reduced to the best of three sets?

Daniel Redfearn  23:06
I completely? I feel like I’m saying that after everything you say, I completely see that perspective. But I do I do see that perspective. I know. And what I also think is like, in making them equal, is kind of, I think it’s positive discrimination in a way and if you so men are playing more, and arguably one of the end that the men’s tennis brings in a higher revenue than Women’s Tennis through advertisements through following right it gets high viewership. Yeah. But in making the prize money equal, arguably encourages more women to go into the sport or the it makes it facilitates an easier environment for women to succeed become really wealthy from and be able to travel and increases the level, doesn’t it? Isn’t that an argument across all sports?

Tor Caldwell  23:47
Well, this is where it gets, like, really,

Daniel Redfearn  23:50
I forget the numbers, but

Tor Caldwell  23:51
Well, it’s sort of like, you know, have you heard of the Golden Triangle in sport, it’s, so you’ve got media, the athletes, and then I guess you could say the body, the governing body or the responsible for the pay, okay, and it works in like a triangle, but not one will work without the other. So you’ve got like, the player who needs sort of like the media and the press and the marketing, to generate the revenue to for them to play. But then you also need, the body almost needs the media marketing, to get the visibility so that you can then pay the player. And then the press also needs the body to pay the player. So it gets into this really sort of like so one of them almost needs to have medium press. Provide that platform.

Daniel Redfearn  24:49
Yeah, that makes so

Tor Caldwell  24:51
because I don’t think I don’t think the player can do it on their own. That would almost take like, especially in a team sport, one player to sort of like just be a CEO. be human. That all said all the media. And that’s nearly what’s happened with Serena Williams is that she’s such a superhuman that she’s attracted so much just for women’s tennis, a whole sport that she’s ended up being paid loads. I probably articulated that really badly. Makes sense. Oh, soccer is

Daniel Redfearn  25:18
so marketable By the way, isn’t she? I saw a video on like, how marketable she is also having the background of two different cultures. Yes. The Japanese and American. Yeah. And there has asked from Haiti as well. It is really interesting, like what you’re saying about Serena Williams, almost having like a monopoly over the woman side of tennis in a way, right, you know, and,


Daniel Redfearn  25:35
When you think of women’s tennis, or I think a lot of people who I speak to who don’t follow tennis like, for example, use a banya. You’re not like a you don’t live and breathe tennis. But if I asked you to name a woman’s player, I’m guessing you’d probably say Serena Williams. Yeah. Exactly. extremely famous. Yeah,

Tor Caldwell  25:50
there are very few female athletes, I think who have done that in any sport. Like you have maybe in football, Megan rapinoe. But then again, you could even argue that she’s got fame off sort of like her off pitch, being outspoken about

Daniel Redfearn  26:08
the problems that she faces as a woman being in football. I mean, I have to ask you this, then do you think that Serena Williams would be as famous if women didn’t have equal prize money in tennis?

Tor Caldwell  26:18
I think she probably still would be just because she’s achieved so much. And she would have

Daniel Redfearn  26:26
achieved that anyway, because I don’t think money is an issue for her in terms of like, her performance. But I also wonder, in in there being equal prize money does or not also lift the whole of the women’s sport? In a way in tennis, there’s the whole of women’s tennis.

Tor Caldwell  26:43
Yeah, I think it’s I think, from every level I think you have, I think the Williams sisters, both of them played a massive part in raising the profile of the game. And off the back of that equal pay became almost more justifiable. But I think fi from right from the bottom and grassroots tennis, it’s really inspiring for a young girl to see actually, equal pay, they are both considered almost that they matter just as much. And the finals being

Daniel Redfearn  27:17
played on the same weekend, the tournament, the same venue,

Tor Caldwell  27:19
just just everything about tennis is really progressive. I’m kind

Daniel Redfearn  27:23
of proud of tennis pros are happy in a way

Tor Caldwell  27:26
that’s almost as well like coming from football back to tennis was about tennis, but I never really took that seriously until I joined Okay, so tennis but making the jump between was quite sort of refreshing because there’s no sort of like narrative against female tennis players. There’s no sort of like I think we take it for granted as well. not take it for granted. It’s how it should be but when you’re at Wimbledon or something, and Serena Williams works out in Santa corps that’s actually if you’re a girl who’s in any sport try to go up the ranks and sport to see you know women on the same path not just on the same platform but actually like rocking that platform and just being yes sharing so much greatness superstar Yeah,

Daniel Redfearn  28:19
a legend

Tor Caldwell  28:20
a legend go Yeah, she

Daniel Redfearn  28:21
is the guy she’s arguably Oh no, this is an argument. This is a difficult one is she go in Okay, just off topic. I is so she’s definitely the girl of our era. But it is hard for me to because Have you seen the rattle over the number of different grants she’s won every Grand Slam? Yeah, for singles multiple times I think near around 24 on every grant having doubles multiple times and every grant I’m a mixed doubles as well. Yeah. So and also I think she changed Women’s Tennis as well. So that is hard. I don’t martyrs I don’t know she’s the go of like modern tennis.

Tor Caldwell  28:53
Well I as well I think because now we are like much more forward thinking than back then. It almost now makes you appreciate their contribution to tennis that makes it sound really pathetic, isn’t it? I mean, they’re like

Daniel Redfearn  29:07
they tried.

Tor Caldwell  29:09
Thanks for the effort.

Daniel Redfearn  29:10
I mean, they’re so crazy. She won a Grand Slam I think it was in the mixed doubles in 2006 that’s pretty good that as well.

Tor Caldwell  29:16
And also, I don’t know how much you know about her personal life but at the time Yeah, she had to flee her country. Just the whole her whole story is actually incredible. The what she’s had to face

Daniel Redfearn  29:29
I think it’s hard for who’s the good news tennis and again, any any, any era when you’ve got people crossing areas like Pele Maradona vers Ronaldo, Messi or Michael Jordan and abroad. As soon as you cross an areas it becomes a bit harder to make a good assumption

Tor Caldwell  29:41
especially in tennis because you have so much affecting performance of the court like rackets massively improve technology. Yeah, the physical side You know, like having, like Rafa turn up with like an entourage of like, 25. Yeah, but like, obviously, he’s going to be in physically better shape than that. Adding a

Daniel Redfearn  30:01
girl is a very fair point that I mean, she never had a lover’s generation did kind of pave the way in a way for women’s tennis to reach the point that it is now. And of course, I’m sure if we ask, you know, the women’s pros, they’ll say that they have a lot of barriers that they still face. But compared to other sports is good. And I can imagine that the profile of women’s tennis being pretty high raises the level of women’s tennis as well. So is that an argument right for like, for example, football? Where, with with tennis, actually, I mean, even at university level, the woman who were in the seconds, or the woman who in the first case, oh, tell us? We’re really good. You know, I mean, as in like, the standard was very similar to the men’s I mean, I know I would have been destroyed by any of the any of the girls on the second or first, that might just be a reflection on my level personally, though, but yeah, what I’m saying is, I, I wonder whether the level of tennis and university level at grassroots level is higher or is more similar. There’s more of a parity than then other sports? Well, whether women’s side is not as high profile, do you kind of get what I’m saying there?

Tor Caldwell  31:09
Yeah. is in the difference between maybe QPR women’s first team versus QPR men’s first? Yes. We would have been humiliated. Okay. But you could still argue that the F Federer page three Williams, I hate this. I hate this one makes me cross comparing men to women, because it’s completely different. Yeah. But there is that argument that actually, Roger Federer, people will say he’s the goat because he would rather

Daniel Redfearn  31:43
quickly interject

Tor Caldwell  31:45
Actually, I don’t even know why. Roger because I forget Rafa. But if one have any really of the top men’s prayers made to me, they would beat her. That’s not really like, I can’t deny that. Yeah. But when you actually think about barriers faced, Serena is obviously a black woman who’s would have faced so much adversity growing up. playing tennis,

Daniel Redfearn  32:09
especially as tennis is such a like classic. It seems such a wide school.

Tor Caldwell  32:13
Yeah, exactly. And I’m sure that there were some sort of adversities that reference Roger Federer and Novak jock, which had to face but obviously, it wouldn’t have been so detrimental to their careers.

Subaan Qasim  32:28
Does it matter? Roger Federer would be Serena Williams on someone like does it even matter? Does that comparison even matter? Because they’re essentially separated? Because they aren’t actually playing against each other? So comparing the men’s and women’s directly in that way? does that have anything to do with the way like the whole safe financial system works with internet?

Daniel Redfearn  32:52
I think with any sport, naturally, you’re going to, I think the argument would go, you want to watch the highest level of football, for example. So your watch the best teams play, there’s a reason why the Premier League is more watched than lead to you know. And so the argument would be like you probably the highest level of tennis will draw more of an interest. So I think the argument would be Roger Federer or Nadal is the best person at tennis. Whereas I imagined that Serena Williams was way better than Federer and Adele, if he was way, way better, and all of women’s tennis, the standard was just so much higher, then you you would expect the viewership to be so much higher on the woman side, but it’s so complex, because you could say why is it higher?

Tor Caldwell  33:34
Yeah. But then I think that if you watch I keep using Serena Williams as an example, but there are multiple times verse, Naomi, Osaka, especially Australian Open recently, was hitting the ball so hard. I think what’s always impressive is that she’s physiologically like, she is going to be less have less physical ability, right? than a man that’s just that’s just biology and that’s just the way it is. But despite that, she can still produce really, she was having an

Daniel Redfearn  34:07
author 121 20 miles per hour.

Tor Caldwell  34:09
Yeah. And I think that also starts with Venus. Williams serving at like 133 miles an hour.


Tor Caldwell  34:18
Crazy. And like that’s, that’s fast for a man does.

Daniel Redfearn  34:21
Yeah, I mean, the doors past that episode. I think it’s 132. Yeah, I might be wrong might be 134. But the point is, they’re Yeah, they’re in the same room. We’re in terms of raw power. But

Tor Caldwell  34:30
But then, so my view is that, okay, yeah, her fastest serve is like probably, like an average mouse for but she doesn’t have the sort of innate muscle fibers and physiological sort of DNA to that the men will have that gives them sort of like the the upper hand, were message despite that she’s still may she get herself to a level takes a lot, well, I knew that it would have taken a lot of work to get to that level,

Daniel Redfearn  35:04
because we could come up with a complex formula of like, what makes something popular to watch, definitely part of it will be the level of it. And another part of it will be the nature of the competition. So say, for example, because again, this is another argument that some people have is that the style in women’s tennis, I know this episode’s just turning into women’s tennis, it was it was always going to go towards tennis Subaan you have to accept that either way. But the style of women’s tennis is different to the style of men’s tennis. Like, in general, with women’s tennis being a lot more the ball is hit differently, a lot more flat, right versus a lot more spin and meta tennis or the nature of the rallies are different. Some people argue that women’s tennis is a lot better to watch, because the rallies are often a lot longer. Yeah. Because Yeah, I guess a lot some men just slap us over then that’s the point done. And so the actual nature of the tennis is different that could increase the viewership on women’s tennis more as well, arguably, because in women’s football, for example, a lot of people will just say, Oh, it’s just not as good to watch like the level is just not the same as watching the Premier League. Whereas in women’s tennis, as I was just saying, I don’t wanna go in circles. But you know, women’s tennis is good to watch in its own way in a different in a different way as well. It’s not just the same as Men’s Tennis just 10% less powerful, or wherever someone wants to put a dude, you kind of see what i’m saying there.

Tor Caldwell  36:23
Yeah. They’re not reaching their same sort of power levels as men, but they have adapted to like their own differences is different. And also, I guess it’s a personal preference. Like what do you prefer watching? Do you prefer watching john Isner laying down? supervisor herbs? And the rallies being really sure, or do you want to watch a longer rally with sort of a lot more like grafting in the rally, you know, a lot more. Not as fast but longer rallies? I don’t know. That’s, I think that’s down to personal preference. But then again, you’ve also got huge contributing factor to what makes this sport interesting are the people that the personalities by people, Nick kiryas. He’s a great tennis player, but he’s not the best when people he gets so much he’s box office because of his antics.

Daniel Redfearn  37:15
That is difficult.

Tor Caldwell  37:16

Daniel Redfearn  37:16
I like watching is exciting.

Tor Caldwell  37:18
I do and I don’t I like watching him when he’s playing really well. But I find it really jarring when he is being petulant. Yeah, and and hitting his racket. I do think that comes from feeling that that’s that I think the biggest injustice in tennis at the moment is the treatment that that women get when they show that sort of aggression. If you have carry OS smashing his racket Jovovich in the Australian Open, it does sort of, it’s just so much more acceptable. And I know that there will be female players who will smash up their racket, but obviously, this is like tying into the huge controversy over Serena Williams at the US Open final in 2018. Which I actually ended up doing my dissertation. Yeah. Yeah. Because I felt so strongly that Yeah, obviously, it was a terrible show of behavior. Like, I wasn’t going to defend that. she behaved badly. But the backlash off it was just so unprecedented, sort of how she was remember,

Daniel Redfearn  38:23
there’s like the way she was portrayed in the media and stuff.

Tor Caldwell  38:25
Yeah, there was just so much hate for her after that, and almost diminished all of her. I think she was at 23 Grand Slams them, wasn’t she? Yes,

Daniel Redfearn  38:38
yeah. I think she’s still a 23 Yeah, she’s

Tor Caldwell  38:40
not one one since Australia,

Daniel Redfearn  38:42
Australia. 2017. The pressures on doing another one?

Tor Caldwell  38:45

Daniel Redfearn  38:45
it’s got to equal Steffi Graf. I know her she already.

Tor Caldwell  38:49
She has, I think, Bs, she was definitely unfairly treated, I feel definitely unfairly treated. Because a lot of it, I think was off the back of the stereotype of having the angry black woman that is just such a popular stereotype for media to play into. And you would almost think that by the time you went 23, Grand Slams, you it would alleviate you from sort of a lot of negative press. And actually, if you if you do watch the game back, there, unpark was slightly harsh, it was a bit of a whole, like, the whole thing was a bit bizarre.

Daniel Redfearn  39:33
I think this sort of ties back into the whole perception of women in sport, like, you know, showing emotion, for example. And I remember, like, you can see examples of that sort of thing in football as well. When there’s a disagreement, like I’m watching the Women’s World Cup, the the energy and to actually be different in the way that the any arguments on the pitch would be shown in the media, for example, was just different. So the way it’s covered is also different. So what am i Makes me think is like, um, what? Okay, this is like a, I’m gonna pose a question to talk. Do you reckon that there should be on the back of every newspaper, I think we may have had this conversation before, coverage of women’s football covered like, you know, half the page goes to men’s sport half page goes to women’s sport, even. And that that would be disproportionate in terms of the interest that people have, right. But it would also mean that you’re just exposed more to women’s sport every day. So even people who don’t like him guys who don’t like women’s at all girls who don’t like women’s football, if it’s just on the back cover every single day, you just know what’s going on in the world of women’s football, you’ll just know when the big tournament’s are coming. You just know when there are big debates on and stuff. And it just introduces you to that so that this proportionate representation of women in sport would then be it would then elevate the profile of women in sport and might encourage people to follow up more and then that’s like a cycle, right? So like,

Tor Caldwell  40:51
this goes back to like the Golden Triangle that the media do have a responsibility to raise the profile of women’s sport, but I don’t think that it should be as clear cut as that isn’t. You split the back page down the middle of the pixels. Yeah. Because you might have I think it depends on the event of what’s happened. If you’ve got a women’s Wimbledon final winner women’s men’s final, then yeah, I do think that should be 5050. But then on the day of like the men’s World Cup, it would look, obviously there’s a very extreme example. Yeah, they will look bizarre if you had like rule one, one. Yeah. And then like, whoever wins the World Cup, England obviously won the World Cup. And then you have like, yeah, Arsenal? Yeah. Women want evidence. One? Yeah,

Daniel Redfearn  41:34
I see what you mean. But what about the concept of that, right? Like, the idea that the there’s a obligation on the media to over represent women in sport, to encourage people to see it more, because at the moment, well, we’re not experts. But I can imagine that there’s basically done in proportion to demand. So when the Women’s World Cup is on, I remember that would be in the news on the BBC and stuff. But, you know, week to week, I never see it in the news, and I’m not exposed to it. So I have to go and seek it out if I want to. And then, you know, obviously more people watching, it will increase the level. So that must be one of the one of the things standing in the way,

Tor Caldwell  42:06
I do agree that the media should pay a bigger part. But I think it’s almost too easy to go down that route. And there are so many other ways. For example, every women’s football team that pays in w cell, or even National League, I think now there are a couple of teams that don’t are affiliated with a men’s team and men’s clubs, they play with the same badge, same sponsors and everything. Yeah, those sponsors also have an obligation the club, the male club have and this is something that Liverpool actually really good at the on the men’s Twitter, they will post about women’s, and it is I mean, whenever you see one of those tweets on the men’s page, I can’t help myself by going to the comments, and it’s so negative. And then I think that the club then have a responsibility to somehow you either have to regulate the comments more, because I think we sometimes forget that on every level, these athletes are actually human. I think in men’s football, you get abuse, male football is going to be based on their club, whereas female footballers don’t get abused on The Club. They get abused on the agenda. Yes, Liverpool fans who will slay Liverpool female footballers? And really like what is it to them? What How is it pending their life in any way that the women are getting airtime? It doesn’t. So I think there’s there are so many different ways, obviously, you can go down like the media as in papers. And definitely, I think the broadcasters, it will, I just think that’s almost like a goldmine. But someone needs to make the first move, you give the sport the airtime. I don’t currently believe that in our lifetime, that women’s sport won’t be sort of the physical level of men’s. And that’s just that will always be a massive factor against women’s sport because they physically can’t run faster, they can’t kick the ball harder, but it’s like what we said earlier, it changes the game and makes it a different game.

Daniel Redfearn  44:07
I remember reading the the sport where the most similarity in the abilities between men and women, apart from maybe like chess, although chess is really interesting as well, because the top 80 chess players are all men. They really which is really interesting. Is

Tor Caldwell  44:20
that a reflection on participation levels, like how many men versus women play?

Daniel Redfearn  44:24
Yes, it must be it must be an attitude thing, right? It must be the idea that only men are encouraged to take it seriously in terms of the cultural background stuff, but it’s it’s fascinating to think that it’s all levels of almost competition in a way that women so it’s not necessarily just isolated to physical exercise, but it’s also in maybe just in competition more in general and from what you’re talking about when you when you were younger. Maybe the guy is being introduced to like, you know, strength action man and all of that stuff versus woman being introduced to the idea of like beauty and sort of family values and things that that affecting all the way even to like stuff like chess, but I remember reading that there’s actually a marathon like long distance running where women and men have the most similarity. So the times, for example, the women’s world record is only, I think, about 10 minutes slower than the men’s world record. So the men’s working on two hours woman’s around two hours, 10 times 15. Which is pretty interesting. But I mean, the other the other point to follow on from it is why not in women’s football, it can reach a level where it’s just as good to watch, you know, even if they’re not as strong or they don’t hit the ball as hard. It could reach a level worse as exciting. So something I’ve always wondered when watching it is, could you may disagree with it. Fair enough, if you do, because it’s just an observation, but when the women are playing, because the average height of a woman is slightly shorter, right? This is about girls. Yeah, the goals are the goals are the same size as the men and also the pitch size are the same, isn’t it? Yeah. Which, which naturally will change the dynamic of the way that the football is played?

Tor Caldwell  45:51
Yeah. What do you reckon this has always been really like topical for me, because I was a goalkeeper. And I remember at a time where we were discussing the England goalkeepers senior goalkeepers and how they were being sort of cast it as a weak link. And really, they were always going to be a weak link, because they are their their tool for women, but they’re not, you know, there’s their max five foot 11, maybe six foot, which for a male goalkeeper, that’s not, that’s not that tall at all. Like

Daniel Redfearn  46:29
most guys, it’s

Tor Caldwell  46:30
6465. Yeah. So how they are supposed to cover the same Yes, space do. Obviously the ball is not coming as fast. But then sometimes that doesn’t matter. Like if you find the placement, no matter how hard you hit, the ball is going to go in the back at the net, if it’s if you’ve if there’s someone between the stakes that physically cannot cover that space,

Daniel Redfearn  46:54
is that a reasonable argument, then

Tor Caldwell  46:55
it’s completely rational, as someone who is a goalkeeper, obviously, I’m a bit biased, I would have loved to have saved more girls. Yeah, I’m not even. I’m just under five foot nine. So I’m not like, even as a female golfer, I’m not that tall. But I was still playing full size, male sized goals, so I wasn’t going to cover the goal. So it makes it an unfair.

Daniel Redfearn  47:20
And that could be turning people maybe away from it as well. And that not just people watching it, because that’s something I always felt watching. It is like, um, you know, the scale is not quite right. You know, it feels like if it were done on a pitch that were just 10% smaller and gold or attempts that smaller, the it would be a lot closer in a way because what you’re saying about you’d have, they would forced it would force the shots to have to be so much more precise to get past the goalie and stuff. Or the defenses, you know, like a long pass. Yeah, can be so effective. Because, you know, the the dimension just slightly different. It’s really interesting. But I could tell people were from playing,

Tor Caldwell  47:51
watch back footage of myself. And look, I would feel like I looked tiny, in between. And I just think how were the strikers not scoring more, because they have such a huge target with, like, someone so skinny in the goal. So I think I think it’s completely valid argument to say, I think it would be almost impossible to change the size of a pitch

Daniel Redfearn  48:19
if you’re, if you’re not building purpose built female stadiums which there have been there’s been one. I mean, it’s very interesting, I just double checked in the NBA, for example, where physical proportions like plays such a big factor, right, like even as a as a man, if you’re not six foot three, basically or above. Or maybe if you’re a point guard, you’re fine. But if you’re not super tall, you basically can’t play in the NBA as a man. So obviously, the height factor is so big as well, with women being on average, a few inches shorter. The height of the rim is so important in basketball, and it’s the same in the men’s league in the Women’s League. So again, naturally, women, there are very few women who will be able to dunk the ball, then that the nature of the game has to change as a result so much more. So much more of the game has to revolve around shooting and the proportions are different. So surely, you could translate this to all sports where maybe the basket could be loaded but and I was just reading an article where some of the woman NBA players argue that the room should be shorter because it would make it more comfortable and realistic and they’d be able to express their ability more. So part of it maybe even in the rules and regulations of the sport.

Tor Caldwell  49:23
Yeah, I mean, this is like this plays into huge, huge narrative about is the world a man’s world is everything built for men and women just sort of like starting even it’s only been the last five years. Where in w cell and for England. They’ve started introducing female kit before that. I mean, I in my last few years I was still wearing what was unisex or they branded as unisex but it was an IT WAS male. They were big baggy shorts. And then it was literally I think, I remember playing a team, actually, Australia, they had almost like, I remember it because it was so shocking and it shouldn’t have been. And this is what year was this like 2016, maybe 15 to 15. They turned up in like a women’s tailored kit, like it was just so much more flattering. And it was quite like it was a bit shocking. And we looked her renders, it made us for winning factors. We’re still wearing these huge baggy shorts and like huge care. And like we’re saying earlier, what detracts girls from playing. I don’t want to stereotype and say girls care about their parents more because you’re playing sport. If you’re going to play football, you’re going to get muddy, you can’t care like that much about looking pristine. But it does you still do want to feel like a girl when you put on.

Daniel Redfearn  50:57
Yeah, this is super interesting. I never thought about this detail. Because also I think about women’s tennis, for example. And then women’s tennis. Women’s offers a completely different

Tor Caldwell  51:06
with a so this is something that I’ve actually you turned on recently, because when I first wrote my dissertation, Serena Williams, I basically did like a huge study on what do they report on most about her. And one of the things was, what she wore, obviously is always spoken about because she does wear really flamboyant outfits. And at the time of writing my dissertation, I thought, Oh, that’s just sexist, because they don’t talk about, you know, joke about his latest shorts or whatever. And on reflection, now, I read that back and they actually I don’t think that is sexist, I’ve changed my mind. Because, firstly, Serena loves fashion. It’s like, actually one of her likes, loves. And so she would want it to be spoken about that she’s wearing a cat suit or something. And also, how do we get women to talk about sport. And if that is playing into like a stereotype that women want to talk about fashion, then I almost think Let it be because it does work women do to speak about what she’s worrying and inadvertently, they will watch her play, and they will appreciate what she does off the court as well as on the court.

Daniel Redfearn  52:13
So that we don’t need to look at women’s sport in the same lens as we don’t need to just make women’s sport, men’s or men’s version of the sport just played by women, if so Women’s Tennis can be different. Yeah, men’s tennis and the things that we talk about or look out for and are interested in can be different in women’s tennis or in women’s football.

Tor Caldwell  52:29
I think there’ll be some narratives where it’s different from men’s sport and they wait to be spoken about I think another example is Serena a lot is called mother and, and sister to Venus and like a lot of familial like roles, like societal sort of roles. And obviously, you don’t ever see like Federer, father of four wins when we don’t. But then I think that’s actually, again, that was something at the time, I thought, Oh my gosh, like what an injustice that serine is labeled as just a mother actually, you flip it. And it’s super impressive. She was pregnant. And then after that, I mean, she’s just got to such a high level again, after having such a difficult pregnancy. It’s almost like her coming back from a supernatural like it. She’s just had such an intense her body’s been through so much, and she’s still come back. And I think if you’re a mother, that must be so empowering to read that is just okay, like she’s had a baby and she’s not let that stop her. That but when the narrative changes, there were a couple of things like she said, a lot of the time she’s spoken about, like, her father’s role. And like the male influences, and then I think that’s where it changes because, okay, like her dad might have some, like, some of the credit for that. But do you ever really see like, do you ever hear about report and maybe you do, but I don’t like jock vinci’s dad or no Federer, his dad. The only comparison I could draw upon was uncle Tony, with Rafa uncle Tony. But that’s like, again, that’s reported differently.

Daniel Redfearn  54:09
But I mean, I do agree when I think about it the way I’ve seen Serena Venus’s dad reported and the influence they’ve had on their career that is different. And I’m sure there is to an extent, like the role of men introducing women into a sport, playing it playing a role in that happening. But I mean, overall, just what I’m taking away from the last few minutes of the conversation is that maybe what needs to happen more is that we stop applying the sort of same lens to women’s sport as we do to men’s sport. So you can change some of the rules, you can change the outfits, you can change the way it’s reported on the word used to describe how they play. You can even change some of the rules like some of the regulations, the size of the height of the basket or the size of the goal.

Tor Caldwell  54:52
Yeah, I think in every aspect, I think you don’t need to literally make women’s sport a carbon copy, I think. Let it evolve on its own. People what realize when people keep, I keep hearing Oh, but women’s football is really early on in its life. And it’s not. It started. I mean, in 19, I think it was 1920. women’s football was huge. They were attracting crowds of 53,000 in like it was it was enormous, like just before the in between the wars. And then the FA summit issued the national governing body of football basically in 1921, then stopped them from playing on the same pictures. And then it just disbanded. And then there’s a huge gap. And it was only 1969, where they were allowed to play again on the same pitches as men. So it’s not early on in its life. It’s just having to like rejuvenate. And so I think just let it continue to evolve, let it become like its own entity, what will attract people, maybe it is changing the regulations to make it more exciting. I don’t necessarily think it would be less impressive. If I watched a female goalkeeper save a shot in a smaller goal, because I know that she’s shorter. And I know that she’s physically not got the muscle fibers to like spring up like a meat like, I think that it will still be just as exciting to viewers.

Daniel Redfearn  56:23
Yeah, I completely agree with that. So I mean, that’s that aspect of basically, the then you could also talk about the responsibility that each like each person has, in terms of how they interact with women’s sport. So we were talking before about the media, and arguing that the media maybe has a responsibility to report woman sport in a certain way. And then we’re talking about the the coaches, the people involved in the sport that people who make the rules saying that they could change the regulations. How about the athletes themselves? As someone who was involved in football? Or is involved in tennis? Do you actually think that the women or men’s players have a responsibility to change attitudes towards women’s sport?

Tor Caldwell  57:03
Yeah, I think that it’s huge. What the impact that actually the female athletes can have off the court and promoting their respective sports in a way I do think that, yeah, the, the individual male athletes could maybe, like interact more with the women’s team, but I don’t feel like it should be on them to promote women’s sport, because I don’t know, I’d almost find that slightly patronizing towards women’s sport that it had to be the men to promote it just because they’ve got the bigger platforms, I feel like I felt women’s sport should appeal to everyone. But really, it should be sort of the incoming generations up and coming young girls, and I feel like what they can do off the pitch or off the court of class

Daniel Redfearn  57:53
by generations. Following on from that, though, I can’t imagine if, for example, Jordan Henderson, the captain of Liverpool men’s team, if he every week just shared on his Instagram story, the result from the woman’s football that week, from Liverpool woman’s, I can see how it is a bit patronizing in a way thinking that, oh, the only way that men are going to be drawn into it is by seeing their hero supporting a but surely it would, you know, make people

Tor Caldwell  58:18
that the thing is john Harrison would share that on his story. And it would go to his audience, which are going to be predominantly, guys. And no matter how many times he posts on his story, those guys will never switch to watching when they might become more aware of it or more accepting of it. And maybe that’s just worth it anyway. But it will never sort of raise the profile in a way that will help women’s say in this instance, when is football take off? I think that’s got to be for you’ve got to get the right audience. And I think it’s going to be girls. But surely. So at the same time, though.

Daniel Redfearn  58:54
So if we’re talking about privilege, this is a privilege that male athletes have over female athletes being in a world where they are supported so much more and they’re even taken more seriously, right? Like, men’s football is taken more seriously. In a lot of in a lot of areas. Surely if Jordan Henderson for example. So I don’t know I’m picking on Jordan Henderson. Do more man that say Juergen Klopp or something. He was just talking and he said By the way, did you guys see the result in the woman’s match on the weekend? It was really exciting. Like, if if they talk about that these are people who that so many fans look up to it would make it more normalized. They would encourage people it What I’m saying is if they were clearly taking it seriously, surely a lot of the fan base would see that they’re taking it seriously. So it’s something it’s something that could be taken seriously or if you know nidal, I mean men and women’s tennis has won. We’ve already talked about that. So maybe keeping in football. Yeah, if they do. So it’s not just a case of putting on their story and then a bunch of men will look at it and laugh at them, but also just talking about it and like normalizing it in a way. That is like, Look, the best footballers in the world are talking about women’s football, you know, it’s something that clearly can be taken conspiracy that people should just look out for more or respect. Is that is that not a way to look at it as well?

Tor Caldwell  1:00:06
I do. I agree with you that if Juergen Klopp, was just to say like, did you see that the woman won or whatever, then it raises the profile. But I think real, like explicit references to women’s football like that on in such a huge public platform only really incites abuse at this point. And it’s got to be more subtle than that. I think the best ways of doing that are things like when they sort of do like join, like lfctv, we’ll do an interview with both a male and a female player and the FA are good at that as well. They were the lionesses and the men’s team. Otherwise, I just think that you have Juergen Klopp, who is has such a huge following in the football world, that I think it’s women’s football is still a real fragile point where it won’t, it won’t have the desired effect. It won’t be taken seriously by the male. Maybe that’s just me, because I don’t know I’ve got that I’ve been exposed to so much like negativity that maybe I’ve gotten now a negative mindset on how men, well, not men, but like, a lot of football. Fans, young, old, don’t accept women’s football.

Subaan Qasim  1:01:24
Doesn’t matter too much, though. I know. So it’s a fragile point for women’s football. But this kind of change would have to be like multi generational, so if it’s like the opposite, like the newer generation, like the younger boys, who just kind of become normalized to seeing these managers or these people within, you know, male football, just post and talk about women’s football normally, and just kind of support it. It’s these younger people, and then that will these younger boys that would then just kind of come to support it normally, obviously, the older generation especially, you’re just going to be more like averse to it and just kind of push back we’ll be ours is rubbish. What’s the point? Why are you putting this on my social media feed and whatnot. But yeah, eventually we’ll just kind of trickle in. And then when the younger guys get older, it’s just kind of the normal thing, then because there’ll be like the majority population, or at least most involved in football. So yeah, in the short term, is going to probably be a decent amount of backlash. But I don’t know, I just feel that at least in the long term sitting like 2030 years, like a generation two generations, it will start kind of paying dividends in terms of actually promoting women’s football. And maybe there are other strategies that can be used, obviously, social media is very powerful. But when things are done in person, maybe I don’t know, I don’t really follow or watch any football, male or female. So maybe like these managers, or even just the male team, sometimes just attending, you know, women’s games watching in or just having, like interviews, talking to them, interacting with them in person, you know, sometimes you see them maybe training on the same field, I don’t know how much room is required, but you know, on opposite sides of the field, and, you know, they’re messing about interacting. I think that would even be more powerful than just, you know, posting or doing things via the media, even if it is in sort of ways that don’t give the initial backlash. Yeah.

Tor Caldwell  1:03:25
I agree with that, in the sense that, I think, explicit sort of activity on social media is is too easy now for trolls to sort of demonize women’s sport. But there are more so going back to like earlier was saying about most prolific women’s clubs, National League who are affiliated to a men’s club. I do think, and it’s most like bittersweet, because I don’t it as like, a, you know, like a girl that’s paid in sport, you don’t want it to be down to the men’s platform in a way you don’t want it to be. Another thing that is down to the men’s responsibility to alleviate women’s sport, you almost want the women to do it on their own. But then if it’s going to promote women’s sport to a place where we want it to be in like 50 years where actually everyone’s just completely desensitized to what’s what’s normal. what’s what’s not, then I think, I do think there is a responsibility on clubs, male clubs, that just even small things like what I have a really big bugbear about as well is why is it that they’re called? Arsenal women versus Arsenal? Like why isn’t Arsenal men? I think just small things, I think those things will change. I don’t really see it spoken about at the moment because there are so many other big issues. But I do feel like the clubs have responsibility to promote the the women’s side. I mean, there’s only what two or three years ago that Manchester United like the one of the biggest clubs in the world didn’t have a women’s team. So, you know, they’re late to the party, they’ve got a lot of makeup to do. I think that. Yeah, just the subtle ways they can do it, showing the teams alongside each other doing a lot of one of the really good things about QPR. And this was like five years ago, so quite like, woke at the time was that there was a lot of media with the men’s team, lots of like visiting hospitals, they have a thing called QPR that will keep you on the community, it was like a trust, there are lot of trusts. And the men’s players would go with the women’s players to like hospitals, or might do media days together. We trained at the same training ground,

Daniel Redfearn  1:05:54
because this all ties into the idea of is it the person who’s in the place of privilege? Is it their responsibility, help the people who are not in a place of privilege to have a more equal position and the thing that they’re both enjoying, because there are the two sides of it, one that you mentioned, is almost like patronizing in a way to think that Oh, woman’s if if one day women football is seen in a very, very high light, oh, it’s only because the men help them get there versus you know, doing it themselves. But at the same time in men doing it surely that could matter in men supporting it, surely, it can massively accelerate the growth and rise of it. So in as you were just saying, like, with football clubs, doing joint endeavors with the men’s and women’s teams going to do events at the same time introducing women to the fan base as well, it I don’t, I need to go away and like read about it more to better understand my own view on it. But I can see how is almost the responsibility of the men, the men side in a way to expose the fanbase more so like a team like Manchester United, I mean, as Liverpool fans, we’ve always known, you know, you know, man is not the best club, but only introducing a women’s team. So recently, that means that the entire fan base of Man United hasn’t been exposed to women’s football in the same way that maybe even as you were saying Liverpool share the women’s results on their social media. So Liverpool fans are seeing their results every week. So it’s almost it could be seen as a responsibility on the men’s side, basically, possibly, I don’t know, I don’t know, I have to think about it more.

Tor Caldwell  1:07:23
No, I do agree that like the, in whatever scenario, someone who has the privilege, or comes with the responsibility to help those who don’t have the privilege. But I yeah, like I said, it does feel bittersweet, because women almost had that equality in 1920, where it was huge, and they were getting huge fan bases. And then it was a male organization, ran by males to promote the male sport that shut down the women’s sports as soon as the oppressor. Now, just to pick up. There’s what’s basically I guess, when you phrase it like that, it’s so fair. But then I do feel like as generations like, as we move on, in time, through each generation, it will become much more normalized, like we said earlier about, do our parents generation, more and more women are getting into sport that that will be passed down to daughters who will pass it on to their daughters, and so on.

Daniel Redfearn  1:08:28
I mean, that’s the final point in a way that we have to think about is from here, what do what does our generation have to do? So I have to admit, when I was growing up, I, I always thought, if I had a son, it would be so good because I could take him to the park, I could be playing football with him because that’s a passion that I have. And it’s only more recently because my girlfriend’s been getting more into football recently. So she joined the women’s medics team at her University. So she now is being exposed to that side of sport more and she follows for example, totally nothing to do with me. But she follows Liverpool now a local men’s now. And yeah, it’s there’s an is changed my attitudes on it in a way because now I think it is weird to think I would always think like, oh, if I have a daughter, I’ll definitely be able to play tennis with her be so good. But I didn’t think about it in the same way with football. And it’s definitely grown up with the attitude that men’s and women’s football are different. But now I realize Yeah, what is actually stopping me from going to the park with a daughter and playing football in the exact same way. Although maybe falls on what before I would like be complaining about the gold side saying, Oh, we need to change that Nigeria. Yeah, like,

Tor Caldwell  1:09:36
bring your own gold.

Daniel Redfearn  1:09:37
Yeah. Go and put it in front. Like, you know, this is proportional. But yeah, like, do you see what I mean? Like I

Tor Caldwell  1:09:42
know for sure. And I reckon my data didn’t be the same, but we are. Me and my dad are real like one common bond, they will probably go like a week without actually saying a word to each other. Even though we live in the same house and then all of them we just go play tennis together for like an hour, two hours. He always drove me to sport like, I just never really thought about it that what his view was but he had no problem in driving me up and down. Yeah. All over wherever. Right right take me to our and I used to go watch games with him as well as in go to Bramall Lane. Unfortunately, yeah, we will go to Sheffield United and watch. But again, I don’t have a brother and I want like, I do want to if I did have a brother, with my experience with sport be so different.

Daniel Redfearn  1:10:29
I mean, it’s a responsibility then for our generation. So like, are sitting here now, we have to think, but I have to personally think, you know, if I have a daughter, will I be taking her to the football games in the same way as if I have a son? It’s almost your responsibility to treat them equally in that way. But also, if someone doesn’t want to be playing sport, not pushing them towards it at the same time, because then that that must be a real conundrum for some people. Because what if you go with that mentality, but then your daughter, for example, it’s just not intersport. And you’re thinking, ah, but the weird thing is, you know, realize that this is because of possibly because of societal pressures and stuff like that, you kind of see what I’m saying. That’s like, the idea that you can’t parent people in the exact same way anyway, people will have a natural aversion towards a certain thing. So it’s like a responsibility may be to expose a boy and a girl equally to certain interest and not but not push them towards anything. Maybe you kind of see what i’m saying that I feel like I’m kind of making a really sideways point.

Tor Caldwell  1:11:24
No idea. Okay, yeah.

Daniel Redfearn  1:11:25
Do you guys think you do the same? Subaan? What do you reckon?

Subaan Qasim  1:11:28
Yeah, it’s an interesting one, when it comes to parenting or in? I mean, I don’t really have any experience with that. Yeah, is hard to balance that, I guess. Yeah, exposing equally but not pushing. It’s a very subtle balancing act that you’d have to go through. But the thing is, sometimes kids do need to push towards a certain thing before they actually get into it. Because you have to be able to see some kind of value in something first for you to start actually getting into it. Because if you have no grasp of any value whatsoever, in a particular hobby, interest or skill, there is going to be no aspiration towards going through and, you know, developing that skill. Yeah, because even if I initially thing on on the sports kind of cool or something, you know, I don’t really watch or follow any football. But that’s probably just because I haven’t been exposed or pushed, it hasn’t been pushed towards me in a way that I’ve suddenly got that spark that turned on the value in it for me. And yeah, even if that was sparked in me, I still wouldn’t appreciate football, as all you know, value football as much as you would done because you’ve been in it, you understand football to a higher level than me. So it would be my responsibility at that point to kind of aspire to get to that level of appreciation. I’m kind of aspiring to get to your level of value and appreciation. But the thing is, is that, like I said at the beginning, you need some kind of push initially to get into that. So it’s a pretty hard balancing act, I’d say so, yeah, I’d know. I probably have a deep that point. But

Daniel Redfearn  1:13:07
that’s the point of the podcast. But yeah, okay. So just to finalize everything, unless there are there any other blue points you want to add?

Tor Caldwell  1:13:14
No, I think I think I’ve exhausted like every avenue.

Daniel Redfearn  1:13:17
Okay, that’s good. I mean, we did just focus on football and both football and tennis. But

Tor Caldwell  1:13:22
as far as my knowledge really go, that’s the only two that I really actively engaged in.

Daniel Redfearn  1:13:29
Sure. Sure. That’s fair enough. Okay. So we can reserve other episodes for when we bring on our w NBA star and stuff like that.

Subaan Qasim  1:13:36
Oh, yeah. And and LeBron James. Yeah, we have

Daniel Redfearn  1:13:39
to bring on Ron as well, just to even things out. And clay, of course, Clay clay Thompson is? Yeah. But okay. So just to finalize it, when, when a lot of a lot of the reasons why men are encouraged to go in sport more, and start at a very young age, in the household, and also just in society more broadly. And then going into going into sport and taking it more seriously, the attitude is different for women and men, in terms of the structure and the system, so that it is sometimes more hospitable towards men, then you have the rules and regulations which support men naturally more, sometimes even down to things like clothing, or the size of a gold and football. Then you’ve got the media, when you’re talking about the triangle, the golden triangles are called the the role of the media in supporting or how they convey the sport as well. And then potentially, even the role of the athletes themselves in how they talk about women in sport, and also their attitudes towards supporting it as well. So it basically it goes it’s the saturates through the whole line of society, basically. And it probably is a reflection on some of the more like the broader problems that women face in society. I mean, I’m not an expert on it.

Tor Caldwell  1:14:52
I know she’s about to say it’s like a discourse that can be applied to not just sport but there are In every sort of other corners of society, the same issues, which obviously do then just naturally reflect into sport they sort of filter into sport. Are we do still live in a man’s world? Where I think

Daniel Redfearn  1:15:18
even the seatbelt they

Tor Caldwell  1:15:19
see exactly seatbelts me for that. And so football goals, the two biggest they enjoy. Yeah.

Daniel Redfearn  1:15:26
I mean, yeah, it’s maybe it’s fair to say that is everyone’s responsibility. Probably, there’s more responsibility, your responsibility to learn more about it. And then hopefully, generation by generation, if things do become better, maybe one day, the biggest women’s football star will be in a similar on a similar level to the biggest men stars. Maybe not. Who knows, but what we can do is try and like, you know,

Tor Caldwell  1:15:48
in Brazil, equal pay now. Really?

Daniel Redfearn  1:15:50
Yeah. Interesting. National Team. Yeah, I mean, I’m sure as years go by, there will be changes made, but it seems like it might be a fairly slow process. But yeah, it’s very interesting to think about and good also to think about because even from this conversation, I probably later on will reflect. And if I ever hear back this episode, I’ll be thinking, that is a tapped, that is a tap perspective. But yeah, it’s very interesting. I mean, do you have any other points to make spawn? No. Okay, cool. Well, I think we can probably conclude it there, then. Thank you very, very much for joining us today at all. It’s very enjoyable conversation. Thank you, Subaan for joining us on this journey, as well as the host no problem. And yeah, we’ll leave it there. Okay. All right. Peace, peace, peace.

Subaan Qasim  1:16:32
Thank you for listening to this episode of getting it. If you enjoyed this episode,

Daniel Redfearn  1:16:36
or didn’t then feel free to leave us a rating and review on the apple podcast app, or on the apple podcast website.

Subaan Qasim  1:16:42
We’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas or questions about anything we discussed, so feel free to email us at [email protected]

Daniel Redfearn  1:16:50
You can also reach us on Twitter or Instagram at getting it underscore pod. You can find all the links in the show notes.