And, question, is there any female athlete in the current Top 17 with a functioning Pipe game?
Gots to admit, I’ve been feeling flat since Sophie left the building.
I know it’s “gauche” for surf journalists to admit their feelings. We should be objective and cool and report the facts and save the feels (and salacious details) for the post-career memoir.
But still, we is human beings.
Maybe disappointed is a better term, I thought Sophie and the Ziffs were a genuine dream team, and now doubly disappointed because Sophie’s legacy as a fearless warrior for gender equality is under attack and she ain’t around to defend herself.
I speak, of course, about the proposal from Sophie’s old bête noire, the Honolulu City Council, and it’s new resolution 20-12 (the so-called Blue Crush law), mandating gals inclusion in the Hawaiian events.
I am such an unreconstructed heteronormative piece of shit I didn’t even realise they weren’t.
Chas, of course, covered the initial story but we now have the actual resolution and the WSL’s response to the resolution to dig into.
We all remember what happened with the last face-off between Sophie and the bureacratic muscle of the City and County of Honolulu: the Dept of Parks and Recreation.
Sophie tried to publicly strong-arm the short-sleeved pen pushers by claiming what an indispensable boost to tourism pro surfing was to Hawaii and the short-sleevers with the underarm stains* called her bluff.
Sophie blinked, no new Pipe permits and the dream of a restructured Tour died unlamented in a ditch.
Now, Elo and the WSL are playing a much more sophisticated game. Something like Kissinger’s Iron fist in a Silk Glove, with maybe a touch of Sun Tzu’s Art of War thrown in.
The actual resolution, spearheaded by Hawaiian core-lord Heidi Tsuneyoshi comes in hard and heavy on the WSL: WHEREAS, female competitive surfers face discrimination at certain professional surfing contests and events in terms of inclusion in competitions, access to venues and facilities, resources, competition time, and pay…
The rebuttal by the WSL is very calming but laced with a faint but distinct odour of passive-aggressive butthurt: The WSL supports Resolution No. 20-12 and commends the work of Council member Heidi Tsuneyoshi and the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing on this resolution. We are advocates of all positive steps that benefit and support gender equality and remain deeply committed to developing women’s surfing, aiming for long-term sustainable growth.
Heidi’s resolution then details steps forwards for gender equality including the Tokyo Olympics, WSL equal pay, a women’s Jaws event and Keala Kennelly’s Eddie Invite, before going back on the offensive: WHEREAS, unfortunately, despite this progress, gender discrimination still persists in professional surfing contests and events, including those that hold competitions on public land or otherwise utilize public venues or public resources; and
WHEREAS, for example, the failure of promoters and leagues to mandate that a womens division be included in all events on the World Championship Tour, effectively creates a loophole to equal pay achievements…..
and about 50 more WHEREAS…..which basically state it’s on public land, we dish out the permits and make the rules etc etc.
To which the WSL came in meek and mild as a lamb: Since the resolution just passed, and the permits for our events are fixed and the event schedules have now been set for several months, we are not currently in a position to immediately commit to adding a women’s division for our events on the North Shore. We plan to have further discussions with the Department of Parks and Recreations to understand their position and their timeline for the integration of a women’s division into existing events on the North Shore for which permits have already been issued.
Before signing off with another ever so slightly sniffy end note: We look forward to continuing to work with the Honolulu City Council and our partners to explore sustainable opportunities for the expansion of women’s surfing both on the North Shore and around the world.
Couple of things.
First, any parent/coach of a fifteen-year-old female athlete and by athlete I mean surfer better make sure their charge has a functioning Pipe game by the time they turn pro.
Second; what’s your favourite use of the world sustainable?
The greenwash, we-are-causing-no-harm meaning, or the more hard-edged economic we’ll-give-the-gals-what-the-market-can-afford-to-pay-them meaning?
I think the WSL presser writer’s use of the second meaning was very masterly, or mistressly.
Whatever the case may be.
Gals at Pipe?
I’m down with Heidi a hundred million per cent.
I also feel sorry Sophie’s legacy is under attack while the exit door is still swinging, especially from the sisterhood.
Thirdly, is there any female athlete in the current Top 17 with a functioning Pipe game?
Fourthly, is Tulsi 2020 officially over?
Despite requests being made, at time of writing Honolulu Councillor Heidi Tsuneyoshi was unavailable for comment.
*At least a nice floral print aloha shirt on Casual Friday.