David Moyes isn’t sexist, suggesting it offends me as a female journalist

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Yesterday social media went wild with the news of Sunderland manager David Moyes comments to BBC Newcastle and Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks.

I initially heard about the conversation on the radio yesterday morning on the way to work and it wasn’t the recording that was played but a quote. I’ll be the first to admit when I heard “just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman” I thought wow that’s pretty outrageous. Then I heard the recording in full.

The video, which was published by the Daily Star on Monday, captured the manager reacting to a question on whether he had considered resigning;

“You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman. Careful the next time you come in.”

You would be unwise to pass a comment without listening to the audio as the exchange was humorous and that is clear from both Moyes and Sparks as they were laughing during the ending of the interview and the reporter did not make a complaint, although colleagues were unimpressed when they heard what had been said.

I personally could not believe some of the articles I read throughout the day from male and female journalists in the UK many of which suggested Moyes was a sexist and his behaviour shows “old-fashioned sexism is still lurking”.

Don’t get me wrong do I feel sexism is still a problem for female journalists particularly those involved in sports? Absolutely. Do I believe David Moyes is part of the problem? Not in the slightest.

For four years I studied journalism in the hope that one day I would be able to pursue it as a full time career. From an early age I always knew sports was the area I wanted to specialise in but I also found writing about many other topics interested me too. I cant say I have never experienced sexism in this career but I feel I choose to ignore much of what people today would be “outraged” by.

If as a woman you cover a football game or any sporting event and someone doesn’t agree with you, you will find many people feel the need to tell you on social media, for example Twitter.

I have no problem with someone telling me my opinion is “rubbish” or that “I don’t know what I’m talking about” because my male colleagues get the same but where it is different is when you write an article and no longer is the content important to reference but your appearance or the fact you are a “slut”.

This is something that happens all the time in this area and it is something I can confidently say doesn’t happen when a man writes a piece. These are the type of everyday sexism that I have a problem with.

Also the comment of “I read her piece its not bad for a woman” anyone that says they aren’t aware of this just have to look at articles posted online daily, its so common now it’s expected.

After four years of study all you want when you leave college is to be treated no different to the man sitting beside you in the press conference. I don’t want to hear “let her go first she’s a woman” or “ah make sure you get a woman to ask a question too”. I don’t want things made easy for me and I certainly don’t expect it.

When I heard the fully played audio of what David Moyes had said to Vicki Sparks I smiled. That is exactly how I expected to be treated in an interview the same as a man. I should also point out I don’t condone violence but if you heard the recording you will know exactly what I mean.

He wasn’t threatening to attack her. He was making a lighthearted joke like he would if it had been any other male journalist that asked him a question he didn’t like.

I don’t know Vicki personally so cannot speak on her behalf but can speak for myself and I wouldn’t be happy if I was going to interview a football manager and the attitude was to “go easy on her because she’s a woman” have we not moved on from that?

To those who suggest Moyes has brought shame on the game and showed that “old fashioned sexism still exists” is rather insulting and takes away from the real issues that female journalists face on a day to day basis.

All we want to be is treated equally, Moyes does that and now we have a case of alleged “sexism”. It really is a sad state of affairs, what do people want? Equality or to be permanently outraged and offended?