International Women’s Day: Billie Jean and balance
I haven’t watched Battle of the Sexes, the 2017 movie about the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, but in honor of International Women’s Day, I think I will.
The movie features Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs, and focuses on the contention by former number one tennis player Riggs that at age 55 he could easily beat any of the best women players of the time because the men’s game was far superior. After much deliberation, King — who wanted to see equal pay (prize money) for female and male players — accepts the challenge.
For King, the issue was not women versus men, but about equality. In the film, set in 1973, she is quoted as saying: “I’m not saying women are better. I’ve never said that. I’m saying we deserve some respect.”
King was the first female player to win more than $100,000 in a single year, but this was much less than what was available to men.
The tennis match put a giant spotlight on the issue of gender equality, as 90 million people tuned into “The Battle of the Sexes,” on TV. Gender equality is something we’re still striving for today — 46 years after the contest portrayed in the film took place.
In a letter written by King in The Battle of the Sexes: Film Discussion Guide, published by the Women’s Sports Foundation and 21st Century Fox, she says: “The ‘Battle of the Sexes’ was more about social change than tennis. Historically, it would become one of the defining moments in the women’s movement in the U.S., one of the defining moments in sports and one of the most important days of my life. Years later, Bobby and I both agreed that we made — and changed — history with that match. It was a win for me and for the Women’s Tennis Association (which had been founded earlier that year), and a win for all women — empowering them to stand for equality across all industries. It also created the first generation of men of the women’s movement — men who wanted their daughters to have the same rights and opportunities as their sons.”
Today is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women such as Billie Jean King, who helped bring the issue of equal pay to the forefront. The day is also used as a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s theme is Balance for Better.
Internationalwomensday.com suggests keeping these points in mind:
- A balanced world is a better world.
- Gender balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business and economic issue. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
- The rise of women is not about the fall of men.
- Advocacy, inclusive mindsets and tangible action are needed from all.
- Everyone can play a role in forging gender parity. Collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key.
What’s in the Pipeline
- Jan is working on CA course components and eLearning QA.
- Sydney is creating custom eLearning courses and working on custom projects.
- Carol is editing courses, and editing custom projects.
- Ben is working on custom projects.
- Dylan is creating graphics for custom and internal customers.
- Fixed not being able to log in when using the Samsung Internet Browser on an Android device.
Courses released this month:
Here is the official count of courses for both courseware and eLearning:
Battle of the Sexes trivia
- In 1973, Billie Jean King was 29 and Bobby Riggs was 55. At the time of filming, Emma Stone was 28 and Steve Carell was 54.
- Emma Stone put on 15 pounds of muscle for this film.
- Elton John, a friend of King’s, wrote his hit single “Philadelphia Freedom” in honour of her.
- The film premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017.
- Eric Christian Olsen plays Lornie Kuhle in the movie, and wears Kuhle’s outfit from 1973. Kuhle still owned it, and allowed the production to use it. A tennis player himself, Kuhle was Riggs’ manager, coach, and promoter for the 1973 Battle of the Sexes match.
*A reminder that Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend, with clocks being turned forward one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday to 3 a.m.