I recently participated in a 5 km run for the first time and the folks who organised the event are now free to send me e-mail about upcoming events. This squash event has a funny yet questionable catch phrase, “show us some balls”.
First, this is obviously aimed at the Dutch – fine. No mistakes, great, no actual Dunglish.
However, I find this cheesy in a bad way. I love cheesy, but this is borderline. It could just be me. Sure I chuckled, but as a woman, I don’t like it much in the same way I don’t like e-mails about business events that suggest I should loosen my tie and dress casual. That sort of thing.
I would like to know what you think!
September 29th, 2008 at 10:42 am
This phrase was definitely written by a male. As a female, I don’t like this phrase much either. I guess whoever wrote it didn’t think much of it and just thought it was a funny phrase with a pun on the ball-thing, but it has a sexist connotation. It’s like they’re asking for stereotypical male traits, like competitiveness, aggression and energy. It almost feels like women are being excluded from this event. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but there’s more to this than just the pun on the ball-thing.
September 29th, 2008 at 3:47 pm
Show us some balls –> it’s about a game with a ball in it
Itâ€™s like theyâ€™re asking for … competitiveness, aggression and energy –> sounds like a sports game to me
I’m male, but to think this thing is sexist in some way, kind of far fetched… This could just as well be a woman’s thing. Really, women can be agressive too you know… *shivers*
(And if you would actually like to show something literally, I’m sure they’ll accept breasts as well…) Okay, I’ll start running now…
September 29th, 2008 at 3:48 pm
I used to play squash and any time there was a chance for players to organize themselves into teams for tournaments, there would be at least one team name involving a ball-related pun. Incidentally, some of the most competitive/aggressive players were women. I don’t object to the tone so much as to the fact that the joke is a bit tired.
Aside from that, and in the absence of Dunglish, my main criticism would be: why does it have to be in English, yet again? In fact, some kind of wordplay in Dutch involving ‘ballen’ would work just as well and the creators would be able to judge for themselves how appropriate the tone was.
September 29th, 2008 at 9:56 pm
I agree that it is a bit far-fetched. I am following a course about Gender and Sexuality at the moment, that’s why I’m a bit more sensitive for these things right now. This was actually one of the examples we dealt with in class. I think two months ago I wouldn’t have minded it that much.
September 30th, 2008 at 4:39 pm
Sure, balls are a bit sexist, but I don’t think that “show us some ovaries” has the same, erm, bounce to it 🙂
October 1st, 2008 at 9:28 am
I think it is not more offensive to women than that “Only the balls should bounce” campaign of Triumph was to men (http://bp1.blogger.com/_Kyj6MaNLbVE/Ry-eIsIW13I/AAAAAAAAC8s/iUJ5Oafe3lc/s1600-h/annabh.jpg).
October 10th, 2008 at 10:47 pm
@ Jona Lendering: het was niet balls maar ball in die ondergoedreclame. Het ging daarom niet over testikels maar over vrouwen die balsporten doen. Hier werden vrouwen, niet mannen gedenigreerd. En op een veel abjectere manier dan in die squash aankondiging naar mijn smaak.