Lost somewhere in between the arguments of white feminist privilege and intersectionality and feminism not being important, there are positive things going on in the fight for equality. I understand you've been super busy building an effigy of Caitlin Moran in time for the Firework Night and you probably missed it. But don't worry! I'm here to help.
Yesterday, the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) met at the House of Lords to discuss women in sport with the likes of Clare Balding, Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger, Harriet Harman, shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, as well as Lady Grey-Thompson and Barbara Keeley MP.
WSFF warned that the Olympic legacy is in danger of failing women, citing worrying statistics similar to those been outlined by Stylist's Fair Game petition, such as the fact that nine out of 10 girls aged 14 fail to meet official guidelines for physical activity, and four out of five women are not taking enough exercise. WSFF called for a national strategy which "connects and examines every aspect of women’s sport from the elite level, through adult female participation at community level, right the way to girls’ participation in PE and sport in school."
The discussion actually seemed to make progress and outlined several points of action that will work as solutions for this daunting task of getting more women involved in sport and fitness. Harriet Harman suggested that the Equality Act be exercised more and that we should be "strident, stroppy and don't back down", while Katherine Grainger emphasized the importance of role models:
"The standard of women's sport, that's what we proved this year. Those moments in the Olympics created role models. One of biggest legacies we can have is on girls and this new choice of role models, all different shapes and sizes and backgrounds. It is not about getting into sport to become an Olympian it's about getting girls and women fit. It's about women feeling that being fit and healthy is a good thing. It's about access and opportunity. It's about creating a culture. There are so many benefits – social, physical, health – it's a no-brainer."
Unlike many other women-focused discussion groups or debates, what impresses me the most is how solution focused this meeting seems to have been. Harman initially introducing a nine point plan as a solution, but the number of points quickly grew, with Balding adding her key solutions of "imagery, investment and information".
I love what this meeting has set out to achieve, but I think one of the main points that we, as the female public, have to remember is that it's up to us. If we've read these statistics and we care about the Olympic legacy and our health and well-being, we have a responsibility to help support women in sport, and get our asses off the sofa. The CEO of WSFF, Sue Tibballs put it quite plainly:
"Currently we have a media that values male achievements over females' and a prevailing culture where girls grow up wanting to be thin rather than active and healthy. This has to change or the Olympic legacy will have failed for women."
How could anyone argue with that?
Fore more information, please visit wsff.org.uk
Image via Robbie Dale