Sportswomen CAN have it all, if by ‘all’ you mean lower wages, budget travel perks, sexist negging and people condescendingly asking if sportswomen can have it all.
Nicky Bryson

23 May 2016 - 1:49 PM  UPDATED 23 May 2016 - 1:50 PM

Ah, the eternal question. Can women have it all? Can we juggle a career with making babies, managing school runs and keeping a nice house for our mens? No, wait. That isn’t this article. This one asks whether sportswomen can have it all.

Can sportswomen have a pro career?

Short answer: yes. You can totally have a pro sports career. Just be prepared to train twice as hard, get a second job, fight for every little bit of equality and have people ask whether you should be on the field in the first place. Like, every single day.

Can sportswomen have a WAG?

It makes sense to have a WAG. You should get one immediately. She can look after all the children, represent on the red carpet and travel the world by your side when you get drafted for the bigs. Not sure how’ll you afford a WAG, though because see the question below.

Setting tongues wagging: is the WAG life worth it?
‘WAGs’. The acronym paints a picture of leisure and glamour but is life as the wife or girlfriend of a professional athlete isn’t as glamorous as it seems.

Can sportswomen earn an equal wage?

LOLs, no. Okay, so maybe play tennis and you’ll come pretty close if you’re in the top tier of superstar players. Otherwise get used to shitty pay realisations like Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna earning less in a year than Socceroos captain Tim Cahill earns in a single game.

Lisa De Vanna opens up about the captaincy, the Matildas’ strike and the Olympics
We can always count on Lisa de Vanna to be candid! And this interview does not disappoint...

Can sportswomen travel in style?

You want to join the big boys in business class? You better upgrade using your own points. Haven’t you seen all the travel-expenses revelations about female athletes sitting way back in economy while the men live it up down at the pointy end?

Is this a genuine upgrade for women in sport?
Zela editor, Danielle Warby is a little discombobulated by the focus on more legroom over real gender equity in Australian sport.

Can sportswomen have children?

In a physical sense, yes, many sportswomen can have babies. But if you want a career and children, you are better off impregnating your WAG. You won’t be seeing any decent maternity leave, carer travel expenses, or wide support for the idea that you could give birth and then return to the game without condescending “how does she do it?” questions.

Can sportswomen have a media profile?

You could, if you are in the tiny percentage women deemed interesting enough to promote. Like, maybe you are Serena Williams or something. You should also be superhot (for naked photoshoot purposes) and attainable (read, definitely not a lesbian).

Get out and stay out: Michelle Heyman
During the 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, we chatted to some of Australia’s out women in sport about what it means to be open about your sexuality as an elite athlete.

Can sportswomen have fans?

Yes but you will have to build the fanbase yourself, against all odds. Your team website is gonna be really crappy, merchandise will hard to find, stadiums won’t be built to adjust to a smaller crowd and TV broadcasting will be scant. But that’s okay, right? You have time to wrangle all of that while you’re having it all.

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Caroline Buchanan’s social media presence is helping her secure sponsors - and other athletes could also benefit.

Can sportswomen exist without sexist negging?

Nope. Go check out a picture of crocodile. See that thick skin? That’s the kind of thing you need to grow (but a hot one because naked photoshoots). Everywhere you turn, someone is going to be shouting down your right to exist. Commentators, tournament owners, male players, online trolls. Take your pick. 

Reaction: Raymond Moore and THOSE comments
Get down on your knees lady players! Raymond Moore, CEO of India Wells and man of a certain age who should know better, said some dumb and ignorant things about women's tennis. The internet, understandably, reacted.

Can sportswomen continue to fight for it all?

Yeah, we’ve never stopped. It all looks like bad fucking news, right? But when have we ever stopped fighting for our place on the starting line? We know nothing will be handed to us on an equal silver platter, so we just get out there and get on with it. That’s why you are reading this on a women’s sports site, that’s why the profile of women in sport is slowly lifting, and that’s why our female athletes are smashing barriers across the board. And we’ll keep fighting until this is no longer a question that needs to be asked.