Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson: A Slap Not a Punch

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson is one of a number of celebrities declaring "this is what a feminist looks like". There is an index for this Fawcett Society initiative here. They allowed a few feminist men a look in too. Which was kind considering the overall pattern of salary and other discrimination which persists (next post).

Dame Tanni was our guest of honour at the 75th Anniversary Dinner of the XXI Club here in Manchester a couple of weeks ago, giving an entertaining and very inspiring after dinner speech. Highly recommended if you get a chance to meet her or hear her speak.

But did you know TGT originally wanted to be a paralympic basketball player? But alas she was fouled off for punching an opponent. That was within a minute of starting her first competitive game!

And this was in fact a travesty. "THAT. WAS. NOT. A. PUNCH." she told the referee "My hand was open. THAT. WAS. A. SLAP." But they would not relent.

She could not, she says, catch, pass or shoot. But basketball's loss was athletics' gain. And the rest is paralympic history.

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