Wednesday, 16 January 2013

If you're good enough then that's all that should matter...

I was really pleased to read today that some women could appear in the Second XI of Sussex cricket club - particularly Sarah Taylor.  The article is under a title with a quote from Mark Lane, who coaches England's women's cricket team stating that they could one day play the county game.  My response is why not! I'm glad someone's finally saying this to start the discussion.  I've long thought that there should be no reason for team sports to force segregation, surely all teams want the best players - irrespective of age, race or gender, if you're good enough why should being born the wrong sex get in the way?

I guess the major objection would be that it would reduce the relevance of the female only game - at a time when it's improving massively (and in another team sport - football, England's women have secured a large - though in my opinion not sufficient, pay rise).  I don't think this should really be an issue, all that should matter is letting each person fulfil their potential and each team becoming the best they can be.  The only people who will lose out should Sarah, or another woman play in the county game would be the one man they replaced from the team - someone who presumably the selectors feel isn't as good as them so obviously needs to improve their own game.

I don't think it would be easy for a woman to make the step up.  You see the fastest female bowlers bowling in the high 70 miles per hour, where most male seam bowlers reach a minimum of 80, with the fastest getting into the 90s.  I know from personal experience that going from facing 70mph bowling to 80mph is almost a completely different game.  If she can do it though, there should be no problem, I for one am hoping that she does represent Sussex Second XI this year, then who knows.

Why I'm not sad about HMV...

I started this blog a while ago, but didn't finish it, I had the title of "Why I'll no longer be shopping at HMV" - so I've now rewritten it.

People who know me should be surprised by this, given just how much I'm an advocate of owning the physical version of things (i.e. CD's rather than downloading music).  I wrote a blog post on the issue back in 2011 when it was rumoured record companies would stop issuing CD's.  So the news that HMV has appointed an administrator should sadden me... however I haven't shopped there for a few months and had no plans to go back.

You see, as a white, heterosexual  middle class male, I don't face discrimination often... however I do in one issue, I admit it's no where near as extreme as other people face discrimination but it is discrimination none the less.  You see, I'm a metal head.  I like metal music and like many people who listen to metal music I like to fit with a particular image.  I'm not the most extreme, I can comfortably fit into most social scenarios and wear a suit to work, wear fairly trendy clothes when I'm out with certain people, but also baggy jeans and band shirts or even cyber goth attire for industrial nights out.  The main point though is, like many of my friends and social peers I have long hair.  Even though my job is a professional one I've had long hair for about 11 or 12 years and it's never been a problem - I just tie it back.  

How does this relate to HMV?  Well they banned it.  Very rock and roll.  The country's major music shop banning long hair and extreme tattoos and piercings.  In response to criticism a spokesperson said:

"It goes without saying that we want our work colleagues to feel valued as individuals who can express their personalities, but it's also important that we balance this against the needs and expectations of our customers, who, ultimately, have to be at the heart of everything we do."

Well, as a customer my expectation was that they would hire the best person for the job, which at HMV is the person who's most knowledgeable about their area (films, music, games etc) whilst being comfortable talking to the customer.  I don't know about anyone else, but if I see someone and it looks like they eats, sleeps and breathes music/a lifestyle similar to that then I'd be more likely to listen to their opinion on music in comparison with someone who was just a well turned out sales person.

To sell me music that I wasn't going to buy anyway you have to live music!
Anyway, I know it may sound petty and it's probably shooting myself in the foot but I wont be shedding a tear for HMV's problems, even if that means it'll be harder for me to buy music in person at least when I do see a shop selling music I wont be offended by the fact I'd know that they wouldn't employ me.