Do We Really Hate Our Boyfriends Watching Sport As Much As We’re Made Out To?

Do We Really Hate Our Boyfriends Watching Sport As Much As We’re Made Out To?
Courtenay Fitzgerald


If you’ve watched any test cricket over the past month, you will likely have seen the Vodafone Cricket Live ads in which various men are shown surreptitiously watching cricket in their Vodafone VBook. 

 These ads make me really, really cranky. Here’s why.

For those who haven’t seen the ad, the VBook “looks like a regular book, but with a secret compartment for your phone”. It’s designed to allow chaps to “get away with” watching the cricket while pretending to read books about wedding planning or lawnmower maintenance in the presence of their wife/girlfriend/fiancée. The implication is: my significant lady won’t “let” me watch the cricket so I hide it by pretending to do something will let me do, like care about our wedding plans or fix things around the house.

I’m not laying all of this at Vodafone’s feet, because they’re not alone in perpetuating this kind of sexist stereotyping (hello beer ads), but they’ve made my miss list this week because, as I see it, the commercials are suggesting that:

  • Women don’t watch sport. They disapprove of the fact that men do. Women see watching sport as a waste of time.
  • Women want men to care about ‘girly’ things like planning a wedding.
  • When they’re not caring about girly things, women want men to be doing useful things around the house. All those things they’ve been nagging about for months. Because women are nags who are incapable of fixing leaky taps themselves.
  • Men have to hide and lie about doing what they really want to do. Otherwise they’ll get in trouble (by implication, if they’re in trouble, they won’t get sex).

Seriously, Vodafone, it’s Twenty-fucking-Thirteen.

 Firstly, women watch sport. My all-girl household has Foxtel exclusively for the AFL and the Rugby. I have spent at least 5 full days this summer in front of the cricket*. The number of camera shots we get during the test of girls bending over (seriously, there was a 5-second upskirt on Day 1 at the SCG) or wearing tiny tank tops would seem to suggest that quite a few women even go to the cricket**. Presumably they don’t go just to get their bits broadcast to the nation. Even if you’re a person who hates sport, are you really going to begrudge your partner watching it if it makes them happy?

Secondly, more significantly, is this really where we are in terms of how we see male-female relationships in this country? Women nag and men lie so they don’t get in ‘trouble’ for engaging in a perfectly legitimate pastime? Surely this kind of douchey gender stereotyping belongs back in the 1980s?

 What do you think? Are you a female sport lover? Or do you hate it when your partner spends all of Saturday in front of the footy? Does this type of advertising actually represent you? Or anyone you know?

*incidentally, one of those days was spent with a male friend of mine who is currently enthusiastically involved in planning his wedding.

**I’m not even going to go there on the fact that the Southern Stars, our women’s cricket team, is widely considered the best in the world.



  1. JicyJac 5 years ago

    I don’t watch sport myself, I am not even vaguely interested in the AFL or Rugby and cricket bores me to tears, I don’t mind a bit of Tennis over summer. I much prefer to participate in sport. But I don’t give a toss if my husband wants to watch it as long as he doesn’t expect me to join him – I’m happy to sit next to him reading a book though, he really only ever watches the Friday night footy anyway, he is also more of a participater. I would however get mighty peeved if he parked himself in front of the cricket (or anything else on the idiot box for that matter) for a whole entire day, while I did all the housework and looked after the kids.

  2. Rach aka Stinkb0mb 5 years ago

    *Love* watching cricket – we’ve got a double header of the ASHS to look forward to this year and I CAN’T WAIT!!!

    I’m also a lover of rugby and last year, on our first night of our holiday in the Snowies, I stayed up with Guv til 4am watching [and then celebrating!] his [English Premier League] Football team win the premiership for the first time in 40+ years.

    I’ve never had a prob with Guv watching sport – far from it, it’s one of his passions, why would I stop him [or grumble about it when he does it] from doing something he enjoys?

    • Smaggle 5 years ago

      I actually can’t stand the cricket but my man watches Formula One which I also can’t stand. I just watch a TV on my ipad while he’s watching it. No biggie.

  3. auroralapetite 5 years ago

    I’m not a bit sports nut nor is my boyfriend, but I can’t understand the motive behind the stereotype of a woman banning her boyfriend or husband from watching sports if that’s what makes him happy. Honestly I really hope it’s a outdated gender stereotype than anyone really acting like that.

    • Smaggle 5 years ago

      Me too! That’s why I published this. I come from a non-sport watching household (bar the Formula One)

  4. Lou 5 years ago

    I’ll watch anything except golf, soccer or rugby league. Hubby and I watch every game of ANZ Championship netball over the season, at least one game of AFL per week and anthing related to the World Rally Championship. I used to watch a lot of cricket and it was hubby who begged for mercy, as he can’t stand cricket.

    This ad is up there with that appalling ad where the woman is washing dishes, the bloke drying them, until some sport comes on tv so he grins and shrugs and pisses off to the couch to watch, while she smiles and shakes her head as if to say ‘boys will be boys’. Infuriating, to say the least.

  5. Lydia Lee 5 years ago

    So I will talk to anyone about the Dakar because I get quite obsessed by it & had spent 5 mins talking about it to this guy at my son’s b’day party and said how the coverage was hopeless but all the drivers were on twitter and it was great as they’d talk to you (and keep you up to date) and he said “that’s great, especially if you want to have an affair”. So no matter how much you can talk about sport, no matter how knowledgable, some people will only ever assume women have no real interest in sport. As I said before, they where helmets!! Who knows what half of them look like? But give me a bike tearing over a dune or the trucks flying thru the desert & that’s poetry and majesty, beauty and unbelievable endurance….

  6. Lydia Lee 5 years ago

    Ryping on phone. Sorry for all typos- argh!

  7. Jane 2 years ago

    I do get upset about sport watching, but here is why… I work nights and weekends. I miss out on a lot of family time with my husband and kids. To come home knowing he has sat around watching sports all afternoon (leaving 90% of the housework to me) then continue to watch when the kids are in bed and I would just prefer a chance to watch something myself just pisses me off.

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