Heroism is not about gender
A view from Sue Unerman

Heroism is not about gender

What were Disney T-shirts manufacturers thinking when they produced girls' Avengers Assemble T-shirts with the logo "I need a hero" and boys' T-shirts with "Be a hero"? Did they reference the 4,000 years of patriarchy handbook?

And what was John Inverdale thinking with his comments about Marion Bartoli? I can’t help thinking that the other story around that story (as opposed to the casual sexism of the remark itself) is that no-one would have much cared if Inverdale had commented that Andy Murray wouldn’t have had much of a career as a catwalk model – least of all Murray. The furore around the story is as much of a sexism story as the sexism itself.

Just look at Bartoli when she warms up. Amazing stuff. Fast, dogged, incessant. Whatever was on Inverdale’s mind (and who knows), the training that Bartoli undertakes is extraordinary, to say the least. And here, she is using bungee cords to make the workout harder than it could ever be in reality.

It’s interesting when you consider the training we put people through in media. It tends to be of technique and skills, and perhaps team work. Is there a role for extreme meeting training, where everything that could possibly be thrown at you is to see if you’ve got championship potential? Or pitch practice where everything that could go wrong does? Some would say that we do this at MediaCom with our now legendary Real World Pitching annual contest, but Bartoli’s example would take it to a whole new level.

Meanwhile, the Iron Man may be wearing a Bartoli T-shirt in his Manhattan penthouse this week.

Sue Unerman is the chief strategy officer at MediaCom