“If I had lost I would have emigrated to Vegas”

// 16 December 2008

The wise words of darts player Wayne Mardle, who was given a run for his money by leading female arrers thrower Anastasia Dobromyslova in last month’s Grand Slam of Darts. If she’d triumphed, she would have been the first woman to beat a man in a televised match.

She didn’t; Mardle won 5-4, but the closeness of the match clearly rankles from the evidence of this Guardian interview.

“I’m not joking. I would have emigrated to Vegas and you would have never seen me again. It would have been unbearable — especially on the exhibition scene. Every time it would be the same old story: ‘There’s a woman here, Wayne, that fancies her chances against you!’ I would never have heard the end of it. A lot of male players actually wanted me to lose — those who think I’m too brash. But most serious followers of the game understood how important it was that I beat her.

Thank goodness darts’s noble tradition has been upheld. Incidentally, Dobromyslova will be competing in this year’s PDC World Championship, starting this weekend – only the second-ever woman to do so.

Comments From You

Laura // Posted 17 December 2008 at 11:46 am

I’ve always thought there’s no reason why men and women couldn’t compete in darts, looks like the only real issue is men’s fragile egos. I hope she whips ’em.

Kez // Posted 17 December 2008 at 12:09 pm

Ah, the fragile male ego…. diddums.

Leigh Woosey // Posted 17 December 2008 at 12:14 pm

More of the “I’m not sexist but…” doublespeak.

Mardle: “”I’m of the opinion that if a woman is good enough to get into the world championships on merit she should be allowed to play. But I worry if it’s a wild-card pick and her inclusion costs the place of a far better male player.”

By that you mean that would have beaten you hands down, instead of just being as good as you? Why don’t YOU get excluded for a superior player then, eh Mardle?

Carrie // Posted 17 December 2008 at 12:59 pm

It occurred to me last night after I wrote the blog that I didn’t hear Mardle complaining when he got a wildcard entry to this year’s Premier League Darts, despite finishing bottom in the two previous years’ tournaments.

Anne Onne // Posted 17 December 2008 at 7:37 pm

Dude, we’re talking about DARTS, a sport where coordination, a steady hand and a keen eye is everything, and where body strength and Y chromosomes don’t really matter. There are sports where the physical advantages of men matter, but evidently, this isn’t one of them.

It’s funny that even when there’s no particular reason why men should be better at something than women, someone will feel that they just HAVE to be better than ALL women because their penis will shrivel away. Someone should tell them to grow up, since a ‘real man’ shouldn’t need to broadcast his maleness with chest-thumping.

I hope this encourages lots of women to participate: I suspect that women haven’t done that well in the sport comparative to men mainly because there’s this idea (like nearly all sports) that its NOT for women, and that women are worse at everything, so why bother.

Here’s to many women kicking his ass in the future. He deserves it :)

Kez` // Posted 18 December 2008 at 9:23 am

Darts is a traditionally blokey sort of thing, though, isn’t it? – all those associations with man-type things like pubs, beer and big fat bellies.

Poor things just don’t like women muscling in on their masculine preserves. Especially if it turns out they can do it just as well, if not better, than them.

Carrie // Posted 18 December 2008 at 4:11 pm

Eric Bristow was off and running about Anastasia today – not because she’s a woman, you understand, but because she is a wildcard entrant and not good enough. He fears for her first-round opponent – he is MARRIED and HAS A CHILD, so what will happen to him if he loses to her? Clearly his WORLD WILL CRUMBLE.

headey // Posted 13 January 2009 at 3:52 pm

(This is probably too late to be read, but…)

Mardle is clearly a quivering male whose own sense of self is only define as not being a woman. As Kes said; Diddums.

However, I have to disagree with Anne Onne that men are expected to succeedd in all sports (OK, just re-checked, she said “nearly all”). Show jumping seems to be one in which men and women do compete on equal terms. Sadly, I can’t think of any others. The sooner Dobromyslova beets Wardle and most of the other darts players, the better, imo. And, where are the champion women snooker players?

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds