Tag Archives: media
So over at Hoyden About Town, there’s been a comment thread relating to this post on the discrepancies between the male and female uniforms for many Olympic sports. It discusses the fact that it cannot be reduced to performance issues if the men do not wear similarly small and tight fitting attire. It also began by discussing the cropping of the image of a Brazillian beach volleyball player (female of course) so that the picture in the Sydney Morning Herald was of this players arse…almost up it you might say giving us the chance to study exactly how well she’d taken care of her ‘Brazilian’ waxing.
So before you all get sidetracked into “clearly Fuckpoliteness you have a problem with the human body” and such claptrap – the point of this post, AND of that over at Hoydens is NOT that bodies are a problem, is NOT that nudity, or near nudity is a problem, it is the fact that this is *required* of female athletes in contrast to what is required of male athletes. That world class female athletes due only to the fact that they are female are *required* by the dress codes to subject themselves to the male gaze, to submit to being seen as a sex object first and an athlete second (bikinis are *required* to be no more than the maximum allowable fabric thankyou) purely in order to play the sport at which they are the best in the world. Ok? So if we’re going to argue, let’s argue about *that* and not some imaginary scenario where it’s about prudishness. I like bums, boobs and bodies in general just as much as the next person.
So. Some of the comments went into the ‘personal choice’ and ‘personal freedom’ arguments. Like “you should be GLAD you are ALLOWED to wear skimpy stuff”. First, we are not talking about being allowed to, we are talking about being required to. There is a big difference. As tig tog noted in her comment on the thread at Hoyden, Indian beach volleyball players refused to wear the bikinis - but the only reason these women could refuse the lycra and play in loose clothing like the men is because the rules allow “a change in the dress code out of respect for the religious, cultural and ethical sentiments of participating countries”. Not the women themselves mind you, only their country. So you can’t just say “No thanks, I’d like a pair of baggy shorts as I can’t be arsed with the waxing and I’m sick of sand wedgies”. As one commenter at Hoydens said cheekily
So if I’m a professional athlete, I can’t get out of wearing sexy clothes unless I’m religious?
“sky daddy says I can’t wear revealing outfits” is the only excuse to get out of it??
So there is no individual choice at stake here when the rules require it and the only way you can get out of it without being disqualified is if your *country* has certain beliefs about the appropriateness of the teeny tiny bikinis and therefore the *whole* team objects. If you have a problem – tough shit. Suck it up my friend, if you didn’t want to be ogled and wanked over, you shouldn’t have tried to play sport…what do you think you are, a man? And if you’re gonna keep whinging, well guess what, you’re off the team, just like that. You could be the shit hottest of the shit hot, but if you won’t do the bikini then you don’t get to play.
Further there is some discussion of the fact that women’s sports are being told that to ensure an audience sufficient to keep them on the tele, they need to sex it on up cos (so the logic goes) (hetero) men watch the sport, (gay men and women apparently lack the Sport Appreciation Gene) and (hetero) men like the tits and arse and require that ALL (with the exception of any they deem to be ew yuck) tits and arse be on display at ALL times, ergo, since (hetero) men are apparently all unrefined apes, we simply must combine the mandated twin (hetero) male passions of SPORT SPORT SPORT and FHM models into one, and (hetero) men might continue to watch you enough that we can lower ourselves to keep your silly “pretending at sports” on tele. Of course no one bothers question whether or not men are in fact not all great neanderthals who must must must have their beer, steak, misogyny and rough-house sportwatching all together at once. No one bothers to say to those neanderthals who DO think all this is A-OK with THEM (and who are only concerned with their own happiness) “Hey dudes, women playing sport? It’s not about your cocks”. No no, women will give way and accomodate…that’s what they’re supposed to do right? So where were we?? Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s all down to the individual choices of the individual women.
You know even if you could get me soundbites of every friggin beach volleyball player ever to say “I LOVE the bikini”, given it’s mandated, given women know the marketing pressure they’re under, given that women were little girls who learned VERY quickly that no matter what they do in their life nothing will win them quite as much glory as being deemed Teh Hot Chik and they are allowed to be acknowledged as excelling when and only when they’re hot enough to excuse their audacity – I don’t buy that it’s all explained away and made ok by recourse to the mantra of ”individual choice”.
Because even where individual players are ok with the bikini wearing it doesn’t *stop there* does it? Have you heard the commentators? Continual comments on the looks and vulnerability of the female athletes, on their social lives, calling them ‘girls’, talking about how when their mums aren’t there you just wanna give them a hug. Not only are female athletes *required* to dress to display every part of their body, but they are apprehended as ‘sweet pretty girls’ first and athletes second. (Bring on the counter examples of the weightlifters, I defy you…you know that counterexamples where you mock a woman’s *lack* of acceptable femininity don’t disprove that the commentary of women as decoration, objects of vulnerability, bearers of warm smiles that light up the nations hearts, the continual commenting on appearance, and *judging* femininity favourably or unfavorably and calling grown women, athletes top of their field ‘girls’ is an issue right?)
THEN we have the issue of EVEN if individual athletes are ok, even happy with being rated and assessed and often demeaned in such ways (please see Gold Diggers picture on my previous post – women who kick the arse of prior world record holders don’t win/achieve/earn gold…they do what women do and they DIG IT) what of the rest of society and the effects it has on us to keep reinforcing that women are for our visual appreciation/children/SEXAYYYY first, and anything else much much later…I mean really….what of the fact that every other woman (in fact every other man woman and child) in Australia is currently being subjected to the salivating lewd boring comments designed to signal one manly man to another how WELL you perform your manly masculinity over “Heheh…beach volleyball…hehe…hi five hot chicks for us…shall we wank to a porn video later” style comments.
I mean fucking REALLY??? Wow, you are just so UNIQUE for noticing and appreciating the oh so rare sight of young thin hairfree chicks in bikinis. It’s not just that you dig this image, I don’t give a good goddamn flying fuck what gets you off. Really. It’s that you think it’s ok to subject these and all other women to it, it’s that you don’t acknowledge that women are every day subjected to your bonehead assessing and ranking over where they fall ACCORDING TO YOU on the I’d Bone Her Scale.
You appear here not to be *getting* the difference – that you don’t have to perform and be judged in these same ways, not getting the links between this pervocracy and sexual violence against women, so where a woman performs the HOTNESS she is required to perform to a sufficient standard – if she actually does what is required of her – then if she gets raped it’s kind of *her fault* for provoking the dude, you don’t seem to get for a moment that you can wear as much or as little clothing as you like without thinking for a second that should YOU bare skin YOU would be considered to have been ‘asking’ to be raped).
I mean we have to deal with this every friggin day ANYWAY (see discussions HERE at Hoyden regarding the social pressures on women to look ‘good’ if they don’t want to be ignored in every aspect of their life) and we have to put up with bullshit double standards/harrasments/whatever reaction men *feel like* having to every woman who walks past/dares to exist. And NOW we have to sit around as if we’re not there while you bond with one another in our presence over how hot *those chicks* are, (all the rest being invisible and not worth worrying about offending) how awesome it is for you that their sport means more perving for you, how *mmm mm mmmmm nekkid chicks are ALL for me*…anyway. I’m tired now.
If you can’t have any goddamned respect for the athletes, or for the women in your life/at your workplace just COS they’re women, nay because they are living breathing humans, let’s indulge in the age old “imagine it’s your daughter” routine…imagine a/ your daughters being commented on like that, imagine b/ what it does to your daughter to hear others, or indeed you audibly objectifying/rating/comparing and swapping women and your Great Shared Ladder of Bonability in front of them…imagine what you’re doing to your sons…oh fuck. Just stop being such dicks and have a think about it for once eh?
[See also this discussion at Larvatus, the post is great, and is being engaged with/dismissed out of hand to varying degrees depending on the commentor]