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"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Elizabeth Cady Stanton



Friday, 10 August 2012

Olympic Politics

I had to share this blogpost I found because reading it made me very annoyed.

Here is where my problem lies:

"... the media here in Australia began to pus the "female athlete as warrier" idea in the promotional videos ... it was difficult not to notice the mannish physiques of the female competitors - for the swimmers wide shoulders, flat breasts and narrow hips, for the runners flat breasts and six packs [interjection: google is trying to spell check 'breasts' into 'tits' ... f**k you google]. And then the notion was pushed that we were supposed to celebrate these body types as the new female sexy ... I told myself that it was only elite athletes who would disfigure their bodies in this way and that most women who took up running and swimming would just add a bit of tone to their physiques. And then the female boxing started. I just turned off the TV and pretended it didn't exist ... But last night I switched on and the first thing I saw was two women kicking each other's heads (I think it was Taekwondo). Enough. If that's the Olympics I don't care for it any longer. "

Seriously? Being healthy is somehow "disfiguring" one's body? Women taking part in boxing and Taekwondo is somehow a terrible thing (no mention, however, of how terrible it is that men also participate in such inherently violent sports!)?

Katie Taylor, Irish  four-time lightweight world champion,
and an apparently "disfigured" woman. I actually think
she's quite pretty.

No mention of how disgusting it is that all the media seems able to focus on is the athletes' bodies and worry about whether athletic women are "sexy" or not; when instead the real issue is whether or not they are actually good at what they have trained years and years to do. No mention about how extreme weightlifting (with all those popping out muscles!) somehow disfigures men's bodies.  No complaints over the crap women athletes sometimes go through - from the outright dismissal of women in sports (I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say that women's sports are just not as exciting to watch as men's sports - simply because they are women), to the inability of the media and the world to treat these women athletes as anything except sex kittens (and when women defy this notion, they are often treated with outright disrespect - from making fun of their "manly" bodies to making fun of their convictions).

Apparently Jessica Ennis is androgynous.
I just can't tell if she's a woman or not, can you?

The only legitimate point here is the author's issue with the reporter's reaction to rhythmic gymnastics - I agree that was stupid:

"I was very disappointed when I sat down with her [the reporters daughter] just now to watch the Olympics and NBC is broadcasting Rhythmic Gymnastics. That's five beautiful young ladies dressed in skimpy outfits, wearing too much makeup, each prancing around the floor tossing a ball in the air."

Those women are in the Olympics for goodness sake! Just because they look pretty doing it does not negate all the hard work and sacrifices they made to get to this point! And I'd like to see this reporter "prance around" the way these women do!    

Why do we have an obsession with women's bodies? Who cares if women are toned, with flatter breasts and smaller hips? Who cares if they're wearing make-up? Who cares if they aren't?
Gold-medal winner Meseret Defar just going ahead and
defying some more stereotypes! I heart her hugely! I wonder
if she would be "womanly" enough for this blogger?
What about focusing on how amazing our women athletes are, instead of worrying about whether they are "womanly" enough or "manly" enough? It's downright ridiculous. If I had spent years training for a single event, and all the world could focus on was my abs, my arms, my outfit, or my make-up, I would be extremely pissed off. What about my talent, my hard work, and my SPORT? Hello???

Apparently (according to some reporter) doing this means
you somehow are no longer worthy of admiration or status
as an athlete. Because this doesn't require hard work,
training, strength, and skill at all, right?


  1. AMEN SISTER. Love this post. Is it ok if I cite this on my blog?