There are days you wake up and think that the second wave never happened and it was all just a dream. Today was another of those days.
I cannot believe, in 2011, that sporting bodies such as Badminton World Federation force female sporting competitors into wearing obviously sexist attire. Their rationale for enforcing this code? To ‘boost flagging audiences for the women’s game’. Yes, holy crap, in 2011, sportswomen are being deliberately marketed, not on their sporting skills, but on their sexual objectification. This is a one-side sexualised promotion, because the males are not being forced to “sex it up” in order to get following. You can see this in the photo from the London Evening Standard, the article copied below.
I notice that the dude on the right is not mandated to wear tight bulge-revealing shorts, or short-shorts. But the women are ordered to wear skirts, not only skirts, but the dudes from the BWF and other badminton federations are expected to agree to a “maximum skirt length”. Yes, that’s right, maximum, not minimum! They aren’t much different from the beach volleyball mob, who set maximum bikini sizes. 😯
I sum it up thusly: Sexist dinosaurs.
Using female sports persons in this way, to “sex up” the games in order to attract more followers is pimping them. It is not taking the women’s competitions any more seriously at all, in fact, it is the opposite, it is trivialising female players by using them as sexualised titillation for the particular sports.
But, it’s only a skirt! you say. Well, the other element here is that pornified dudes love “up the skirt” shots, particularly when the skirt wearer does not know she is being photographed. The paparazzi love up the skirt shots of celebrities getting in and out of cars. Google sites or images for ‘up skirt’ or ‘up the skirt’. It is the sibling fetish to the bathroom obsession.
If you are still having trouble making the pornification and sporting skirt connection, the top picture in this post is sold as “Pleated Tennis Mini Skirt“.
Whilst I personally don’t have any interest in sports (or in women’s sports), the objectification, pornification and trivialising of women’s sports should be a concern to those who do follow women’s sports.
Feministatsea has done a post or two about the sexism still going on in work uniforms.
Plans for skimpy skirts for 2012 badminton get short shrift
Badminton chiefs have been attacked over “sexist” plans to force women players to wear skimpy skirts instead of shorts or face a fine at the London Olympics.
The proposed new dress code would come into effect for this summer’s world championships at Wembley Arena and would also apply to the 2012 Games.
Badminton World Federation chiefs believe the skirts-only policy – which they have backed after advice from sports marketing giant Octagon – will boost flagging audiences for the women’s game. But the new rules, due to be enforced at the weekend, have been delayed by protests from top players.
Imogen Bankier, one of Britain’s leading mixed doubles’ players, said: “I will fight to make sure this dated and simply sexist rule does not happen.”
Gail Emms, who won Olympic silver in 2004 in the mixed doubles with Nathan Robertson, is expected to defend women’s right to choose – a viewpoint thought to be shared by the sport’s governing body in this country, Badminton England, which declined to comment. Details of maximum skirt lengths will be agreed if the federation’s council approves the new rules.
It is thought they may follow the lead of beach volleyball chiefs who “sexed up” the Olympic game by prescribing maximum bikini sizes.
But Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said: “Athletes should be the ones who decide what they wear on court. This is not a very 21st-century approach.”
Women who insist on wearing shorts will be able to do so as long as they are concealed under a skirt. Above-the-knee Lycra shorts to minimise hamstring injuries would also be permitted.
The shorts ban would apply to top international tournaments but not to club players.
Darren Parks, the federation’s events director, said it was part of raising badminton’s profile and that of women players. He said the dress code would not discriminate against cultural or religious beliefs, despite objections from Muslim players.