Up yer skirt

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.

10 thoughts on “Up yer skirt

  1. jilla

    Some years ago the girls Olympic swim team held a poolside press conference to preview their new Sp**do suit. The coach made salacious comments about their opaque quality keeping him from boredom and sure perking things up — oh and better time too but that was secondary — hearty dudely laughter media and coach. The women who were showing it were humiliated but said nothing. The item played with matching commentary on the news. No censure at all.


  2. FAB Libber

    I recall women’s swimsuits got higher and higher cut on the leg, ewwww.
    Have just done a quick image search on ‘speedo suit for women’ and there are now a few with ‘shorts legs’. Saves doing the bikini line maintenance, which was getting extreme with the high cut fashion in women’s swimwear.

    There is something here about olympic swimsuits being see-through, although it seems to apply to ‘under infra-red’ and photoshopping.


  3. delphyne

    Why don’t they just go the whole hog and put the female players in bikinis? At least it would be honest.

    This is so humiliating for the women players.


  4. feministatsea

    Ugh, I really hate this. I plan on simply bringing my own pants and wear those. I have been warned by people that they could put me off the ship for that.


  5. Sargasso Sea

    Let us know if they start in on you about the pants, FAS because you have sisters behind you who are ready to back you up…

    The arguments you make in your post are more than sufficient for them to make the *skirt code* obsolete. Safety, people, safety.

    Same thing happened with the WNBA a while back, trying to sexxxay up the uniforms but I don’t know what came of it because I don’t follow sports anymore. Okay, I watch tennis. I was a big fan of Arantxa Sanchez back in the day. 😉


  6. Hecuba

    That’s discriminating against men. Why? Because if female sports players are forced to wear skimpy clothing then men too should be forced to wear skimpy, skimpy shorts not those shorts which are almost trousers and so loose one has difficulty seeing the male body!

    As regards discrimination – yes it is discriminatory to men because they are constantly complaining they are being discriminated against since women supposedly have achieved greater ‘equality’ (sic). Therefore if women are forced to wear certain clothing which is designed to be sexually alluring to men -then men too must wear clothing designed to be sexually alluring to women. Oh but wait – I forget men ensure they are never reduced to a dehumanised sexualised disposable commodity because that right (sic) is reserved for women only. What something which happens to women and not to men – then that is discrimination is it not? After all this is what gender equality is supposedly about – women and men being treated identically – except the real meaning is women must conform to male supremacist notions of equality which means the male-centric social system is the only one which works and women must enact masculine behaviours and masculine ideologies in order to be accorded equality!

    Welcome to the neo-libertarian era masquerading as post-feminism/it’s a joke/get real /women love to be turned into men’s sexual service stations etc. etc. All common excuses and/or denials corporate businesses employ when justifying their right to sexually exploit women and in this instance female athletes. After all the only real athletes worthy of respect and dignity are those individuals who wear long, long shorts and hide their bodies under over large t-shirts.


  7. delphyne

    Things are getting worse aren’t they? It was getting worse in some specific ways before but now it’s across the board. Men in any sphere aren’t hiding the backlash they are conducting against us.


  8. feministatsea

    I have already given them my arguments against being forced in a skirt and nobody cares. They say I’ll just have to “be flexible” and “get used to it”. On board I’ll be completely on my own.



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