Posted by: rkomornik | March 17, 2016

Women Play ? Women’s Day?

After watching Miss-representation, I couldn’t help but notice all of the blatant sexism in how women are represented in the media. In a bit of a backtrack to a few weeks ago, when we discussed female athletes, I’d like to discuss the sexualization of female athletes. I’m linking a video of WNBA’s Elena Delle Donne and her issue with the sexism she has faced. Donne wants to be know first and foremost as an amazing athlete, not just amazing for a female athlete. Yet like what Wilson discussed in this week’s reading, she is only discussed by the media on her looks and personal life, not in depth analysis of her talents as a player. Donne has made 95% of her free throws, becoming the fourth person ever to reach that percentage.  That’s an incredible percentage if you compare that to some of the male professional players’ numbers. I would also suggest looking at the comment section of that video to reassure why classes like ours are necessary. Comments range from ignorance to straight up sexism. Why is her obvious talent questioned and devalued? I was proud to see a woman leader, say enough with the sexism and directly address the negative comments. She’s using her platform to help push forth all women athletes, as talented in the overalls not “just for a woman”.

Extras bonus: Here’s the article talking about Sepp Blatter, Head of FIFA describing how the women should wear tighter shorts because they are pretty. The article also goes into some of the inequality issues in terms of turf fields and respect.
Sepp Blatter, FIFA Corruption And Women’s World Cup: It’s Complicated

On a slightly different note, on International Women’s Day John Oliver covered the issue on Last Week Tonight. Although he’s a comedian, he makes some great points about women’s issues and the culture differences women face. Warning there is some harsh language, but the point he was making is that international women’s day might be doing more harm than good in some places. He notes that in China it was used as a marketing technique only for “attractive” women, and even here in the US it was used by Greta van Susteren to give a “shout out” to American men for being better than the Taliban. It’s a comedic look at the real issue, International Women’s day has come and gone, leaving not much more than social media posts and marketing techniques. Why didn’t we see huge statements from influential leaders, male and female? I don’t recall any lasting statement made on the day from any leader beyond acknowledging the day’s existence.

-Rachel

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Responses

  1. I love to watch women that are bold, and use their platform to fight for the greater good of other women in their field. I can not imagine the amount of frustration these athletes feel, when other less spectacular athletes make headlines, get respect, and time on ESPN, but they have to fight just to have them talk about their accomplishments. Donne’s accomplishment is special because there is no way to say there is a difference in the distance for the free throw line, and you can’t say that the level of competition is different, because that is directly on the athlete, yet she still not is receiving respect, and people are still making excuses to not giver her the well deserved respect that she earned. I also would like to comment about the tweets… while I know there will always be the extreme outliers that will not feel guilty about being blatantly sexist, but it is still terrible to hear. It just makes me thankful that we are able to learn about these topics and be informed to point out how these types of responses are harming both men and women alike.

  2. Women in sports are fun to watch. It is awesome how they break the stereotype that women are fragile and can’t roughhouse like the boys can. I do agree though, that drawing attention to National Woman’s Day could possible be more harmful than it is good. To me, putting a spotlight on women just for a day, shows that they are NOT equal and that they should be celebrated simply for their gender. This needs to change, not only in sports but overall if there will be any hope of full gender equality in the world.

  3. Women sports sometimes have different rules, but women sports are still sports. I think that we need to recognize them as sports and stop making it gendered. Softball is considered a women’s sport, yet there are some male leagues that play softball. The video was a big eye opener about sports and I think we should all point out sexism. The video by the comedian was also interesting and very sad to hear the sexism from world leaders. Some of that sexism is because they hold different cultural values, but it is still there. I also heard some second generation bias, but the majority of it was blatant.

  4. Wow. Both of the videos were inspirational in their own way. The first video about equality in sports had me inspired to play sports with the boys because women are just as good of athletes. The second one inspired me through anger to tell some people just how wrong they are. Women only get one day of the year (not even a month) and people use it to tell them all they can do is be a mother, judge them based on their looks, and congratulate men for being better than the Taliban. It’s funny how ridiculous some people are. They don’t see of women hitting 95% of her free throws amazing when some worshiped male athletes can barely hit 50% from the same distance. To make a change people like Elena Delle Donne and John Oliver need to continue to speak out and share the gender based discrimination they face and whiteness.

  5. I want to specifically focus on Elena Delle Donne and her experiences in the WNBA. Now, I will say that I am guilty of preferring men’s lacrosse over women’s lacrosse and I watch the football on the field more than the cheerleaders on the sideline, but that is not to say one does not belong. Elena is a star, clearly she is revered in the WNBA for her accomplishments, the video even mentioned her being compared to Lebron. Now, team owners will tell you that the market is in the men, but I question whether we have even given the women a chance. Here is an article from 2012 that discusses some of the history behind the WNBA and the problems that the sport faces: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/sports/basketball/amid-successes-wnba-is-still-facing-challenges.html?_r=0

    But I am serious! Why are there not kids, little girls, young basketball players that are wearing Elena’s jersey around like they do for Kobe or Lebron or Melo? Why do we even have to compare the men’s and women’s version? Women can shoot threes, they can dunk, they can break ankles, and they can be aggressive. Obviously we cannot force people to go to these games or support something they do not like, but I just want to know why there aren’t more people at these games. And I think I am most mad because I have never heard of Elena! The woman is a machine, she’s a beast, and I am sure she is exciting to watch, BUT WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF HER!?! Why does ESPN insist on showing me the Top 10 Plays, the Not Top 10 Plays, the daily coach rants, and all the personal and philanthropic things coaches, teams, and players are doing each day, but I hardly ever see anything about any women’s sports? Well, that is except the cheerleaders that show a little too much during a basketball game or the really intense girl’s volleyball game where again the girls are showing a lot in their tight shorts. Can’t a woman enjoy the sport just like a man? You hear that ESPN! Women=Athletes! You can start by giving Elena Delle Donne the respect and recognition she deserves!


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