Hey hey! Took a little break on the Feminist Friday front, if you noticed. It’s been a hectic few weeks, but things are starting to slow down at work, and therefore here is some feministy goodness with an Olympic lean to it!
-So the coverage of female athletes has been…interesting, eh? No doubt, the Olympics has brought together the most amazing display of the highest athletic prowess in the world, among both males and females. But the ladies are getting a bit shafted in the coverage department, at least in a few ways. For example-the ubiquitous and overtly sexy (?)beach volleyball. I have never seen such a hullabaloo in my life! Those tiny bikinis have caused quite an uproar. I find it interesting that this year is the first year that full coverage uniforms have been an option for the ladies to wear. And, to be honest, I find it hard to accept the idea that somehow the sport is “less than” because it features uniforms that are considered too sexy. It has also, apparently given a free pass to photographers (“sports” photographers, no less) to take ass pictures and pretend it’s real sports photography. http://www.buzzfeed.com/jpmoore/19-photos-that-are-definitely-not-just-of-sexy-wom
-I watched Caster Semenya dominate her qualifying heat in the women’s 800 meter run last night and it made me incredibly happy. After the gender controversy that has plagued her over the past year, my heart burst to see her come through on the other side and be right in line for an Olympic medal to throw in the haters’ faces. The fact that her gender was ever questioned (no doubt due to her non-adherence to traditional feminine appearance, and her dominance of a sport) was disgusting and indicative of western’s society obsession with fitting into gender roles at all times-even when you’re a world record setting athlete. Semenya has got it going on, and I can’t wait to watch her in the finals. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympics/article-2175219/London-2012-Olympics-Caster-Semenya–gender-test-nightmare-me.html
-It has broken my heart a little bit to watch my first Olympics from the comfort of another country, and being way more familiar with Team GB than Team USA this go round has been strange. However, I’ve done what I can to keep up with the athletes from my homeland. And the American women’s gymnastics team is a fantastic example of a memorable group of charismatic athletes. I loved watching the “fab five” compete. But I was disappointed by the dialogue that surrounded two aspects of their coverage in the media. 1) Gabby Douglas’ hair and the state of its keeping (all sorts of race/class issues going on there), and 2) the “diva” attitudes of the girls. And I think it’s important to remember that they are, in fact, girls. Young girls, at the peak of their physical abilities, representing their countries, and still being told that acting seriously renders them diva status-mostly from the American coverage courtesy of NBC, so I’m told. So disappointing.
-Women’s boxing is finally an Olympic sport! Is it bad that I already thought it was one? Because….why wasn’t it? Anyway, a sassy, cheerful young badass from England took the gold. Woo woo!
-Saudi Arabia had two women in the Olympics, a ground-breaking feat for the country. I could actually write a lot about this and what it could mean for the country, but let’s just say that progress can be slow, but it’s still progress. Congratulations ladies.
I’m so glad to have dodged the bullet that is the American coverage of the Olympics. The BBC is knocking it out of the park in this aspect, and their presentation has been flawless, well focused on the performances of the athletes (from all the sports, not just the big money makers like gymnastics) accompanied by thoughtful commentary-apparently the polar opposite of what’s going down in the States! Sorry, friends. With that being said, enjoy the last weekend of the games! We’re heading to London Sunday morning to watch the men’s marathon and I am really looking forward to it.