April 1, 2008
Positive Sports Reporting
Since I last week gave a mini-rant about the sport and gender–how female athletes are represented in that their are either sexualized, passive, and looking “feminine” while playing sports (i.e. the beauty and grace-not strength-in tennis, the media and advertising images of female athletes), OR how they are distinguished from “proper” female bodies and their activities (i.e. the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue), and how this is consistent with the way that women’s accomplishments and skills are persistently assessed–I thought this was worth a nod. Via Feministe, the New York Times in reporting about female athletes used photographs of female athletes in action and on its front page. And not in grace and poise, but in raw strength and power of athletic activity.
This anomaly doesn’t mean that sexism and heteronormative gender-production in sport doesn’t exist. This isn’t “proof” of any sort. Gender and sport (and I’m talking more about representation of women than participation of women in sport) is a big concern on mine, and I expect it is something I will continue to address.
But props where props are due.
And as Jill @ Feministe said,
I just keep repeating to myself: Baby steps.