July 4, 2008

More sports and sexism

Posted in body politics, gender, objectification, privacy, sexism, sexual politics, sports at 12:00 pm by LB

I’m starting to wonder if sports has become the “it” terrain for blatant sexism and creating a hostile climate for women.

In the last year…

Sexual Harassment of female fans by male fans at Jets’ games: nothing like a good ol “you don’t belong here until you have something you can give me, like the view of your tits that I’m clearly entitled to due to my possession of a penis.”

The blowup doll incident in the Chicago White Sox locker room welcoming objectification, violence, and sexual violence, while being rather inhospitable to female, and non-sexist male, journalists wanting to do their job. Not to mention any conscionable player being upset by it would have a hard time speaking up, lest he be accused of being gay, as is often the case in locker-room situations: just see the comments on sports columnist Mike Wise’s article against the display (see also Michael Messner‘s excellent work on masculinity, homophobia and sport). The doll and the accompanying baseball bat strategically placed in a certain orifice with the sign “You’ve got to Push” and all its encompassing sexism was intended to “encourage” the team. Great.

Now this…

via Feminocracy

The Morning Joe show on MSNBC this morning retold the story of a man who got a signed baseball for throwing nude pictures of his ex-wife into the bull pen. The pictures got the man a ball signed by everyone in the dugout courtesy of Johnathan Papelbon of the Boston Red Sox […] Nothing is more classy than giving out nude pictures you obtained during the course of a relationship and spreading them around once the relationship is over. Likewise, its very classy to accept random nudes from fans–lovely.

This is absolutely deplorable behavior, on the part of the guy and the players. The Bo-Sox dugout should be ashamed for accepting these images that were made in the context of an intimate relationships that this guy is exploiting for this own profit and without the consent of the woman in the photos. How is this not illegal? Is this not the “sale” of pornography without the consent of the model? Code 2257 anyone?

Combined with the way female athletes are written about in the media, the sports industry is telling me loud and clear where I as a female belong: on the sidelines, displaying my tits.

(cross-posted to The Reaction)


  1. Renee said,

    YOu forgot the infamous lesbian kiss that got two women thrown out of a baseball game…Sports needs a major overhaul. It is going to be a difficult one as most of the money invested comes from money and so they pander to the lowest common denominator, to keep that space that way. It is going to take an all out invasion by women to bring about any kind of change.

  2. lindabeth said,

    You’re right, I did forget to link to my post about the infamously “offensive” lesbian kiss:

    A Lesson in Heteronormativity

    (and for clarification, they didn’t actually get thrown out, just reprimanded.

  3. Noticed said,

    Great post.

    You can also add the new trend of focusing on women’s and girls’ sports injuries, to emphasize how delicate and fragile (read: weak) we are (articles such as this one: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/magazine/11Girls-t.html). As if we needed another reason to discourage girls from sports!

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