August 21, 2008

Olympic bodies

Posted in body politics, double standards, gender, Sexuality Blogs and Resources at 12:00 pm by LB

As I’ve been watching the Olympics, I have had two feelings about bodies:

  • How irritating it is that regardless of basically everything, women are perpetually sexualized, and often sexualized first and foremost.
  • How unused to seeing exposed young, fit, male bodies (particularly in snug attire) on a regular and public basis I am.  This is something hetero men are exposed to multiple times every day, and hetero women are only every four years!

I have also made these observations:

  • I regularly overhear female Olympic athletes sex appeal at least in equal proportion (if not more) to their athletic skill (though it’s usually in spite of their athletic skill).   Hetero men seem to be unable to comment on female athletes skill without also commenting on their physical appearance, both body and beauty.  Women do comment on the attractiveness of the female athletes sometimes as well (like women are more open to doing about other women anyway, whether peers or celebrities, and regardless of sexual attraction).
  • I hear much fewer comments about the appearance of the male athletes, and never from hetero men (cuz that would be gay, ya know).


  1. Renee said,

    The Olympics has made it clear on an international stage just exactly what women are valued for..our bodies and sexuality. That these women are word class athletes is overlooked when there is an opportunity to oogle T&A. Just look at the recent slut shaming of Amanda Beard by CNN. If we are not sexually pleasing a man it does not matter how many medals we win.

  2. “In spite of their athletic skill” is dead on. Reducing a woman to a play thing puts her back into the non-threatening, non-accomplishing nothing status that it seems a lot of men (and women?) are more comfortable with.

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