Thursday, April 9, 2009

How women are viewed in sports

I feel like Erin Striff's lecture on pain throughout sports was extremely interesting. The focus on how women are portrayed actually struck me as the most interesting part, because I honestly had no idea (even as a communication student) that the depiction of women in situations like sports had been taken to such a level of flagrant sexism. The double standards in society are despicable, and there have been times in my life where I have noticed them and times in my life where I have not.
Seeing the women modeling the triathlon clothing made me laugh, because it seemed like an ad designed for men even though it was a woman's product. Granted I can see the whole "look how beautiful you'll be when you buy our product" angle, but I can't help but think that most women are smart enough to see right through the blatant manipulation. When you have a woman standing in front of a screen with her ass sticking straight out at the camera, I don't think to myself "oh ok she's clearly about to run/swim/bike a million miles."
The other stuff I hadn't really noticed was how much women are portrayed as the maternal figure, even in moments where they are victorious in some kind of monumental sporting event. Like the woman who won the olympic triathlon, and the most popular picture they had of her was of her holding her daughter after she won, not during and not immediately after the race, but only after enough time had gone by so they had a shot set up. Whereas with Michael Phelps, it was nonstop focus on him when he was in and out of the pool, and they would shoot the camera over to his parents but they didn't really depict him with any emotion other than happiness after he won all of his Olympic medals.
Sometimes the double standards aren't as obvious, but hopefully as they become more and more noticeable then the stereotypes and the different gender roles will be fully flexible.

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