Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Brazen European Curlers?

[apologies for not blogging sooner--major computer meltdown this past weekend. But I am up and running again.]

So the girls of curling calendar I wrote about earlier still has me thinking. Oh sure--there are lots of examples of female athletes acquiring material (and non-materials even) gains from their sexuality. So the concept of the calendar I guess does not really shock me, only that it was so blatant in its attempt to get people to watch curling by using near naked photos of athletes. I have to question whether this will really work anyway. It's not as if when you tune in to a curling match the women are going to be in sexy outfits or anything (at least let's hope it doesn't come to that!)--won't those who tuned in to get turned on quickly realize they are not getting the calendar version of these women?
Anyway, what intrigued me about one part of the story was the construction of the European women as much more sexually free than the Canadian women. Do we really still have this stereotype? Sure different cultures have different restraints and freedoms regarding the expression of sexuality, but are European women really that much more "free" that they would readily agree to be in a naked curling calendar whereas Canadian women would have to think about it a little more? I am all about social construction and do believe our sexual behaviors are highly indicative of our culture/environment but it seems too easy and frankly ahistorical and lacking proper analysis to just say European women are more comfortable with their bodies and so have no qualms about posing nude. ALL European women? What about the influence of Catholicism in Italy or Ireland (so they curl in either of those places?)? This construction of European women as some sort of monolith is problematic in that it makes them--all of them--subject to the interpretation that they are all sexually available. Of course I guess if you pose naked for a calendar that is the dominant reading--even if it is not the correct one.

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