Thursday, June 25, 2009

Calling Wimbledon on its sexism

I have to admit I don't go to Wimbledon's official site to read the articles. I go for scores and schedules and draws. That's probably a good thing given the reporting the site did on Gisela Dulko's defeat of Maria Sharapova yesterday. The story, which was all about the sex appeal of the players, has been taken down but this columnist does a good job recreating and critiquing it.
Players and promoters and agents have, for the most part, embraced the sex sells mantra in an attempt to legitimize women's tennis (hint: you're actually doing the opposite!). But the columnist is right to note that it should not be on a tournament's own site. The article seems to have turned a sports contest into a beauty contest--which player looked sexier in her all-white attire? It noted that Dulko has been named to lists of the sexiest players.
It is especially unfortunate to see it on the Wimbledon site given that I have heard several stories now about how Wimbledon will not sell out. It does not have an excessive amount of sponsors or ads placed here, there, and everywhere. But it clearly has bought into the selling of the sex appeal of its female players.


Anonymous said...

To be honest I think the website probably takes its cue from the British tabloid press, an entity which is probably unreformable, and which during these two weeks caters to the masses who take no interest in tennis for the rest of the year. Thus website chooses to do the same. Katharine Sinderson UK

Diana said...

I'm thinking because there's a lack of sponsors they're going backwards and trying to sell sex. It would be a sad day if it actually works.

Anonymous said...

Could I point out one sign of progress over something that has actually been bugging me for thirty years. They no longer put 'Miss' or more unusually 'Mrs' on the scoreboards, the large numbers of Eastern European names having finally rendered finding space for 'Miss' absurd. Katharine Sinderson

ken said...

I saw that there was no more Miss on the scoreboard. Of course they still say Miss or Mrs during the match.