Monday, December 28, 2009

"Well that's just asinine!"

Indeed it is, Mother. Indeed it is.
That was my mother's response after Christmas dinner to the news (as told by me) that two horses made the AP's list of the top female athletes of 2009.
Plenty has been written about this already and even feminists have taken note. (The italics refer to the sometimes contrived strained relationship between feminism and sport.) The feminists over at Feministing had something to say about it. And so did a lot of other people.
I don't feel the need to add anything else substantial. I don't have some kind of new angle on this story.
The highly problematic comparisons between female athletes and horses and the ones between Serena Williams and the horses are obvious and dismaying.
We could talk about how the people who created the list, the sports editors at AP affiliated newspapers, are predominantly men and predominantly white and middle class. But that's not a big insight either. And it's disappointing any way you look at it. If they were serious that horses count as athletes (and I don't really buy into the argument that a horse once appeared on an athletes of the century list) or if they did it to draw some attention. Because it's a pretty vicious kind of attention all around. I think it does indeed make the AP editors look like asses. I think it makes them look quite afraid of women and the power women can access through sport. I think it reflects the paucity of coverage of women's sports. I think it makes them look like they are very bad at their jobs. Probably because they are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am chuckling that I got quoted...although I stick by my original opinion!! How truly stupid!!