Wednesday, March 03, 2010

So many issues, so little... You thought I was going to say time, right? But no, this column from the Toronto Star highlighting the 10 hottest "babes" of the Vancouver Olympics raises so many issues and I just don't have the energy to address all the hackneyed arguments about why it's so ok to run these types of columns.
So just two things.
The author, Rosie DiManno, makes a point of noting her gender in the introduction saying that political correctness landed this column topic in her lap over those of her male colleagues. I've said it before, and now I must say it again, just because you're a female sports journalist does not mean you have any kind of commitment to women's sports or an inherent progressive (not that decent equitable coverage is an especially progressive notion) feminist philosophy. One of the arguments about why there is such poor coverage of women's sports is that sports media is a man's world.
Adding more women, some argue, would make things better. Not so much, I think. Rosie DiManno certainly isn't doing women's sport any favors here. To get ahead in the business of sport journalism and broadcasting as a woman you have to play by the rules and be better at the games that men invented. You can't be a feminist! Or at least you can't let on that you might be. You have to do your job better than most of the men and you still get criticized about your looks, a la Hannah Storm last week, or people become so obsessed with your looks that they film you naked through peep holes a la Erin Andrews.

The second thing from the column was Hannah Teter's defense of her photos in SI. "I was really amped up to do that because I don't believe in the criminalization of bodies and women having to be ashamed of their bodies. That's so wrong." [Note though that Teter didn't actually make the top ten.] I guess I was particularly disappointed because Teter is touted (I just have to note the beautiful alliteration there) as an activist. For example part of the proceeds from her underwear go to helping Doctors Without Borders working in Haiti.
I wish my panties could help save the world.

h/t to Sean for sending me this lovely piece of sport journalism.

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