Gender and Politics in the media

Olympics: Women’s uniform choice, Prof Fights Gender Policing in Athletics, Despite equal representation, female competitors likely to be treated differently

 ESPN International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has praised London as a “diverse, vibrant, cosmopolitan” city and thanked it for hosting the games for a record third time….Rogge says it’s “a major boost for gender equality” that all 204 participating countries include female competitors for the first time. See also: San Francisco Chronicle The Daily Jeffersonian

 Chicago Tribune Olympic and Saudi Arabian officials are in talks with judo chiefs to find a solution after the sport’s governing body ruled the Saudi’s female competitor would have to fight without a hijab, or Islamic headscarf. On Thursday, the head of the International Judo Federation (IJF) president Marius Vizer confirmed Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, one of the first two female athletes sent to the Olympics by the conservative Muslim kingdom, would not be allowed to wear a hijab. Female athletes at the London Olympics have the right to choose skirts or shorts at the first Games in which both genders will compete in all events. Initial attempts to force female boxers and badminton players into skirts didn’t go over well with the ladies, who will now be given their choice of uniform, The Washington Post reported Friday.

 Huffington Post But while we’re busy patting ourselves on the back — especially here in the U.S., where the women Olympians outnumber the men — I’ve collected a few instances of sexism skulking around the “you go, girl” edges. Before you accuse me of whinging (colorful Britspeak for whining), allow me to present a few of the most telling examples to show that, well, our work is not quite done.

 Bend Bulletin Claressa “T-Rex” Shields gives new meaning to the term girl power. The 17-year-old middleweight from Flint, Mich., is known for powerful combos and lightning footwork, and is the youngest competitor in women’s boxing, a new event at the London Olympics.

 Record – Columbia News Among those leading the challenge against the IOC policy is Rebecca Jordan-Young, an associate professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Barnard, who is studying the issue of sex verification in sports….Claiming the policy perpetuates myths and stereotypes about sex and gender, she has been researching the IOC’s and similar policies, such as that released in 2011 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body for track and field. “Testosterone testing is not a good way to ensure that there’s a fair and level playing field for women athletes,” Jordan-Young said. “We are concerned that such policies only add to the pressure that women athletes already experience to be attractive and even sexy—because physically powerful women upset cultural norms and women athletes are expected to make up for that by playing up feminine attributes.”

 San Bernardino Sun “Women’s sports generally receive less than 3 percent of the sports coverage,” said Faye Wachs, an associate professor of sociology. According to the 2010 edition “Gender in Televised Sports,” a multi-year study by professors at University of Southern California and Purdue University, women’s sports received 1.6 percent of the coverage of sampled television sports coverage. On ESPN’s SportsCenter, coverage of women’s sports actually declined in 2009, getting 1.4 percent of the coverage, as compared to 2.2 percent in 1999 and 2.1 percent in 2004. “They’ve been doing these studies since the mid-1980s, but it hasn’t improved,” Wachs said. She’s the co-author of “Body Panic: Gender, Health, and the Selling of Fitness” and has taught at the school since 2002.

 Summit County Citizens Voice Just a few days before the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summit Olympic Games in London, activists are calling on the International Olympic Committee to rescind  aimed at leveling the playing field for female competitors. While some athletes support the new tests, LGBT advocates claim the tests threaten to undermine the integrity of the Games and the dignity of thousands of female athletes by subjecting them to invasive sex verification procedures.

 WNN – Women News Network  The delegation presented letters to all IOC delegates at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, where the IOC is headquartered. The letters outlined seven separate equality demands made by the London 2012: Justice for Women movement. The demands included 3 demands against gender discrimination.

  • Parity: Equal numbers of male and female Olympic disciplines and events
  • Decision-making bodies: apply immediately a minimum quota of 20% women’s representation and set parity objectives
  • Homage and visibility: the IOC President should give the gold medal to both the male and the female marathon winners, and not only to the male winner

Three demands against sexual segregation.

  • No more male-only delegations
  • Competitors and officials must not be allowed to wear politico-religious symbols
  • IOC should no longer support gender the segregated games for women organized by Tehran

One demand to build a better world of equality and inclusion.

  • No more stereotypes (sexism, homophobia, transphobia), separation of Olympics / Paralympics, and end prostitution around the Olympics

2 thoughts on “Olympics: Women’s uniform choice, Prof Fights Gender Policing in Athletics, Despite equal representation, female competitors likely to be treated differently”

  1. Following all this controversy, I began to wonder just how fairly the fairer sex is being represented at the London 2012 Games. Check out this infographic for women athletes competing in the London 2012 Games!

  2. Pingback:

Leave a Reply