I am sorry but WTF? Really! Is this how women athletes expect to be taken seriously? It is images like these that prove I will never be a third-wave feminist. (I am talking about this a lot lately, aren’t I?) I might wear make-up and love it or occasionally feel sexy in some sassy/naughty/sexy attire (pick the term that most satisfies), but I will never see this show of skin as anything but a mockery of female empowerment. Not to mention the fact that I would be hard pressed to call fully dressed football empowering – I am thinking about ideas that are similar to my recent post regarding mothering – which included a little Simone de Beauvoir diatribe – football is a staged enactment of violence – much like the less staged Roman gladiators. This staged “football” violence is interested in dominance, not equality or peace. It is a game constructed in a violent framework, which teaches domination and destruction as the desired goal. Literally the goal of a foot ball game is to “beat” the other team, to win, to prove your domination over them. Traditionally associated with hegemonic masculinity and patriarchical mastery, domination represents a false road to empowerment because it is about individual success rather than equality.I know this may seem a little heavy-handed – but I can’t help myself. There are even moments when I see football – much like basketball – as continued reinforcement of the horrifying sexist, racist and almost suicidal elements of hegemonic masculinity. No one seems to care that football has been linked to the early onset of dementia, sexual assault (second article on this), and increased sex trafficking. Despite its violent nature, football plays the role of a masculine right of passage in many American communities.
The ultimate goal is to create a world where women can be whatever they want to be, whenever they want to be it, without limitations imposed by gender and sexism. I think that any idea, institution, or person that tries to deny a woman this full range of expression is an enemy to feminism.
Looking at this quote the rest of the article it is clear that Thomas-Jackson is a third wave feminist – and obviously women should “whatever they want to be, whenever they want to be it, without limitations imposed by gender and sexism,” but the question is do we live in a world where that is possible? Or are we so contained and constructed by the social moray of our particular cultural groups that we have never genuinely ventured to know what would allow us to be free of the “limitations imposed by gender and sexism.” I would guess but I can’t say for sure, that the women pictured above enjoy what they do and are appreciated for it but why are they appreciated. Is it because they are great athletes? hot bodies? genuine intellects? individuals? Or are they just objects – jokes in comparison to their male counterparts?
But mostly, Really!@??? Gross.