A few weeks ago, I asked a question on the Quora site, which is a site for asking questions, should female beach volley ball players, tennis players and gymnasts be allowed to play in more modest clothing. In response, I was bombarded with answers, all from men, all tearing me down over my question. The very first response asked me “What is your problem?” I responded that I have no problem and pointed out that there are many feminist and religious groups who feel female athletes shouldn’t show so much flesh when they compete. In other responses, I received photos. One was the Swedish female beach volley ball team wearing a one piece outfit and the respondent stated he saw no problem. I responded, “Neither did I.” Another responses was a photo of the Egyptian female beach volleyball team who were in a full body covering one piece outfit. I pointed out that there were those who think all female players should dress like that. Another guy sent me a photo of a women’s tennis team from 1907 where they were all in full length skirts and asked me if I thought all female tennis players should dress like that. I responded no but they should be allowed to wear shirt and shorts like the men.
To further illustrate the point I’m trying to make, I’m going to show photos of men and women in the same sports. Take note of how they are dressed for their chosen sports.
Do you see what I mean? The male participants are allowed to wear long shorts or even long trousers while women have to play in tiny skirts, bikinis or tight body stockings. To counter one possible response that it might aid in playing the game. Well, the men seem to play okay in their more modest clothing. Now, I have saved the best response to my question for here. One man stated that because women don’t have the same power or ability as the men, there needs to be something for which to get people to watch women play their sports. Therefore, the less modest clothing because men will not watch them otherwise. So, we need to further objectify women just so men will watch them playing sports? I don’t think so.
While it’s mere coincidence, shortly after I asked that question, there was big news over the Norwegian women’s handball team being fined because they decided to play in shorts as opposed to bikini bottoms. Many women have come out in support of them and singer Pink has offered to pay their fine for them. It seems that women are fed up of being objectified when they are meant to be serious sports contenders. Of course, there was a comeback from the men. One British columnist said it was right for the Norwegian team to be fined because if they, “yawn,” didn’t play in bikinis, no one would want to watch them. My question is, wouldn’t women still want to watch them? Don’t they matter?
I see absolutely nothing wrong with what they are wearing in the top picture and I am sure that the men wear something similar when they compete. That is my point, in the age of equality, there should be no separate rules as to what men and women should wear when they compete. One exception could be beach volleyball where if women should have to play in bikinis, men should have to play in speedos. Before the ignorant start branding me a ‘homo,’ let me point out that a multi-million dollar business functions on two men in speedos rolling around a 16 square foot ring with the objective of lying across the other man for three seconds. Let me ask, which do you think is more homoerotic?
Okay, I admit as a man, seeing these female athletes dressed in the way they are at the moment does get the blood flowing a little. I’m stating this to counter anyone who decided to attack my sexuality. However, it’s not up to what I or any other man thinks. Women should be allowed to wear the clothing that helps them to best play their sports at the best of their abilities, not to please men. I do know of an opposite occurrence involving a female para-lympic sprinter who was told off for running in a bikini bottoms instead of shorts. Before anyone calls me hypocrite, the sprinter said those bottoms helped her run faster and if the skimpy outfits women have to wear helps them in the sport, then fine. Otherwise, those outfits are just there for the pleasure of men.
This post has me thinking about an ancient post on a similar topic. If you want to read, click the link:
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