Playing Unfair

31 Oct

      I watched the film “Playing Unfair – The Media Image of the Female Athlete” reflects on how the media portrays female athletes as weak, subordinate and sex symbols. Women athletes were not given the opportunity to be equals until the passing of Title IX. The law would not allow anyone to be rejected in participating in sports based off gender. Although the passing of Title IX legally granted equality to female athletes, there are still social boundaries to climb over.

The coverage women received differed from men. When sports announcers would say the name of athletes they address women by their first name and men by their last name. Once the video made this claim I realized I had noticed this detail before. When watching the Olympics this summer, my favorite sport to watch was tennis. I noticed when the announcer was covering Andy Roddick’s game he or she would refer to him as Roddick. However, when Serena Williams was playing her opponent they would refer to her as Serena.

“Playing Unfair” opened my eyes to how the media molds female athletes into sex symbols. The film would compare images of swimsuit models to well-known women athletes. The women had similar poses as well as wearing little clothing. The athletes would claim they wanted to show off their body because they were proud of how fit they were or it made them feel empowered. But the experts in the film made an excellent point; these women are role models to girls and young athletes should not think the only way to feel empowered is to pose half naked.

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3 Responses to “Playing Unfair”

  1. kjbaker24 October 31, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    This is beyond true. As a female athlete it’s a little disheartening to see women I look up to half naked in bathing suits in car ads :’D I play volleyball, so it’s definitely twice as bad to see the sexed up versions of, for instance, Misty Mae and Kerri Walsh, two female athletes i’ve looked up to for ages now. Then there are those that fall right into line with it all, like Danika Patrick (sp?) and her GoDaddy commercials. Personally, it bothers me she’d agree to something like that. Guess you gotta do what the money tells you to.

  2. jcjohnson3 October 31, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    The fact that women are referred to by their first names and men are referred to by their last names is so interesting to me… Referring to a man by his last name is almost respecting him as a professional, calling a girl by her first name shows they’re not respected on the same level. These women are almost forced to give up professionalism and be comfortable sexualize themselves to get sponsors. I can understand if they don’t view it that way and feel comfortable showing off their bodies, but I can’t understand doing something like a GoDaddy commercial…

  3. unladylikemusings October 31, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Fascinating. I’d never even noticed the name thing and I played sports for a long time…

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