June 2011 Archives

Lingerie Football League

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It is interesting to look at sports and gender and the correlation between the two. Women have been introduced to sports in almost every angle and they have made their presence known and have earned respect.
Billy Jean King used tennis to show males that women are able to excel in sports and even be better then men. The idea then comes into play about how present day women are portrayed in sports. The idea that women need to play a double role of athlete with sex appeal brings up many questions. Before I address these questions I will address the most recent example I have found regarding this topic.
The Lingerie Football League was created in 2009. It is a professional football association that requires female athletes to wear lingerie as their uniform while playing full contact football. The league was created as a independent association from the Independent Football League which is an all womens professional league that was created some twenty years ago.
The LFL plays in professional stadiums while the IFL plays at highschool fields. The LFL is televised while the IFL is not. The LFL gets a good amount of media coverage, whereas the IFL as you can guess also does not. This begs the question why is it that the two leagues are seen as equally professional with athletes of high caliber, yet one is favored by the media and society whereas the other is forgotten? The fact that sex appeal is directly linked with female athletes is the answer. No man wants to watch a three hundred pound female linewoman tackle a one hundred and fifty pound female quarterback when they can watch a one hundred and twenty pound woman in lingerie tackle an equally scantly clad woman of equal weight and beauty.
Does this mean that men do not appreciate the talent and skill of a IFL athlete? I dont think that it does. Does this mean that we wouldnt watch IFL ever? I dont think that is true. Does this mean that we are making women athletes into sexual objects that we can laugh at and stare at in a purely sexual manner? This is a possibility yet I dont think that is only held to sports. Society in general does this. Women everywhere are looked at as sexual objects. Historically speaking the woman of a marriage actually belonged to her husband.
Women have been breaking out of these stereotypical gender roles for decades, they have been doing it successfully as we all have seen. I feel it is only a matter of time before history takes control and women athletes break out of this dynamic between sex and women athletes. When it does there will be more jobs for super models and the athletes will hopefully be viewed as what they are, athletes.

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