Initial Summary Group 6


Through pictorial examples found in popular sports magazines, Carty found that in magazines typically favored by a male audience, women in advertisements were photographed as "sex objects." In the magazines targeting a female audience, the advertisements were more about "women's empowerment". Athletes give younger women a healthier role model of someone whose body isn't just an object of desire but a structure for performance. However, as females enter what has historically been "male territory," the portrayal of their bodies in advertisement is manipulated by, ultimately, a male dominated capitalist system. From the viewpoint of a socialist feminist, the "willingness of athletes to display their bodies and accentuate feminine traits and heterosexuality takes away form their athletic achievement." In other words, they can kick ass in their sport, but as soon as some marketer asks them to strip for their advertisement campaign, they are just vulnerable, unthreatening sex object.
Black female athletes are represented in the media for their achievements but only in the shadow of stereotypes surrounding their race and gender. Especially in the case of the Williams sisters, there has been a revival of old prejudice language that treats them as "animalistic," exotic, and erotic objects. McKay sites this Australian writer that seemed to only talk about Serena's ass in his whole discussion of her, repeatedly mentioning her "great big arse." This is probably because their exceptional athletic abilities threatens both the race and gender hierarchy. They are perceived as a threat and objectifying them distracts the public from their skill.

Does post-modern feminism actually make sense in a world that's still dominated by hierarchies with men at the top? Does looking at this issue through a socialist feminist lens neglect any aspects?

Can confidence in light of ignorant comments transcend racist rhetoric? How does it affect the audience both the athlete and the commentator are catering to? How about the general public?

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