Sex and Gender at the Olympics, Part Deux.
- At Slate, Alyssa Rosenberg snaps back at Jere Longman for his nasty and sexist profile of Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, which harshly and unfairly denounced her for the quality of her media presence.
- Women’s boxing is underway at the Olympics for the first time, and WNYC has some great coverage of the competition. Follow them on Twitter: @womenbox. Yesterday, flyweight Marlen Esparza became the first US woman to win a boxing match at the Olympics. She and teammate middleweight Claressa Shields are headed to the medal round.
- Rachel Syme wrote a piece for The New Yorker on how gymnastics is like reality television, examining the dedication, star power and body image of young female gymnasts in the Olympic limelight.
- Olympic weightlifter for Team GB Zoe Pablo Smith posted a response to male critics on her blog entitled, “Thanks, but no thanks.” She wrote: “…what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?!”
- Tunisia’s second medal at London comes from Habiba Ghribi, who won silver in the 3000m steeplechase, making her Tunisia’s first ever lady medalist!
- Jillian C. York looks back on the history of MENA women’s participation in the Olympics.
- The Japanese women’s soccer team and the Australian women’s soccer and basketball teams were all flown economy class to London, while the male teams in those sports were flown business class. It’s certainly not a matter of who was the more talented team, all three of the women’s teams have much better international rankings. For example, the Japanese women’s soccer team were the World Cup winners last summer and are gold medal favorites. The Australian women’s basketball team won silver at the last three Olympics while the Australian men have never medaled.
- Lizzie Armistead, British cyclist and silver medal winner in the women’s road race, took her second place victory media opportunity to point out the struggle she has against sexism in cycling and how little help the higher-ups in the cycling world are.
- Two studies out provide us further reason to condemn NBC coverage of Olympics. The University of Delaware showed that in Vancouver in 2010, NBC covered men’s events much more extensively than women’s. Delaware also found that commentators on women’s events focused more on discussing winners’ luck than their skill. It also found differences in how commentators discussed white, Black and Asian competitors. The University of North Carolina found that coverage in 2008 gave a more equitable balance of coverage time to women, but that coverage was heavily slanted toward the more scantily clad women’s sports in which women retain a more conventional attractiveness (swimming, gymnastics, volleyball).
- Speaking of which, the media analysis of the uniform choices of beach volleyball athletes Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings has focused primarily on whether or not men who want to see some skin approve.
- Dave Zirin wrote a piece at The Nation on the power of Gabby Douglas and the politics of her historic Olympic work.
- Dominique Dawes, the first African-American woman to win an individual medal in artistic gymnastics, was interviewed about Gabby Douglas’s win.
- Gabby Douglas responded to critics of her hairstyle, saying: “I just made history and people are focused on my hair?”
- These Olympics have combined sexism and backlash with some very positive achievements on the lady power front. As of yesterday, women had out-golded the men by 18 to 10 and with 53% of the US’s medals.
- Wojdan Shahrkhani, Saudi Arabia’s female judo competitor, lasted only a minute and twenty-two seconds on the mat (and, honestly she was a sixteen-year-old blue belt, that’s not particularly shameful), but she still made history.
- Amanda Marcotte writes in The American Prospect about women in these Olympics embracing a more “bad boy” attitude, and feeling less tied to maintaining that image of acceptable femininity to counter their athleticism.
- Everybody cries at the Olympics.
- Here’s a really good example of how not to write about female athletes competing in judo. Try to read it and not put your head through your screen.
Photos: Tunisia’s Habiba Ghribi reacts to her silver medal. AP. Jess Ennis, Team GB gold medalist in the heptathlon, celebrates after her long jump. Dylan Martinez/Reuters. Claressa Shields of Team USA vs. Sweden’s Anna Laurell. Patrick Semansky/AP. Team GB’s Yamile Aldama reacts after the triple jump. AP. Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan celebrate soccer victory. Stanley Chou/AP.