Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What I Hate About the 2012 Olympics

Here is one of those list blogs.  I have always loved the Olympics, particularly gymnastics, as I competed in high school and as a girl watched USSR Nadia Comaneci win all her gold medals with awe.  I wanted to be her.  But I guess I have grown up and am a bit more media savvy than I was at 12.  

Let's just start with uniforms.  Why do many women's sand volleyball teams wear itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini's but men wear shorts and tank tops?  Why do female gymnasts wear a leotard for all four events but the men change their bottoms depending on the event?  During the floor exercises, they wear shorts, during the pommel horse, the rings, and the parallel bars, they wear pants.  And above we have a picture of women running in bikinis. The men will run in tight fitting tanks and what look like bike shorts.  Are we trying to go back to the original Olympics where the Greeks competed in the nude? 

Second I reference the plethora of comments about Olympic women who also happen to be moms.  See a great article on this here.  Moms Have it All 
No one is talking about all the Olympic men who are dads and have had to sacrifice their relationships with their kids.  These comments, by the NBC Commentators, are sexist back handed judgments that mothers really shouldn't be Olympians.  I mean, how can you possibly be a good mother if you spend the majority of your time working out and competing.  Bad woman!  Get in your place. 

Thirdly McDonalds is the number one sponsor of the Olympics.  Are you kidding me? A friend of mine said she heard someone say "that is like having cigarettes be the sponsor of cancer."  There is nothing more to say about that.

Fourth, the NBC Commentators are horrible.  My husband and I watched men's gymnastics the other night and they literally could not name ONE type of back flip they were doing.  The female commentator said "the energy level is very different tonight."  That's it. She didn't elaborate as to whether it was better or worse, higher or lower.  I could have done a better job being specific about what was happening, rather than these vague comments that make absolutely no sense.

Fifth, this "Thanks Mom" campaign by Proctor & Gamble is also sexist.  There were no Dad's out there shlepping their kids back and forth to the gym?  No Dad's paying for all that training?  No, of course not, parenting is a WOMAN'S job. 

So, maybe I won't ever be able to watch the Olympics again, wearing my feminist lens's, but at least NBC could hire some commentators who know how to comment accurately on the sport they are watching!

1 comment:

Lama said...

Totally agree with everything you've said here, especially those damn NBC people who don't know a thing.

On a more positive note, this Olympics has been a landmark for women with every country having female Olympians. Along with that, the Saudi women were allowed to compete wearing their headdress (after some debate and controversy).

I'm not saying that Olympic women should start wearing headdresses, but rather saying 2 things:
1) the Olympic committee bended the barely-there clothing rule for some women - for religious reasons, yes - in specific sports.
2) but if enough countries felt strongly about the attire of their female Olympians, I think the amount of skin we see could decrease. Problem is, not enough of them do care to protest (or they don't have enough women leaders/reps to protest).

It's unfortunate though that the advances for women in the Olympics will always be pushed to the side by most of the issues mentioned in this blog.