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July 31, 2012 / Man in the Mirror

Feminism: Beach volleyball: let’s all be equally naked, please

By: Andrea Alarcon

As I watch the Brazil vs. Germany women’s beach volleyball match to the background song of “I’m sexy and I know it”, I keep getting distracted by the absurdly tanned and toned bodies that are oh so exposed. Let me be clear, this is an open stadium. And we are not in sunny Rio this is LONDON for God’s sake. Meaning 19 degrees Celsius. So no, the outfit has not been thought for the athletes’ body temperature.

We have read about women being represented in the Olympics but, what about when they are there? Should the way they are dressed be part of the conversation at all?

Three Saudi women are participating for the first time in the Olympics, but they walked behind the men in the opening ceremony. A reminder that even if present, they will always be relegated to a secondary role. They are also having trouble participating in the actual events, since they cannot follow the dress code of some sports. The judo federation stated that the Saudi athlete could not wear a hijab, and her father explained that she would not participate if that’s the case. The speculation is, of course, that these athletes are decorative figures to be able to get the team to London.

As for beach volleyball, the women wear two piece bathing suits, and there are so many shots to their asses that it proves distracting from the sport they have worked so hard to go play. There are alternatives for countries that are more conservative but hey, who would go watchthat? The men’s uniforms are bathing suits as well, but more covered. They wear knee-length shorts and wife beaters. No tiny Speedos for them.

“It just doesn’t look as beautiful” said 2008 Gold medalist Todd Rodgers in a press conference.”The reality is, men are driven more by their vision and women are not, so I just don’t think it would help… To see a guy’s package is just not the same.”

WHAT of course it is! You think women are not as attracted to six packs and pectoral muscles as men are to women’s curves? What he means by this is: women’s bodies are meant for men’s entertainment and pleasure, while men get to be treated as human beings. If you think women are to look pretty for your amusement, then you better be ready to do the same for us.

According to ESPN the women say they don’t mind their uniforms and are used to them. Apparently it allows for greater mobility. If that’s the case, indoor volleyball players should start taking their clothes off. And don’t the men need the mobility? They also admit they see how it would give appeal to the game. They hope the skin gives it a shock factor and then people would stay for the sport. Isn’t that the same delusional belief of getting love through sex? I’m not sure how this would really help to get a true following for the sport.

Yet the athletes do agree that if they do it, so should the men.

“We argue for it all the time” said April Ross. “Men have such amazing bodies, too. They shouldn’t be wearing tank tops. Give them shorts and make them go without a shirt.”

Let’ all be be equal-opportunity objectifiers please.


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